ROUGH PLAY COLLECTIVE
Rough Play Collective 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.
ROUGH PLAY PROJECTS - SITE SPECIFIC - JOSHUA TREE
Where, Rough Play Collective was born out of the ideas and dialogues of like minded artists, Rough Play Projects based in Joshua Tree, CA has it’s beginnings with a family story and land.
Forty years ago, Elizabeth Tinglof’s mother advised her that, since she was now 18 years old, she could be a land owner. A bit of a premature concept since she didn’t have a regular paying job. None the less, her mother presented her with an opportunity to purchase a vacant, desolate lot in Joshua Tree, California. This opportunity was different in that the land could be purchased with no cash up-front through a land contract, which is an agreement between the seller and buyer where the seller retains ownership until the land is fully paid for. If the buyer fails to make any payment the land remains in the possession of the seller. When she asked her mother “Why would you want me to take a risk like this? What if I miss a payment?” her mother’s response was “Land is King and as long as you have a piece of it there will always be a place for you in the world”. She never missed a payment and that land is now the location of Rough Play Projects.
Our vision for the land is a dedicated site for collaborative interdisciplinary installations. Creating a fluidity to the land that engages the community through a visual dialogue while preserving and protecting the natural existing landscape. Project concepts will address current social, cultural, and political conversations.
THE INAUGURAL PROJECT:
The remote lighthouse can be seen as a symbol of welcoming; a beacon of safety and guidance illuminating the path to solid ground. Available to All, is an immersive sculptural installation constructed and collaged together by a group of artists who, through multimedia fragments and light, built a structure that embraces the metaphorical associations intrinsic to the lighthouse. Responding to a tumultuous social climate that threatens the inclusiveness of society, this project is meant to offer the physical and emotional voyager a safe harbor. Placed in Joshua Tree, CA, the desert becomes a metaphor for the vastness of rough seas and shifts the focal point inland, away from the perimeter, offering a representation of belonging inside.