Why do we need contemporary art? Why do we go to galleries and museums? Collection Co-selection is a project devoted to the study of how art is perceived by viewers. This time the audience will enter the role of co-curators and create an exhibition from the collections of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art.
Contemporary art is open to various interpretations. Following this idea, we want to promote access to art and be open to the interpretations of our audiences. We give voice to our visitors, and we put their choices in the centre. Collection Co-selection is a lesson in collaboration between an institution and its audience, working together and learning about each other through art. The prefix 'co' takes on a double meaning here: 'co-selection' is not only a participatory selection of works from the U–jazdowski collection, but also a joint lesson in decision-making.
The project consists of three stages. The first, beginning in June 2020 is focus group research. Participants chose works from the U–jazdowski collection and answered questions related to how they experience art, the ways in which it can be interpreted and motivations that accompany audiences visiting the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. Based on the results of the research, an online gallery was created–here viewers at ko-lekcjawyborow.u-jazdowski.pl indicated the works they would like to see at the exhibition. Based on their choices, we will create an exhibition, which will be on display in U–jazdowski at the beginning of 2021. Within the exhibition space, interviews regarding individual experience and understanding of art will be conducted. A public and educational program will accompany the exhibition, and a final report from the study will be created in 2021.
Collection Co-selection is a curatorial project combining educational activities and audience development strategies. It fits in with the tradition of anthropological and sociological analyses devoted to issues of social functioning of art and the shaping of aesthetic preferences. What motivates our choices and influences our decisions? Why do some gallery-goers look for reflection on reality and others look for an escape from the outside world? Our survey is not a plebiscite, and the online vote is not a competition. Rather, we would like to provoke a discussion about what is it about art that moves us, intrigues us, and why contemporary art is important.