A review of What the Fuck Happened at #RCA2023 Show at Truman Brewery. In advance, sorry for all the Fucks.
What happened was...
1. RCA sucked all the money out of its over 1,000 students who started their Master's in 2021 and spat them out mid-July into a space that could barely fit them all. BUT NOT ALL STUDENTS WERE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE!
2. Some degrees like MA Curating, MA Writing, MA History of Design and many more were presented on a website as ONLINE EXCLUSIVE and didn't participate in the show because...who the fuck knows why. I don't know what others' degrees looked like, but we had a lot of "physical" work at Curating. The fact we had a Graduate Project doesn't mean we shouldn't participate in the most significant event in our University life! Our degree wasn't ONLINE EXCLUSIVE.
3. As I mentioned, a website was created with a list of all students, their statements, bios and links, but you can't find this site on Google! Because it's called https://2023.rca.ac.uk not https://rca.ac.uk/somethingsomething
To find it, you have to go to RCA's website, scroll down, press RCA2023 at Truman Brewery and then find somewhere in the text 'digital discovery platform.' Please explain how a collector, gallery, curator or client will fuckin' know about it and find it.
4. The amount of space each artist was given was a joke, ESPECIALLY THOSE ON THE GROUND FLOOR. How can you be the best art school in the world and put all the artists you believe will be the best in the world in two square meters?
5. I saw artworks being touched and pushed by clueless people. They meant no harm but the whole space was unsafe for artworks, artists and visitors. And these weren't artworks for few hundred pounds but thousands of pounds.
6. As I walked around and couldn't figure out what major the students I was talking to were studying. I like it when someone studying sculpture expands their practice to performance or from printing to installation. I admired @kitmapper for planning this space, as it was a fucking hard job for such a small team, but once I was there, I felt utterly lost. I didn't know where someone's work began and where it ended. All because there was no room!
7. It also affected the documentation of the work. As someone who takes photos of artworks for future projects, references and collaborations, I couldn't take good photos of almost any artwork. Too many people around, not enough space to cover the whole work, or too much going on in the background. The artworks nor the visitor had space to breathe. The artists sat for three days without ventilation, and I haven't seen any water fountains.
8. There were simply many degrees at once. They should have organised two shows not one that will lasts 3 days! Another joke. After 4 hours I was lost, I felt sick and dehydrated. Bear in mind, I only managed to talk to 4 students for a few minutes. I wasn't able to come back the other day and I believe I missed MA Painting. However, I saw soooo many paintings so I'm not sure. Hint: not only painters paint.
Tbf I didn't know I was that pissed of when I started writing this review. For a very long time, I couldn't care less as I had my Meat Market show, I learnt a lot while doing my freelance work and made a lot of contacts.
But you know what's funny? People will still apply. I would. No matter how shitty the school is, the prestige is EVERYTHING. Everything in the real world.
Sign and whole show identity design @sebkoseda
You did amazing job! I'm very proud of you!