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A seminar series rooted in contemporary curatorial discourse and experimental cultural practice which is driven by a key question adopted in advance of each session and to which participants prepare detailed responses in advance.
- 7 January 2009
Mick Wilson two essays on criticism.
- 21 January 2009
Moran Been-noon 'The Watchmen' film work
- 4 February 2009
Mick Wilson introduced Istanbul project and agreed information gathering tasks with the group.
- 18 February 2009
'Kevin Atherton presenting Sarah Pierce presenting Kevin Atherton'
Note: Performance took place on the 30th January at 6pm in Four Gallery, 119 Capel Street, Dublin 1
- 4 March 2009
Sarah Dunne Tate Tracks
Sarah Dunne will be presenting on the project Tate Tracks next Wednesday 4th March at 10am. Here is the link to the required reading Jacques Attali Noise: The Political Economy of Music (Also discussed previously in the audio-cultures seminar series). Sarah would just suggest reading the foreword section (8 pages). She has chosen this text against the project as a means of creating a historical context. Attalis use of musical terminology as a sub screen for exploring wider cultural issues might open up some dialogue with our group: Attalli's statements that 'Music runs parallel to human society, is structured like it, and changes when it does" (p. 10) and that it is our "collective memory of the social order." (p. 9) appear to link somewhat with some of the more general issues regarding Tate Tracks' establishment as a means of creating a contemporary musical framework in which the artwork might take on a new dynamic and thus engage with new audiences. Please feel free to bring any other projects you are aware of that might be of interest to the group for this session.
- 5 March 2009
special guest lecturer: mathieu copeland
We are delighted to confirm that London based Independent curator Mathieu Copeland will be at Gradcam next Thursday 5th March at 4.30 pm. He will discuss his recently opened project at the Pompidou Centre:
Vides - Centre Pompidou February - April 2009
A quite exceptional event, "Vides" (Voids) is a retrospective of empty exhibitions since that of Yves Klein in 1958. In almost a dozen rooms of the National Museum of Modern Art, it assembles in a totally original manner exhibitions that showed "nothing", leaving empty the space for which they were designed.
The idea of exhibiting emptiness is a recurring notion in the history of art over the past fifty or so years, almost to the point of becoming a cliché in the practice of contemporary art. Since the exhibition by Yves Klein – "The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State of Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility" in Paris in 1958, totally empty exhibitions have been the statement of different conceptions of vacuums.
While for Yves Klein it was a way to attend to the nature of the viewer's projective expectations, by contrast it represents the peak of conceptual and minimal art for Robert Barry with "Some places to which we can come, and for a while 'be free to think about what we are going to do' (Marcuse)" (1970). It may also result from the desire to fudge the understanding of exhibition spaces, as in the work "The Air-Conditioning Show" from Art & Language (1966-1967), or to empty an institution to modify our experience, as in the work by Stanley Brouwn. It also reflects the will to create the experience of the qualities of an exhibition venue, as with Robert Irwin and his exhibition at the ACE Gallery in 1970, or with Maria Nordman at her exhibition in Krefeld in 1984. Emptiness also represents a form of radicalness, like that created by Laurie Parsons in 1990 at the Lorence-Monk gallery, which announced his renouncement of all artistic practice. For Bethan Huws and his work "Haus Esters Piece" (1993), emptiness means being able to celebrate the museum's architecture, signifying that art is already there on site and there is no need to add works of art. Emptiness assumes almost a sense of economic demand for Maria Eichhorn who, in leaving her exhibition empty at the Kunsthalle Bern in 2001, helped to devote the budget to the building's renovation. With "More Silent than Ever" (2006), Roman Ondák, for his part, had the onlooker believing that there is more than what is just left there to be seen.
Commissaires / organisateurs:
Laurent Le Bon, John Armleder, Mathieu Copeland, Gustav Metzger, Mai-Thu Perret, Clive Phillpot
Further information on his work and recent projects can be found at:
Mathieu has been invited to discuss his work and recent projects as part of the Enquiry session.
- 19 March 2009
special guest lecturer: simon sheikh
Special event featuring guest lecturer Simon Sheikh, renowned critic, curator, educator and researcher based in Copenhagen and Berlin.
Presentations by: Jesse Jones (artist) and Roberta Lima (artist and PhD researcher Vienna Academy of Fine Art / GradCAM).
The artists have been invited to present an account of their very different practices with reference to the question of the 'publicness' of their work and what considerations in this regard they face in the public dissemination, exhibition and presentation of the work.
Each artist will speak for 30 minutes and there will be a discussion for 15 minutes after each presentation.
For information about the keynote speaker and for examples of his work we recommend the following resources:
A short bio note on Simon Sheikh is available here at Vienna's brilliant EIPCP - european institute for progressive cultural policies - bio note Simon Sheikh.
Simon Sheikh's talk at a conference on Art as a Public Issue London in November 2008, realised by SKOR (a public art agency in the Netherlands) and and Situations at the Goethe Institute in London on the occassion of the special issue of OPEN --- Art as a Public Issue is online here: http://www.situations.org.uk/_uploaded_other/SerpGoethNov7-08AM_000.mp3
An essay on the artist as public intellectual http://www.republicart.net/disc/aap/sheikh02_en.htm
An introduction to the volume edited by Simon Sheikh In The Place Of The Public Sphere
We welcome external participants in this event, however, places are limited so please reserve a place in advance by emailing aidan.mcelwaine(at)gradcam.ie
- 1 April 2009
special guest lecturer: dr. julian myers (california college of the arts)
totality: a guided tour
A meditation on the dream of a radical integration of artistic disciplines, Harald Szeemann's 1983 exhibition 'Der Hang zum Gesamtkunstwerk' drew together a head-spinning selection of socialist dreamers, charismatic ritualists, ambitious filmmakers, iconoclastic architects and enthralling outsiders, united by their drive to create a 'total art work'. In this drive Szeemann discovered the very best and worst of central European culture in the twentieth century – utopias of beauty, social justice, sexual liberation and emancipation from labour on the one hand; consumer spectacle, totalitarianism and the genocide on the other. Moving from exhibition-form to its ambitious contents - in particular Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's eight hour Hitler: A Film From Germany (1978) and Laurie Anderson's similarly expanded performance United States - the discussion will put forward a few ideas about the fate of utopian dreaming in a postmodern period, the value of a theory of postmodernism in a present where the old bills have come due, as well as the peculiar pursuit, in the late 70s and early 1980s, of an imploded form of total theater.
Special event featuring guest lecturer Dr. Julian Myers, renowned critic, scholar and researcher based in San Francisco.
A short bio note on Julian Myers is available here.
We welcome external participants in this event, however, we ask that you please reserve a place in advance by emailing aidan.mcelwaine(at)gradcam.ie so that we can keep numbers appropriate to the needs of a seminar discussion context.
- 22 April 2009
special guest lecturer: ruth kenny curator/researcher
Ruth Kenny graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 2000 and went on to complete an MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London entitled ‘Gender and Sensibility in Eighteenth Century French and British Painting and Sculpture’. She subsequently worked for four years as Assistant Curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London. She has recently completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham on the Irish artist Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808) and was involved in organising the recent retrospective at the National Gallery of Ireland.
- 1 May 2009
The group will be going to Sligo on Friday 1 May for the day to visit the exhibition - 'signals in the dark: art in the shadow of war'. We will get the 07.05 train from Connolly station to be there around ten in the morning. Seamus Kealy, curator of the exhibition and director of the Model-Niland Gallery, has kindly agreed to meet the group at 11:00 to have a discussion and introduction to the exhibition. For those who are interested in coming we will meet at Connolly station at 06.45.
- 6 May 2009
We have agreed to look at a number of important/seminal/paradigmatic exhibitions/projects since 1969. In looking at these projects closely we will ask one or two larger questions (for example: What did it change? Why is it considered important?) along with personally selected/relevant research questions. This can be discussed in more detail at the next session.
The particular choice of exhibitions will be refined over the next number of sessions but we will commence with the exhibition entitled "Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form," the first major survey of Conceptual art, curated by Harald Szeemann, which took place at both the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland, and later at the ICA, London, in 1969. As a method to examine such a project we have divided up certain elements of the project for individual researchers to research and then present for 5 minutes each at this session.
- 20 May 2009
This session examines the exhibition entitled 'Information' curated by Knayston McShine which took place at MOMA, New York in 1970.
- 3 June 2009
This session will be presented by Vaari Claffey and Georgina Jackson on avant-garde exhibition practices in the 1920s and 1930s.
- 17 June 2009
This session will look at Documenta 5, curated by Harald Szeeman, in 1972
- Weds 17/9/08 9:30-11:30
critical conditions: curatorial debate and art theory
what questions are worth asking? what conversations are worth having?
http://www.on-curating.org/documents/oncurating_issue_0108.pdf online journal curatorship
http://www.cct.go.kr/data/acf2006/aycc/aycc_0902_Sachiko%20Namba.pdf curator's response to Yokohama Biennial
http://www.aaa.org.hk/event_detail.aspx?event_id=9286 "farewell to post-colonialism" at 3rd Guangzhou Triennial 2008
Participants in the seminar are asked to:
(i) read the set materials carefully
(ii) prepare an oral response (5-10 mins) on the question: "what conversations are worth having?" using these readings to frame an answer
(iii) bring a short paragraph of writing identifying the question you would like the group to consider in a future session
participants: Kevin Atherton, Mick Wilson, Georgina Jackson, Gemma Tipton, Clodagh Emoe, Mhairi Sutherland (distance) Isobel Harbison (distance)
Report: The challenge of an enquiry-based approach to dialogue was discussed. The preponderence of discursive practices and event formats in contemporary art was noted and queried. The potential backlash against a politicised rhetoric in some curatorial discourse was discussed with particular reference to the Guangzhou Triennial text on post-colonialism and the proposed 'restrictive' imposition of 'political-correctness'. An example of a discursive mode of curatorial practice, rooted in a specific 'enquiry' was cited in the www.becomingdutch.com
It was proposed that an interesting exercise would be to root the next seminar conversation in the discussion of a specific project.
- Weds 1/10/08
'Non-Knowledge' exhibition at Project Arts Centre (ending 11th Oct) curated by Tessa Giblin
What is the relationship between the curatorial proposition and the exhibition?
Participants are invited to prepare a 3 minute oral response.
Participants are also invited to suggest other materials that might be used to frame a response to this question.
Report: The discussion focused on the specific model at work in the non-knowledge project. As the conversation evolved the competing expectations set in play by thematic presentation of works were explored: ranging across issues of the curator as co-instigator and/or co-producer and/or mediator and/or constructor of public(s) and/or... ; the distribution of agency across different roles and professional identities in the construction of meaning, value and interrelationship; the work as always necessarily incompletely disclosed within these transactions etc.
- Weds 15/10/08
Based on the discussion of the 'non-knowledge' project, and the claims for and against a 'cognitive' and 'public knowledge' dimension to the work of the curator, the group have decided to address the question of the public intellectual in general and the various possible roles of artists, curators and critics with respect to the construct 'public intellectual'
Walter Benjamin (1937) 'The Artist as Producer'
Simon Sheikh (2004 )'Representation, contestation and power - the artist as public intellectual'
Okwui Enwezor (2004) ' The Artist as Producer in Times of Crisis'
İleti, Curator as producer. An interview that might be of interest for next week's seminar. http://www.artlies.org/article.php?id=1659&issue=59&s=0
- Weds 29/10/08
The discussion commenced around the question of the artist and/or the curator as 'public intellectuals.' This conversation evolved to address questions of 'criticism and agency.' An important function of this discussion was to overcome a tendency to simply posit a binary of artist/curator as equivalent to client/agent or dis-empowered/empowered.
- Weds 12/11/08
Following from our discussion on questions of criticism and the potential for agency and resonance, please find the link to the Gerard Raunig text on critique:
As a compliment to this, a text by Charles Esche on the role of art and its institutions as spaces for thought has been proposed:
Isobel Harbison, an Irish curator based in London and recent graduate of the Goldmsith's course in curating will be discussing a project entitled The Red Line A Curatorial Miscellany.
- Weds 26/11/08
Further to our discussions on Wednesday around raising questions and questions of critique and institutional critique, to continue our investigations we have proposed to read the two sections ('Is curating caring?' and 'Is curating still caring?') in The Red Line: A Curatorial Miscellany by IM Press. (See Georgina's email 17/11/08.)
The other reading is a critical text by Alex Farquaharson on 'New Institutionalism' published in Frieze magazine in 2006, here is the link:
The other text on this subject is Claire Doherty's New Institutionalism which refers to Esche's text on the role of Art Centres. (See email 17/11/08.)
As we discussed it would be useful to consider examples as we weave through a number of different issues.
- Weds 17/12/08
Georgina Jackson and Kevin Atherton will be attending an exhibition and conference in New York on the 10th: Nameless Science therefore the next meeting is scheduled for the 17th December at 2pm.
At this meeting we will discuss the programme for the next few months. As we agreed each member of the group is to propose one project, exhibition or artwork which has taken place or was made in the last two years to be discussed at the following seminars. Through this discussion on the 17th we will map the schedule of seminars and subjects for the next few months.
We also discussed the possibility of holding a seminar or developing a discussion to take place (potentially in Vienna) at the end of January. We will have confirmation of dates by the 17th so we will discuss this in more detail.
Finally, as we mentioned a number of useful websites during our discussion..... the links are below:
This is an organisation run by Anton Vidolke (a russian New York based artist and curator) who was also involved in setting up Unitednationsplaza in Berlin after the failed Manifesta 6. There are three different email subscriptions you can make to e-flux, art & education and art & event. I think it's useful to have all three.
There is an e-bulletin that is sent out once or twice a week with information on openings, commissions, projects and awards.