In 2000, curator Mark Francis created fig-1. The idea was to present “a series of exhibitions and events in a small space in the centre of the city, each lasting a week. Not accountable to any institution or to commercial pressures. Free of sales, storage, shipping, dinners, mailings, not for profit, no bureaucracy or infrastructure. Experimental, energetic, epic.”
The participants included many familiar names – Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Bridget Riley, Jeremy Deller, Grayson Perry, Wolfgang Tillmans – as well as people active in disciplines beyond ‘fine art’. Will Self wrote a set of stories, live on a big screen, about the people who came in to watch him write a live set of stories. I remember hearing about this at the time and thinking it was pretty cool, especially since it exasperated my friends.
In 2015, London-based Turkish independent curator Fatoş Üstek is curating fig-2 at the ICA. “I have a trans-disciplinary approach to art – I’m from a science background myself – and I’m interested in all aspects of knowledge production. Every project will be very different, and there will be dancers, designers, singers, poets and writers as well as artists. I hope that if you experience just one of the 50, or all of the 50, or part of the 50, you will have some experience of the whole, in that the year will be a massive exploration of the critical and aesthetic currency of our time.”
I’m going to try to visit all 50 weeks, and write a bit about each. Just because.
For a full outline of the fig-1 and fig-2 projects: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/dec/26/fig2-ica-mark-francis-fatos-ustek
The official fig-2 website is here: http://www.fig2.co.uk
The ICA fig-2 page is here: https://www.ica.org.uk/whats-on/seasons/fig-2
You can sign up to the weekly fig-2 newsletter here: http://www.fig2.co.uk/#/subscribe