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Workshop: Photography as a Collaborative Action

University of Portsmouth invited Revolv Collective to deliver a workshop on collaboration during their BA Photography degree show, Menier Gallery, London . Since our collective revolves around the notions of collaborative working and thinking, we were pleased to have the opportunity to experiment, and put our ideas and beliefs into action, whilst developing them further.

 

The workshop took place on 5th of June and we worked with ten graduates in the creation of a new body of work in the space of 3 hours. The participants were divided into pairs at random and instructed to take decisions only collaboratively. Each pair was given various words, also at random, which were gathered from headlines of international media from June and July 2018. The pairs had to work together for a limited amount of time and create work using their phone cameras, newspapers, the internet and a printer. After producing the work, participants were asked to write a short statement and all 5 pairs to create a collective temporary installation on the street outside the gallery, admitting the passers by to their private show.

 

 

This intervention of a public space was created coincidently only by female artists. Without conceptual instructions, the majority of the groups decided to work with words and ideas regarding current feminist issues. The discussions and exchange of practical and conceptual ideas during the workshop were brought up solely by the participants. Revolving around the different phrases chosen at random,  the conversations pointed to political and social problems of the current time.

 

 

The photographers worked with their own photography, appropriated images from the internet and work from the BA show in the space. Their methods included cutting and collaging photos from newspapers, whilst others wondered around with their Polaroid camera.  The results carried a surreal and fictional notion, despite the fact that they were constructed from visuals and text from the present. It was inspirational to see a group of female photographers, all unfamiliar to each other, work together for a short while and unconsciously produce a coherent body of work. The pop-up show was stuck with blue tack on O’Meara Street, near London Bridge, and had an activist nature, tackling issues such as abortion, Brexit, pollution, female harassment and British and American politics.