Talent Show is a project by the artist Harry Meadley that seeks to explore and question the notion of 'talent' in an art educational context. Talent is a problematic concept both in attempting to define it and in its ability to exclude. There is a reason why Talent Shows don't normally happen in art schools - but what would one look like if it did?
Working remotely with a small group of Fine Art students at the British Higher School of Art & Design, a Talent Show Committee was formed. Via a series of regular zoom meetings the Committee in dialogue with Harry Meadley set about organising a Talent Show for their fellow students to participate in – the winner receiving the chance to exhibit their work at blip blip blip.
The event itself saw only six students come forward to perform their 'talent', ranging from the satirical to the mystical, their responses included bad gymnastics, cutting paper with elongated scissors, original songs, the ability to guess the blend of fabric, tongue twisting and hand dancing; that further questioned and sought to re-define what we might consider a talent to be. Though in a twist on the night, the Talent Show Committee decided to declare all the entrants as the winners, and thus this group exhibition was formed.
Bringing together six students from a range of courses including Graphics, Illustration and Fine Art, they have otherwise been selected, not on the merits of their work (which of course does have merit) but on their willingness and courage to put themselves forward – to participate.
The exhibition of student work is accompanied by two new video works produced by Harry Meadley and the Talent Show Committee, one documenting the Talent Show event itself, and the other a recording of the final Talent Show Committee meeting.