Temporary Autonomous Art 1
Feb 2001 - Farringdon, London
The first autonomous art show was held in the squatted Smithfield’s wine bistro on 15-17 March 2001. It was a small but successful event, housing a miriad of media pieces. Photography, photocopy, painting, video, slides and sculptures were among the asortment of vibrant expression. The exhibition sculpted itself as people felt comfortable adding their work to the walls over the course of the three days. The art, unified together, created a clear picture of an alternative way of life inspired by freedoms found in the most unlikely place, but little paralled elsewhere; The dance, festival, squatting community… (of the world).
Temporary Autonomous Art received a warm welcome, partly due to the colour and life it reflected back into a scene that tended to forget how beautiful it could be. But also due to the breathe of fresh air it blew into the minds of young artists lost in an art world so far up its own arse that any light or beauty was immediately smeered in shit. The truly temporary show was not only autonomous but also predominantly anonynimous, meaning that the creation of the art exhibition itself received the appreciation.
It was hosted by a developing arts collective who chose the name, random artists, due to the flux and variety of participants in the show. The collective was formed by likeminded party goers that felt the underground free party scene had a lot more to offer than just parties. With support from sound systems keen to encourage the creative nature of party participation, artists were able to find their own urban galleries. Squatting disused spaces, the disposessed express the beauty of freedom.
The Random Artists events, TAA in particular, are made up to a large extent of many individuals working around sound collectives, namely pitchless, headfuk, hekate and kaotic. Random Artists was started by a collection of like minded sound systems and party participators that wanted to give to and see more from the community that nurtures and inspires a lot of creativity.
The first Temporary Autonomous Art exhibition in early 2001 was, although small, a great success and became springboard to a growing movement of creativity and expression in the name of creativity and expression. Began as an offering of hope and homage to the ethos' of the international party scene (namely fun), it rapidly became an up-yours to the sterile elitist death of 'Art' in this country. The work of unnamed artists could be appreciated in the comfort of a laid-back atmosphere. Artwork splattered on the walls as though it were rain, this was life making art out of life out of art.
The 'All Welcome' policy attracted creaters from not just the party scene but from anyone else that heard about it and wanted to join in with the free art. Although hard to avoid (when you are underground) there is no elitism here. And the freedom falls on all those who have something to express.