Drop City is an occasional public space, curatorial project and collaboration between Sam Watson and Eleanor Wright. Committed to pursuing meaningful, responsive and long-term collaborations with artists and other initiatives, Drop City was founded in 2014 as a platform for collaborative process. Taking on various models and roles—gallery, host, publisher, guest—Drop City’s responsive approach to its structure fosters the emergence of new perspectives and paradigms of cultural hospitality.
Drop City, Antwerp at Osystraat 45
As of 2019 operating on an occasional basis from the inner-city kitchen garden at the home and studio of its founders, artist Eleanor Wright and curator Sam Watson, Drop City encourages new developments in contemporary art stemming from the practices of artists and other practitioners, and explores their meaning within the realm of art and beyond.
Research, dialogue, solidarity and reflection lie at the centre of Drop City’s approach to working with artists. Intertwined with the presentation programme, an intimate public programme is organised, consisting of performances, screenings, artist talks, publications, lectures with regards to the practices of Drop City’s collaborating artists.
Drop City, Düsseldorf at Lierenfelder Str. 39
«Drop City, Düsseldorf at Lierenfelder Str. 39» takes place within the shared home and studio of an artist and a curator. It is a space where ideas, discussion and presentation coexist. Public formats vary depending on the project and invited guests; from exhibitions, symposiums, screenings, and performances to events’ series and dinners. Drop City’s identity at Lierenfelder Str. 39 is drawn from the life/work situation that houses it, including a growing collection of personal objects and artworks, as well as from the commitment and concerns of its founders, Eleanor Wright and Sam Watson. Drop City values engagement of thought and is particularly interested in exploring questions of space, habitat and use; friendship, mobility and intimacy. The small-scale format of Drop City contributes to a context where intimate and direct conversations with its audience and the diversity of protagonists it invites can be initiated and sustained. The announcement of each event of «Drop City, Düsseldorf at Lierenfelder Str. 39» will be made with a limited-run postcard depicting a different 'Fantastic Flower' watercolour by Matthias Lahme.
Drop City, Düsseldorf at Hotel Ufer
In 2016 a programme of artist made objects, exhibitions, installations and performances took place throughout the private/public spaces of Hotel Ufer on Gartenstrasse. Invited by hotelier René Tilgier, the programme explored the key resource for hospitality: the sharing of space. The programme brought together artists from the city and abroad and experimented with key prevalent principles around exhibition making, duration, glocalism, and site-specificity. Exhibitions expanded out across multiple guest-rooms, communal areas, cities and national borders and included works focussing on the temporality of the hotel experience including handmade ceramic plates by Katie Schwab for the daily breakfast buffet, bathrobes by Sophie Macpherson and a newly renovated permanent 3-bedroom suite by hobbypopMUSEUM. «Drop City, Düsseldorf at Hotel Ufer» attempted to seek more dynamic interactions between artists, site and audiences, and rather than relegating the audience to the passive role of spectators, looked to foster the active and genuine involvement of participants.
Drop City, Newcastle at 20 South Street
Between November 2014 – October 2015 «Drop City, Newcastle» presented eight exhibitions in our permanent gallery at 20 South Street. As our location in Newcastle closed for redevelopment, we took the opportunity to explore alternative ways to open up diverse and dynamic potential for our activities and engagement with the city and beyond. Working in a peripatetic and collaborative capacity with regional and international initiatives, institutions, museums and art fairs across North East England, London, Vienna, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Madrid and Antwerp we were able to forge an exciting and responsive programme drawing on our multifaceted practices and relationships.
Drop City has been supported in a special way by Hotel Ufer, Düsseldorf; Arts Council England; Newcastle Institute for Creative Arts Practice at Newcastle University; Centre for Visual Arts and Culture at Durham University; FRAME Visual Arts Finland; Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport, Nordrhein-Westfalen; and Clouston Group.
© 2014/2019 for text and images: the authors
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