Fight Against Multiculturalism Commodifying Your Difference, Freee 2007, How to be Hospitable, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Photograph Jon Trayner


How To Be Hospitable, Freee, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh How To Be Hospitable, Freee, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh How To Be Hospitable, Freee, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
You Can Judge A Culture By How It Treats Its Immigrants, text, Freee 2007, How To Be Hospitable, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh I Am A Foreign Citizen; I Am A Local Outsider; I Am A Migrant Worker, Billboard poster. Freee 2007, How To Be Hospitable, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Photograph Jon Trayner Immigrants Of The World Unite! Billboard (in Leith, Edinburgh). Freee 2007, How To Be Hospitable, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
Immigrants Of The World Unite! Freee 2007, How To Be Hospitable, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh. Photograph Jon Trayner How To Be Hospitable, video. Freee 2007, How To Be Hospitable, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh How To Be Hospitable, video still. Freee 2007, How To Be Hospitable, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh

Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, 5 April – 17 May 2008

How To Be Hospitable is the new exhibition by Freee at the Collective Gallery, Edinburgh. Three new works have been commissioned for the exhibition. The titles of the slogan works take positions on one of the key issues of the day: Fight Against Multiculturalism Commodifying Your Difference, Immigrants of the World Unite! and I am a Foreign Citizen; I am a Local Outsider; I am a Migrant Worker. Freee have also made a new video work with three Polish volunteers entitled How To Be Hospitable. In these works Freee are interested in how émigrés, in developing social and economic integration, communicate with each other and form their own groups and institutions. Does the experience of being an émigré within an adopted country encourage forms of active self organization, and does the emergence of such engaged and politicized citizens lead to the establishment of a counter public sphere?

Responding to the recent wave of Polish immigrant workers in the UK, and particularly in Edinburgh, Freee do not make works that address these issues in a thematic way – Polish experience is not the content of the work – rather they hope to trigger debate about the underlying issues of global capitalism that Polish immigration is part of.

One of the new works in the show was a video work of the artists visiting the billboard sites with some local Polish workers, discussing the politics of immigration, multiculturalism, racism and nationalism. The video ends with one of the Polish people saying, “I never thought I was an immigrant until I saw this work. I thought I was a European who had moved within Europe”.

One of the new works in the show was a video work of the artists visiting the billboard sites with some local Polish workers, discussing the politics of immigration, multiculturalism, racism and nationalism. The video ends with one of the Polish people saying, “I never thought I was an immigrant until I saw this work. I thought I was a European who had moved within Europe”.

There will be three new billboard works displayed in and around Leith from
24 March – 7 April 2008. The gallery exhibition will open to the public on 5 April. Private View 7 – 9pm on Friday 4 April.

How To Be Hospitable: Art and the Public Sphere Symposium, will take place on Saturday 5 April from 2- 5pm. Speakers include artist David Burrows, artist and writer Mark Hutchinson and Freee. Hutchinson will talk about slogans, drawing on the work of the linguist Jean Jacques Lecercle in the book The Violence of Language and in the essay Lenin the Just in the book Lenin Reloaded. In An art scene as big as the Ritz Burrows will discuss three concepts – discursive formations, minor forms of expression and ‘partial objects’ – to explore art scenes and their audiences. Freee will address ideas of the counter public sphere as well as a critique of participation. Places are free but limited to 35 seats.

Freee is interested in the traffic between the gallery and the street, between art’s institutions and everyday culture, and between art and politics. Works in the gallery are neither the originals of works that appear on billboard sites nor are they documents of them. Each version is simply another instance of the very same work, like a song performed at various venues, or, more pointedly, like a slogan appearing in a pamphlet, on a badge or in a chant.

Review by Daniella Watson at The Skinny




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