Guest Speaker: Grant Kester in conversation with Rhiannon Jones
Grant Kester is professor of art history in the Visual Arts department at the University of California, San Diego and the founding editor of FIELD: A Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism. His publications include Art, Activism and Oppositionality: Essays from Afterimage (Duke University Press, 1998), Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art (University of California Press, 2004, second edition in 2013) and The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context (Duke University Press, 2011). He has recently completed work on Collective Situations: Dialogues in Contemporary Latin American Art 1995-2010, an anthology of writings by art collectives working in Latin America produced in collaboration with Bill Kelley, which is under contract with Duke University Press.
Panel One: Linguistic Hospitality – Fucking Good Art, Rachel Marsden and Heather Connelly
This panel will discuss translation as a dialogic, communicative act which brings different cultures, languages and in contact with one another. It will consider why artists and curators chose to work interculturally; how they do this – though different dialogic practices; and what can be gained in translation (conceptualised as a dialogic act), in working across linguistic boundaries.
Robert Hamelijnck and Nienke Terpsma aka Fucking Good Art (FGA) (Rotterdam)
Rob Hamelijnck and Nienke Terpsmare describe themselves as artists and non-academic free-style researchers, they are best known as the editors of the fanzine Fucking Good Art (FGA) that they founded in 2003. They initiate critical conversations, internationally, with various artists, critics and curators to create a dialogue about ‘localised’ national art related issues – recent editions include Art in the Age of Berlusconi, The Countryside Issue on ‘explorations of contemporary art at the periphery, beyond the hubbub of Europe’s cultural centres of London, Paris, Milan and Berlin.’ and It’s Playtime for PLAY TIME: Les Ateliers de Rennes – contemporary art biennale, 2014. Heather has invited Hamelijnck and Terpsma have been invited to show their work, discuss their dialogic practice and reflect upon how their practice has changed/was influenced by InDialogue 2012.
Rachel Marsden is a curator, art consultant, PhD researcher, arts and culture writer, and avid blogger in the field of East Asian and Chinese contemporary visual culture, living between UK and Shanghai (China). In January 2014, she founded ‘The Temporary’, a new transcultural exchange platform examining “temporary” and ephemeral experience in art, architecture, design, music, sound, performance and culture between the UK and China. Rachel will discuss the notion of “transcultural” curators and “transcultural” curatorial practice and her experience of living, curating in China and the UK, highlighting specific issues that have arisen, screen examples of some of the contemporary artists that she has been working with, that focus upon language and communication.
Rachel is also Coordinator (part-time) for the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) (Birmingham (UK) and China) and worked as Research Curator (October 2012-April 2014) for the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (UK). She has also gained experience in galleries including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA), Today Art Museum (Beijing, China), Wolverhampton Art Gallery (Wolverhampton, UK), New Art Exchange (Nottingham, UK) and Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, UK).
Panel Two: The Performative Conversation – John Newling and Rhiannon Jones
…At a time when many ideologies have all but blown themselves out; when meaning seems to have become meaningless in a strangely nihilistic void; when, in our sophistication, we find as our ancestors did that we are fearful of the unpredictability of nature; when knowledge as causality seems to become increasingly predetermined; it seems important that we experience, see and partake in art projects of all kinds so as to better construct a lasting conversation that , partially, constructs antidotes to our troubled selves. …John Newling
John Newling was born in Birmingham in 1952 and has an acclaimed international reputation creating projects and installing works in the UK and many other countries.
Nottingham-based, John Newling is a pioneer of public art with a social purpose. His works explore the natural world and the social and economic systems of society – such as money or religion. To this end Newling has innovated the possibilities and benefits for art in a renewed social and conceptual framework. He belongs to a generation of artists whose work evolved from Conceptual Art, Land Art and Arte Povera – art movements occurring during the 1960s that placed emphasis on the concept, process and site of the work, alongside material and aesthetic properties.
During his time in America (1985), as the first recipient of a Fulbright fellowship in visual arts, Newling produced works in hotels, swimming pools, burnt out cars, sales of memorabilia and on the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and New York. This experience marked the beginning of his enduring interest in notions of Place both in terms of cartography and context. This has generated many works over the following decades both gallery based and site specific.
Reviews and critiques of his work have been included in, amongst others, Sculpture in 20th – Century Britain (Henry Moore Institute), Installation art in the new millennium: The empire of the senses (Thames and Hudson) and Leavingtracks: artranspennine98 (artranspennine98).
Monographs on his work include The Sacred and The Mundane, Currency and Belief, Stamping Uncertainty, Westonbirt Wishes, Chatham Vines and An essential disorientation. In 2005 a double volume monograph of his research essays from 1994 to 2005 was also published. Most recently a comprehensive monograph (Spinning) was published to coincide with his first survey exhibition, Ecologies of Value at Nottingham Contemporary 2013.
Panel Three: Politics of participation – In conversation with Janna Graham, Gary Anderson, Lorena Rivero de Beer and Rebecca Beinart
A conversation with Janna Graham, Gary Anderson and Lorena Rivero de Beer on questions of power, inclusion/ exclusion, and agendas behind socially engaged, public and participatory artwork – and examples of projects that activate these questions, and make space for different kinds of dialogue or resistance.
Originally trained as a Geographer, Janna Graham has initiated and collaborated on a number of pedagogical, artistic and research projects in and outside of the arts. She is currently Projects Curator at the Serpentine Gallery, where she works with others to create the Centre for Possible Studies, an artistic residency, research space and popular education programme in the Edgware Road neighbourhood of London, where artists and local people develop ‘studies of the possible’ in response to social inequalities of urban space. At Serpentine she has also developed the project Skills Exchange: Urban Transformation and the Politics of Care, a three year programme of artists working in the context of elderly care culminating in the recently published Art+Care: a Future. She has been an educator, researcher and curator at institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Whitechapel Gallery (London), Vanabbemuseum (Eindehoven), Plymouth Art Centre (Plymouth). Graham is a member of 12 person international sound and political collective Ultra-red and a phd candidate at Goldsmiths.
Gary Anderson (with Lena Simic and their four children) has coordinated the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home since 2007. This family-run initiative looks to intervene in the capitalism of culture by creating and living-out joyous alternatives. It is funded by 10% of all monies that come through the six members, including university salaries and child benefit. Gary also coordinated, with a wider non-blood related family, the Free University of Liverpool from 2010 to 2013 and the Liverpool Anarchist Communist Sunday School – the central question of which (for Gary) was formulated by Lorena Rivero de Beer ‘How do you grow an anarchist?’
Lorena Rivero de Beer
Lorena Rivero de Beer is a performance artist, activist and producer born in Spain. She moved to England in 2003 and she is currently based in Liverpool. Her work questions her relationship with power and the power relationship around her, how do we perceive the world and what’s the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Through her work she strives to generate experiences that encourages us to look and experience the ‘other’, promote autonomy, help us to cross borders and to understand our position in the world.
Alongside with her solo and collaborative performance practice Lorena co-runs Tuebrook Transnational, a grass roots arts organisation based in North Liverpool, where she lives, that looks for innovative ways of social engagement and of creating networks with other local residents. She is also part of different creative and activist networks. She is a founder member of The Free University of Liverpool and The Politics and Aesthetic Reading Group. She is a member of Factory Floor a creative network for women performers and writers and a collaborator of the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.