(RSA) New Collective was a temporary collaborative that was formed to explore notions of collectiveness and competition present both within the history of the RSA in its relation to the national galleries and between artists in the New Contemporaries 2011 exhibition.

Taking on the ideas of democracy, liberalism, freedom and free market economics that epitomised Scottish enlightenment thinking part 1 of the exhibition involved the creation of a (pseudo) collective, founded from a internet sign up on the collectives website. With out ever having met each other New Collective members pledged to a set of collective ideas and principals, and submitted works inspired by the ideas of mimesis and forgery of other artists, these works where the later sold/displayed within the space by peddlers who’s prices undercut those of other NC exhibitors. This absurdly extended participation in NC 2011 to an extra 30 persons.

Part 2 of the exhibition involved the performance of a Play for four characters who acted out a narrative based on a metaphor created by the renaissance writer Giorgio Vasari in his book the lives of the artist. In his book Vasari describes artists as mountaineers scaling a peak of unknown height, some artist like Michelangelo climb higher than others and knock stones down which hinder the artists bellow, simultaneously creating an obstruction, and clearing a path to follow. The play imagined what this mountain metaphor would look like now, vastly overpopulated and full of both living and dead artists it begins to resemble a insipid pale vision of hell. Guided by a series of mysterious numbers, sourced randomly from sales catalogues at Sotherbies, the four adventures find it hard to understand their position in the metaphor whether the are going up down or sideways, and also exactly who it is they should be following and listening to. Accompanied by the New Collective banner of Green (nature) Pink (human nature) and attached by climbing ropes to a large papier-mâché mountain the artists come climbers roam the gallery space aimlessly reciting their lines and searching for direction.



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