Booking is not required but please arrive early, doors will close when the book club starts or if we reach maximum capacity. When you arrive please ring the bell located to the left of the entrance. For more information and to download the text please visit the website.
See you there!
[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB Adorno: Commitment
Friday, 10 November 2017, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Nat Pimlott
Suggested donation £2
[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS] NOVEMBER 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.
[SYMPOSIUM] #21 Adorno: Commitment. Flyer by Nat Pimlott. Daniel Clowes  Art School Confidential. Eightball #7, Nov 1991.
We got the autumn season off to a great start last weekend! Thanks to Anca Baciu and Mandy Wong for curating, and to everyone who came along on the art crawl from Marylebone to South Kensington on Saturday. We started off with Allora & Calzadilla at the Lisson Gallery, where we wondered how the exhibition lives up to the political critique in the press release. Looking at Wade Guyton‘s work at the Serpentine, we wondered how the large-scale digital prints on stretched canvas or digital prints arranged in display cases are “pioneering painting techniques that explore the impact of digital technologies”. We more or less came to the conclusion that this could be justified by referencing the work’s engagement with formalist concerns such as flatness, surface, illusion etc. We got utterly exhausted by the V&A LGBTQ Tour, which was delivered with energy and enthusiasm. We unanimously applauded this excellent initiative, but were disappointed at the emphasis on anecdotal stories about celebrities.
Many thanks to School of the Damned for inviting is to the First Alternative Education Open Day! It was a privilege to be part of this excellent landmark event together with other alternative art schools. We covered a lot of ground in a relentless series of workshops, met new people, exchanged ideas, played games and had a great time. Many thanks to Maria Christoforatou for preparing and facilitating our workshop, we collected participant responses and we’re putting those together to share. In the meantime you can download the handout with A4 poster.
Our next event is the book club on Michel Foucault’s essay Of Other Spaces, facilitated by Dasha Loyko and hosted at Unison, a former lifeboat turned project space by Anastasia Freygang “to create a shifting pocket of inquiries”. We’re meeting at Yurt Café, located next to Limehouse station before we walk to the boat moored nearby. For more information, to download the text and book your place please visit the page.
[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS] OCTOBER 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.
IMAGE CREDITS ART SKOOL CO-OP. Poster by Sophia Kosmaoglou. [SYMPOSIUM] #20 Foucault: Of Other Spaces. Flyer by Dasha Loyko. Daniel Clowes  Art School Confidential. Eightball #7, Nov 1991.
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.
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.
DOWNLOAD Friedrich Nietzsche (2003/1872). The Birth of Tragedy. Blackmask Online. Chapters 1, 16, 17, 23 and 24 (please note this starts from Chapter 1 after the introduction by Nietzsche titled an ‘Attempt at self criticism’ (1886) further down on the PDF under the title the Birth of tragedy).
The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche’s first book, published in 1872 when he was 28, is both a historical study of the origins of Greek tragedy and a complex and compelling argument for the necessity for art in life.
In the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche describes two competing impulses in Greek culture – the Apollonian and the Dionysian.
Apollo as the god of the plastic or representational arts of painting and sculpture, is associated with beauty and order.
Dionysus in contrast is the god of the non-representational art of music, and associated with flux, mysticism and excess. Through music man is given a true glimpse into the nature of life, and the dissolution of individual identity in communion with nature.
While the Apollonian artist is associated with light and clarity, the Dionysian offers an insight into the darker side of life, a confrontation with the pain and destruction of existence.
Nietzsche argues that these forces and artistic tendencies which were in conflict were merged in Attic tragedy with the combination of the musical chorus and poetry. He believed the combination of these states produced the highest forms of music and tragic drama, which not only reveal the truth about suffering in life, but also provide a consolation for it.
While this mixture of competing forces was richly realised in Attic tragedy Nietzsche traces how the arrival of Socratic culture which prioritised the purely intellectual and rational led to the destruction of myth and the art of the tragedy.
In the second half of the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche uses this framework as the basis of a critique of the rationalism of late nineteenth-century German culture.
In its wide-ranging discussion of the nature of art, science and religion, Nietzsche’s argument raises questions about the vitality and nature of culture in a secular, rationalist modern world.
It contains themes that will remain important in Nietzsche’s later work – including the ‘will’ (an ultimate force which determines human life which will become in his later work the ‘will to power’) and, as he sets out in his preface to the second edition, a critique of Christianity and modern science as forms of belief that he argues do not bring man close to the real meaning of life.
It also contains the roots of arguments that have proven to be some of Nietzsche’s most influential. It’s critique of rationalism in western culture links it to modernism; in it’s focus on dreams and the origins underlying latent content it also seems to have links to psychoanalysis; and in his search for the unknown origin behind avowed or accepted ones it also presages the work of post-structuralists such as Derrida, whose own work depends on disputing of accepted interpretations and origins.
The birth of tragedy has become one of Nietzsche’s best known and most influential books and a source of a challenging rich argument for how aesthetic experience relates to the meaning of life and other questions that remain central to the practice of art and criticism today.
What is the Apollonian and Dionysian? Is this opposition the right one?
Are there other forces that need to be considered? and is it relevant in interpreting art today?
How does rationalism and science shape modern culture?
What role can myth play in culture now?
Is aesthetic experience the only truth in a secular world?
Where is the Apollonian and Dionysian in modern culture? Does the Dionysian need revival?
Monthly reading group for artists, researchers and anyone interested in the intersections between art practice and critical theory. Everyone is welcome to propose a text and facilitate the reading group. Please book your place and download the shared document. For more information and an archive of previous events please scroll down.
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 donating to help cover our expenses and keep us going.
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.
Facilitating the book club
[SYMPOSIUM] is a supportive community of peers who discuss and unpack their research interests. All participants have the opportunity to facilitate the book club on a text of their choice. If you would like to propose a text, 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 send us your proposal.
In November we’re celebrating our first year of self-organised collective action in art education! Join us for a drink at the Montague Arms (289 Queen’s Rd, London SE14 2PA) from 9pm on 11 November 2016. Earlier on the same day we’re reading Hal Foster’s essay Post-Critical? with Dasha Loyko. On 19 November join us on the workshop Critiquing the Crit with Sophie Barr. We will deconstruct the art school crit and create our own crit models in a supportive environment. On 26 November we’re crawling from Hampstead to Camden Town with Katy Green. For more details on these events and other opportunities please read on.
[SYMPOSIUM] Hal Foster: Post-Critical? Friday 11 November 2016, 18:00-20:30
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD Free, due to limited capacity booking is essential
On Friday, 11 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. Foster assesses 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 evaluates the arguments proposed by Latour and Ranciere against criticism, raising contemporary social issues which call for a return of criticality. Please visit the website for more information, to book and download the shared document.
Critiquing the Crit: A workshop with Sophie Barr Saturday, 19 November 2016, 13:00 – 16:00
The Field 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD £5, due to limited capacity booking is essential
This three-hour workshop is designed to help you to get the most out of your group critique by taking ownership of your feedback. During the workshop you will consider the most important aspects of giving and receiving feedback/criticism and you will have the opportunity to design and test your own crit model. Please bring along a work in progress to participate in a micro-crit. Critiquing the Crit will be led by artist and lecturer Sophie Barr. For more information and to book please visit the website.
[ARTCRAWL] Hampstead to Camden Town Saturday 26 November 2016, 14:00 – 17:00
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG
Please visit the website for the schedule & map of the route Free, booking not required
On Saturday, 26 November we’re and meeting at Camden Arts Centre to see an exhibition of Bonnie Camplin’s work. Then we will head to Zabludowicz Collection for the exhibition Basement Odysseyby Willem Weisman. Our final stop will be the group show Streams of Warm Impermanencewith artists who work with Networked-Flesh at David Roberts Art Foundation. Please visit the website for the schedule with links to exhibition details and a map of the route.
IMAGE CREDITS Isa Genzken  X-Ray. Gelatin silver print, 100 x 80cm. Josef Albers Preliminary class group critique. Bauhaus Dessau, 1928-29. Photo by Otto Umbehr.
On Friday, 14 October we’re reading the first chapter of Alain Badiou‘s Handbook of Inaesthetics with Badiou scholar Kerry W. Purcell at [SYMPOSIUM] book club. Note that this event is fully booked, please follow the link to join the waiting list and we will be in touch if there are cancellations. On Saturday, 15 October we’re discussing Autonomy & Critique with Dasha Loyko at the next Studio Crit, please follow the link to book your place. In October the Gallery Crawl is heading to south east London, for more details please read on.
Last month we saw Mike Kelley‘s 1999 installation Framed and Frame at Hauser & Wirth, well worth a visit to see this complex installation with a fascinating archive of preparatory drawings, photos and documents at. If you plan to visit Shez Dawood‘s show at Timothy Taylor don’t forget to book…
On the 2nd of September 2016 we were invited to a interview on alternative art education at Dissident Island Radio. Sophia and Johanna joined James from Squash Campaign, Andy from LDMG and the Dissident Island crew for a live broadcast at their LARC studio in Whitechapel. The podcast is available to listen to or download from Dissident Island or the Internet Archive.
For this month’s announcements, deadlines and opportunities please visit the Announcements page.
[ART&CRITIQUE] STUDIO CRIT Dasha Loyko: Autonomy and Critique
Saturday, 15 October 2016 3:00pm – 5:00pm
The Field, 385 Queens Road, New Cross, London SE14 5HD Free, please book your place
[ART&CRITIQUE] GALLERY CRAWL From Camberwell to Peckham
Saturday 29 October 2016, 2:00-5:00pm
Roman Ondak SLG Amalia Ulman Arcadia Missa Emma Charles South Kiosk
Please visit the website for the details & a map of the route Free, booking not required
Alain Badiou and Kerry W. Purcell have lunch in 2015. Dasha Loyko  Tips For Designing Your Dream Bathroom (maquette of central fragment).