mardi 6 janvier 2015

With the Minesweeper Collective

Meeting tonight in a squatted old pub in Deptford (London) to develop an "Art & Craft" section at the Minesweeper Collective.

The Minesweeper is an old wooden boat of the Royal Navy built in 1954,
which began to host cultural events in 1998 in Greenwich (London). A fire destroyed the stern in 2008, after which a collective began to rebuild and organize the place in order to welcome artists in residence and set up a screen-printing studio.

It is in this context, and thanks to the members of another screenprinting collective I joined in September, Le Cagibi in Lille, that I spent a few weeks on the Minesweeper boat, invited by Kevin Seven, Camden McDonald, Niccolo Bruni & Andrew Guardens, to make DIY (“do it yourself”) books, that is to say, printed, folded and binded by hand.
In a few days, with Kevin and two Italian artists, Illustre Feccia and Freddy Roccia, we made a small book for Halloween : Sweet Nightmares.
Then we focused on an ambitious book, mixing poems and drawings, which gathered more than twenty artists from different countries and a significant number of people who wanted to support and help us, such as employees of the Bird's Nest(where the Minesweeper gallery – Undercurrent gallery – is located), the artists of the Art Center of Wembley where we printed the book, Clara Moon and Emilie Huitric who reviewed the texts, the crowd of friends, families, or even just curious onlookers...
This book has a title that refers not only to its subject but also to its form : Dédale
.
It was then the excuse or opportunity to carry out a long brooding reflection about the “book” in an article that I'm currently trying to broadcast through a larger media than I usually use.

This London adventure was so fulfilling, the friendships that were formed were so vivid, creating together was so fresh that we soon considered continuing to work together over the long term.
A second project was launched, combining Minesweeper, Le Cagibi and Literature, etc. (association organizing an annual literature festival) on the theme of eroticism, still bringing together texts and drawings.

The common will to live without
public subsidies and therefore the most possible with our "manufacturing" (which can be of all kinds...) brings us together on the common principle of a daily life practice : experiments (skills, learning, ideas, etc) and will (naive for sure, but who cares ?) to enroll in an urban settlement (social and economic) beyond words and goodwill.
This is what we wanted with Solstices project,
this is what the members of Minesweeper Collective have been achieving for years.

But as a new member of
Le Cagibi, obviously I could not avail myself of all of its members, or even be immediately fully aware of the reluctance of many of them on several points, including the commercial aspect (secondary but necessary). For instance, selling the book about eroticism on the website of Les éditions Solstices is excluded. Making money (apart from a few token sales) is excluded.
This intransigence pleases us more than anything, but it will not allow us to live for now...

That's why Kevin, agreeing with me, invited me to join the Minesweeper Collective.
Tonight, Kevin, Illustre Feccia, Freddy Roccia and I, will lay the foundation of this company, which I will explain, from time to time (facts, successes, failures), on this blog.