Jacob Watmore

Residency: Scribus 15

9 January – 13 February 2014


Jacob Watmore (UK) works with a collective of artists running a not-for-profit, immersive art gallery, while continuing with his own, conceptually based, practice. He has recently received funding to open up an artist-run space in London, and is currently spending time sorting out the logistics of this. He holds a deep vein of idealism, and states that collaboration and artist run spaces are key for his continual existence as an artist.

For the period of his residency at ArtFunkl, Watmore has looked to dislocate himself from making objects, to push down his reliance on the physical, and to investigate the effects of removing himself from his surrounding support of artists, mostly sculptors.

Most of the text pieces he generates come from a long exposure of interest in instruction pieces: the method of directing and documenting, that cohabits the same moment of labour: the ‘Schrodinger’s cat’ between myth and reality in semi­fictionalised artwork, and its unknown completion. It can be regarded as a limited projection into a possible future, yet, for Watmore, it holds the utopian idea of a food recipe, the distribution of knowledge in a sphere of creative commons; to be altered, exchanged, with the freedom to ‘cook’.

Watmore investigates the contract as a tool for generating stand alone text pieces, the sarcastic manipulation of people; from everyday natural behaviour, to teetering on the edge of forceful disruptions, almost pranks. He regards the contract as both a solid, and a tenuous documentation of an act; descriptions and specifics are made visible. Yet each moment described is beyond the gallery, for the recipient is commonly placed in an unknown situation. The contract provides the potential to create immersive happenings, consequently constructing little stories.

The scripts contain a melancholic series of actions, remotely absurd and somewhat pointless, yet this can cause a poetic element. Bringing attention to these small operations that are situated in performance, the notion of them being planned and composed validates their existence.

Watmore has spent part of his residency time writing extensively in order to contribute towards a small publication currently in process with a selection of other artists, at this moment its in its early stages. It has a simple framework, a collection of artists writing. He also aimed to branch off and create a manual, a tool to manage and maintain a fictional artwork, not dissimilar to appliance manuals, taking refuge in this predetermined format. Not dependent on what work occurs over the residency; his focus was to produce the solid footing of a physical archive of the writing he partakes in. Yet, the document aims to be semi-disposable, passed from person to person but only leaving an anecdotal memory, as it is to be left on a bus, or to be left in a drawer full of other manuals. The notes should disperse and be partly forgotten, but may be retained somewhere.

Jacob 1

Jacob 2

Jacob 3