- Hey everyone,
- It’s with regret and sorrow that we have to announce that we are postponing this year’s Members’ Show, Fields of Wheat, until September. This is because the current committee do not have the capacity to undertake another exhibition at the moment, nor to organise the support that we would require to do so. This was not an easy decision to make, hence the short notice, which we apologise for. We currently have a significantly reduced personnel, with several committee members having recently left, and others out of the country undertaking other projects. Those of us who are around (and even those who are not) are worn to the bone, having already experienced multiple burnouts, whilst other crucial administrative work continues to pile up.
- As you probably know, positions on the Transmission committee are unpaid, and most of us work draining day jobs on the days that we are not at the gallery. As a result, at times when more than two committee members are unavailable, the strain is very intense; with committee members either being unable to complete Transmission tasks or opting to take time out from paid work, resulting in further financial instability and precarity.
- The decision to postpone the Member’s Show will allow the committee to recuperate from the past 12months of constant activity; offer the appropriate training and support to ourselves and incoming members; whilst also strategising methods to move forward in a way that does not come at the expense of the committee’s health. This break would also allow us to address comments and concerns raised by you, the membership.
- We believe that by taking the time to rework things, we can run Transmission more efficiently for you; providing the support and resources that you expect. It perhaps seems contradictory to state this, whilst postponing the Member’s Show, but there is simply too much programming, planning and training work to be done outside of the installing and running of an actual exhibition, to make it possible at this time. We appreciate the many and varied forms of support that members have offered and continue to offer, and do not feel any joy in having come to this conclusion but we know that you will understand our predicament.
- Much has changed since Transmission began 34 years ago, and we would argue that not all that worked then, can work now. Various economic support structures no longer exist and thus a structure that presupposes relative economic stability of the committee must be challenged. If this structural model is not questioned, only a narrow section of society will be able to undertake unpaid work like this.
- Those of you who have been involved in Transmission over the years may be aware that some of the issues that we are raising have always surrounded each committee and have come to be considered part and parcel of the commitment. We, the current committee do not believe that this should be or has to be the case. We are now striving towards an alternative, but recognise that this will take time. Over the coming months we will be opening the space to the membership and wider public for discussion about the success and failures of the existing model as it relates to Transmission and other artist-run spaces. Of particular concern is questioning what it means when those asked to perform free labour come from historically underrepresented, disenfranchised and underpaid peoples.
- Again, we apologise and appreciate your understanding at this time. If you have already sent us work for the show and will need it returned before September please get in touch and we’ll organise this. We’ll release the programme of exhibitions and events for the Autumn period, (including updated work drop-off dates for the Members Show) as soon as possible. In the meantime, exciting upcoming events include: a two day series of workshops and performances (July 28th-29th) organised by Katherine MacBride following on from Polyvocal Subjects her Scottish Solo show at Transmission in 2014 and the annual Transmission Summer Party on July 22nd - hope to see you in the workshop/by the BBQ!
- Transmission Committee xx
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