Friday, 11 December 2009

Open submission - Drink and Dial

WW Gallery recently announced an open call to artists for their big spring 2010 exhibition 'Drink & Dial'. Here, curators Debra Wilson and Chiara Williams tell us about how the idea came about and what they are looking for from artists.

"I personally don't know anyone who hasn't done it, and many of the failed preventative measures are hilarious in themselves" says Debra Wilson, who after listening to yet another cringe-making Drink & Dial episode from one of her friends, decided to look into the social phenomenon more closely.

Drink & Dial is the universal tendency of making regrettable phone calls while intoxicated. Fuelled by the need to express random thoughts and horny gibberish, calls are inevitably directed towards a romantic interest, although bosses, exes and parents are also known to bear the brunt. Phone companies and service providers have responded to the phenomenon by providing blocks on certain numbers and there are even applications that will lock you out until you're sober again...providing you remember to activate it before your first drink!

A staggering 95% of us have drunk & dialled at least once in our lives according to a recent survey. WW invites artists to respond to the concept in any way they choose and all media will be considered. "Drink & Dial is open to interpretation, explains Chiara Williams, we are not necessarily looking for literal responses; we are happy to consider narrative or figurative works, but also works that may not formally relate to the title of the show, that may have personal resonance for the artist and relate to the theme through abstract or conceptual language, through drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, video and performance."

"Spilling out of Drink & Dial are notions of obsession, desperation, repetition, loneliness, longing, self control, inhibition, regret, flashbacks, blackouts, hangovers, embarrassment...and no doubt many associations and experiences we won't have considered at all."

As with their successful 'Travelling Light' exhibition which was part of the 53rd Venice Biennale, WW is expecting to be surprised by artists' responses and hoping to discover some new talent. While on the surface, Drink & Dial is a very specific social phenomenon, relating perhaps less to the world of art and theory and more to the realm of weekend binge culture, it is this that so interests its curators. The gallery website states that "WW looks outward by staging shows centred around wider social and cultural themes. The result is often dark, frequently humorous and at once democratic and challenging." Drink & Dial would seem to embody this completely.

20 artists will be selected for the 6 week show, which runs 26 March - 6 May. The Deadline for applications is 31st January 2010. For more information and to apply, please visit

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