David Raymond Conroy – Retail Space

1st to 31st January 2019

During the exhibition the gallery will be available to sublet.

There are many historical precedents of artists closing galleries or exhibiting empty rooms as a way to perhaps encourage people to think about the labour of the artist and the gallery staff, or as acts of resistance or perhaps frustration and exhaustion with art, production and the artworld, but I want to be clear that I am not refusing to produce an artwork or an exhibition; I am producing artwork and the artwork is the sublet of a retail space that is normally used as an art gallery. I am producing an exhibition that the public can see, the exhibition will consist of whatever the renter wants to do in the space and the exhibition will be documented by the renter and their clients.

The sublets can be of any duration and there can be many different sublets over the course of the exhibition. The gallery isn’t closed to the public necessarily, whether or not it is closed to the public is the decision of the renter. When it is not being rented the gallery will be open for visitors during normal gallery hours. On display as the contents of the exhibition at this time will be the space itself and the normal operations of a commercial gallery, albeit one that is engaged in administration and delivery of a work that is the sublet of that gallery space. A timetable will be published and maintained to allow the public to know when the space will be accessible. Viewings outside of these hours can be arranged by appointment.

The subletter must agree with the gallery a fee for their rental period and this fee will be negotiated around the current market rate for a property of the gallery’s type. There will be no restrictions on who can rent the space other than their ability to pay the agreed sum. There are as few limitations on what they can do in the space as are legal, workable and structurally operational (it is not a residential property, the renter must not cause physical damage to the space, it is not a licensed premises etc). Any income that exceeds the gallery’s core operating costs, which should be considered a production expense, will be split between the gallery and the artist, 50% going to each, the artist’s portion could be considered their wage for working on the project. Income from the sale of the work Retail Space, which takes the form of a contractual agreement, will be split 50/50 between gallery and artist.

The artwork is open and accessible to many different audiences depending on the renter’s proposed use. The gallery will be reaching out, beyond the artworld to engage with typically non-art audiences via the decisions of the renters and the social media outcomes of the various participants. In this way the work can be enjoyable in many ways for many different people. If someone rents the gallery to hold a karate class the participants can enjoy it for the karate, which it is, and is for them, and the contemporary art audience can think about it as post-conceptual art or perhaps even performance art, which it is, and is for them. Nobody is being asked to do something they don’t want to do or think about something they don’t care about. Thinking differently about what one is doing or seeing might occur at the participant’s discretion. All the people involved in the project may document and distribute their images as they see fit. If the participants of the project choose to put images into the public realm via social media, the gallery will direct viewers to these posts via its own social media profiles in accordance with the various sharing protocols of the individual platforms.

Airbnb told me to do it.
Neoliberal ideology told me to do it.
Mark Zuckerberg told me to do it.
An Amazon Seller told me to do it.
The sharing economy told me to do it.

For rental enquiries please contact info@seventeengallery.com


David Raymond Conroy b. 1978

This is the artist’s fifth solo exhibition at Seventeen. Recent solo shows include Prosu(u)mer at EKKM, Tallinn, A Shared Space of Difference, Camden Arts Centre, London, PPE, or It is Spring and I am Blind, Modern Art Oxford and staging Brief Interviews with Hideous Men with Andy Holden, ICA, London and Arnolfini, Bristol.

Recent group projects include Gesamtzusammenhang at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Emotional Supply Chains at Zabludowicz Collection, London and Performance Capture at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Conroy was Performance Writer in Residence at Camden Art Centre, London, part of Futurecamp at Wysing, Cambridge in 2014 and the Zabludowicz Collection Residency, Las Vegas in 2015. His performances have been presented at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Chisenhale Gallery, London, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, David Roberts Art Foundation, London and Tate Britain, London.