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Staging an Institution
Research 8 October 2021–14 January 2022
A digital mockup from ‘Staging an Institution,’ Bella Knemeyer’s design intervention in A4’s foyer. The foyer wall behind A4’s reception is coloured solid blue. On the left, a grid with objects from past A4 projects. On the right, explainer text and drawings.
Process: Bella Knemeyer’s Staging an Institution, October 8, 2021–January 14, 2022.
Title Staging an Institution Dates 8 October 2021–14 January 2022 Location Ground Floor Tagline On the entrance walls, artist Bella Knemeyer considers how to frame A4 for practitioners and publics visiting the arts laboratory. Credits

Bella Knemeyer

“It’s still the same words – they appear time and again, reordered, reorganised,” practitioner friend Bella Knemeyer says of the fragments of text she is working with to create an interactive installation in A4’s entrance foyer. Materials include items of special significance: projects that unknowingly (at the time of making) became prototypes to iterate on, framed by ‘Abouts’ taken apart and reassembled over the now four years of A4’s work. Our four As – Academy, Archive, Apparatus, and Access – appear as cornerstone, together with the constant of ‘laboratory’. A glossary of terms points to coordinates A4 holds dear, among them ‘habitability’, ‘ecosystem’, ‘continuous learning’ and ‘serious play’.

Distilling A4 into an ‘About’ text is an iterative process. The most recent attempt reads:

A4 Arts Foundation is a free-to-public, not-for-profit laboratory for the arts that invites practitioners to innovate and iterate, offering the support of our curatorial studio. We build a confident and resilient arts public through sharing the tools and technologies found in artistic practice. We have an open and curious attitude to what constitutes ‘the curatorial’, expanding the definition and making ‘process’ visible.

The caveat: any definition of A4 is open to change.

Process image from Bella Knemeyer’s research project ‘Staging an Institution’ on A4’s ground floor. A 3D digital mockup of the 'About wall' with objects from A4's past projects that helped shape the institution's programming. A humanoid figure observes the wall.
Process: Bella Knemeyer’s Staging an Institution, October 8, 2021–January 14, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.