PVA - LabCulture

The Centre of Attention is not just an alternative space but an alternative way of showing new art. It is run by Pierre Coinde and Gary O'Dwyer. This month's interview explains all.

Tell us a bit about the Centre of Attention - exactly where is it?

No fixed location. 2 third of the shows take place in a space in London (15 Cottons Gardens, E2 8DN) which is also the address to send submissions to. But the gallery is not space related. The space used depends on what the exhibition requires.

What kind of stuff are you going to show this year?

Who knows. We plan things at the last minute. We have regular annual exhibitions: video exhibitions, art prize, magazine ...as well as other group shows: painting, sculpture, object, computer animation. A group show in Feb, something in March in California...The best is to join the email list to get notice of what is forthcoming.

What made you embark upon this venture?

The complacency of contemporary art galleries and our own madness

What about the London scene, is it all over or just beginning?

We don't think in these terms. It doesn't matter. Very unusually for a no budget gallery, we look at the international scene, mixing nationalities as much as we can, as well as doing 1 or 2 shows a year in foreign countries.

You've managed to get hold of some excellent artists so far, how do you do this?

I think you mean "established" when you say "excellent". If so. We ask them. But we only ask them if we know that their work is perfect for the show we are organising, and they are usually grateful that we have made the effort to understand what their work is about. We tend to ask for something very specific.

We also show excellent unknown artists. Again: we search. We don't exhibit our friends.

The Centre of Attention is iconclastic in nature. Where does this spring from?

Not iconoclast in the original sense of the word. We love the image. We show very diverse and different shows because we are self indulgent:

we try not to get bored in what we are doing. Also as we are not commercial, we don't care it things sell or not. Finally, because we are not state-sponsored, we don't need to be correct in what we show.

If you were spraying slogans on the streets of London (or Paris) what would they be?

Attentionistas Unite!

Is art just a bourgeois excuse to keep people occupied?

No, office work keeps people occupied. And Bourgeois need no excuse. Art decorates homes.

What sort of shoes do you wear?

High heels or Grandfather's slippers for special occasions.

And if money was no object, what country would you buy first?

The one in the Sale, probably.

Anything else you want to share with us?

yes, the Centre of Attention web address:



Pierre Coinde

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