14 July 2017, 18:30-20:30 LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Closest stations: Whitechapel / Aldgate East
All welcome, no need to book
Buzzer located to the left of the entrance, we’re meeting in the office on the top floor
There are two main agenda items for this meeting, both will focus on self-organsiation and our intention to develop collaborative, cooperative and collective practices as part of our pedagogical remit.
In the first part of the meeting we will discuss our proposed research at LARC with a view to submit a proposal in early August 2017. The research is intended to help us learn from the organisational practices of the usergroups at LARC as well as the organisation as whole. This is also an opportunity to discuss our broader research project on alternative art education, radical pedagogy and self-organisation. For an overview of this project please see our recent unsuccessful research proposal for a residency at MayDay Rooms. We will outline our research objectives, identify actions, distribute roles and compile a schedule.
In the second part of the meeting we will discuss our ongoing plan to distribute and rotate the work that sustains [ART&CRITIQUE]. We will discuss the jobs, guides and handover procedures. After a one-month handover process and one month to practice our jobs do we feel that have learned anything? Have we had enough experience to handover the job to someone else? Have we identified problems or ways of making improvements? Should we extend the rota period to 4 months with 1-month handover at either end? Do we need more training? What skills do we need training in? Should we organise a skill-sharing workshop?
Alternative Art Education, Co-operation & Co-ordination
On Friday, 12 May 2017 we’re having an open meeting to lay the foundations of a new alternative art school, co-ordinate future projects and institute co-operative ways of working. If you’d like to get involved please join us! See below for the meeting agenda and if you’d like to add agenda items to the list please use the contact form to email them to us by 10 May 2017.
1. Report on [ART&CRITIQUE] participation, accounts and current productive tasks.
2. Distribution of tasks that keep [ART&CRITIQUE] running as a collective project. Co-ordination of roles and hand-overs. If there are not enough people to undertake the tasks we will consider adopting a different structure (e.g. yearly membership) so that we can pay people to undertake the tasks.
3. Future [ART&CRITIQUE] projects: book club, art crawl, studio crit and new projects or one-off events and workshops.
4. Discuss plans for an alternative art school running a yearly programme beginning in September 2018. How would this work and how would the participants be recruited? Should we have an application form/procedure or should participants be invited? An open call is more transparent but then we have the problem of selection criteria and having to turn people down. If we invite people we can all invite one person, which is more egalitarian, but then the project risks becoming a clique. In terms of structure, the programme would be a peer support group, meeting 1-2 times per week. To begin, we could incorporate the three irregular [ART&CRITIQUE] events (exactly as they currently run, open to the public etc.) and add seminars, lectures and/or workshops with guest tutors/practitioners, organised by and for participants on the programme, who will be responsible for developing the format of the programme and running it over time. We need to discuss funding (to pay guest tutors and cover expenses) and find a regular reliable and free venue if The Field doesn’t open again. Come with ideas for a name!
5. Plan to secure an empty building by negotiating a lease with the owners in exchange for maintaining the building. This would offer us a space from which to run all these projects, have exhibitions, run a cafe, workshops, courses, screenings and all manner of events for all ages to make an income to pay people and cover our expenses.
6. Start a workers’ co-op and create a transparent co-operative structure for all the above and any other projects that may develop over time, including an alternative art education network website to host organisations that offer alternative art education in the UK.
In December we’re heading to Crystal Palace to view and discuss the work of Johanna Kwiat. After graduating from Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, Johanna studied Fine Art at Working Men’s College in London. She is based in London and currently works from ASC studios. Johanna is a co-founder partner of Art Brixton.
Most of my practice happens outside of the studio and/or gallery context. My practice is rooted in my everyday life. My work is a material or intellectual explosion culminating a long process of analyses or annoyingly circular thoughts, images and tensions. I work with mixed media, often with what I find available, and select that which is relevant to communicate my ideas. I have been preoccupied with themes of cultural myths of identity, gender and the autonomy of reason, as well as the nature of reality we live in and the possibility of circumventing its constraints. I think a lot about alienation (self and structurally imposed) and especially the persistent and seemingly universal need of private ownership, its relation with everyday violence, specifically the unseen, hidden or unspoken. I am interested in violence as an inherent quality of relationships. And yet my work is most of all an intimate history. I rework my story, parts of which I find echoed in others’ histories: imposed gender, gender roles, sexuality and forms of representation. I look at relationships between people, natural forms, signs of social aspiration and financial standing. I tamper with them. Acting out in social, public space is what interests me, and describes the way I work. I steal estate agents’ signs from real life locations. I invade an environment, space or context and question its familiar set-up.
An opportunity for artists, curators, designers, film-makers and other producers to present their work to an audience of peers for discussion and feedback.
This event is free and open to everyone. Please book your place. If you’d like to show your work please scroll down for more information and the event archive.
Please register to book your place
Showing your work
STUDIOCRITS typically focus on the work of one artist at their studio or other appropriate venue. There is no standard format however, because everyone’s practice is different.
If you’re interested in showing your work at a STUDIOCRIT please download the infosheet and follow the directions to send us your proposal.
VENUE The venue will most likely be your studio. If you don’t have a studio don’t worry, we can find an alternative. You might have an exhibition on, you might show your work in your flat, community space or temporarily available space. The space needs to be appropriate for the display of your work with a capacity for about 10 people.
DATE & TIME We will set a date and time that is most convenient for you and your venue. Weekends and weekday evenings are convenient times for most people. The crit normally lasts two hours with a break in the middle. Please consider providing snacks and refreshments.
STRUCTURE Think about what work you would like to show and how you would like to structure and conduct the crit. We will discuss this and identify or develop a format that is suited to your work. Think about the practical or theoretical questions that you would like to raise, what aspects of your practice would you like to draw attention to and discuss?
DOCUMENTATION Please prepare a short bio and up to 6 images of your work for the website. This is to give potential audience members an idea of what your work, practice and/or research is about, attracting an audience with common interests. We will work together to present your work in the best possible way.
BIO Please prepare a short bio no longer than 250 words. This should outline your practice, background, education and what you are interested in exploring in the STUDIOCRIT, highlighting the topics and themes that you would like to address in the discussion.
IMAGES Choose up to 6 images that best represent the questions that you would like to raise about your practice. The maximum resolution for images is 923 pixels on the longest side, if in doubt and for the best results please send hi-res images. Please send captions with your images and include the title, date, materials and dimensions/duration for each one.
STATEMENT You might want to discuss an artist statement or application/proposal in conjunction with your work. Your statement should be no longer than 500 words, please print 15 copies and bring them along.
Maria Christoforatou lives and works in London. Her practice is concerned with the unnerving relation between belonging and unbelonging examined through the notion of one’s home. Maria received her BA (Hons.) in Fine Art from the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) in Greece and her MA in Painting/Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London. She recently graduated from Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London with an MPhil in Fine Art Practice-based research. Her research focuses on narratives of home and displacement in contemporary art practice. She investigates experiences of displacement through the idea of home, where ‘home’ is identified, mediated and ‘re-made’ through media and materials of different kinds, and how objects both mediate for the artist and become agents of experience for the viewer.
Based in London, Jo Wolf works conceptually with mixed media. Although her pieces result from an act of inquiry, the consequent material form is equally relevant to the idea. Coming from a DIY culture and maker’s background, Jo studied at Camberwell College then Central Saint Martin’s and after graduating in 2005, has maintained a pre-emerging position of artistic obscurity. From 2008 she took an interest in the cause alongside the impact of the economic crisis and responded by creating a limited collection of 3D design and 2D depictions of mass circulated imagery. Her recent series sees a return to abstract compositions.
DATA: a series of observations, measurements or facts. From Latin: dare to give.
The DATA series consists of two sets of eight canvases, entitled DATA.0 and DATA.1, which were inspired by a reading of ‘The Death of the Author’. Written in 1967, the French literary critic and theorist Roland Barthes proclaimed, ‘a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination’, and that ‘It is language which speaks, not the author’. He states that ‘a text is … drawn from many cultures and entering into mutual relations of dialogue, parody, contestation, but there is one place where this multiplicity is focused and that place is the reader…’
Bathes offers a theory that informs our understanding of this realm of reading and interpretation. Applicable not only to the written text however, which is open to translation and elucidation, it is also considered in the reception of a work of art. Yet the visual text or artwork often conveys information through media with the omission of written language. Our understanding of art is affected by what we know and believe, a perception based on learned assumptions regarding taste, truth, beauty, status, experience, etc. The authority of a work of art and its meaning alters according to the context in which it appears and although artists may give a rationalized explanation of their work, the gap between words and what we see may not be completely settled.
In the art world, critics hold the strongest platform from which to deliver their views of the artwork, beyond the artist, yet their opinions often expand or contradict the original said intentions. This process of presentation and judgment begins in art school, in the critique. DATA tells an abstract tale of one experience of this process, it also raises questions about the role of the crit and the significance of the rhetoric.
DATA.0: Eight relatively small square paintings consisting of the basic elements of painting, in an aesthetically purified abstract form, question the conceptual relationship between the object/canvas, text/title and meaning.
DATA.1: Constructed from silks of unrestricted colours, the larger canvases mirror the geometric compositions of the first series and although removed from the realm of painting, pose the same questions.
I am a London-based artist who is currently in the process of applying to MFA programmes. I was born in 1995 in Minsk, Belarus, and moved to the UK in 2009, at the age of 14. I am now in my third year of BSc in Philosophy at LSE. I received some formal art training in Minsk but have since practised independently and in the recent years my work has taken a much more conceptual turn. My research has been fuelled by the study of philosophy, critical theory and I have recently become fascinated by the notion of the abject. I work across a wide range of media and my practice could roughly be divided into two categories: institutional critique and the art driven by my preoccupation with human autonomy.
Through painting, video, sculpture and installation, I explore the relationship between subject and object. My departure point is the notion of the border of your own body. I am interested in the construction of psychological and physical barriers and in distancing yourself from the rest of the world as a necessary part of identity formation. Personal space, privacy, autonomy and the sense of your body as having definite borders, as being discontinuous from everything else around you, are some of the concerns which underpin my practice.
Some of the materials I choose to use, such as gloves or shower curtains, have a literal meaning as barriers but I also want them to evoke tactile associations. In the everyday life these are some of the things which are connected with disgust at touching something unpleasant, toxic, sticky, or wet. I want this tactility and also the scale of my work to act as a connecting link between the piece and the viewer, so that she can relate to it and measure it up against her own body.
A few worries arise: Do the tactile associations function in the same way for the audience as they do for me? Does the medium of painting divert the attention away from the conceptual issues and towards the formalist ones?
In my critical work I address the following questions: What does it mean for a work of art to be a success or a failure? What does it mean for text to be ‘about’ an artwork? How and why is an artwork legitimised through discourse? I reflect on the process of research and the constant chase after innovation. I also wonder whether addressing these worries should necessarily be branded as critique.
A special edition of the book club at School of The Damned‘s Common Room, a week-long public programme of free educational workshops, talks and participatory events at Guest Projects (22-29 July 2017). We will be reading an essay on pedagogical partcipatory art projects from Claire Bishop’s book Artifical Hells (2012). This discussion will be chaired by Renata Minoldo from School of the Damned.
Artificial Hells, by Claire Bishop is a compendium of Participatory Art as a quite recent contemporary practice. It goes through the history of this medium and analyses from a critical and historical perspective its methodologies, processes and structures. In chapter 9 particularly, titled How do you bring a classroom to life as if it were a work of art? she focuses her attention to the most recent Participatory Projects and their main or more iconic examples, questioning the term participation as well and analysing the concept of art education in relation with participatory art, pedagogy and academic capitalism.
As I am currently member of an alternative art school, part of my interests have been focusing more and more into topics related with pedagogy, communities, education, participatory art and so does part of my practice.
Questions How to give value to what is invisible, as the processes occurring on participatory art projects?
What is the relationship between art, education and performance?
What does Foucault mean with his notion of Parrhesia? (citing Irit Rogoff art an education revolve around Foucault’s Pnrreshia or free blatant public speech)
What is the difference in between Humanities and Social Sciences?
What is considered to be an Adornian understanding of art, according to Bishop?
Guattari says that we are on the brink of a new paradigm in which art is no longer beholden to capital. In this ethico-aesthetic paradigm, art should claim a key position of transversality with respect to other universes of value. Transversality for Guattari, denotes a militant, social, undisciplined creativity. Could we expand this concept of transversality according to Guattari?
What is to be considered as Pedagogical Aesthetics?
Bishop makes reference, in more than one occasion about Marxist and Post Marxist writing, Could you recommend bibliography to start approaching Marx for a beginner? And some introduction to Political Philosophy?
Renata Minoldo is an Argentinian based in Hackney, London. She has a BA in Fashion Design and studied Fine Arts at Uni and through going to museums and galleries, doing workshops, talking with friends, practising self education and doing crits. Her background involves visual arts and clothing. She has international working experience as a costume designer including London, New York and Buenos Aires. As a teaching artist she has facilitated art and clothing workshops for adults and children. She is also member of School of the Damned Class 2018 and is currently exploring alternative learning and teaching methods involving interdisciplinary practices.
Suggested further reading
Bourriaud, Nicolas (2002/1998). Relational aesthetics. Trans. Simon Pleasance, Fronza Woods, Mathieu Copeland. Dijon: Les presses du reel.
Freire, Paulo (2005/1968). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.
Guattari, Felix (1992). Chaosmosis: An Ethno-aesthetic Paradigm. Trans. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
Plant, Sadie (1992). The Most Radical Gesture: The Situationist International in a postmodern age. London: Routledge.
Rancière, Jacques (1991). The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation. Trans. & Intro. Kristin Ross. Redwood: Stanford University Press.
Kedziorek, Aleksandra and Lukasz Ronduda (2014). Oskar Hansen-opening Modernism: On Open Form Architecture, Art and Didactics (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw – Museum Under Construction). Warsaw: Museum of Modern Art.
Zmijewski, Artur and Oskar Hansen (2013). Open Form Film, Space, Interaction, and the Tradition of Oskar Hansen. New York: Sternberg Press.
Monthly free and open-access reading group for artists, researchers and anyone interested in the intersections between art practice and critical theory. Everyone can propose a text and chair the reading group. Participants are requested to book a place and download the shared document. Please scroll down for more information and an archive of previous events.
Please register to book your place
Free & open access
The reading group is free and open to everyone who wants to join as long as they commit to the reading. Please register and arrive early, doors will close when we reach maximum capacity. Don’t forget to download the shared document and bring a hard-copy to the book club. Please consider leaving a small donation to cover our expenses and keep us going. Alternatively, you can donate via this link.
Discussion & decision-making
Texts are selected by group consensus on the basis that they reflect on the relationship between practice and theory. This includes a broad variety of texts, from philosophy to politics and aesthetics to science fiction – there is no limitation.
Chairing the book club
[SYMPOSIUM] is a supportive community of peers who discuss and unpack their research interests. All participants have the opportunity to chair the book club on a text of their choice. If you would like to chair the reading group, you can start preparing right now:
 Decide on a text that you want to discuss.
 Do some background research and write a short introduction to provide some context, from your own perspective. When was it written? Why was it written? Who wrote it? Was it a response to something else? Why are you interested in the text? How does it relate to, or inform, your practice or your research?
 Pace the reading. How long is the text? If it is short, can we discuss the entire text in a 2-hour book club? If the text is long you may need to divide it up between two or more sessions.
 Write down some questions that you would like to bring to the discussion. Suggest some further reading and an image or two, with captions.
 Download the infosheet and follow the directions to send us your proposal.
The reading for our first meeting on 13 November 2015 is a journal article published in 1784 by Immanuel Kant, titled An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment? This short article addresses the topics of autonomy and critique, founding concepts of the Enlightenment, which continue to shape our understanding of individual freedom and the role of art in society. Please read the text and bring it with you to the meeting, along with your questions or comments.
What, then, is this event that is called the Aufklärung [Enlightenment] and that has determined, at least in part, what we are, what we think, and what we do today? (Foucault, Michel (1984). What is Enlightenment? In The Foucault Reader, Paul Rabinow ed. New York: Pantheon, pp. 32-50)
Kant’s article An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment? was published in Berlinische Monatsschrift (an Enlightenment journal) in December 1784. It was one of many responses to a question in an article the previous year by Johann Friedrich Zollner. Zollner railed against the institution of civil marriage, an idea suggested in an earlier article by the journal’s editor Johann Erich Biester (September 1782). Biester claimed that associating marriage with religion was contrary to Enlightenment ideals. Zollner argued that marriage required the stability that only religion could provide. The very foundations of morality were being shaken, Zollner wrote, and cautioned against “confusing the hearts and minds of the people in the name of Enlightenment” (Steve Naragon and JF Zollner quoted in Kant, Immanuel (2013/1784). Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung? Trans and notes Daniel Fidel Ferrer. Creative Commons General Public License Attribution, Non-Commercial, version 3.0).
Suggested further reading
Foucault, Michel (1984). What is Enlightenment? In The Foucault Reader, Paul Rabinow ed. New York: Pantheon, pp. 32-50.
Foucault, Michel (2007/1979). What is Critique? In The Politics of Truth, intro John Rajchman, Sylvere Lotringer ed. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), pp. 41-81.
We have selected Writing against Culture (1991) by Lila Abu-Lughod for our second reading led by OmarJoseph Nasser-Khoury.
DOWNLOAD: Abu-Lughod, Lila (2006/1991). Writing against Culture. In Anthropology in Theory: Issues in Epistemology, Henrietta Moore and Todd Sanders ed. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 466–479.
This is an academic text on the pitfalls of anthropological methods of research and analysis, which often construct generalised and over-simplified assumptions based on cultural difference. Abu-Lughod proposed three different strategies of “writing against culture” to counter ethnographic accounts of the time, which presented culture as something that is static, discrete, homogeneous and coherent, ignoring the cross-over between societies, social and cultural change, subjectivity and everyday contradictions.
Continuing with the themes of feminism and the other from last month, we are reading Craig Owens’ The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism (1983). Owens explores the intersection of the feminist critique of patriarchy and the postmodernist critique of representation, in search for a way to conceive difference without opposition. His starting point is a definition postmodernism as a crisis of the cultural hegemony of the west. For Owens, postmodern cultural production is characterised by pluralism and indifference, with consequences for our sense of cultural identity. He considers the absence of discussions of sexual difference from postmodern texts alongside corresponding feminist and artistic critiques of representation. Led by Sophia Kosmaoglou
Buchloh, Benjamin HD (1982). Allegorical Procedures: Appropriation and Montage in Contemporary Art. Artforum 21, no. 1 (September 1982), pp. 43–56.
Derrida, Jacques (1982). Sending: On Representation. Social Research Vol. 49, No. 2, Current French Philosophy (Summer 1982), pp. 294-326.
Crimp, Douglas (1982). Appropriating Appropriation. In Image Scavengers: Photography, Paula Marincola ed. Philadelphia: Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, pp. 27-34.
Foster, Hal (1986). Subversive Signs. In Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics. Seattle: Bay Press, pp. 99-118.
Mulvey, Laura (1999/1975). Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen eds. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 833-844.
Owens, Craig (1992/1980). Allegorical Impulse: Toward a Theory of Postmodernism. In Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture. Berkeley & Oxford: University of California Press, pp. 52-69. October 12 (Spring 1980), pp. 67-86.
Rosler, Martha (1981). In, Around, and Afterthoughts (On documentary photography). In Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Essays 1975-2001. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 151-206.
The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture… a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination. (Barthes, 1977, pp. 146, 148)
Considering the reader, context, authority and authenticity this session will focus on Barthes’s 1967 essay The Death of the Author: its influence on a contemporary understanding of cultural production and the role of the individual with in it. Chaired by Henrietta Ross.
DOWNLOAD: Barthes, Roland (1977). The Death of the Author. In Image Music Text, Trans. Stephen Heath. London: Fontana, pp. 142-148.
Suggested further reading
Barthes, Roland (1993). Authors and Writers. In A Barthes Reader, Susan Sontag ed. New York: Vintage, pp. 185-193.
Benjamin, Walter (1986/1934). Author as Producer. In Reflections. New York: Schocken, pp. 220-238.
Burke, Sean (1998). Death and Return of the Author: Criticism and Subjectivity in Barthes. Edinburgh University Press.
Foucault, Michel (1977). What is an Author? Trans. Sherry Simon & Donald F. Bouchard. In Language, Counter-Memory, Practice, Donald F. Bouchard ed. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, pp. 113-138.
On Actor Network Theory is a spirited response to critics of Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Latour dispels misunderstandings about ANT, summarises its main premises and traces the consequences and stakes of this theory for our understanding of networks and semiotics. For Latour there is a radical incommensurability between the approach of ANT and the social sciences to the study of social systems. Sociology acknowledges the natural, social and semiotic character of human interaction but addresses these as separate categories. ANT proposes a methodology whereby investigators can unify these three categories by treating individual agents as natural, social and semiotic simultaneously, while at the same time contextualising them within inclusive networks that trace relationships between humans, animals, objects and signs.
ANT originates in the work of Michel Callon, Bruno Latour and John Law in the field of science and technology studies (STS), which explores the impact of society, politics and culture on scientific and technological development and vice versa. The first thing that the proponents of ANT like to point out is that it is not a theory, because it is descriptive rather than explicatory. Latour and Law describe it as a set of tools and methods used to describe the relationships between heterogeneous actors: humans, animals, objects and signs that generate networks of relationships.
Actor network theory is a disparate family of material-semiotic tools, sensibilities and methods of analysis that treat everything in the social and natural worlds as a continuously generated effect of the webs of relations within which they are located. It assumes that nothing has reality or form outside the enactment of those relations. Its studies explore and characterise the webs and the practices that carry them. Like other material-semiotic approaches, the actor-network approach thus describes the enactment of materially and discursively heterogeneous relations that produce and reshuffle all kinds of actors including objects, subjects, human beings, machines, animals, ‘nature’, ideas, organisations, inequalities, scale and sizes, and geographical arrangements. (Law, John (2008). Actor-network theory and material semiotics. In The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory 3rd ed., Bryan S. Turner ed. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 141)
The second thing that supporters of ANT like to point out is that it does not involve actors – because this implies human actors. They prefer to use the word actants. In fact, Latour says that “actant-rhyzome ontology” would be a more appropriate term (Latour, Bruno (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 9).
In April we are reading Marcel Duchamp’s The Creative Act, a paper he presented in April 1957 at a session of the American Federation of Arts in Houston, Texas. Listen to a recording of this talk at UbuWeb. The discussion will be chaired by F. D. and Penelope Kupfer will contribute in the role of respondent.
DOWNLOAD: Duchamp, Marcel (1957). The Creative Act. Published in The New Art, Gregory Battock ed. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc. pp. 23-26.
In May we will be reading a review of Tate Triennial 3 (2006) by Brian Sewell. This session will be chaired by Richard Lloyd-Jones.
DOWNLOAD: Sewell, Brian (2012/2006). Tate Triennial III. In Naked Emperors: Criticisms of English Contemporary Art. London: Quartet Books, pp. 101-105. Originally published Evening Standard March 10, 2006.
Brian Sewell recently died, aged 84 and until the last year of his life he wrote a weekly column in the Evening Standard. He was famous for his trenchant views on the art world and he was often very amusing. But – is a popular critique of art and exhibitions worth anything? Can such articles only amuse the reader and advertise popular exhibitions or do they have validity in contextualising the historical importance of the art? BS was at the epicentre of the debates about ‘public art’. He felt that the value of real artistic achievement was undermined by the development of ‘popular’ exhibitions, in particular at the Tate Galleries dominated by Sir Nicholas Serota and his acolytes, which Sewell called ‘the Serota Tendency’. Should national institutions aim solely at improving the quality of works in the collection or should they aim to reflect the art world today and popularise galleries with cafes shops and ‘outreach’ programmes? Did his scholarship give him the right to condemn some modern art – in particular conceptual art? Did his avowed prejudices, in particular his misogyny, invalidate his views on art in general? Is the new breed of curator becoming more influential than the academic?
If politics consists of distributing the sensible, then politics for Jacques Rancière turns out to have its own specific aesthetics. Likewise, aesthetics has its own specific politics. The problem of art for Rancière is not the clash between art and politics, but the clash between the politics internal to art’s own conditions of existence (its autonomy). Following Peter Bürger, Rancière describes this as a tension between formalist art (art’s withdrawal from the social) and political art (art’s dissolution within the social). Borrowing Theodor Adorno’s idea of the necessary interplay between autonomy and heteronomy in art, Rancière suggests that to be critical, art must negotiate between art and non-art. Hence, critical art “plays on the union and tension of different aesthetic politics… crossing the border between the world of art and the prosaic world of the commodity”. Following Walter Benjamin, Rancière proposes the collage as such a “third way”. In the second part of the essay, Ranciere elaborates on four different forms of heterogeneity in contemporary art: the game, the inventory, the encounter and the mystery. What are the consequences of this thesis for contemporary art practice? How does it re-frame traditional accounts of the transition from modernism to postmodernism? Why has Rancière been the most popular philosopher in the art world since Jean Baudrillard?
Suggested further reading
Adorno, Theodor (2002/1970). Aesthetic Theory. Trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor. London: Continuum.
In July we will be reading Boris Groys’ Under the Gaze of Theory (2012) on the uses and abuses of theory in art practice. This discussion will be chaired by Sophia Kosmaoglou with Johanna Kwiat in the role of respondent.
Boris Groys argues that theory is an unpopular and therefore ineffective form of advertisement for art. Theory for Groys is useful as a tool for artists to “explain what they are doing… to themselves”, to understand “what art actually is, and what the artist is supposed to do”. He begins with the premise that philosophical contemplation is a critique of art, while critical theory is in turn a critique of contemplation. For Groys the “true goal of every theory is to define the field of action we are called to undertake”. If theory is a call to action, then it is an accessory to, a precondition and vindication of practice. According to Groys, theory “calls for action that would perform – and extend – the condition of theory itself”. He claims that theory is not only informative but transformative, in other words we “perform theory” (something he distinguishes from “theory as propaganda”). Groys addresses the absence of criteria for judging the success and failure in art, with conclusions about the value of art and its role in society, life and revolution.
Is there a difference between theory generated by an external authority and theory generated by artists themselves? Does theory come before action, as Groys suggests, or does it come after action, with hindsight? What role does theory play in the creation of discourses on art, and thereby on the way we understand art?
In September we are reading Susan Sontag’s essay Against Interpretation. This discussion will be chaired by F. D.
DOWNLOAD: Sontag, Susan (1966). Against Interpretation. In Against Interpretation and Other Essays, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, pp. 3-14.
Against Interpretation is a collection of critical essays written by Susan Sontag and published in book form in the early sixties in New York. It was her first collection of essays on the arts and contemporary culture and included an essay of the same title. The essay Against Interpretation was written within the context of 60’s America, when conceptual art was in its heyday and “theory” was paramount, she was among the first critics to write about the intersection between “high” and “low” art forms, giving them equal value as valid topics.
She argues that even at a time when most artists and critics had discarded the representational theory of art in favour of the idea that art was more about subjective expression, the main feature of the mimetic theory of art, i.e. that a work of art was assumed to be its content or that a work of art “says something”, was still dominant. However she states that in the 60‘s the idea of content is a hindrance and a nuisance.
Asking how this situation had come about she gives a historical reason claiming that over time form has become separated from content. She also claims that the over emphasis on the content of a work of art comes about through excessive interpretation which itself is designed to illustrate certain codes or rules of interpretation e.g. a Freudian or a Marxist analysis would have a bias towards that particular theory and that this bias then changes or transforms the text accordingly . Instead she believes that the function of criticism should be to show ”how art is what it is and that it is what it is rather than to show what it means”.
1/What is meant by “form” and “content”? Can they be separated?
2/What does Sontag mean by “interpretation”? A/ historically B/ in the present day when she says that “interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art” (Para. 4 p. 7).
3/ Does she believe that the artist’s intention is a valid indicator in the interpretation of the work concerned?
4/What does she mean by a “flight from interpretation”? (Para. 7 p. 10).
5/Is the idea of content being a hindrance still relevant today?
6/What are her proposals for desirable criticism of the arts?
7/What does Sontag mean by “an erotics of art”? (Para. 10 p. 14).
Suggested further reading
Wolfe, Tom (1975). The Painted Word. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Foster, Hal (1986). Signs Taken for Wonders. Art in America 74/6, June 1986, pp. 80-89, 139.
Said, Edward (1984/1975). The Text, the World, the Critic. In The World, the Text and the Critic. London: Faber, pp. 31-53. Originally published in Bulletin of the Midwest Modern Language Association, Vol. 8, No. 2, Autumn, 1975, pp. 1-23.
Bordwell, David (1989). Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema. Cambridge, MASS: Havard University Press.
Buchloh, Benjamin (1982). Allegorical Procedures: Appropriation and Montage in Contemporary Art. Artforum 21, no. 1, September 1982, pp. 43–56.
Owens, Craig (1992/1980). Allegorical Impulse: Toward a Theory of Postmodernism. In Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture. Berkeley & Oxford: University of California Press, pp. 52-69. October 12, Spring 1980, pp. 67-86.
Bazin, Andre. (2004). What is Cinema? (Volumes 1 & 2). Berkley: University of California Press.
In October we’re reading Art & Philosophy, the first chapter of Alain Badiou’s Handbook of Inaesthetics, which links up with and extends our previous discussions of Jacques Ranciere, Boris Groys and Susan Sontag. This discussion will be chaired by Kerry W. Purcell.
DOWNLOAD: Badiou, Alain (2004). Art & Philosophy. In Handbook of Inaesthetics, trans. Alberto Toscano. Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 1-15.
Kerry is doing a PhD at Birkbeck on the role of ‘history’ in the development of Badiou’s thought. He will focus on the specificities of the Artistic Event (as opposed to the other Badiouian events of Science, Love and Politics). By ‘specificities’, Kerry means the phenomenological experience of undergoing such an event. Some of the Badiouian questions that emerge from this are:
What constitutes an artistic Event?
What does it mean (phenomenologically) as a ‘subject’ to experience such an Event?
How do we think “change” within art history?
By their very nature of being something radically new, are all artistic Events “abstract” (this is one of Badiou’s contention)?
How do artists/historians name what (the early) Badiou termed ‘infinity points’ in the historical discourse of art?
What happens when an artist betrays the ‘revelation’ offered by an epistemological rupture?
Following Badiou, how do we think ‘truth’ within art?
In November we’re reading Post-Critical? from Hal Foster’s collection of essays Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency (2015). This discussion will be chaired by Dasha Loyko.
DOWNLOAD: Foster, Hal (2015). Post-Critical? In Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency. London: Verso.
Hal Foster is an American art critic and historian. His essay ‘Post-Critical?’, originally published as a short article in The Brooklyn Rail in 2012, has been extended and included in his 2015 book ‘Bad New Days’. It is a contemporary text which addresses some pressing issues in the field of art criticism. Foster starts off by historically assessing the negative change of attitude towards criticality, from the distrust of the elitist and out-of-touch critic to the need for affirmation in the post-9/11 age. He then goes on to assess the arguments proposed by Bruno Latour and Jacques Ranciere against criticism, which builds up on our previous discussions, and to raise contemporary social issues which call for a return of criticality.
– What does Foster mean by his distinction of pluralism and relativism? p.1
– Is he right that the attack on pluralism as ‘derealising’ culture was based on a misunderstanding of pluralism? p.2
– Does he effectively destroy Latour’s and Ranciere’s arguments by accusing them of circularity? p.3-4
– Is he right that our desire for a more positive critic is based on fetishisation and animation of art? p.5
– What is antifetishist critique? p.6
– What does he mean when he says that participatory art is a compensation for the loss of critique? p.8
– What is the relationship between the public sphere, critique and citizenship? p.9
Peter Sloterdijk, Critique of Cynical Reason, trans. Michael Eldred (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987)
Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformations of the Bourgeois Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Thomas Burger and Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989)
In December we will be reading The Four Similitudes from The Order of Things by Michel Foucault (1970/1966). This discussion will be chaired by Penelope Kupfer.
DOWNLOAD: Foucault, Michel (1970/1966). The Four Similitudes. In The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Random House, pp. 17-25. Originally published in 1966 as Les Mots et les Choses [Words and Things] by Gallimard.
In The Order of Things, Foucault connects the history of knowledge with the analysis of language and questions about aesthetics. In his foreword he says that he aims the book to be read as a comparative study where he puts side by side, elements such as the knowledge of living beings, the knowledge of the laws of language, and the knowledge of economic facts. Especially in the essay The Four Similitudes, he analyses the way people in the 16th century understood the world through resemblance and defines four kinds set in a philosophical context.
To search for a meaning is to bring to light a resemblance. To search for the law governing signs is to discover the things that are alike. The grammar of beings is an exegesis of these things. And what the language they speak has to tell us is quite simply what the syntax is that binds them together. The nature of things, their coexistence, the way in which they are linked together and communicate is nothing other than their resemblance (Foucault, 1970, p. 29)
1. What is the difference between resemblance and representation?
2. Are we still relying on resemblance to understand the world (or parts of it) today?
3. Can the four similitudes be seen as pillars of knowledge in the 16th century?
Simon O’Sullivan is a theorist working at the intersection of contemporary art practice, performance and continental philosophy. The text is one of his first discussions that addresses artistic practice within an emerging and growing field of affect theory – that is an interdisciplinary investigation into what makes up experience and subjectivity. He reignited the debate between materialism and idealism within philosophy, otherwise seen as the debate between matter and mind, and applied this critical debate to the realm of aesthetics. O’Sullivan addresses a philosophically materialist thinking of our connection to the world by way of critiquing representation and art historical narratives. For him, aesthetics holds certain value for how we experience art. By reassigning a function and value to art through affect, it can become a portal to the sensational and perceptive, which, for O’Sullivan acts as an ethical imperative for both our experience with art and the world in which we encounter it.
My own interest in the text stems from an fascination with the sonic arts and situating sonic practice within a wider artistic field. Recent texts (Seth Kim-Cohen, Barrett) have tried to theorise sound as beyond materiality within the arts in order to reinstall a conceptual theorisation of our experience as representational. This basis is formed through linguistic and textual narratives with an orientation of ideas over matter. However, as I would like to discuss, how can we explore art and thus our experience of it in a way that reimagines how we are being in the world? How is sound particularly effective at enabling this access?
– Does art have a specific function or use that makes it important? P125
– Does O’Sullivan effectively address the representational within art through his critique of Marxist and Deconstructive accounts of art history? P125-126
– How do ‘affects’ relate to our own experiences with an artwork or art practice? P126
– Is experience central to our encounter with a work of art? P126
– Is the art object no longer useful at explaining our relation to art within contemporary practice? Should art be considered more like an ‘event’ or ‘zone’? p127
– Why is the production of subjectivity important for O’Sullivan? P128
– By restoring aesthetics and therefore affects to art, does O’Sullivan present an ethical dimension through his recourse to subjectivity? P129
– Can art enable us to reimagine our place and connection to the world? Is O’Sullivan theorizing art in a way that it bears a lot of responsibility? P129-130
In February we’re reading The Fetishism of the Commodity and its Secret, from Karl Marx’s Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, first published 1867 in Hamburg. This discussion will be chaired by Sophia Kosmaoglou.
“Fetishism” is about relations among people, rather than the objects that mediate and disguise those relations. (MacGaffey, 1994, pp. 130)
The Fetishism of the Commodity and its Secret is the fourth and final section of the first chapter on The Commodity, the keystone of Marx’s critique of the capitalist mode of production. The section on commodity fetishism provides a way to think about the commodity status of art and the concept of reification more broadly.
A fetish is a man-made object that has been invested with certain properties and power. The object is thus perceived to be animated with power and influence. In fact, these properties have been transferred to the object by humans (producers or users), who lose their own power in the process. Marx uses the metaphor of the fetish to demonstrate that humans misperceive the social relations between people in their labour as ‘material relations between persons and social relations between things’ (Marx, 1976, p. 166).
The concept of commodity fetishism can therefore be applied to other forms of reification, where abstract concepts are objectified in physical things that are considered to have intrinsic value.
The savages of Cuba regarded gold as a fetish of the Spaniards. They celebrated a feast in its honour, sang in a circle around it and then threw it into the sea… in order to save the human beings (Marx, 1975/1842, pp. 262-263)
Marx was well acquainted with the fetish since the early 1840s and had written about it on numerous occasions as he developed the ideas that would later be published in Capital.
Fetishism is so far from raising man above his sensuous desires that, on the contrary, it is “the religion of sensuous desire”. Fantasy arising from desire deceives the fetish-worshipper into believing that an “inanimate object” will give up its natural character in order to comply with his desires. Hence the crude desire of the fetish-worshipper smashes the fetish when it ceases to be its most obedient servant. (Marx, 1975/1842, p. 189)
The word “fetish” dates back to the 16th century and according to William Pietz, the fetish “could originate only in conjunction with the emergent articulation of the ideology of the commodity form”, defining itself “within and against the social values and religious ideologies of two radically different types of noncapitalist society, as they encountered each other in an ongoing cross-cultural situation” (Pietz, 1985, p. 7). In fact the nails hammered into N’kondi power figures (or nail fetishes) in the Kongo were often mass produced in the west.
The fetish is supremely phoney – and quintessentially too, according to the etymology of the word, coined in Portuguese from feitiço, meaning ‘artificial’. (Nancy, 2004, p. 142)
What is the secret of the commodity?
What is a commodity?
How do we judge the value of a commodity?
What is value? Where does it come from?
Is art a commodity?
How do we judge the value of art?
Does an artwork have intrinsic value? Do commodities?
How does Marx’s concept of value relate to the way we value art?
Suggested further reading
Baudrillard, Jean (1981). For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign. Trans & intro Charles Levin. St. Louis, MO: Telos Press.
Beech, Dave (2015). Art and Value: Art’s Economic Exceptionalism in Classical, Neoclassical and Marxist Economics. Boston MA: Brill.
Debord, Guy (1994/1967). Society of the Spectacle. New York: Zone Books.
Derrida, Jacques (1994). Spectres of Marx. London: Routlege.
Diederichsen, Diedrich (2008). On (Surplus) Value in Art. Berlin, Rotterdam: Sternberg Press and Witte de With.
Fried, Michael (1998). Art and Objecthood. In Art and Objecthood. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, pp. 148-172.
Pietz, William (1985). The Problem of the Fetish, I. RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics No. 9 (Spring 1985), pp. 5-17.
Pietz, William (1993). Fetishism and Materialism: the Limits of Theory in Marx. In Fetishism as Cultural Discourse, Emily Apter and William Pietz eds. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, pp. 119-151.
In March we’re reading Rhizome, the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1980) by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Rhizome was first published in 1976 by Éditions de Minuit. This discussion will be chaired by Katie Tysoe and Sophia Kosmaoglou.
DOWNLOAD: Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari (2004/1980). Rhizome. In A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi. New York: Continuum, pp. 3-28.
With rhizome, Deleuze and Guattari propose a theory of knowledge that privileges connectivity, heterogeneity and multiplicity. The rhizome is a centreless network, where every node connects with every other in a subterranean and horizontal fashion, allowing multiple, non-hierarchical entry points. Deleuze and Guattari compare the rhizome with it’s opposite; the binary, vertical, linear and hierarchical model of knowledge represented by the tree (tree of life, tree of knowledge). The rhizome, on the other hand “ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles” (Deleuze and Guattari, 2004/1980, p. 7).
Rhizome fulfills its introductory role by demonstrating that A Thousand Plateaus does not work like most other books. For example, it doesn’t have to be read from start to end, you can start in the middle.
A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo (Deleuze and Guattari, 2004/1980, p. 25)
Why do artists have a affinity with Deleuze and Guattari, and particularly with this book?
In April we’re reading Specific Objects, a controversial essay by Donald Judd, originally published in 1965. This discussion will be chaired by Richard Burger. Please note that in April the book club is on the third Friday of the month (not on the second Friday as usual).
DOWNLOAD: Judd, Donald (1965). Specific Objects. Originally published in Contemporary Sculpture: Arts Yearbook 8. Intro. William Seitz. New York: Art Digest, pp. 74–82. Reprinted in Judd, Donald (1975). Complete Writings 1959-1975. Nova Scotia: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design & New York: New York University Press, pp. 181–189. The download is a transcript via Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium, University of California, Berkeley.
Specific Objects is considered an important text by Donald Judd, wherein he describes the ‘new art’ produced in New York during the 1960s, and tries to distinguish it from ‘old’ painting or sculpture. He makes particular reference to new materials that had not until then been considered suitable for ’art’, and illustrates his point.
Judd is considered an icon of American art, for his practice, his writing and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, West Texas, where all the artists he admired have permanent installations that have made Marfa a required pilgrimage for art world participants in the USA. His influence can still be seen today in the institutions in the US as well as among artists, gallerists and curators.
This article is sometimes seen as a ‘manifesto’ for the minimalists. Others see it just as a list of artists that Judd likes. It is said that specific objects refer to art that is fabricated or manufactured and therefore an ‘object’. Is this what links the artists listed in the article?
Is it better to have an artist reviewing artists or do they tend to be biased towards other artists that reflect their own practice?
Judd’s writing tends to describe artwork in a very matter of fact practical way. Does this help our understanding of art?
To be an artist today do we all need a manifesto?
Suggested further reading
Donald Judd (1975). Complete writings 1959-1975. Halifax & New York: Press of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
In June we’re reading The Dismeasure of Art, an interview with Paolo Virno, originally published in 2009. This discussion will be chaired by Rubén Salgado Perez and will take place at Tropics Café, Grow Elephant in Elephant & Castle.
Paolo Virno, in The Dismeasure of Art (2009), an interview made by Sonja Lavaert and Pascal Gielen, addresses the concept of ‘common’ from the perspective of what he calls ‘the crisis of the unit of measure’. Virno thinks that the experience of avant-garde art is also “one of disproportion and of ‘excess’, of lack of moderation”. Avant-garde art is for him a clear sample of this disproportion rooted in the mass-production dynamic of Post-Fordism. With the avant-garde, art forms are showing new ways of feeling and living. The exploration of new forms in the avant-garde is like exploring a new public sphere with new standards to understand society.
Virno suggests that the common ground of society and art is about exploring new structures, new rules where the political and the aesthetic meet. He thinks that ‘general’ (or ‘common’) is a concept frequently confused with ‘universal’ in the fields of both art and philosophy. It would be very interesting to find out whether the common ground between art and politics could be understood here as a matter purely about form or whether it is also about content.
In this text, Virno explains on the one hand, how avant-garde art forms escape any proportional measure in the same way that the mass-production of goods in neo-capitalism. They both here have their own ungraspable grammar. On the other hand, the ‘common’ is not only something that occurs only “in between” two individuals but it is previous to the individual (as well). He asserts that the individual is a result of a movement that comes from the general under the jurisdiction of an ‘individuation principle’. The model for the ‘common’ that Paolo Virno uses is ‘language’, “which only exists within a community and that cannot exist apart from the community” (Virno, 2009:3). When language is the main tool for organizing, everything becomes aesthetic. The boundaries between aesthetics and policy are blurred because both are related with two forms of organization: the institutional and the police order.
This dismeasure is what Virno tries to explain when asserting that reality is aesthetic and everything is a matter of defining concepts. When language is dismeasure, what happens with communication? In a way, neo-capitalism, as any other form of domination in history, crystallises our possibility for autonomy. When a wrong is visible, it is because hierarchical structures cannot assume the task of addressing equality.
My question for this symposium is twofold:
How can an arts organization articulate its institutional structure in order to fertilize the soil of a ‘becoming’ equal community?
How can the public be addressed if this has been rooted in a ‘real’ common space?
Suggested further reading
Bataille, G. (1991) The Accursed Share, Volume 1: Consumption. New York; Zone Books.
Bataille, G. (2004) The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge. Minneapolis; University of Minessota Press.
Badiou, A. (2005) Metapolitics. London; Verso.
Benjamin, W. (2008) The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. London; Penguin.
Bennett, T. (2013) Making Culture, Changing Society. London; Routledge.
Boltanski, L. and E. Chiapello (2005) The New Spirit of Capitalism. London; Verso.
Bourdieu, P. (1997) Language & Symbolic Power. Cambridge; Polity.
Choi et al. (Eds.) (2014) Cluster: Dialectionary. London; Sternberg Press.
Foucault, M. (1972) The Archaeology of Knowledge. London; Tavistock Publications.
Fraser, A. (2006) A museum is not a business, it is run in a businesslike fashion. In Möntmann, N. (Eds.), Art and Its Institutions: Current Conflicts, Critique and Collaborations. London; Black Dog Publishing.
Laclau, E. & Mouffe, C. (2001) Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London; Verso.
Latour, B. (1999) ‘Give me a laboratory and I will rise the world’. In Mario Biagioli (ed.) The Science Studies Reader. New York & London; Routledge.
Lemke, T. (2001). ‘The birth of bio-politics: Michael Foucault’s lectures at the College de France on neo-liberal governmentality’v.30 in Economy and Society.
Negri, A. Gielen, P. and Lavaert, S. (2009) Art and Common: A conversation with Antonio Negri. In De Bruyne, P. and Gielen, P. (Eds.), Community Art: The Politics of Trespassing. Amsterdam; Valiz.
Rancière, J. (1999) Dissagrement: Politics and Philosophy, Minneapolis, MN and London: University of Minessota Press.
Rancière, J. (2004a) The Politics of Aesthetics: the distribution of the sensible. London; Continuum.
Rancière, J. (2004b) Is there a Deleuzian aesthetics?, [Online]
Sheikh, S. (2006) The Trouble with Institutions, or, Art and Its Publics. In Möntmann, N. (Eds.), Art and Its Institutions: Current Conflicts, Critique and Collaborations. London; Black Dog Publishing
Virno, P. (2004) A Grammar of the Multitude. Cambridge. MIT Press.
In July we’ve been invited on an excursion to visit The Other MA (TOMA), a 12-month alternative art education model based at Metal Art School in Southend-on-Sea. Join us for a walking tour across the cultural landscape of Southend-on-Sea with the expert guidance of Emma Edmondson, founder and coordinator of TOMA. We will visit Focal Point Gallery and The Old Waterworks, Metal Culture – home of Metal Art School and TOMA – culminating the tour at TOMA artists’ studios.
The suggested travel route to Southend Central is via the C2C line from London Fenchurch Street, Limehouse, West Ham or Barking. A C2C train service departs from Fenchurch Street at 11:04am and arrives 12:18pm at Southend Central. Please purchase your ticket to Southend Central as we will be hopping on and off the train all day. The ticket will allow you to do this.
NB. We will be doing much walking in between destinations! Please get in touch if you have access concerns.
ITINERARY 12:20 Meet at Southend Central Station, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1AB 12:30 Have lunch in the Railway pub (best vegan food in town) 13:30 Head to Focal Point Gallery to see Maximum Overdrive 15:00 Catch the train to Westcliff-on-Sea station, half hour walk and head to The Old Waterworks for Alison Loyd’s show 16:00 Catch the train from Westcliff station to Chalkwell Park to see the home of TOMA and Metal, Chalkwell Avenue, Southend on Sea SS0 8NB 17:00 Walk to TOMA artist Richard Baxter’s pottery studio (TBC) 18:00 Grab a drink in the multitude of pubs on the seafront and take in the Estuary views!
Please register to book your place and receive updates
Occasionally, on the last Saturday of the month from 2-5pm we visit three exhibitions within walking distance from each other. Free, everyone welcome. No need to book, just join us at 2pm or along the way. If you would like to curate the [ARTCRAWL] please download the infosheet and follow the directions to send us your proposal.
#11 Hampstead to Finsbury Park (via Mayfair)
Saturday, 24 June 2017, 14:00 -17:00
Starts 2pm at Freud Museum 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead London NW3 5SX
Curated by Sophia Kosmaoglou Free, booking not required
In June we’re venturing on an ambitious tour of London and taking public transport to see exhibitions at the Freud Museum and Furtherfield – venues that are off the beaten path. On the way we will stop at Thomas Dane in Mayfair. Below is a map of the route and a schedule with links to further information on the exhibitions. We will take the Jubilee line from the Freud Museum to Thomas Dane, and the Victoria line from there to Finsbury Park.
Please note that entry to the Freud Museum is £8 for adults, free for children under 12, £6 for senior citizens, £4 for students, unemployed, National Trust Members & National Art Pass Members. More details here.
On Saturday 28 January we’re meeting 2pm at Sophia Contemporary to see the exhibition Recipe for a Poem by Azadeh Razaghdoost. Then we will head to Hamilton’s Cafe to listen to Transitivity of Implication by Daniel Toca at the Museum of Portable Sound, please bring your headphones! We will wrap up with a visit to Carroll / Fletcher for the group exhibition United We Stand. Below is the schedule with links to exhibition details and a map of the route.
Saturday 26 November 2016, 14:00 – 17:00
Curated by Katy Green Free, booking not required
On Saturday, 26 November we’re meeting 2pm at Camden Arts Centre to see and exhibition of Bonnie Camplin‘s work. Then we will head to Zabludowicz Collection for the exhibition Basement Odyssey by Willem Weisman. Our final stop will be the group show Streams of Warm Impermanence with artists who work with Networked-Flesh at David Roberts Art Foundation. Please see below for the schedule and a map of the route.
Saturday 29 October 2016, 14:00-17:00 Free, booking not required
On Saturday 29 October we’re heading south and meeting 2pm at the South London Gallery to see The Source of Art is in the Life of a People by Roman Ondak, followed by a stop at Arcadia Missa to see Amalia Ulman’s solo Labour Dance, ending at South Kiosk to see And the Earth Screamed, Alive, a multi screen 16mm installation by Emma Charles. Please see below for the schedule with links to exhibition details and a map of the route. Everyone welcome.
14:00 Roman Ondak South London Gallery 65-67 Peckham Road London SE5 8UH 15:15Amalia Ulman Arcadia Missa Unit 6 Bellenden Road Business Centre London SE15 4RF 16:15 Emma Charles South Kiosk Unit B1.1 Bussey Building 133 Rye Lane SE15 3SN
#07 Mayfair to St James (via Soho)
Saturday 24 September 2016, 14:00-17:00 Free, booking not required
On Saturday 24 September we’re meeting at Timothy Taylor to see Shez Dawood’s solo, followed by Mike Kelley’s 1999 installation Framed and Frame at Hauser & Wirth and Uri Aran’s controversial show at Sadie Coles, ending with the Jannis Kounellis retrospective at White Cube. We’re spoiled for choice this month so we’ve crammed four exhibitions into this one. See below for the schedule with links to exhibition details and a map of the route.
Saturday 30 July 2016, 14:00-17:00 Free, booking not required
On Saturday 30 July we’re meeting at at Simon LeeGallery to see the work of Bas Jan Ader who disappeared at sea in 1975. We will then head north to see the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres curated by Julie Ault and Roni Horn at Hauser & Wirth. Our final stop will be at Carroll/Fletcher to see Abuse Standards Violations by Eva and Franco Mattes. Please see below for the schedule with links to exhibition details and a map of the route.
Saturday 25 June 2016, 14:00-17:00
Curated by Dasha Loyko Free, booking not required
On Saturday 25 June we will meet at The Residence Gallery to see Info Pura, a group exhibition on knowledge, information and experience. Next we will visit Salon des Refuses at SPACE to see the work of Dasha Loyko and other artists rejected from the Royal Academy summer exhibition. Last stop is Blood For Light by Nastivicious at Waterside Contemporary. Please see below for the schedule with links to exhibition details and a map of the route.
Saturday 4 June 2016, 14:00-17:00
Curated by Penelope Kupfer Free, booking not required
On Saturday 4 June we will meet at Cambridge Heath Station and set off for Vilma Gold to see the work of Oliver Stone and Luther Price. Next we will make our way to Espacio Gallery for a group exhibition titled Organism, featuring the work of Penelope Kupfer among an illustrious list of artists. Last stop is Paulo Nimer‘s solo show at Maureen Paley. See below for the schedule and map of the route with links to exhibition details. Free, no need to book.
Saturday 14 May 2016, 14:00-18:00
Curated by Penelope Kupfer Free, booking not required
On Saturday, 14 May 2016 we will meet at the Serpentine Gallery at 2pm to view Hilma af Klimt: Painting the Unseen and then make our way to the Sackler Gallery to view of the exhibition by DAS INSTITUT. Then we will head to the Rum Factory near Shadwell DLR station to see the work of Richard Burger. See below for the schedule and map of the route with links to exhibition details. Free, no need to book, just join us at 2pm. Latecomers can join us along the way.
Saturday 30 April 2016, 14:00-17:00 Free, booking not required
On Saturday, 30 April 2016 we will meet at the bookshop inside the Whitechapel Gallery at 2pm to view Harun Farocki‘s video installation Parallel I-IV and the archival exhibition Imprint 93 with prints by young British artists of the 1990s. Then we will head to Raven Row near Liverpool Street to see the work of Channa Horwitz. Please see below for the schedule and a map of the route. Free event, no need to book. Latecomers can join us along the way.
Saturday 19 March 2016, 14:00-17:00 Free, booking not required
On Saturday, 19 March 2016 we will meet at Hoxton Rail Station at 2pm. From there we will walk to xero, kline & coma to see Under the Shade I Flourish by Chris Alton. Heading east we will stop at Cell Project Space to see Ian Ball ‘s Praseodymium Intracrine Signal Aggregate and and we will end the tour with Park McArthur‘s Poly at Chisenhale Gallery. Please see below for the schedule and a map of the route. Free event, no need to book, just join us at 2pm. Latecomers can join us along the way.