Last Friday, Ross Sinclair completed his 3 month residence at Deveron Arts with a portable museum tour of Huntly. Starting from the Deveron Arts office at the Brander Museum, with a skype with The House of Gordon USA the audience group picked up various placards and paintings which Ross had produced depicting portraits of the History of the Gordons and other Real Life statements, and headed off into the town like some sort of agitprop protest group. Along the way we gathered to listen to local experts on the Gordons history – stopping at The Square, War Memorial, Gordon Highlanders memorial (where Ross unveiled his portrait of “Sharpy” a local ex Gordon Highlander), Huntly Castle, a singer on the way back, Gordon Primary School (for a rousing rendition of ‘A Gordon for Me”) and finishing St Margaret’s Chapel with some sherry and conviviality.
The Marcel Duchamp Boîte en valise or portable museum contains miniature versions of Duchamp’s pre 1935 artworks. These artworks are gathered together within a ‘portable’ box and humanly easy to handle. Is this an artwork or as it seems to suggest some sort of ‘museum’, or samples of ‘products’ like a traveling salesman’s suitcase? I think that this work was probably just a useful moving on point for Duchamp in packing up your old stuff and moving to America. Ross’s work was new and current not ready just yet for a museum.
While we were carrying Ross’s artwork in the Huntly project, I sensed that we weren’t just ‘the carriers” but the artwork as one. The collective mass of people connected everyone and everything together. As the evening went on the artwork became heavier, but we still took care of it, maybe we were also the collective assistant curators to Ross. We were the custodians of his work for a couple of hours. Interestingly we all tended to carry and take care of particular works, even when we put them down or displayed them at stopping points, we went back and got the one that we had been carrying. Maybe we need to or be allowed to get more physical with art in the future.