How to work together

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How to work together was a shared programme of contemporary art commissioning and research organised between 2014 and 2016 by Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom and Studio Voltaire.

Together, over three years, we produced a series of nine major new artists’ commissions (three per year), exhibitions, events and an online Think Tank - a collection of commissioned research by artists, writers and thinkers in response to the question of ‘how to work together’. We combined our knowledge and resources to discover what we can do together that we could not do alone.


Commissioned Exhibitions
The third and final round of commissioned solo exhibitions opened in our galleries in April 2016.
Each year between 2014 and 2016, How to work together commissioned three artists to produce an exhibition in our three galleries responding to our central question of “How to work together?”.
The final three commissioned artists were:

Maria Eichhorn at Chisenhale Gallery: 23 April – 29 May
Koki Tanaka at The Showroom: 28 April – 18 June
Sharon Hayes at Studio Voltaire: 14 April – 12 June
Think Tank Commissions
The Think Tank is an online research archive, built over the three years of How to work together, reaching out to artists and practitioners from other fields to address our central question. The third and final round of Think Tank commissions resulted in the following contributions:
- Ben Vickers/ unMonastery, “Relearning the Rules” - a research initiative including interviews with representatives from practicing Monastic orders
- Andrea Phillips, “Invest in What? How to work together, the Arts Council’s Catalyst Fund and art’s contemporary economic infrastructure” - an essay
- Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri, “Poethical Readings/Intuiting the Political” - a series of reading sessions and an essay
- Sharna Pax - a series of interviews and a screening and discussion with artists and filmmakers including Eva Marie Rødbro, Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Joshua Oppenheimer, Seamus Harahan, and Chan Hau Chun.
- Abounaddara (upcoming)


Commissioned Exhibitions

17 April – 7 June 2015:
Sanya Kantarovsky’s (Russia/US) exhibition ‘Apricot Juice’ in collaboration with Ieva Misevičiūte took place at Studio Voltaire, comprising a series of large paintings and a performance by Misevičiūte and taking Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita as a starting point.

29 April – 31 May:
Ahmet Öğüt’s (Turkey) exhibition ‘Happy Together: Collaborators Collaborating’ opened at Chisenhale Gallery, and brought together ten of the artist’s previous collaborators for a filmed public discussion event, which formed the basis of a film installation.

29 April – 20 June:
Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s (Netherlands) show ‘From Left to Night’ at The Showroom was an experimental film production, embedded in The Showroom’s neighbourhood.

Think Tank Commissions
- A set of three written interviews by Andrea Phillips, with the three How to work together directors Emily Pethick, Joe Scotland and Polly Staple
- ‘The Sharing Economy: A Post-Mortem’ – a panel discussion at Bloomberg with Mercedes Bunz, Indy Johar, Helen Kaplinsky and Brett Scott, curated by Victoria Lupton and Ben Vickers
- ‘unMonastery: Relearning the Rules’ Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and ‘Code/unCode’ – a series of four transcribed interviews with representatives from monastic orders and an e-book by Ben Vickers and unMonaster
- ‘Invest in What? How to work together, the Arts Council’s Catalyst fund, and art’s contemporary economic infrastructure’ – an essay by Andrea Phillips
- ‘Poethical Readings/Intuiting the Political’ – a series of readings and a presentation by Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva


Commissioned Exhibitions

2 May – 22 June 2014:
Céline Condorelli’s exhibition took place at Chisenhale Gallery, focusing on the theme of work and friendship.

11 April – 8 June 2014:
Ella Kruglyanskaya’s exhibition took place at Studio Voltaire, in which she developed a series of new paintings dealing with women in work.

30 April – 21 June 2014:
Gerry Bibby’s exhibition ‘Combination Boiler’ took place at The Showroom, in which he dealt with the question of ‘how to work together’ as an infiltrator, finding a disruptive role in the workplace.

Think Tank Commissions
Each Think Tank commission was accompanied by a public live event at one of our three galleries; the commissions were as follows:
- ‘Common Good(s): Redefining the public interest and the common good’ – an essay by Anna Minton, accompanied by ‘After Ground Control’, a presentation by Anna Minton
- ‘How to refuse work altogether’ – a sound work by Bonnie Camplin, accompanied by an audio recording of the inaugural meeting of the Nervemeter Council, 31 August 2013
- ‘Source Sans How to work together’ – a typeface for the project developed by An Endless Supply in collaboration with a growing number of designers
- ‘The Company We Keep’ – a conversation between Céline Condorelli and sociologist Avery Gordon, accompanied by a ‘Bibliography of Work and Friendship’
- ‘Morning Star Rebranded’ – an open letter by Chris Evans

About How to work together
How to work together was supported by a capacity building and match-funding grant from Arts Council England through Catalyst Arts, with additional funding in the third year from Bloomberg, Cockayne Foundation and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.