For a series of paintings Harris has collaborated with the staff of his local Natwest branch. Such activity is pretty standard fare for publicly funded outreach projects these days, Harris’ project is less altruistic if the work sells the split of the profits will go to reducing harris’ debts. A basic questionnaire was devised and circulated to the employees, including the branch manager ‘Steve’ , and on the basis of their replies works are created with a shared authorship.
In the past social paintings derived of belief in certain shared ideological systems, whether the large scale fresco cycles of catholic church paintings or the murals of socialist states. Harris’ collaborative paintings seem based on the shared understanding that the artist and his ‘assistants’ are linked by their status as service providers.
Transit Gallery, London
25 September – 31 October 1999