Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The Negotiating Framework for an Exhibition, 2


The opening
The first phase of a collaborative negotiation on an exhibition involves gathering as much information as possible, preferably well in advance of any meeting.
  • Artists - research the gallery, how it programmes, what its current interests are, which other galleries 'look to' that one because they are good at picking interesting artists, etc.
  • Gallery - research the artist, the context for their work, their peer network, their other projects, etc.

What do you want to achieve?
Before you start a negotiation, set out for yourself on paper what you want to achieve from the exhibition opportunity in terms of:
  • Things you must achieve
  • Things you intend to achieve
  • Things you'd like to achieve

Discuss and explore
The first meeting provides an opportunity for artists and exhibition organiser to explore each other's needs, start to create a relationship and as part of this, for each to make tentative offers. Avoid stating your own preferences and ideas and instead use 'open questions' that create a space in which ideas can be explored, for example:

  • What do you think about...?
  • Is there something you'd like to suggest?
  • From your experience, what do you find works well...?
  • What other options could we look at?

Susan Jones (used with permission)