DOUBLE ACTS - Ayling and Conroy / Karin Kihlberg and Reuben Henry / The Library of Unwritten Books / The Owl Project / Jonathan Gilhooly and Stig Evans / Semiconductor

"Collaboration is like a love affair; it segues from admiration to anxiety, reflection to rage, desire to envy, powerlessness to misunderstanding, from not getting what you want but maybe coming nearer to knowing what you thought it might be."

- Katherine Clark, Two Minds: Artists and Architects in Collaboration, Jes Fernie (ed)

Collaborations have acted as a means of examining the shape and limits of the self, redefining artistic labour. They have been ways of deliberately altering artistic identity from individual to composite subjectivity. The complexities of double authorship deny the economics of representation.

From the 1960s collaboration has often taken the form of close-knit relationships such as that of Gilbert and George (whose retrospective is taking place at Tate Modern), Ulay and Marina Abramovic, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, but how do they look today?

In a collaboration who does what? How did this collaboration begin and why does it continue? Do they practice individually and if so how does the collaboration inform their individual practice? Does the collaboration allow for other people to become involved? What are the expectations of loyalty and mutuality?

Double Acts is a celebration and mini-survey of collaborative practice in the UK today. It seeks not to answer the behind the scenes questions but to provide a context for pondering these questions.

Double Acts is the first of two exhibitions curated by Sally Lai for Phoenix Arts Association. Sally Lai is a curator and Clore Fellow currently based in Manchester. Her most recent project is a major co-curated exhibition Arrivals and Departures: New Art Perspectives of Hong Kong which is at Urbis, Manchester until July.

OPENING CELEBRATION - Sat 28 Apr, 1 - 3pm FREE

2pm onwards

Stig Evans & Jonathan Gilhooly - Colour Conundrum
The Library of Unwritten Books - Story Collection
The Owl Project: Demonstration/performative talk

2.30pm
Karin and Reuben will talk about their work at Springhill Institute and their practice.

THE CRITICAL INCIDENT: Workshop 2 - Tue 22 May, 10.30am - 4.30pm
£50 / £35 concessions.


Part of a series of challenging, practical conversations about artistry, innovation, insight and imagination. Artists and curator Greg Daville invites you to discover and explore new creative terrain through undertaking a 'City Run'. This involves gathering information, ideas and objects from around Brighton, then returning to Phoenix to make a piece of work based on the material collected. A viewing and discussion will follow, in which the process and experience of creating the work will be addressed in a supportive and non-judgemental setting. Suitable for adults; no arts background necessary.

STATE OF THE ARTS: Double Acts - Tue 5 Jun, 7 - 9pm FREE

We grapple with some of the questions raised by the exhibition, through a dialogue around the nature of collaboration. The evening will begin with a panel discussion with curator Sally Lai, plus artists including collaborative duos Semiconductor and other artists to be confirmed. This will be followed by a general discussion and an opportunity to make contact with other artists who wish to collaborate on skills.

Please ring Phoenix on 01273 603700 to reserve a place.