Agnieszka Gojska, Ania Bas, Anna Francis, Dani Abulhawa, Jennifer Campbell, Cara Lockley, Miriam Todd, Tamara Marsh, Vickie Fear
Curated by Cara Lockley
25 September, 2010
Old Market, Bristol
The Stranger at the Party combined a contemporary art event and curatorial intervention, which employed temporary actions and presentations in public space. The project’s title was appropriated from the 1961 theory of human behaviour by Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman. In ‘Encounters’ Goffman considers the structure of everyday experiences in relation to the manipulation of the individual by society as a whole. Goffman’s ‘stranger at the party’ anchors the gathering of multiple social groups as a mode of focused interaction or memorable experience. The project intended to provoke encounters and investigate the formation of tactics for building relationships between artworks and audiences. The encounter; a brief, casual, often chance meeting or conflict, here acted as a device that cultivates relationships between artworks and audiences. By considering the project as a constructed situation, the performances and visual artworks presented responded to the social context within which they were displayed, and in most cases within which they were conceived.