Rough Play curatorial group was born out of a dialogue that began with a debate on the increasing demand in contemporary art for the artist to combine artistic practice with academic research. Kathrin Busch stated, “Art and theory, in effect, are nothing more than two different forms of practice interrelated through a system of interaction and transferences.” Challenging the artist to function in this reciprocal practice enables a constant examination of one’s own work and the need for an exchange of ideas, perceptions, and results. Inevitably, this process lends itself to collaborative exploration. We began with the understanding that for us to have viable opportunities in today’s art world we needed to create a new path, one that leads us to pursue options outside of the traditional exhibition venue. In order to be effective in our pursuit, we found ourselves embracing the role of curator, which in theory, perhaps contained an inherent conflict with our artistic practice. This conversation led us to examine traditional curatorial practices. By approaching the process as a collaborative invitation, we delve into a unique opportunity for creating new models and transformative exhibitions.
Rough Play is made up of three women artists working in Los Angeles. Collectively, the members of this group –Ashley Hagen, Emily Sudd, and Elizabeth Tinglof—have been involved in a multitude of exhibitions in curatorial, administrative, and academic capacities, as well as participating as exhibiting artists.
Previous curatorial projects include Hold, installed in the ceramics studio at Cerritos College as part of the Far Bazaar in January 2017, which featured various artists examining wide-ranging and metaphorical associations with the concept of the ‘vessel’, from a hand-held object of daily use to the human body as a vessel for the immaterial elements of humanity—the “soul”, “spirit”, or “consciousness”; Without Design or Sketch: The Story of The Room, an exhibition at LAUNCH L.A. in September, 2016, that approached the context of the Peacock Room as a platform from which to address a series of issues related to contemporary art practices such as the boundary between art space and living space, the perceptions of decorative and fine art, the value of art and patronage, and art’s engagement with social and moral issues versus its purely visual components; Go Big or Go Home, an exhibition organized for the Brand Library & Art Center in February, 2016, of artists that rise to the challenge by producing work through a physically demanding work process, extensive research, mastery of new disciplines, or by exposure to psychological or emotional vulnerability.