1 These days an artist is expected to put her/his practice into words.  An artist statement has become more and more a requirement for submissions for shows, art schools, grants, artist residencies and so on.  What is an artist statement usually composed of?  An artist’s personal background and interests that are particularly relevant to her/his art practice? An explanation of the making of the works as well as her/his own intention and interpretation?

2 For the Agency, what can be included in the statement and how it’s written is an open question.  If its essential purpose is to help others understand the artwork, does it need to be logically consistent with clear, complete sentences?  Or if the artist statement attempts to stand on its own, can it be poetic and even deliberately esoteric?

3 We are interested in looking at this information in parallel to both the artworks and the viewer’s experience of the works.  For whom is the artist statement written? What do the readers of the statements - both art professionals such as critics, gallerists, or collectors and occasional art visitors - think of artist statements?  Do they find it useful? 

4 Today when an artist wants to engage in the broader "international" art community, almost all the verbal elements - including the Artist Statement - have to be in English.  For most artists who haven’t lived in English dominant environments for an extended period of time, few will reach a point where their English can be rendered as fluent and articulate as a native speaker.  (Of course, the increasing predominance of the English language not only applies to the art community but to the global society by and large.)  We would like to understand the phenomenon of language homogenisation both in terms of the pressures placed on the non-native English speaking artist and the reverse implications of a decline of the ongoingness of the minority languages over the long term.

5 What do we aim to achieve in the The Moving Image Translation Service Agency?   We conceive of our Agency as a place of exchange and experiment.  Not a theory or a proposition, but an open-ended activity. We hope to communicate some of the issues above by simply revealing the agency’s programmes, discussions and outcomes and to invite others to observe and analyse.

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