Commons Room, under Transformation by the Beneficial Order of Useful Art, Re-Purposing Committee
Conservation & Maintenance Project of the 4th APAP envisions common values not only by technical approaches such as repairing and maintaining, re-locating and dismantling the works, but also by continuously recreating new meanings of artworks while preserving its original intentions. Invited to the 4th APAP, Grizedale Arts pursues the goal of the Conservation & Maintenance Project while extending its spectrum. Starting from an already existing public art work, it attempts to complement their functions that remain insufficient, or even to produce entirely new projects to maintain the work’s original idea. During this process, Grizedale Arts also runs community based workshops and forms a place for distribution for the workshop outcomes.
Based in Lawson Park of Cumbria in the central England, Grizedale Arts proposes *Commons Room, Under Transformation by the Beneficial Order of Useful Art, Re-Purposing Committee*. This project is consisted of three chapters; improving Liam Gillick’s *Propositions for a Social Structure for Anyang Public Space* (2007), designing a playground that can replace to-be-deconstructed *Maze Tower* by flyingCity (2006), and building foundations for *Honest Anyang Shop* which seeks to run communities on autonomous basis.
Set in Pyeongchon, *Propositions for a Social Structure for Anyang Public Space* was created by British artist Liam Gillick for the 2nd APAP. Initially this work, itself proposing a potential public space, was designed also to serve as a resting spot for pedestrians. In contrast to the artist’s intention, however, the public’s main reaction to the work was that it is inaccessible and inconvenient to serve as such. Upon this sort of reaction, Grizedale Arts expands the work’s usage in simple yet specific manner. Realizing that a large reason for the inaccessibility lies in the unintended platform between the road surface and the work, the artists build a granite step that opens up the access way to the work. This small but practical change represents the project’s aim, to find clues toward a continuous evolution of works that are situated in the everyday environment and limited lifecycles.
In the second chapter, *Commons Room, Under Transformation by the Beneficial Order of Useful Art, Re-Purposing Committee* tears down parts of *Maze Tower* and redesigns it into *Outdoor Commons Room*. Created by flyingCity, *Maze Tower* has received much attention for being the only place with recreational equipment for children visitors in Anyang Art Park. Yet, demolition of the work was decided as facilities became outdated and safety measures for playgrounds were modified. Grizedale Arts decides not to tear down the entire work, but instead, to restructure it so as to ensure its functions as a public playground. By building gardens and benches upon and around the original groundwork and brick frames, this work embraces the functions of a resting place for family visitors and a playground for children. Grizedale Arts also added a sandpit where children can explore their imagination and creativity through building, tearing down and building again various forms of sand structures. Frequently seen at boarding schools or universities in the UK, a “commons room” is a sort of living room shared by many people at public institutions.
Finally, Grizedale Arts experiments in *Honest Anyang Shop* the possibilities of public space, a place that opens up the specifics for utilizing the commons. The staff at Grizedale Arts have managed their own space from its small furniture such as chairs or tables to the institution itself. Bringing together their knowhow collected from numerous projects, *Honest Anyang Shop* is a shop based on the idea that everybody’s creative activities can be the foundation for a sustainable economy. As the shop’s slogan “Everyone uses art,” community members can sell and profit from their handmade objects in the stalls of *Honest Anyang Shop*, which shares the color palette used in the street furniture of *Outdoor Commons Room*. This shop proposes a commons room beyond physical space, that is, a common ground where public values are reproduced.
Placed in Kimchungup Museum and Anyang Pavilion during the exhibition period, *Honest Anyang Shop* was originally planned to move into a new place in Anyang and continue its activities. However, not being able to find a willing place and operator, it has now settled in the Book Society, located in Tongui-dong, Seoul.
그라이즈데일 아츠 Grizedale Arts ∙
A curatorial project based in Lawson Park of the Lake District. Rooted in the thoughts of John Ruskin, artist, art critic and social reformer from the Lake District, Grizedale Arts emphasizes the use value of art, and promotes the functions of art and artists in practical and effective roles. It holds diverse projects with contemporary artists, which engage the rural situation and local audience.
Organizer: Adam Sutherland
Design: Giles Round
Woodwork: Sam Clarke
Farming: John Atkinson
Food Product Development: Maria Benjamin
Production Assistant: Minwook An
Anyang Art Park
Outdoor Commons Room is located across Anyang Pavilion, across Samseong stream.