January 2015

Department of Repair: Part 1

David Cross · Bridget Harvey · Michael Hurley · Nikki Tomkins · Maiko Tsutsumi

Curated by Bridget Harvey, Michael Hurley, Karen Richmond and Maiko Tsutsumi.

The Department of Repair explored (re)making through fixing, repairing and mending. The project reframed the theme of ‘repair’, exploring its identities and its potential as an environmentally/socially engaged practice; aiming to create space for broader interpretations of repairing, fixing and/or mending practice, exploring categories such as repair narratives, agents, materials, and methods/systems.

The project began with an exhibition which showcased approaches to mending, guides and tools of repair. For the first three weeks, visiting (re)makers, (re)designers and repairers, who demonstrate and teach repair and re-making skills ran drop-in workshops. Outcomes from the workshops were then added to the existing set of exhibits to form a larger exhibition. A two-part publication was produced to complement the project, with writings by and about the repairers and exhibits involved in the project.

With a fully zero waste aim for the project and accompanying publication, The Department of Repair engaged with the act/notion of repair more through reuse of materials, as a form of recycling with less environmental impact. All furniture for the exhibition was made from reclaimed materials and distributed for further use, or dismantled back into materials after the exhibition. The publication, which documents the entire process of the project was hand printed onto reclaimed paper, and only produced on demand in small batches to avoid large waste quantities at the end of the project.