Open Call : Temporary Darkroom Project

Deadline for submissions: 26/03/2017  |  City: Manchester  |  Region: Greater Manchester  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Created by: Rachael Burns

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Site specific project in which a temporary darkroom space will be set up in a rented residential property, and artists invited in to make work which studies and relates to this domestic space. The resulting work will be exhibited alongside a scale model of the bathroom in which the darkroom was situated.

The project will involve turning one of the bathrooms in a large shared house into a temporary darkroom; open to artists to come and make work as a one or two-day residency. Due to the unusual nature of the darkroom we are inviting artists to make work which connects with or is inspired by this domestic space. Involving your own experiences with shared or rented housing, the exhibition will aim to open up a dialogue surrounding the rental market and housing crisis.

To submit please write a brief proposal of what you are intending to produce; this can be a new project or the continuation of an existing body of work. Please note that working time in the darkroom will be limited to one or two days and although we are willing to be as flexible as possible the darkroom based aspect of the proposed projects would require being finished within this timescale. With your submission please include a link to your online portfolio and a short bio. There will be people on site at all times to provide assistance where necessary but applicants must be confident to work independently in a black and white darkroom.

The darkroom will include an enlarger and equipment needed to process both black and white film and paper. All equipment and chemicals will be provided free of charge but artists are expected to provide their own darkroom paper and film as required. The house is located in the suburb of Chorlton and the work will be printed on site and exhibited in Manchester; gallery and dates to be confirmed. Artists are responsible for their own travel to and from the venue, which is easily accessible by bus and by tram from central Manchester.


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Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Artists who work with the photographic medium and are interested in producing work which responds to the domestic space. We would also ask that applicants are proficient at working independently within the darkroom environment.
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
We are interested in proposals which would make use of the unusual environment in which the work will be created, and will engage with the idea of this play with domestic and public space. Applicants are welcome to propose the continuation of an existing body of work or to propose a completely new project. The work to be completed should make use of the darkroom but we are open to non-traditional methods of working.
When is the deadline?
Sunday the 26th March at 11:59pm.
What are the key dates?
The darkroom will be set up and available to use between the 6th – 20th of April, if selected artists will then arrange dates to work in that space. The exhibition will take place in September 2017 (exact dates tbc) and will be arranged where possible around the availability of the artists involved.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
If your proposal is chosen you will be contacted to arrange the dates when you are available to come and make work in the darkroom. You will also be able to arrange a separate day prior to this to visit the property if necessary. After completing the residency artists are free to develop the work ahead of the September exhibition.
How much does it cost?
This opportunity is free to submit a proposal and take part. If selected you will be expected to provide your own film and darkroom paper as required, but the equipment, chemicals and exhibition space will all be provided free of charge.
Are there payments to artists?
Unfortunately as materials and exhibition space are provided free of charge we are unable to provide payment.
Is there a private view / opening?
Yes, date and venue to be announced. There is also the possibility of another event being held within that space to coincide with the exhibition but that is yet to be confirmed. If you have any ideas for that event please include them with your submission.
Do I need to be present?
No, the only dates where availability is necessary are the dates when the darkroom is available to use, from the 6th – 20th April. Please indicate within your submission your availability over these dates.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
The organisers will be actively involved in publicising both the residency and exhibition through Manchester based platforms, with the hope that the artists involved will also promote and document the process through their own social media platforms.
Does the location have disabled access?
Unfortunately it does not as the darkroom will be situated in a residential property which has not been adapted for disabled access.
What formats of film is the enlarger compatible with?
It is a travel enlarger capable of working with 35mm only, and we would encourage artists to work creatively within these restrictions.

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