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Maxx Shurley’s Speed dating!

London, UK 2005

Who is Maxx Shurley?

Maxx Shurley is a pseudonym created by the artist while Thinker In Residence at the Live Art Development Agency.

Maxx aims to experiment with and generate new ideas, thoughts and debates concerning identity, multiculturalism and art practices.

What is Maxx Shurley’s Speed Dating!?

Maxx Shurley’s Speed Dating! is a process based, artistic development event for both emerging and established artists working across the live and fine art sectors. The process aims to address and discuss key issues with practical, ‘live’ actions and discourse without obliterating playfulness and creativity.

It became evident to Maxx Shurley in his research as Thinker In Residence that comfort zones, translation and information are not only at heart the of speed dating but at the core of most art practices. The processes of dating and art making give a direct insight into questions of representation, generational fissures and racial identity, both given and inherited. The speed dating event also brings to the fore the complications of identity, communication and the histories of art practices within contemporary art.

How does Maxx Shurley’s Speed Dating work?

In collaboration with a host venue/curator/facilitator, Maxx invites twenty identified multi-disciplinary artists and contributors in the arts from a range of cultural backgrounds to come and speed date! They are asked to bring a prop or a tool that they use, or would like to use, within their work and on arrival, are given a well known identities randomly selected from a pool of famous names by Maxx, (the pool may include names such as Andy Warhol, Nina Simone, Mahatma Gandhi…)

They then participate in 3-minute speed dates with all the other ‘famous names’ present. Once the speed dating is over, they are invited to choose their ideal ‘date’ and to jointly create a piece of collaborative artwork working only with the props or tools available, their actual and given identities, within an agreed timeframe.

At the end of their ‘date’, the couples present their collaborative artwork to the rest of the group, discussing its form and nature and relationship to their actual and given identities.

Images taken from Maxx Shurley’s Speed Dating! - THE PILOT.