As we await the arrival of summer the pandemic appears to be at bay, but only by giving way to new fronts of crisis, disinformation, struggle and resistance. Artists have been particularly impacted in the last two years and still reeling as we emerge into the new dystopian normal, so you’re not alone. Book a free advice session with Artquest One to One to discuss your practice and plans for the future – new dates in late May and early June will be posted soon.
The Summer 2022 Art+Critique online course starts on Saturday, 23 April and continues for 16 weeks until 6 August 2022. The course is popular beyond the London bubble and Covid is still creating some uncertainty, so there are no immediate plans for face-to-face courses. We have just wrapped up the Autumn/Winter 2021-22 course and it’s always sad when the regular meetings with a fantastic group of beaming faces come to an end. But we’re hatching a plan for follow-up sessions for alumni of the course. If that is you please stay tuned and I will be in touch with more info.
The Festival of Alternative Art Education is still postponed indefinitely for the time-being but I’m looking forward to restart the Co-operative art school? action-research project with an new strategy. If you have completed the co-operative art school survey please stay tuned for news and updates. If not then head over there and fill it in because I might finally have the chance to compile the report during the break. Hope you get some sun whether you’re taking time off or raging on 🐞
Free one-to-one remote advice sessions for London-based artists
Book a free Artquest one-to-one advice session to get feedback about your work, build a strategy for an upcoming project, get practical career advice, discuss the logistics of operating as an artist and find out about other arts organisations and how they can support you. New dates in late May and early June coming soon.
Critical & Contextual Studies in Art Practice Online, Summer 2022
This course integrates practice and theory to address our concepts of art, how they are being transformed and the problems of making and exhibiting art in the broader context of social conflict. The curriculum surveys essential histories and discourses of contemporary art, demystifies the art world and provides multiple entry points into critical theory. The lectures address the questions of what art is, how it is judged, how it relates to society and what is at stake for artists today. The programme fosters collaborative study and provides practical tools in workshops and group feedback sessions. 23 Apr – 6 Aug 2022, Saturdays 10:00-12:30 BST (GMT+1), for 16 weeks Course fee £360 / Concessions £288
For more information and to register please visit the course page. For detailed information on the schedule, lectures and reading please download the course outline. If the course fees are a barrier to your participation please get in touch so that we can find a way to make it more accessible for you.
It’s been a long hard slog but things are starting to look up with the easing of restrictions and a potential end in sight for Covid. In the meantime, if you’re feeling stuck or want to hatch some plans sign up for a free advice session with Artquest Outpost Online.
The next Art + Critique online course begins on Thu, 14 Oct 2021 and continues over two terms until 10 Mar 2022. I will continue to offer this course online to accommodate those who wish to participate from outside London and the UK. If you’re interested in a face-to-face course in London please stay tuned for updates when this becomes a viable option.
The Festival of Alternative Art Education is still postponed indefinitely due to restrictions on large indoor events, please stay tuned for updates and new dates when the events can go ahead.
I’m very excited to be working with Artquest to provide one-to-one advice sessions to answer your questions and provide feedback on your work. This is an opportunity to get practical career advice, discuss the logistics of operating as an artist, and find out more about other services and organisations that can help you navigate the art world in these unprecedented times. When booking you can select which advisor you would like to meet based on their areas of expertise. Each session lasts 45 minutes and is conducted on either Skype or Zoom. The sessions are very popular so you are asked to book one session per year. The regular advisors are not all available every month, so if the slots are booked up or if your chosen advisor isn’t available please try again the following month.
This course integrates practice and theory to address our concepts of art, how they are being transformed and the problems of making art in the broader context of social conflict. The syllabus will help you develop your practice and research in a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and off-site visits. The lectures series surveys the histories and discourses of contemporary art, demystifies the art world and provides multiple entry points into critical theory. The programme fosters experimentation and collaborative study in a community of peers, and provides practical tools to empower you to pursue your practice with confidence.
Course aims, outcomes & learning objectives
By the end of the course participants will have a sound grasp of the historical underpinnings and current debates in contemporary art. They will be able to critically discuss and evaluate contemporary art. Participants will leave the course with critical awareness of contemporary art practice, a road map and a toolbox of methodologies for their continuing practice and the confidence to pursue it independently.
Who is it for?
The course is open to everyone at any stage of their career or level 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.
Very excited to launch a new course! It combines almost a year’s worth of critical studies lectures and seminars, group tutorials and workshops into one term so it’s going to be pretty intense. Designed during the transition from lockdown to whatever it is we have now, it tries to make up for some of the community, context, interaction, challenge, motivation, freedom and future horizons that we lost in the last six months.
CRITICAL & CONTEXTUAL STUDIES IN ART PRACTICE: ONLINE COURSE
This course integrates practice and theory in a comprehensive programme that emphasises critical inquiry in art practice and research. The course will help you develop your practice and research through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, group tutorials and off-site visits. The syllabus offers a solid background in essential histories and discourses of contemporary art to help artists address questions about their practice and its context: about what art is, how it is judged and how it relates to society.
Spring 2016 was a busy time at ART&CRITIQUE! We launched two new events – the [GALLERY TOUR] and the [STUDIO CRIT]— and we hatched new plans. For more details please read on.
[SYMPOSIUM]#5 Latour: On Actor Network Theory, 11 March 2016
The discussion of Bruno Latour’s essay On Actor Network Theory (1990) was chaired by Johanna Kwiat. Johanna animated this difficult text and provided several imaginative routes into its many folds. She summed up the discussion by pointing out that “Latour invites us to think in terms of associations / connections, which don’t need to be qualified as ‘social’, ‘natural’, or ‘technological'”. For Johanna this has the consequence of unsettling “humans or/and human networks [from] their traditionally privileged position”, inviting us to “question the Cartesian legacy (modernism as we understand it), and that in itself is a bonus of reading this text”.
[GALLERYTOUR]#1 From Hoxton to Mile End, 19 March 2016
In March we launched the first [GALLERYTOUR] which took us from Hoxton to Mile End. We visited xero, kline & coma to see Chris Alton’s exhibition Under the Shade I Flourish. Blending fact and fiction in an installation comprised of video, posters, music and diagrams, Alton sets up a compelling account of the ill-fated blues-band Trident. The video documentary centres around the figure of Michael Ashcroft, the band’s manager and former Conservative party member, peer and tax exile who has been been at the centre of several political and financial controversies. The documentary chases up a series of ostensibly inconsequential clues in a futile attempt to solve the mysterious disappearance of the band members in the Bermuda Triangle, a metaphor for British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies that function as tax havens, a “cornerstone of institutional corruption worldwide”.* If you missed this exhibition you can see it at Lewisham Arthouse from 17-22 May 2016.
The next stop was Cell Project Space for Iain Ball’s installation Praseodymium Intracrine Signal Aggregate, the ninth in his Rare Earth Sculpture series. Ball’s installation engages with the paranoia induced by sustained surveillance. Despite the obvious connections that we were able to make, we couldn’t work out how the different components of the installation – the sculpture, the camera and the monitors – were interacting. The final stop on the tour was at Chisenhale Gallery to see Park McArthur’s exhibition Poly. This installation was composed of plinths along one side of the room bearing found objects that reference the body (condoms, latex gloves, oxygen masks, heel cushions, elbow braces). On the wall hung two sheets of paper soaked with super-absorbent polymer, electric heaters were placed around the edges of the room and three massive blocks of black acoustic foam were wedged into a corner. Like sarcophagi stored in a museum basement these monumental black blocks skewed our sense of balance in this rather empty room. The air felt dry, as though all the moist air was being sucked out by the black blocks. We were not sure whether this was a physical perception or a conceptual one. One of the plinths carried a stack of redacted photocopies of a letter notifying users of the closure of the Independent Living Fund. This was an uncomfortable place, it reminded us that the politics of austerity are having an unequal effect on society by targeting groups that are least able to resist.
[STUDIOCRIT]#1 Maria Christoforatou: Displacement, 20 March 2016
At the launch of the new [STUDIOCRIT] event series we explored concepts of displacement, home and the unhomely with Maria Christoforatou.
Maria’s work explores the emotional and physical dimensions of belonging via the concept of “home”, suggesting that ideas of home are nostalgically associated with imagined authenticity rather than lived experience. It is therefore a concern with identity that lies at the root of her project. To read more about Maria’s work and the studio crit please visit the event review or the event page.
Maria’s studio crit highlighted a common interest in the concepts of home, (dis)location, identity and urbanity so we’re on the lookout for a venue to organise an exhibition around these themes. If you’re interested in collaborating either as an artist, writer, curator or editor please get in touch.
If you would like to show your work at a Studio Crit from June 2016 onwards please visit the page to read the guidelines and get in touch with a preferred date so we can start planning. The Studio Crit is a good opportunity to set some goals for your work and it takes time to organise and promote, so we need to work towards it. The purpose of a studio crit is to visit an artist’s studio for a structured viewing and discussion of the work.
[SYMPOSIUM]#6 Duchamp: The Creative Act, 8 April 2016
On Friday 8 April we discussed Marcel Duchamp’s paper The Creative Act (1957). Many thanks to F.D. for chairing the discussion and Penelope Kupfer, who fulfilled the role of respondent.
F.D. contextualised the 1957 Convention of the American Federation of Arts where Duchamp delivered this paper, providing a great deal of intricate background information and a set of questions to facilitate the discussion. The discussion centred on questions relating to the role of the artist as “mediumistic being” in juxtaposition to the mediating role of the spectator who “brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications”. We discussed Duchamp’s use of the mysterious terms transubstantiation, transmutation, aestheticosmosis and especially his concept of the personal ‘art coefficient’.
Stephen Bennett made a diagram of how the ‘art coefficient’ works which helped us visualise the process. We wrapped up with responses to F.D.’s question on whether “found images can be considered readymades” by focusing on Pharmacie (1914). This is probably Duchamp’s first assisted readymade or appropriated found image, a technique that the Situationists would later call détournement.
Richard Burger and the Symposiastes at The Field Kitchen, 13 April 2016
On Wednesday 13 April, regular participants of the book club ran the Field Kitchen, a collaborative meal prepared every Wednesday evening at The Field, New Cross. Richard Burger cooked an exquisite pasta dish with peas, beans and sage, topped with pepper cheese and accompanied by a delicious home-made white wine from Greece.
Join us on Wednesdays for a home-cooked meal, catch up with some familiar faces, meet new people, help us cook and support this experimental community space. Food is served at 7:30pm, it’s pay what you can and the income goes towards expenses for the running and maintenance of the Field. If you would like to help out, setup is from 6pm and there’s always something to do until everything is cleared up at the end of the evening. You can also volunteer to cook by adding your name to the list on the wall.
[GALLERYTOUR]#2 From Whitechapel to Liverpool Street, 30 April 2016
On Saturday 30 April the group visited the Whitechapel to see Parallel I-IV, a video installation by Harun Farocki and Imprint 93, an exhibition of prints from the 1990s by then lesser-known contemporaries of the YBAs. The next and final stop was at Raven Row to see Channa Horwitz, a neglected and excluded artist in her own time. This exhibition has been compared to the current exhibition of a similarly neglected female artist, Hilma af Klint at the Serpentine.
We’re visiting the Serpentine next Saturday 14 May on [GALLERYTOUR]#3. But first up is [SYMPOSIUM]#7 on Friday 13 May where we will be discussing a review of Tate Triennial 3 (2006) by Brian Sewell. This session will be chaired by Richard Lloyd-Jones.
All [ART&CRITIQUE] events and free and inclusive so please feel free to invite your friends or bring them along. The London Event Calendar is jam-packed with exhibitions, events, courses and deadlines. Browse some of these below or follow [ART&CRITIQUE] on Twitter or Facebook for irregular event updates.
The STUDIO CRIT was an opportunity for artists, curators, designers, film-makers and other producers to present their work to an audience of peers for discussion and feedback. These events were free and open to everyone. Please scroll down for the guidelines and event archive.