Tag Archives: critical and contextual studies

Open Call: Fee-waiver Award

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.

Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice Fee-waiver Award

Deadline Friday, 23 February 2018 at 5pm

We’re very pleased to invite applications for a fee-waiver award for the upcoming course Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice. The award is open to anyone over the age of 18. The fee-waiver is awarded to the applicant who will benefit most from participating in the course, regardless of previous experience, background or education. Every application will be judged on its own terms, there are no academic or professional entry requirements. Please read the course description, it will help you decide whether this course is for you.

The course runs from 19 April to 14 June 2018, on Thursday evenings for 9 weeks, including off-site visits on Saturday, 5 May 2018 at Kupfer, Arch 213, Ponsford Street, London E9 6JU.

For more information and to apply, please download the application form and return it by 5pm on Friday, 23 February 2018. You will be notified of the outcome on Friday, 2 March 2018 and if you are selected you must accept the offer by Friday, 9 March 2018.

We endeavour to offer affordable rates for everyone when we host our own courses. We also offer one fee-waiver award per self-hosted course so that one person can join the course for free. As a non-profit organisation we aim to cover our expenses, including venue hire, tutors’ salaries, insurance, booking fees etc. Free or affordable access to a venue helps keep our fees down.

Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice

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Course Outline | Course Dates | Tutor | Reviews | Bibliography | Resources
Course Description

This course maps the theories and discourses that inform the production and reception of contemporary art, providing a supportive environment to develop your practice and articulate your ideas on the production, exhibition and interpretation of art.

Through lectures, seminars, tutorials and gallery visits the course will familiarise you with key concepts and historical transformations that underpin contemporary art production and reception. We will look at the impact of key philosophical, cultural and political discourses on art practice, and examine different theoretical perspectives and critical debates. You will extend and develop your ability to discuss, write about and judge contemporary art. You will be supported in contextualising your practice with extensive feedback in tutorials and workshops. You will also develop your skills in writing artist’s statements, critical reviews and/or exhibition proposals.

What kind of knowledge and skills do contemporary artists need? Who is art for? How do we recognise art? What distinguishes art from other forms of cultural production? How does the global economy affect the production and circulation of art? Is art a commodity? What is the social role of art? Can art bring about social change? Can art be critical? Are artists expected to push social boundaries? What is critical art, critical of? What is aesthetic autonomy? These are some of the questions we will address as we explore the historical and critical contexts in which contemporary art is made, circulated, viewed and understood.

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course you will have a good grasp of the historical underpinnings and current debates in contemporary art. You will develop, articulate and contextualise your practice. You will develop your writing and research skills and formulate research questions to guide your practice and research. You will be able to critically evaluate your own work, as well as that of others. You’ll be able to critically discuss and evaluate contemporary art.

Who Should Attend

The course is open to everyone regardless of experience but it is particularly suited to those who have a background and experience in art and wish to develop their practice and extend their knowledge of contemporary art practices and discourses. The course will suit those wishing to develop their practice and research, prepare a portfolio, apply for a postgraduate degree in art or pursue a career in the arts. The course will benefit painters, sculptors, print-makers, installation artists, performance artists, video and media artists, designers, sound artists, musicians, curators, writers and researchers.

For more information on the course, including the schedule, lectures and reading please download the Course Outline.

Upcoming Course Dates

Click on the dates below for more info and to book

10 Jan—14 Mar 2019, Thursdays 6pm-8:30pm for 10 wks @Chelsea College of Arts UAL
From To Time Duration Location Fee Actions
10 Jan 2019
14 Mar 2019
18:00–20:30 Five days
(25 hours)
Chelsea College of Arts UAL
16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
£ 599 BOOK

This course runs from 10 January to 14 March 2019, every Thursday from 6pm to 8:30pm for ten weeks at Chelsea College of Arts UAL. If you have any questions please contact us or the Chelsea Short Course Team +44 (0) 20 7514 6311.

5—9 August 2019, MonFri 10:00-16:00 for 5 days @Chelsea College of Arts UAL
From To Time Duration Location Fee Actions
5 Aug 2018
9 Aug 2018
10:00–16:00 Five days
(25 hours)
Chelsea College of Arts UAL
16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
£ 599 BOOK

This course runs from 5 to 9 August 2019, every day from 10am to 4pm for one week at Chelsea College of Arts UAL. If you have any questions please contact us or the Chelsea Short Course Team +44 (0) 20 7514 6311.


Sophia Kosmaoglou is an artist, tutor, curator and founder of [ART&CRITIQUE], an alternative art education network based in London. Her current practice blurs the boundaries between art, activism and education to question the ontology of art and its social and institutional functions. She has a practice-based PhD in Fine Art from Goldsmiths and her research interests include institutional critique and the relationship between art and politics, institutions and independent organisations and collective practices. She has previously taught Critical Studies and Studio Practice on BA Fine Art Practice and Joint Honours courses at Goldsmiths and is currently a Visiting Tutor at Chelsea College of Arts. For more information please see https://videomole.tv


This course offers a great opportunity to spend significant time and thought on aspects of your practice in a stimulating group environment. I would like to thank Sophia for her commitment to the students beyond what I expected- providing us with a wealth of information, reading lists etc and regular, detailed personalised feedback, which made such a difference. Anon

I’ve been looking for a long time to find a course like this, it is a unique opportunity, no other place provides this course. Sophia is a brilliant tutor and I am so glad I participated. I look forward to the next course. Anon

There is a lot of material in this course. It could easily form the basis of a degree course either under or post graduate. —Anon

What an enormous pleasure and fascinating process this week has been, so open and yet demanding. I’m in my studio as I write. It feels like the place to be to think it through, and in my case ‘get on with it’. I have a stack of questions, and some answers now, about how to go forward. It’s exciting! Thank you Sophia for this fantastic course, for your teaching, feedback and whole approach. It is so helpful to receive your perceptive and knowledgeable feedback to shake things up, reflect and begin to put more focused ideas into practice. You set the bar high for all of us with astonishing commitment. —Anon

The ideas learnt are indispensable and will stick with me for life. I will use it towards a Master’s course and during my own personal study. It has inspired me to get back in education with more direction and confidence. —Anon


ART&CRITIQUE is a London-based, peer-led alternative art education network dedicated to critical engagement with contemporary art. We employ collaborative, co-operative and collective models of pedagogy and organisation and foster alternative models of art education in a series of public events.

ART&CRITIQUE is open-access, self-organised, self-funded and non-profit. If you’d like to get involved, or if you have an idea for an event or collaboration, please come along to an event or get in touch.

Our privacy policy is available here.


Alter UsAlter Us

An emergent London based multidisciplinary collective that attempts to question and offer solutions regarding our contemporary context. Their concerns relate to the challenges presented by the Anthropocene, sustainability, disconnection, individualism, Artificial Intelligence, inequalities, among others.

Stephen BennettStephen Bennett

MA Art and Science student at Central Saint Martins (UAL) for 2016-2018. Deputy Head of Foresight in the UK Government Office for Science. Interested in maps, reflections, glass, depth, art-science-politics, socio-economics, climate change, demography, paint and photography.

Richard Burger Richard Burger

Richard is a painter. He studied in open access courses at the Chelsea College of Art and at the Art Student League of New York. His practise focuses on portraiture and landscape mainly in oils. One of Richards portraits was selected for exhibition at the NPG BP portrait awards 2016. In the same year he was accepted for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Maria ChristoforatouMaria Christoforatou

Maria Christoforatou is an artist & visiting lecturer at University of the Arts London. She completed a practice-based MPhil at Chelsea College of Arts & an MA in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Arts. Her research investigates experiences of displacement through the idea of home & the ways that objects mediate for the artist & become agents of experience for the viewer.

Amanthi HarrisAmanthi Harris

Amanthi is an artist & writer. She studied at Central St Martins & Bristol University. She won the Gatehouse Press New Fictions Prize 2016 for Lantern Evening (2017). Her short stories have been published & broadcast on BBC Radio4. She is part of the V22 Artist Collective & works in 3D & drawing. She runs StoryHug, a project making art & stories in the community.

Laura HudsonLaura Hudson

Laura Hudson is an artist, writer and freelance curator with a background in experimental film, digital technologies and sustainable agriculture. She studied Evironmental Art at Glasgow School of Art & Moving Image at Central St Martins. She worked for Women In Profile, London Filmmakers Co-op, Cinenova Feminist Film Distribution, Arts Council England & FluxIT.

Sophia KosmaoglouSophia Kosmaoglou

Sophia is an artist, tutor, curator and researcher. She completed a practice-based PhD in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 2012 and founded ART&CRITIQUE in 2015. She teaches studio practice, critical and contextual studies, history & philosophy of art, curating, video & film production. Research interests include art and politics, art education, radical pedagogy and self-organisation.

Johanna KwiatJohanna Kwiat

Johanna is an artist based in London. She studied anthropology at Goldsmiths & is a co-founder of ArtBrixton. Her work explores self-containment & the struggle against the violence of the mundane in domesticity, relationships & work. She performs in public places with incidental or no human audience & extends her performances through photographs, diagrams & installations.

Dasha LoykoDasha Loyko

Dasha Loyko is a practising artist and researcher with a background in philosophy. She works across media, from painting and collage to installation and film. In October 2017 she will begin her studio-based MA in Critical Practice at the Royal College of Art.

Cristina Sousa Martínez Cristina Sousa Martínez

Cristina is a curator & art blogger from Mexico. Her research interests are the concepts of infinity, tear & language-games. Her first exhibition as a curator was about an infinite causal chain of words, Transitivity of Implication (2016). She’s an intern at the Museum of Portable Sound as a Curatorial Assistant, she likes to experiment with sound, video & watercolour.

Elliot C. MasonElliot C. Mason

Elliot is a playwright and founding member of Penny Drops Collective, a radical artist / theatre group.


Aristotelis NikolaidisAristotelis Nikolaidis

Aris completed a PhD in media & communications at Goldsmiths and has been involved in free and self-organised language programmes for migrants and refugees. He teaches & researches in the field of social theory & media studies from a critical perspective, which means that he is at odds with marketization, careerism & precarious labour conditions in the university.

Rubén Salgado Perez Ruben Salgado Perez

Ruben is a researcher & currently Diversity Champion at the V&A. He completed an MA in Aesthetics & Cultural Policy at City University (2014) and co-founded the curatorial collective Un-Mapping Futures (2017). His published work explores the intersections between philosophy of art, public participation and the production of discourse on art and its publics.

ART&CRITIQUE is an alternative education network dedicated to critical engagement with contemporary art practice and theory. To get involved please come along to an event. ART&CRITIQUE is self-funded and volunteer-run.