Phenomenology of a Failed Project: Strategies for unsuccessful apporaches


A project in collaboration with writer and curator Maria Nicolacopoulou

Graphic design by Yannis Petris

The act of considering the process that leads to an artwork is a work in itself and is at the core of my current project entitled Phenomenology of a failed project: strategies for unsuccessful approaches. The work is, first of all, a reflection on the concept of failure in the act of the creative process within a society empowered by an individualistic approach in which the aim is to reach the monetary success and in which frustration became the main shared feeling. 


It all began with a project entitled Candidates. It involved the collaboration of major artists. Unfortunately I failed to acquire their collaboration on the Candidates project but my failure  led to an altogether different investigation, encapsulated in the title of the project I am presenting here. 

I started to question several art-world issues that I felt needed to be addressed like artistic integrity and community values. I therefore decided to ask opinions directly from Art students as well as from established artists who are graduates from London colleges. Some of them replied, some of them didn't. This book depicts all of the replies along with all the efforts and process to attain them.

More specifically, my research is about the integrity of the art profession and the sustainability of the art community as that evolves from the university to the art industry and whether or not they can affect each other. These issues resulted in the following question: does the idea of artists’ community, sharing the same values and fighting for the same strong ideologies, still exists nowadays or has that concept been replaced by the individualistic approach encouraged by neo-liberalist thought namely money, power and fame?


The book also questions the value of an Art College specifically in the British panorama. As the critic and poet Cherry Smyth argued: “As students become clients or customers of the educational industry, the project analyzes the supposed value and prestige attached to a British arts degree that allows the neoliberal, corporate ethos to increase immeasurably.” Therefore, does an art institution, such as an art college -although its politics based on financial strategies and rigid bureaucratic regulations- could allow an authentic and free artistic experimentation? This issue can be addressed on the following question: how relevant to a successful artistic career is a degree from a prestigious art school? 

Installation shots, 2015, Degree Show at Chelsea College of Arts and Design