Opening Jan 2023 The Drawing Board: Inter-Inter-, Cross-, Post-, Pre-, De-, Re-, In-, Con-, Pro-, -ology, -ism, -ic, -izing, -ial
The Drawing Board is an artist-educator collective (Natalie Majaba Waldburger, Amy Swartz and JJ Lee) that performs methodological explorations at the intersections of labour, process and drawing. Our creative dialogue investigates the complexities of work contextualized by institutional structures. Our artworks examine the role of drawing through collaboration, mediated by the institution’s colonial legacies including race construction, gender identification and organizational hierarchies among human resources.
The Drawing Board is a collective of Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) educators/creatives researching institutional structure through drawing as play methodology. We came together in response to curiosities and frustrations with the rigidity of the institutional structure within which we work. We use play and humour as tools for critique. One method we use is performance, structured like committee meetings, and our drawings emerge from satirical play proposals presented with formalized bureaucratic procedure. These agenda items and proposals are formalized as motions and requirements for approval. Our dry, rule-oriented comedic approach illustrates bureaucracy’s ridiculousness when unhinged from context. We highlight absurdities of uncritical adherence to mechanisms of bureaucratic procedure and decision-making such as Robert’s Rules of Order that obscure progressive thinking, creative solution finding, equitable outcomes, and social innovation. We use humour to critique the institution’s regulatory frameworks that functionally oppress the expressions of creative diversity they claim to promote.
We use collaboration as a vehicle to bring attention to the ubiquitous medium of drawing and to address the means and methods of work and working relationships. Our collaborations take two forms; the first involves Drawing Board studio collaborations, with mixed media and multi-dimensional drawing-based artistic activities. The second approach widens the collaboration to include performance and event-based Drawing Board meetings that include a wide range of participants.