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.
Occasionally on the last Saturday of the month when we head out to visit exhibitions and have a critical discussion on route. Anyone can volunteer to curate the crawl, if you’re interested please download the infosheet for more information.
Mayfair to Fitzrovia: Joy, Dance, Magic – Three Artist Films
Saturday, 30 March 2019, 13:45 – 17:00
Meet 13:45 at Lévy Gorvy, 22 Old Bond St, Mayfair, London W1S 4PY
Curated by Eva Ruschkowski Free, booking via Eventbrite
Join us for a stroll from Mayfair to Fitzrovia to visit three galleries showing video works by Agnes Martin, Geta Brătescu and Rachel Rose. The Art & Critique Art Crawls are excursions that offer the opportunity to explore, articulate thoughts and critically discuss exhibitions in a group.
We will meet at 13:45 at Lévy Gorvy Gallery to begin our journey with Martin’s film ‘Gabriel’ (1976). We follow a fourteen-year-old boy, the protagonist of the film, on his leisurely meander through a rural landscape to take part in his innocent exploration of natural beauty. “[The movie] turned out to be about joy – the same thing my paintings are about” the artist states. By contrasting Martin’s film with her serene geometric experimentation on canvas which she mainly is known for, Lévy Gorvy allow a deeper insight into the artist’s work and, as the gallery proposes, to “linger in the pensive calm that Martin’s art, regardless of its medium, so exquisitely conveys.”
A similar juxtaposition of still and moving images will greet us at Hauser and Wirth, our second stop, which is showing a group of works Geta Brătescu made over the last decade. Richly informed by literature and mythology, Brătescu untiringly explores her fascination for drawing, composition and line. ‘When I draw, I can say that my hand dances’. Hauser and Wirth put her drawings and collages in conversation with two films ‘Linia (The Line)’ (2014) and ‘The Gesture, The Drawing’ (2018), which were created in collaboration with Ștefan Sava and give an intimate insight into Brătescu’s studio practice and creative thinking process.
We will round out our walk at Pilar Corrias with Rachel Rose’s atmospheric film set in 1500s rural England. ‘Wil-o-Wisp’ (2018) tells the story of Elspeth Blake, which was inspired by the fate of healers who practised in the time of the Enclosure Movement. Rose draws us in the realm of magic at the same time examining the drastic historical shift and its consequences caused by the privatisation of communal land.
Hot on the heels of the Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk in May 2018 we will revisit the people, places, problems, questions and expand on the outcomes of that sweltering day.
Join us for an afternoon of discussions and encounters on the relationship between art and the process of gentrification that is currently sweeping through Deptford. We will visit community spaces, galleries, studios and landmarks on a walk along the streets, waterways, green spaces and new developments. We will meet local residents, artists, curators and activists to hear about their experiences and how they are resisting or overcoming the displacement of communities and the shrinking of public and creative spaces.
Do artists have a measure of responsibility in the process of gentrification and what can they do to resist the successive waves of change that inevitably lead to their own displacement? How can local residents regain some control over the rapid changes in their environment and the impact on their lives?
We will address the controversial developments currently proposed or underway in Deptford and the responsibility artists have within the process of gentrification. How can artists resist the redevelopment of community, social, cultural and creative spaces that are crucial to their activities? How can artists evaluate the available opportunities and what alternatives are there?
Come along to share your own stories and contribute to the discussion. Meet us at 1pm inside Deptford Rail Station or join us along the way. For more information, the itinerary and a map of the route please visit the website. Maps will be available on the day in case you wonder off and want to meet us later on.
More details coming soon, itinerary TBC and subject to change
Visit the Albany and walk through Deptford Market. If you’d like to get some lunch there are excellent choices within close proximity to the station, including summer rolls from Viet Rest, sushi from M&D Japanese Takeaway, jollof rice from Tomi’s Kitchen , bagels from the Waiting Room or fish patties and summer fruit from the Jamaican food stalls on Douglas Way.
We will begin with a quick tour of the garden and return to the amphitheater for a discussion on the relationship between art and the process of gentrification currently underway in Deptford. We will hear about the Save Reginald Save Tidemill campaign and the current occupation to protect the Tidemill Garden from impending demolition and how to get involved. We will hear from local residents, artists, curators and activists about how they experience the impact of gentrification and how they are resisting displacement and the shrinking of public and creative spaces. Come along to share your own perspective on the changes that are currently sweeping through Deptford. We will end the visit with some time to explore the garden and the exhibition Deptford Aint Avvinit.
15:30 1 Creekside / Goldsmiths MFA Studios, Church Street, London SE8 4RZ
We will visit the site at 1 Creekside and then double back to Goldsmiths MFA Studios to view Sue Lawes‘ work and have a chat with the artist about the proposed development at 1 Creekside.
We will view the exhibition On Time: Deptford X (PT II) and have a chat with artist Joan Molloy. Then go on a tour of Art Hub Studios with Adrian Morris-Thomas.
16:30 Paynes Wharf / House of Phoenix
Heading north towards the river we will view remains of the Royal Dockyard, passing by the church of St. Nicholas, the site of the former Deptford Power Station, Paynes Wharf, Master Shipwright’s Palace and Twinkle Park.
17:00 Gossamer Fog 186a Deptford High Street, London SE8 3PR
This is a double studio visit in the former E. Barclay FSMC FACLP Optician on the high street. Mr. Pippin will present one of his major works titled Ω= 1, a machine that makes a pencil stand perfectly still on its tip. Olivia Guigue will introduce us to her project Tamesiology. A study of the geology of the Thames’ foreshore where, among native elements, synthetic and imported materials are becoming part of the ground. A collection of «Pseudo-Minerals» gathers plastic samples selected upon aesthetic criteria for their mimicry to minerals and rocks, while «Analogies» matches natural and man-made materials for their casual resemblance. These mimesis bring us to question the dichotomy natural/artificial by observing the dynamic of anthropic materials in nature, approaching the topic of environment from a different point of view: the one of matter.
In the first walk we held in May 2018, we kicked-off the discussion with an open forum in the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden about its history, its impending demolition and the campaign to save it. We discussed the measure of responsibility that artists have in the process of gentrification and what alternatives there are to partnering with developers in pursuit of affordable space. To listen to a recording of the discussion and/or read a summary of the discussion please follow this link.
The Old Tidemill Garden was Deptford’s best kept secret, a wildlife oasis with more than 70 mature trees in the middle of Deptford, where the level of air pollution is six times higher than the limit recommended by the WHO. By handing the garden to property guardians, Lewisham Council withheld this public resource from the community. But now the secret it out! The Save Reginald Save Tidemill campaign is trying to raise awareness of the garden’s existence and encourage its use by members of the community in an effort to save it from demolition.
Contribution from Donal Ruane
The article No Man’s land by Eula Biss is a fascinating non-linear essay exploring the issue of gentrification in America. I offer it here as one possible way of looking at the thorny subject of gentrification. In the essay, Biss attempts to make sense of gentrification and our collective fear of those who are unlike us, in this case it is the predominantly poor blacks that tend to inhabit the inner city neighbourhoods that have been gentrified in America. If we substitute the working classes for blacks in the American model we could pretty much use this essay to look at gentrification in London (in the UK it is less about race exclusively and more about class in general).
In addition to Bliss’s own experiences with gentrification, she explores the concept in a more academic way—using research about violent crimes, fear, and race—but she begins with Little House on the Prairie. Yes, in an essay about gentrification, she begins with pioneers. She writes of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood on the frontier, and of her own fascination with the book as a child. Then she writes:
The word pioneerbetrays a disturbing willingness to repeat the worst mistake of the pioneers of the American West—the mistake of considering an inhabited place uninhabited. To imagine oneself as a pioneer in a place as densely populated, as Chicago is either to deny the existence of your neighbours or to cast them as natives who must be displaced. Either way, it is a hostile fantasy … this is our inheritance, those of us who imagine ourselves as pioneers.
In the original event Sophia organised in Deptford, which is now available online I used a similar analogy of the myth of the American West as a useful prism through which the process of gentrification could be viewed. While my model tends to concentrate more on the different stages of the colonization and commodification of working class neighbourhoods by developers … using the wild west analogy it starts with the mountain men, who are followed by the cattle barons, the pioneers, the railroads, the banks and developers etc. (Serge Leone’s Marxist western Once Upon a Time in the West is worth looking at to understand this idea). Biss is more concerned with how the pioneers view, interact with and eventually displace the indigenous population before they too are displaced. I hope this is food for thought.
In May we’re visiting Deptford for a day of discussions on art and gentrification. Join us for a tour of galleries, studios, community spaces and landmarks on a walk along the streets, waterways, green spaces and new developments. We will meet artists, curators and activists to explore how they are resisting or overcoming the displacement of communities and the shrinking of public and creative spaces.
Come along and share your experiences, meet us at 12noon inside Deptford Rail Station or join us along the way. Please scroll down for the itinerary and a map of the route. Maps will be available on the day in case you wonder off and want to meet us later on.
I came to London, I was very lucky, at a time when you could still squat in central London and survive here and have enough space to have a studio to work. But now, young artists coming to London – where would they even start? The rents are unbelievable. It’s frightening. (Grayson Perry)
Gentrification concerns artists because their living and work spaces as well as their exhibition, event and social spaces are under threat by redevelopment and rising property prices. Artists are constantly on the move as they become displaced from one up-and-coming area to the next. But they also bear the brunt of criticism, as harbingers of gentrification. In his 2013 BBC Reith Lectures artist Grayson Perry announced that artists are the “shock troops of gentrification”. On closer inspection however, this claim holds little water. A recent study shows that “arts industries generally do not play a significant role in gentrification and displacement” because art organisations tend to gravitate towards areas with pre-existing creative industries in already gentrified areas.
The Marxist geographer Neil Smith argues that gentrification is a calculated strategy in capital’s search for investment opportunities on the “frontier” between expensive neighbourhoods and the “disinvested slums… where opportunity is higher”. Developers take the long view, waiting for the right conditions to exploit the “rent gap”, or the difference between the current value of a property and its potential value through redevelopment. Gentrification takes place when the rent gap can yield maximum profit. Although Smith cites examples of artists being used as “vehicles” or “fronts” for gentrification and displacement, especially in Manhattan where “gentrification and art came hand in hand”, he argues that ultimately it is capital and not culture that drives the process.
In February 2018, Rózsa Farkas, founding director of Arcadia Missa announced that she is moving her gallery from Peckham to Soho in an act of resistance against the gentrification of the area where she grew up, adding “I’d like to encourage everyone to resist”. Short of moving away, how can artists resist the redevelopment of community, social, cultural and creative spaces that are crucial to their activities? Considering the involvement of artists and art spaces with processes of gentrification, how can artists navigate the terrain of available opportunities and what alternatives are there?
The meeting point is inside Deptford Rail Station. Bring a packed lunch for a picnic at the Old Tidemill Garden or get your lunch from the high street. There are excellent choices within close proximity to the station, including vegan curry from Hullabaloo, summer rolls from Viet Rest, sushi from M&D Japanese Takeaway, jollof rice from Tomi’s Kitchen , bagels from the Waiting Room or fish patties and summer fruit from the Jamaican food stalls on Douglas Way.
Meet Camden McDonald to talk about the Minesweeper Collective, its history and future after the demise of the Minesweeper which hosted local art and community events for 14 years, and hear about new developments along the Creek.
16:30 St. Nicholas / Paynes Wharf
Heading north towards the river we will visit the site of the Royal Dockyard, passing by the church of St. Nicholas, Paynes’ Wharf, Master Shipwright’s Place and the Dog & Bell.
Talk to members about community cinema, the award-winning programme, self-organisation and affordable housing. The tour coincides with Ken Russell Day screening Gothic (1986) and Altered States (1980) with speakers Stephen Volk and Dr Matt Melia, from 1pm-10pm.
Saturday, 30 September 2017, 13:45-17:00
Meet 13:45 at Lisson Gallery 27 Bell Street London NW15BY
Curated by Anca Baciu and Mandy Wong All welcome, booking not required
In September we’re meeting at Lisson Gallery to see an exhibition by Allora & Calzadilla and then walking through the park to the Serpentine Gallery to view an exhibition by Wade Guyton, ending the crawl with the LGBTQ Tour to explore gender and sexual identities in the Victoria & Albert Museum collection. Free, everyone welcome. No need to book, just join us at 2pm or along the way. Please see below for the itinerary and a map of the route.
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 MAP 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!
#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
#7 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.