NIMk’s upcoming exhibition Yes, we’re open is -ironically perhaps considering the announcement of NIMk’s closure at the end of the year- all about openness in art. Openness is explored here as a theme and concept but also qua shape. What does openness mean in relation to art in the current (internet) age?
The internet is considered a free medium through which people are able to find, spread and re-mix information, but at the same time this freedom is limited by boundaries like copyright laws which have become increasingly complicated and prominent. How does this influence artists? To what extent are artworks open to interpretation and intervention?
The No ghost, just a shell project can be called a kind of ‘open artwork’. In 1999, the artists Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno bought a manga character from “K” works, a Japanese firm that develops Manga figures. Huyghe and Parreno decided to ‘free the image from the animation market’, named ‘her’ Annlee, made their own initial works and invited other artists to use Annlee for new art projects, free of charge. Annlee was given a voice, history and an identity and she popped up in animation videos, paintings, objects, installations, posters and a magazine, soundworks and a book. In the end 28 works were produced by 18 different artists. The project was finalized in 2002 with the artists definitively killing her off (including a coffin) and liberating her from the realm of representation -as they described it- by signing over the copyrights of the image to Annlee herself.
Is this really the end? Is Annlee dead, truly free, or both? Copyright was used explicitly to lock up an appropriated image that has the potential to flow freely as an open art work. Annlee has disappeared as an image, but not as an entity that can be discussed and talked about or as a subject for new artworks. A decade after the project came to an end, NIMk invites you to respond to the Annlee project ‘unofficially’ and hopes to open up the character to new art pieces. As Philippe Parreno suggested: “the project doesn’t stop in the absence of Annlee, it can always produce more authors.” We look forward to your input, ideas and brand new artworks!
They can be uploaded onto this blog dedicated to this ‘Annlee @ NIMk’ project. The blog will be shown in the exhibition Yes, we’re open from June 1st to mid August 2012.
For inspiration and more information about the manga character and project go to: