object | multiple is an artist-led platform and store, established by artists Robin Tarbet and Duncan Wooldridge in 2022.
o | m focuses on the presentation, distribution and understanding of the artists multiple. Multiples question the categories, values, and systems of display through which art is usually encountered. A multiple might be an everyday object transformed or reconsidered, just as much as it might be recognisably a sculpture or photograph; it might be bought or sold at little to no cost, or be a precious item produced in small quantities; it might be exhibited by being carried in the hand, or reach its audience by passing through the postal system; it might be made for posterity, or for only a fleeting encounter.
o | m was set up because we believe that the artists multiple has much to say about how we live today, and offers a meaningful and direct encounter with the work of art. It acknowledges, for example, that for a global majority, small city flats and apartments are the norm. It recognises that how we approach production and exchange will have enormous consequence in the climate crisis. And it recognises that arts professionals commit to working in a field where they are rarely themselves given the pay that allows them to buy the work that is sold. The project also aims to make art approachable where frequently it is hidden behind layers of press releases and wall-like gallery desks.
Works available through the platform are made according to their own logics and not to maximum scales of production. Edition sizes vary, as do prices. This reflects a politics of work being made accessible, whilst also acknowledging that artists gain momentum as works sell, and that artworks inevitably exist within marketplaces, becoming scarce or increasing in value over time.
The platform combines a store of artworks which is regularly updated alongside curated projects which address subjects close to the artist’s multiple: objecthood, place, access, exchange, care, the politics of value, and the day to day life of artworks. object | multiple focuses predominantly on works that do not require subsequent framing or expensive installation.
Robin Tarbet is an artist working with casting processes from discarded technologies and the edges of the natural environment. He is the founder of Swap Editions, a project exploring artist-to-artist dialogue and alternative forms of exchange. See more about Robin Tarbet here
Duncan Wooldridge is an artist working with technologies of reproduction in and around photography. He is also a writer, curator and lecturer, focusing on art and photography, experimentation and play.
See more about Duncan Wooldridge here
A multiple is an artwork that is often produced in a small series or group, through a mechanical process that allows more than one version of the artwork to exist. Multiples are considered by artists to be democratic or social - this is their origin, in the work of artists from Dada, Nouveau Realisme, and Fluxus - and their creation offers artists the possibility to make their work available to wider audiences. Multiples are distinguished from limited edition prints by their objecthood. Like a print, a multiple can be offered at a cost that is affordable, though the multiple usually does not require additional time and money to be spent on framing or display. Both are typically of a liveable scale, and do not require museum-like conditions to be lived with. Multiples are art objects in their own right, and often invert or challenge our perceptions of value by privileging an intimate one-to-one encounter over a more spectacular presence. The intended small scale of many multiples blur boundaries with maquettes or prototypes which might be made by artist without being exhibited or made public. In some cases, an artist might work at multiple scales equally.