DIY: 2013 – Joshua Sofaer ‘Soho Sideshow’


Sign on the front door of artist Sebastian Horsley (1962-2010) in Meard Street, Soho. Image courtesy of the artist.


Joshua Sofaer
Soho Sideshow 

With Artsadmin and The Soho Society
This is an opportunity to discover more about the history and current life in Soho and to develop a bespoke proposal for the area with production support.

Project summary: 
Six mid-career artists working under the umbrella of Live Art are given the opportunity to make bespoke context-specific proposals for Soho in London. A site visit will include a tour of key historic places, a talk on contemporary challenges for the area, an introduction to organisations, spaces and opportunities, and a brief account of planning requirements and event law.

Participating artists will develop proposals specifically for the area individually, and at a later date will present their ideas to The Soho Society, Artsadmin and key local organisations (depending on the needs of specific proposals). Artsadmin will give follow-up support to individual artists in order to move proposals towards the production phase.

Soho is laden with possibilities for the kind of live, interactive, and ephemeral interventions that have come to be understood in the UK as Live Art. It has been the playground of the nation, key in the development of music and fashion. It also has sex shops, cuisine from all over the world, the centre of the UK gay scene, and houses people from all kinds of economic and social backgrounds. In recent years, partly because of foreign investment, Soho has become an area of boutique shopping, expensive cake shops, and High Street stores. This gentrification is not all bad but it does threaten the character of one of the most interesting and historically rich areas of central London. It is the aim that one or more of the ideas will actually be commissioned and that the work produced will reinvest Soho with the ‘edginess’ characterised by Soho’s history.
All participants must commit to the entire process, both meeting days, and be willing to discuss their developing proposals with peers (subject to intellectual copyright). Modest bursaries will be provided for out of pocket expenses.

Dates, times and location(s):
Friday 30 August
, 10am to 8pm, Site Visit, Soho
Friday 11 October, 3pm to 8pm, Ideas Presentation, Soho
Full proposals must be submitted by Friday 1 November.

Application procedure: 
A maximum of five mid-career artists (self-identified but as a guideline minimum of eight years professional experience) will be selected through application. Joshua Sofaer will participate as the sixth artist as well as facilitating the group. Application is by CV and covering letter, assessed by The Soho Society, Artsadmin and Live Art Development Agency. Please include weblinks where appropriate. (If your work is not adequately represented online you may submit up to 5 images as jpeg or pdf files and/or up to 5 minutes of video up to a combined total of 5mb but please do not reproduce what is available online.)


The artist: 
Often with an irreverent use of humour, Joshua Sofaer plays with established forms of production, appropriating and reconfiguring the chat show, competition, lecture, or museum display. He acts as curator, producer or director of a broad range of projects, including large-scale events, intimate performances, and publications. Joshua was a winner of the 2009 Bank of America CREATE Art Award, and the first Artist Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme in 2010/

This DIY project is supported by Artsadmin.

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