Situated Infrastructures

Salon des Refusés

Salon des Refusés

The Salon des Refusés, or ”exhibition of rejects” is an unofficial gallery parallel to the +Colabor festival displaying projects and work that were not picked to be displayed at the festival. This project is intended as a proof of concept for a tool to see what is not chosen to be seen in a public exhibitions.

During my work in this module, I was very interested in the controversies within Eurocentric museums and galleries that house non-western artifacts, artwork, or natural history. Through my research it became increasingly clear that the narrative desired to be displayed to the public shapes the design and content of an exhibit. This process can exclude context, erase history, and exclude and large portions of work altogether. I thought this phenomenon was deeply intriguing, and I wanted to play with the idea of exposing what is invisible or hidden in such spaces.

The context of the +Colabor festival itself presented the perfect opportunity to attempt this idea, because by design there would be work and projects excluded from the event and rendered functionally invisible to the public. The Salon des Refusés thereby displays projects or unfinished work that will not officially attend the +colabor festival and encourage viewers to question what content is chosen to be represented, and what may be missing or invisible.

My work process involved conceptualizing the idea using AI image generators to get a more tangible feel for the idea. Then I conducted research on exhibit design to inform the layout of a template I would use to exhibit work. I then created AR spaces with Adobe Aero where I could import my exhibits and create sharable QR codes to view the exhibits. Finally (and in hindsight, this step should have also been during my other work) I reached out to other modules in several ways to try and gather work to display in my parallel gallery.

Finally, I set up my QR codes around the festival, as well as set up a table in which groups could submit their work live or engage in discussion about the conversations raised by my work. I intend to continue to develop this idea going further as this area of political discussion and artistic expression is very intriguing to me and my future project development!