Guestbook exhibition Catalog Essay

The Guestbook Exhibition Catalog

With the exhibition of the guest book, it is clear that better times sweeps through its vast promise. Its location which is university cinemas is strategic since most artistic work is found there. It is an idea of giving guests an opportunity to give their ideas and drawings after an exhibition is a step that has not been taken before. As opposed to open books, the guestbook will give visitors enough space to give their views concerning artistic works. The book focuses on a particular structure which will involve authors, artists as well as readers. There is a constant movement of lattice between the spectators and what they feel about the exhibition they see. Bourriaud proposed that “artistic activity is a game whose forms, patterns and functions develop and evolve[1]. The book, therefore, bases its objective on this proposal by allowing the guests to leave comments, drawings and even to sign. Its importance is not only in examining the comments of the guest but also obtaining statistics.

The difference between the guest book and an open book is that it will give guests more space to express their views through comments and their drawing. As opposed to the proposed guest book, an open book allows for more observation of exhibition by the spectators. Therefore, unless one is actively engaged in an exhibition, they are likely to be left out in the open book. The guest book, on the other hand, gives an opportunity where each of the guests can present their ideas freely. With the guest book, it is easier to identify whether a person is a spectator or a participant. By filling the required information, the roles they will play in the artwork gallery exhibition will be clear. By placing the book at the reception, it will be an opportunity for each of the visitors and audience to see it.

The exhibition creates a dialogue when it comes to the ideas of the physical artifacts. The main aim of an exhibition is to engage the public. Therefore, dialogue is created between the public and the artists. When they view the artwork physically, they also develop ideas, supplementary drawings, and recommendations towards the art. Giving them an opportunity to express those views is a good opportunity which has been provided by the guest book. Artists try to appeal their desires of making a mark on something that can be seen by a huge population, an immortalizing self. Therefore, engaging the audience or spectators with the artist is a good opportunity for them to learn, improve, and adopt the changes recommended to them by most of the audience. It is clear that during an exhibition performance, a mode of communication emerges which can be lost if not accounted for immediately.  The guest book, therefore, will bring a new dynamic regarding communication whereby the audience can engage in the exhibition by presenting their ideas.

Art is an encounter. Therefore, every participant should be given an opportunity to communicate during its exhibition. Authorship can be considered fluid since it is more of a collective action brought together. The guest book is meant to clearly outline the stage, authorship, and participation in an exhibition. Foucault abolished the idea of authorship and focused on examining empty spaces abandoned by the disappearance of the author. While, the guest book takes in the function of Bourriaud’s bonding agent[2]. When the audience to the author is requested to participate in the guest book, space is filled. Likewise, asking viewers to be witnesses’ shows that the exhibition intends to provoke questions concerning transcendence boundaries as well as spectators, performance and the authorship definition. Therefore, the guest book has a good role to play when it comes to authorship of artwork.

The banality of passive as well as passive spectators is clearly portrayed in the guestbook. Jacques Ranciere gives an overview of a good participant as well as bad spectators in her theme “the emancipated spectator” this can be learned from some of her quotes and paragraphs that describe various spectators. For instance, she talks about distance investigation as well as vital participation. Spectators who act as a distance investigators can be regarded as “bad” spectators while those engage in vital participation, she describes, are “good” participants. The essence of Spectacle by Guy Debord can be seen as exteriority[3]. This can be seen where the reign of vision spectacle as well as the exteriority vision is viewed as dispossession. Some of the old principles covered by the guest book should be re-examined today to enhance participation. The statement that distance cannot be abolished since it’s not evil but a normal condition of a population is true.

Therefore, the distance that a spectator may have with the artists may not be fully eliminated regarding communication and therefore requires another action. The guest book comes in to cover the distance of communication by giving participants a chance to present their views, comments, and drawings regardless of the distance barrier. There is a desire by the exhibitors to abolish the passive spectators as well as to challenge the opposition between acting and viewing.  This desire is not always met, and the challenged is not posed to the opposition due to lack of communication. With the exhibition of the guest book, the above challenge can be solved and eliminated such that it will be easier for one to determine whether they fit in viewing or acting.

It is important to understand that the guest book gives essence to the spectator. The understanding can come once we understand that viewing confirms and also transforms the distribution of the proportion that takes place. The spectator is also involved in acting through the various functions they carry out during the performance of an exhibition. For instance, they are involved in observation, a role which is important during any function. By observing the artistic work exhibited to them, this confirms their participation and interest in the function. They also have an opportunity to select what they want to view. By selection, audiences can differentiate the various artworks in the gallery. They also compare and interpret the artwork, a role which must be carried out during a function.

The role of the spectator is, therefore, clear and precise since without the presence; an exhibition cannot be complete. The vital energy which transmits a pure image and associates it with the real life situation is experienced but the spectators and invented by the audience. Although both are distance spectators, active interpreters concerning the spectacle are offered to them. The crucial point here is that spectators can see, understand as well as feel whatever they are viewing. They may even compose personal poem concerning the actors, performance, play writers, dancers as well as directors. Therefore, spectators have a crucial role to play regarding relating what they can see in real life situations. A guest book is an opportunity for them to present such visions and ideas which may help improve artwork at large.

It is clear that the spectator and the artist are separated by distance and the only to cover that distance has been invented through the guest book. During performance itself, the distance which exists between the artist and the spectator is inherent since it subsists a spectacle, autonomous thing experienced between the artist and the comprehension of the spectator. Likewise, a similar principle occurs in performance. Transmitting the knowledge and the inspiration of the artist to the performer may be done through the exhibition which is contrary to communication. In their stories, spectators are also actors during an action. Therefore, blurring the boundary between actors and spectators is similar to that of individuals and members of a certain collective body. The guest book comes in to bring clarity and response between actors or artists and the spectators.

Communication through the guest book will link between what a certain person knows and the other does not know. A performer deploys their skills, but the spectators can be able to determine the result of their skills probably in a new context. It is, therefore, important to give those spectators a chance through the guest book to illustrate their view towards the skills of performers. That way, the distance of communication between them can be covered, and the information can be used to enhance the art industry at large. Although the spectators are not directly involved in the performer, they could have better views and ideas which can be used for the best of the artwork. The relevance of the guest book is, therefore, evidence by viewing its working to enhance the quality of the performer and art industry at large.

Although the effect of the guest book cannot be anticipated, it is for the best of the artist. It also gives the spectators who are active interpreters and developers of active translation a chance to translate artwork and make it in their way. The guest book is process oriented, discussion based and cooperative. This is because it involves conversation art, connectivity, and interaction during an exhibition. The views given by the spectators may include the enhancement of the existing devices, change or adoption of new ones. The work, therefore, is precise and clearly defined which is for the best of the art industry. By commissioning an artist to create a guestbook, it will be easier for the spectators to differentiate a participator, a viewer, and a curator. Al of the above audience is equally important as far as the guest book is used.

With the clear settings identified by the guest book, its effects will be more than most of the open books that have been introduced earlier. Its location is the university cinema. Since the university is to be identified manually, various universities can be used as the location once an artistic event is taking place. The plan involves placing the guestbook at the center of the stage. The screening should be present to show video through writings, drawings or the book. For the artists, doing an open call for the university students is an interesting experience so that they can design proposals and sign the guest book for the artists.


It is, therefore, clear from the catalog essay that the guestbook will go a long way in helping to improve the art industry in the world. The spectators need to be given a responsibility during exhibitions of artwork so that they can give their views concerning the artwork. To do this, it is important that a process of communication be introduced which can help engage the audience during artworks. Through the guest book, the distance of communication which exists between the artists and the spectators can be covered.

[1] Bourriaud, Nicolas (2002),  „Relational Form“ in Relational Aesthetics, Les Presses du Réel, 20

[2] Bourriaud, Nicolas (2002),  „Relational Form“ in Relational Aesthetics, Les Presses du Réel, 20

[3] Bourriaud, Nicolas (2002),  „Relational Form“ in Relational Aesthetics, Les Presses du Réel, 18

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