Have you ever said to a friend; I know someone in the city you’re traveling to, here’s their number give them a call?
Visitor Assistance takes this occasional gesture between friends and transforms it into a global network of artists that operate as cultural city guides. So called Visitor Assistants are specially selected for their social adeptness and intimate knowledge of their native city. A visitor simply calls the number on specially distributed Visitor Assistance cards. The caller will be connected to an amiable artist who will help in any way they can.
The launch of Visitor Assistance is part of the exhibition Social Work: Four Live Projects (14 January – 16 April 2006) for Cornerhouse Projects. Business cards will be placed on the public telephone in the lobby at Cornerhouse and will be regularly replenished in order to maintain Visitor Assistance’s presence over the three month period. Badges will be worn by allocated visitor assistants; identifying the wearer as a friendly face and representative of Visitor Assistance.
“I arrived in London, I was overwhelmed by the listings, I called the number and my Visitor Assistant was so helpful. She told me where the best art preview was in town, and how to get there. When I arrived, I spotted someone wearing a visitor assistant badge and I knew I had a friend in London! She introduced me to some really interesting people; I had a great time.”
The number on the card; 07799 204455 is the number of a mobile telephone that will be passed from assistant to assistant depending on the artists availability; a recorded message will be in place when no one is available, although every effort will be made to be available as frequently as possible during the running of The British Art Show 2006.
Visitor assistance is an artwork, though the project is taken seriously by all concerned, the actual visitor assistant availability is dependant on realistic artist availability.
Each assistant will endeavor to offer correct information as much as possible though each visitor should be made aware that this is an artwork.
Every visitor assistant is an artist; this is their only qualification to participate with this project any expectations by visitors should take this into account.