Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on February 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm

The first ART WRITING FIELD STATION took place at Five Years Gallery on 7 Feb 2010 2-4pm. It featured presentations from David Berridge, COMPULSIVE HOLDING (Hyun Jin Cho and David Johnson), Tamarin Norwood and Matthew MacKissack. Marianne Holm Hansen responded to the presentations and discussion, creating a lexicon of Art Writing as part of her FOR THE RECORD (A Written Conversation) project.   

The following is the proposal that I sent Edward Dorrian, in response to his Open Call for contributions to the FIELD RECORDINGS season:


Histories of experimental poetics and writing are often related to practices and metaphors of “the field” – from Charles Olson’s “open field” poetics to engagements with anthropological field trips and field notes as models for situational and performative writing.  The aim of this discussion for FIELD RECORDINGS is to try and explore how such ideas can inform current writing practices by offering an event that models the idea of ” a writer in the field” and also offers a “field recording” of such practices in poetic operation. 

 ART WRITING FIELD STATION began as a fictionalising of my work as a writer interested in connections between writing and contemporary arts practice. I gathered together a variety of texts from different virtual and physical locations (galleries, bookstores, events, websites) that together constitute part of the ever shifting “field” of my writing practice. I find conceiving of this practice as “field” helps foreground such texts not as finished, consumable products but as active EVIDENCE and MATERIAL, something malleable to be worked with, examined, taken apart, noted, and annotated, and also part of a broader cultural (eco-) system.   

I invited COMPULSIVE HOLDING, Matthew MacKisack and Tamarin Norwood to present their own response to this theme of “field.” The precise structure and nature of this event has unfolded from discussions between us. Each of us will present for 20 minutes. Marianne Holm Hansen will compile from all of our talks a lexicon of words and phrases.  This “field” of words and emotions will be seen as the field that has emerged from the bringing together of our individual practices within this event at the FIVE YEARS gallery. The final part of our event will be an open discussion of this emergent field.     

 ART WRITING FIELD STATION will also test the validity,  ourselves, of discussing and presenting work within a concept of the “field” and a “field recording.”

Each of the presentations will be published by VSK in March as a 20 page e-book. The second ART WRITING FIELD STATION will take place in Leeds on March 27th, with presentations from David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham, Emma Cocker, and Mary Paterson. Please email if you would like to attend.

As part of our preparations for the FIVE YEARS event Hyun Jin Cho sent us the following drawing of the space: 


In Uncategorized on February 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Guess Work Guest Work map

GUESS WORK GUEST WORK was an exhibition at 7.9 Cubic Metres at the Stanley Picker Galley, Kingston Upon Thames (Nov 4-28 2009). It was developed from a script by myself, and included the curation of project by Compulsive Holding (Hyun Jin Cho and David Johnson). The illustration above is a plan of the exhibition, drawn by Jin.

The full script of the exhibition is now online here. Further realisations are invited, in whatever medium. Please send documentation to Below are visual and verbal descriptions of the process of the project by myself and COMPULSIVE HOLDING:

DAVID BERRIDGE: Guess Work Guest Work began with a script for an exhibition. This unfolded over several months as a sequence of notes, mini-essays, quotes, typographic scrawls, concrete poems and other hybrid text forms. As the manuscript took shape, these were often re-written and re-edited. I  wanted to make a text that worked if encountered on the page, but one also intended to become an exhibition in 7.9 Cubic Metres. 

 The starting point for many of these texts was an interest in two recently published texts on curatorial history:  the interviews of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s A Brief History of Curating and the photos, floor plans and archival documents of  Harald Szeemann: Individual Methodology. Both books sought to give concrete form and presence to the exhibitions of a formative generation of curators whose work would otherwise disappear. 

Whilst invaluable, I was struck by how often attempts to describe an exhibition ended not in a clear blueprint of the show but in a series of suggestive phrases, poetic images, and self-invented jargon. This either arose causally and spontaneously in conversation or was an example from an oft repeated personal working lexicon. 

Rather than lament this condition, I decided it was how legacy becomes manifest and the work of such curators became available to contemporary practice. The title Guess Work Guest Work, for example, derived from my own misreading of Harald Szeemann’s Institute of Spiritual Guest Workguest worker [gastarbeiter] being the German term for migrant workers. I wondered what would happen if I stayed within this space of mis-reading, using it as a form of engagement both with curatorial history and my own practice. 

One consequence was a need to open the exhibition and the script to the artists’ COMPULSIVE HOLDING, whose own toothbrush project I intuitively felt to be a closely related exploration.

If an exhibition has a script then there is also likely to be a performance. My original intention was to install the script as a series of A4 sheets. Instead, over the three days available for setting up,  I created the installation documented below. The script was available for visitors to read, but in the cube itself it was taken down, covered up, replaced by new text, and/or transformed into objects. 

If there was a surprise  within the process of making Guess Work Guest Work then it was the degree and nature of change involved in the shift from page to space. I continued adding, changing, and deleting until a few minutes before the open view began.

The script of Guess Work Guest Work was itself re-written during the process of installation so that it could function as an invitation to other practitioners, not solely a document of my own process.  This meant the project by Compulsive Holding and my own project in relation to the curator Pontus Hultén were removed, as future enactments of the script will be likely to make their own connections. 

On the show’s final weekend, the installation was taken down and the space hosted WRITING EXHIBITIONS, a two day seminar and a curated series of micro-exhibitions exploring connections of writing and exhibition making.  


In Uncategorized on February 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Sphere of Possible Comprehension

VerySmallKitchen is pleased to announce the publication of two new e-publications. 

WRITING EXHIBITIONS: AN ASSEMBLING  features contributions from: David Berridge, Anne Charnock, Hyun Jin Cho, Fiona Fullam, Matthew Giraudeau, Marianne Holm Hansen, David Johnson, Helen Kaplinsky, Pippa Koszerek, Matthew MacKisack, Tamarin Norwood, Kim Patrick, Heather Ring/ The Wayward Plant Registry. Curated/ Assembled by David Berridge. 

ESSAYING ESSAYS: AN ASSEMBLING  features experiments in essaying from: David Berridge; Rachel Lois Clapham; Emma Cocker; Alex Eisenberg; Fiona Fullam; Alex Hardy; Éilis Kirby; Jenny Lawson; Patricia Lyons; Pete McPartlan; John Pinder. Assembled by David Berridge as part of ESSAYING ESSAYS: A TEMPORARY COLLECTIVE OF READERS, one of seven projects by the FREE PRESS collective exploring economies of ideas and alternative modes of dissemination and exchange.

Both magazines adopted the methodology of Richard Kostelanetz ASSEMBLING publications, for which contributers supplied 1000 copies of their contribution of up to 4 pages. For both of these PDF-internet manifestations of ASSEMBLING, contributers were asked to provide three A4 pages in response to the project title.

The image above is from Pete McPartlan’s “Reader’s Blocks” project, which he undertook as part of ESSAYING ESSAYS.  Read more about it here.


In Uncategorized on February 20, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Welcome to VerySmallKitchen. 

VerySmallKitchen is a project space inhabiting, defining and exploring spaces of connection between writing and art practice; text, book and exhibition; curating and authorship. Based in Whitechapel in London, VSK is curated by David Berridge and works both online and through a range of physical discussions, performances, events and exhibitions. Current projects include WRITING EXHIBITIONS, an exploration of connections between language and exhibition making, and ART WRITING FIELD STATION, a series of group field recordings of writers and artists working in the interzone of written and visual practice.

The VSK blog will include information about events and publications, calls for work, online projects, reading notes, syllabi, scripts, and other written and visual forms. A library of PDF e-books published by VSK can be found here.  Contact VerySmallKitchen at