ARTISTS PLACEMENT GROUP. A collection of slides taken by Nicholas Tresilian, a director of the APG.



ARTISTS PLACEMENT GROUP. Three boxes of colour slides taken by Nicholas Tresilian. One of APG events one of Documenta 6 and one of his own images labelled ‘High Entropy Arrys’, ‘Thresholds’, ‘Occultations’ and ‘Death’. 376 slides in total, all in very good condition. Approx 30 are on the 1977 Royal College of Art seminar and presentation, featuring Steveni, Latham, Breakwell, Brisley, Tresilian and Coward etc. Approx 200 on Documenta 6 at Kassel: includes multiples images on Breakwell, Beuys, De Maria, Serra, Flanagan, ‘Grey Men’, Gerz, Dieter Rot, Anti-Documenta stunt, the Free International Universiity, Gilbert & George, Rinke, Nam June Paik , Richard Long, Marcel Broodthaers etc. Multiple shots of the outdoor sculptures and installations. Also multiples shots of Kassel and locality.

Item details

The idea of Artist Placement stemmed from a group of UK artists, and was guided by John Latham and initiated by Barbara Steveni, who were experimenting with radical new forms of art. Directed by Steveni, the APG pioneered the concept of art in the social context. From the outset their notion of ‘placement’ acknowledged the marginalised position of the artist and sought to improve the situation. By enabling artists to engage actively in non-art environments, the APG shifted the function of art towards ‘decision-making’.

Acting outside the conventional art gallery system, the APG attempted, through negotiation and agreement, to place artists within industry and government departments. The artist would become involved in the day-to-day work of the organisation and be paid a salary equal to that of other employees by the host organization, while being given the new role of maintaining sufficient autonomy to acting on an open brief. These placements resulted in a variety of artists’ reports, films, photographs, interviews, poetry and art installations. Artists of international repute, such as Keith Arnatt, Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley, George Levantis and David Hall, had important placements or early associations with the APG.

Like many other British artists and groups working outside common frameworks, the APG had a high profile abroad, particularly in Germany. Recent years have seen an increasing recognition that the APG served as a catalyst for many artist-in-residence programmes and community schemes, both in Britain and abroad. However, the APG’s brief was always more about political, social, and long-term engagement than about parachuting artists into problem zones. Like British Pop, the APG initiated and developed an aspect of art practice long before many of its contemporaries.

Today the organisation exists as Organisation and Imagination (O + I). The name APG was changed in 1989 in order to distinguish it from the art administration’s placement schemes, set up closely along the lines of the APG’s legacy, to the group, highly problematic. O + I describes itself as ‘an independent, international artist initiative, a network consultancy and research organisation’. Its board of directors, members and specialist advisors include leading artists, civil servants, politicians, scientists, and academics from various disciplines

Item details

Publisher: Self-published.
Format: Slides in box.
Date: 1977
Place: London
Edition: First edition
Book ID: 025515

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