The Centre of Attention
The Centre of Attention is a London-based contemporary art organisation set up in 1999. Projects are shown internationally and constitute an ongoing enquiry into the phenomenon of art production, presentation and consumption.
The Centre’s participatory or Gonzo curating approach include controversial exhibitions such as “Viva la republique” set during the Golden Jubilee with Banksy, Jamie Reid and Genesis P-Orridge; “The curators” which entirely eliminated the artists from the exhibition by putting the curators on display, as well as in-depth solo projects with artists such as a Fluxus concert with Ken Friedman or a kinetic art retrospective of Nicolas Schöffer.
The Centre of Attention was selected for the 51st Venice Biennale by curator Rosa Martinez and presented Swansong/Schwanengesang an installation with works from Benedict Carpenter, House of O'Dwyer, Damien Roach and Wolfgang Tillmans. In this piece, also presented in MousonTurm Frankfurt and Mercer Union in Toronto, the audience is given an opportunity to rehearse its own funeral: participants select a song; then lay on a plinth, performing death, while the song is webstreamed, formally, reversing the viewer/art-object dynamic.