Guangyun Liu (2017) on Gallery 23 Internship 

Since late September, following the end of my MSc at the University of Edinburgh, I have been working as a film intern at Gallery 23 in Edinburgh. This is a an exhibition space owned by the English Speaking Union (Scotland). In addition to hosting respected arts exhibition for supporting local artists, Gallery 23 also offers film lectures and Q&A screening events in cooperation with universities, aiming to provide the local community with a vital platform for communications across various art forms. A film intern at Gallery 23 is given the task of delivering the screening events, suggesting film selections and helping with the production and presentation of other regular art exhibitions.

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                           Preparing for the Halloween themed art exhibition Masquerade. [Oct 2017]

I am particularly drawn to this role, as I have always had a keen interest in understanding the possibilities and limitations of exhibiting films in gallery space. In the first month of my internship, I started by joining the technical and reception work at the screenings. We projected films on the wall, decorated with material exhibits, designed the layout of the space, and served the audience with wine and snack throughout the event. These practices allow me to observe and explore the aspects of film exhibition that I am interested in. For example, how a viewing experience in gallery space is constructed differently from a regular one in movie theatre, and what factors most influence the audience reception.

The screening of Ring (1997) with an introduction talk delivered by Chris Perkins from University of Edinburgh. [20th Oct 2017]

Since the late October, under the guidance of gallery director, Dr. Julie V. Hansen, the team have started to generate ideas about programmes for next year. I am glad that all the interns at Gallery 23 are encouraged to initiate original and innovative art exhibitions and film event. This is an opportunity that is often not available in other internships. At the latest regular meeting, I presented a screening proposal of China’s Van Goghs (2016), a documentary I come across at the 2017 Chinese Visual Festival in London. Back then, my study in the FEC programme enlightened me to discover that, behind the scenario, this is an interesting documentary that discusses the value of art, replication of art works and the definition of artist. I have long been thinking about introducing this thought-provoking documentary to more people. The proposal is now being considered as part of a bigger programme that may involve multi-media exhibitions. This experience of participating in the early stage of curation has been a valuable experience for me as someone who aims to eventually start my own curatorial practice.

The internship at Gallery 23 has been a delightful experience for me. The galley serves a smaller audience than of big film festivals, and this is a positive opportunity for the interns. It gives us interns many possibilities in terms of curation and opportunities for hands-on involvement. I have enjoyed working with Dr. Hansen, who allows the interns to explore our curatorial abilities and influences us with her great passion for the work. Thanks to the internship, I have gotten to know the great team of interns which consists of many students from MA Art History and Film Directing at ECA. With similar interests and a passion for exhibition and curation, we made a great team.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the MSc Film, Exhibition and Curation (FEC) programme directed by Susan Kemp and Jane Sillars, which has prepared me to work in the field of film exhibition. And I am grateful to the Gallery 23 that gives me a chance to try making the most of what I have learned from the FEC Programme. If there is a future cooperation between Gallery 23 and FEC, I hope it will continue to be as fruitful as it has been in my experience.

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Part of Artist Linda Rosalia Kosciewicz and her husband Neil Gateley with Gallery 23 director, Dr. Julie Hansen at the opening night of Masquerade art exhibition. [13th Oct 2017]

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Part of the great team of interns at the opening night of Masquerade art exhibition. [13th Oct 2017]