Drawing Bureau, Bristol – Traced Papers2020
Drawing Bureau is a work exhibited at the Centre Of Gravity, in Bristol, 2020. It was presented as an 'ongoing event', a daily and self-reflexive work reflecting on work as bureaucratic labour. This entailed showing audiences the production of drawing, thinking, talking. It critically plays with concepts of a 'bureau' as a quasi-office space where knowledge, data, (mis-)information, images and other speculations are drawn onto 'blank' pages. The pages used for the drawings were printed – and reversed – showing the 'blank side' with ink faintly revealing information – from reports found on online archives, information analysing matters and issues about Bristol such as housing, property, migration, homelessness, and (in-)equality. Audiences were invited to either watch or engage with the artist, delve in speculative conversations... or silently view drawings that, from a distance, appeared 'invisible'. Almost nothing, disappearing in stained, ghostly mirrored figures, hazy Rorschach. Viewed closeup, however, and details in the drawings would appear. Details included prosaic scenes of houses, streets, maps, foliage, people, and animals. With each day of the exhibition new drawings were added, reworked, rearranged, spreading like a hazy, multi-paneled mosaic across the Bureau's walls and table. Work became an aporia, both efficient over-production and inefficient dis-appearing works-on-paper as paper-work.