Category Archives: Talks

No One Driving (Redux) at Performing Art History

performing research: Art history not for publicationA conference organised by the Performing Art History Special Interest Group
Friday 6 May 201112.00 -18.15, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Speaker(s): Thomas Ardill (Tate), Emma Cheatle (University College London), Diana Cheng (McGill University, School of Architecture), James Day (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Martin Hammer (University of Edinburgh), Jim Harris (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Jack Hartnell (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Becky Hunter (University of York), Ayla Lepine (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Maria Loh (University College London), Carol Mavor (University of Manchester), Nicola Moorby (Tate), Neil Mulholland (Edinburgh College of Art), Michelle Rumney (Independent artist), Katie Scott (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Julian Stallabrass (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission, but please book in advance, preferably by 12 noon Wednesday 4 May

Organised by: Jack Hartnell with Dr Katie Scott (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Whilst the methodologies of art history have been subjected to radical critique and constant renewal since the 1970s, our conceptualisation of research aims and our expression of research outcomes have remained remarkably limited, static, and conventional.

In an attempt to address this imbalance, Performing Research will look beyond traditional methods of delivering art history, reaffirming the live lecture as a unique moment to communicate the wide-ranging subjects of the discipline in ways that redirect attention from theory in the abstract to the media and practices of art history.

Through the innovative use of image, text, sound, film, performance, and digital technologies, the papers will begin to redraw the parameters of art history through the media in which it is embedded. Showcasing radical and self-conscious experimentation with instruments of presentation that are already extending the discipline, the conference allows dynamic new relationships to emerge between the ways of presenting information and that information itself.

S1 Assembly, Sheffield on Saturday 5th February 2011

Tayto et Tayto, Dialogue (2005)

I am giving a talk entitled ‘Co-op, Co-opt Coup?’ at S1 Assembly, Sheffield on Saturday 5th February 2011.

S1 Assembly

11.30 – 12.00. Open studios, viewing of FIFTEEN exhibition, coffee.
12.00 – Introduction: Emma Cocker and Charlotte Morgan


WHY/WHAT/HOW artist led spaces.

12.15 Presentation by Neil Mulholland.

COMING OF AGE –how to move on without settling down.

12.45 Candice Jacobs, Robin Kirkham, Julie Westerman.

13.30 Panel discussion with Candice Jacobs, Robin Kirkham, Julie Westerman, Neil Mulholland.

2.00 – 2.45. Lunch and viewing of temporary archive of material contributed by artist-led groups and organizations.

2.45 – Chair: Introduction.



3.00 Presentation by Rebecca Fortnum

3.30 Panel discussion with Jim Prevett, Haroon Mirza, Charlotte A Morgan, Thom O’Nions and Rebecca Fortnum with input from studio holders.

4.15 – 4.30 Coffee and cake.



4.30 – 5.10 Profiles of Tether, The Royal Standard, The Woodmill, Reactor.

5.10. Presentation by Jim Shorthose.

5.30. Questions, issues, points of discussion, provocations: Andy Abbott, Megan Wakefield.


6.00. Plenary audience discussion:

6.30. Informal screening.

FIFTEEN is a group exhibition marking 15 years of S1 Artspace

kate allen – simon + tom bloor – theo burt – ross chisholm – chris clarke – katie davies – sean edwards – josephine flynn – babak ghazi – tommy grace – jerome harrington – steve hawley – paul housley – george henry longly – duncan marquiss – haroon mirza – ryan mosely – emily musgrave – steve dutton + percy peacock – james pyman – james richards – florian roithmayr – giles round – matthew smith – sarah staton – graeme stonehouse – shaan syed – rosanna traina – nicole wermers – julie westerman – katy woods

Curated by Louise Hutchinson and George Henry Longly

Inhabiting any new premises requires its potential occupant to conduct a survey and inspection of the building to test its condition and value. For an artist-led space, this survey involves more than an assessment of bricks and mortar, it has to be tested in other ways. To mark the inauguration of its new premises and the occasion of its 15 year anniversary, S1 Artspace has invited over 30 artists to survey its new space, to test it out according to the criteria of their specific practices.

The exhibiting artists have already played a key part in S1’s history, they include previous and current studio holders as well as artists who have contributed towards S1’s programme over the last 15 years. The exhibition attempts to address the notion of the survey show: it is not an occasion of looking backwards, a retrospective survey that simply attempts to celebrate what has already been. Rather, the exhibition itself is presented a s a testing space, where selected artists have been invited (back) based on their capacity to both reflect and test out key concerns and issues considered intrinsic to S1’s programming (past, present and future).

Some works act as support structures for presenting the work of other artists, elsewhere collaborative approaches are made more central, where the line between individual and collective practice is wilfully blurred. The critical concerns of the exhibition (and issues relating to artist-led activity more broadly) will be further addressed through a series of talks, panel discussions and events, collectively entitled S1 Assembly. Together the exhibition and events programme operate both as a survey of S1’s (past) activity and for surveying its new premises and the potential therein; where the past is drawn upon as a way to test the conditions of the present, as a point of provocation against which to develop and debate possibilities for future action.

LGP Art Theory Course (1968-72) Symposium – 18th November 2010

LGP Art Theory Course (1968-72) Symposium – 18th November 2010

Old Skool


LGP are organising a symposium of leading academics, artists, curators and writers to analyse the echoes of events at CSAD 1968 – 72 and look at current art educational practice and the perceived systematised failures and/or successes. It will examine the role that the regional art education institution played in the art education narrative and its significance to the wider counter culture of the 70s. In the late sixties and early seventies, CSAD held a vital subset of staff and students who together were responsible for formidable critical opposition to the art education model’s perceived compliance with the market definition of the art object and its reliance on the centrality of the author.

The Art and Language collective’s critical agenda was to shift focus beyond the material paradigm and to construct an education capable of reflecting and promoting conceptual practice. The 70s administration of CSAD repelled this self conscious overturn of the traditional material/author-centric regime. This unyielding stand, common through regional art schools at that time, created a network of opposing force which became part of the wider counter culture of the decade.

The symposium will look at the significant role that regional art schools played in the art education narrative and examine how, if at all, the art education institution can function as a site of self-organisation, agitation and change. It will be held at the Herbert and free to attend.


Terry Atkinson, Artist and Founder of Art and Language.

Neil Mulholland, Associate Head, School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art.

Simon Bell, Senior Lecturer Design and Visual Arts, CSAD.

Neil Cummings, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Art, University of the Arts London.

Francis McKee, Curator, Writer and Director of Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow

Lisa Tickner, Professor, Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

John Reardon, Founder of Artschool UK and Lecturer in Politics, Goldsmiths

Annie Fletcher, Independent Art Critic and Curator.

The proceedings and papers from the symposium, along with a reflective article by the chair Professor Steve Dutton, will be published in January 2011 and be distributed world-wide to major and marginal educational establishments, art galleries, museums and public libraries. It will take the format of a free newspaper.

LGP, in collaboration with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, is presenting a solo exhibition of David Rushton’s eclectic body of work. Rushton was solidly involved in the conceptual Art and Language movement both as a student at Coventry School of Art in the early seventies and beyond. His art practice is infused with the radical politics of that time and this root focus has been transmitted through various politically committed disciplines; local television, trade unionism, social activism and education.

The exhibition is purposefully divided between both sites. LGP’s curatorial focus is art and education. Rushton has been working with CSAD students to restage a work he did as a student at CSAD in 1970. The work is a replica of a Robert Morris soft-form felt cutting piece that he produced as an alternative to writing an artist biography for an art history assessment. It was a statement about authorship and the dematerialisation of the art object, as well as a pointed comment towards the institution’s staid imposition of the separation between art theory and the art object. The Morris project is one example, of many, of an internal intervention Rushton and his peers undertook to address the educational objectives of the art school. The sense of agency or agitation didn’t transfer to the contemporary students and we thought this was symptomatic of the wider crisis in art education.

Alongside the historical interventions and contemporary re-appropriations, LGP will display select titles from Rushton’s collection of UK art student magazines, critique and journals from 1969 – 79. These publications reflect a period of significant administrative change to the management structure of UK art schools and the insurgent artist-collective and self-organisation initiatives that this triggered in defence. By distributing it through other regional art schools where similar struggles for a theoretical practice were taking place, they created a dynamic and robust network of students, resistant to the traditional modes of teaching and keen to share their collective intellectual enquiry. The content in this material was of significant conceptual consequence and became an integral part of the wider counter culture of the 70’s. As well as having intense localised influence, the distributing network they established meant that the content was a great force of agitation, and eventually of consequence, to the prevailing system.

Coventry and other marginal non-metropolitan places that contributed to these publications played a major role in the development of the art education narrative and harnessed a student-led coalition which linked localised but shared ideals to create a significant movement across the UK.

Slides from State of Play

Venice: The State of Scottish Art

I’m in the process of editing some of the ideas in this talk for Gerry Hassan’s forthcoming book on Self-Determination. As Gerry says: “The aim of the book is a political and cultural one; in some small way – shifting the debate in Scotland and shifting how we think about power; while also contextualising Scotland in a wider environment – with a series of international conversations.” A pre-publication conference will be held at Strathclyde University, Glasgow in November.

State of Play: Art and Culture in Scotland Today

Saturday 09 October 10am-5pm 2010

(Registration & refreshments 9.15am)

Gilmorehill Centre University of Glasgow

9 University Avenue Glasgow G12 8QQ

Tickets £10 Concessions £5

Ainsley, Harding and Moffat, aka AHM are in the second year of their Glasgow Sculpture Studios (GSS) Research Residency.

AHM will present State of Play: Art and Culture in Scotland Today their first of three symposia to be delivered over two years in different locations across Scotland; providing a forum to examine the significance of art and culture for society today. At this first symposium there will be four keynote presentations by Christine Borland, Dr. Neil Mulholland, Prof. Philip Schlesinger and AHM. Chaired by David Harding

The symposium will begin with a dynamic 30 minute performance of spoken one minute personal manifestos by a wide range of artists that include Ruth Barker, Justin Carter, Dalziel & Scullion, Ellie Harrison, JD Hollingshead, Peter McCaughey, Shauna McMullan and Jonathan Monk.


Christine Borlandtrained at The Glasgow School of Art and University of Ulster, Belfast. She was short listed for the 1997 Turner Prize and was a NESTA Creative Fellow from 2006 – 2009 and an Academic Researcher at The Glasgow School of Art until spring of this year.

Her work has been shown internationally in numerous museums and large-scale exhibitions including the Centre for Contemporary Art of South Australia, Kunstverein Munich, Germany, the Fabric Workshop & Museum, Philadelphia, ICA London and at the Lyon Biennial, Manifesta 2, Venice Biennale and Munster Skulpturen Projekte 3.

Dr. Neil Mulholland is a writer, curator and artist. Mulholland read History of Art and English Literature at the University of Glasgow (MA 1995, PhD 1998). He is currently Associate Head of the School of Art, Head of Postgraduate Contemporary Art Practice and Theory programmes and a Reader at Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland. Neil writes regularly for the art press and a range of academic journals. He has recently co-curated two projects as part of the Confraternity of Neoflagellants.

Prof. Philip Schlesinger is the Chair for Cultural Policy at the University of Glasgow and Academic Director of the Centre for Cultural Policy Research. Schlesinger has held a number of different posts, including a Jean Monnet Fellowship at the European University Institute. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE and at the Sorbonne.

Schlesinger has been a member of many committees and a board member of a range of organisations including Scottish Screen.He is joint editor of the academic journal Media, Culture and Society and a frequent contributor to various books and journals. He has led a variety of consultancy and research projects including work for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Arts Council.

Sam Ainsley is an artist and teacher. From 1985-1991 she taught on the Environmental Art Course at Glasgow School of Art. She co-founded the Master of Fine Art course and was the programme Director from its inception until 2006. A respected and published spokeswoman for the visual arts Ainsley has contributed to a broad range of visual art initiatives in Scotland serving as a Board member on The Scottish Sculpture Trust and The Arts Trust of Scotland amongst others. Ainsley has exhibited in and curated independent exhibitions in numerous institutions and arts organisations across the USA, Australasia, Europe and the UK. Her work is in a number of public and private collections nationally and internationally.

David Harding was Town Artist in Glenrothes from 1968 going on to teach at Dartington College of Arts in 1978. He was appointed Head of the new Environmental Art Course at Glasgow School of Art in 1985. Teaching the course for over fifteen years he is, with Ainsley, widely credited with its international acclaim. He has written numerous articles and lectured internationally on public art and education in contextual art practice, and is an influential commentator and consultant on public art.

Sandy Moffat emerged as one of the Scottish Realist Painters. From 1979 Moffat taught at Glasgow School of Art where he was Head of Painting from 1992 to 2005 and where he encouraged a new generation of figurative painters including Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Adrian Wiszniewski and Steven Campbell. His work is represented in many public collections including the Pushkin Museum Moscow and the Yale Center for British Art USA.

Further Information

To book a place please contact Glasgow Sculpture Studios on 0141 204 1740 or via

For the full biographies of each speaker and the schedule of events for the day please contact

More information on this event can also be found at

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Dancing Borders Panel Discussion

Dancing Borders Panel Discussion: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, 17 Sept, 14:00-16:00

This discussion will celebrate the launch of the latest video work Dancing Borders by artists Zoe Walker & Neil Bromwich, premiering at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, screening from 15th – 19th Sept. The Dancing Borders Panel Discussion will focus on cross-disciplinary and collaborative practice, looking at ways in which creative practice can respond to the context of site to re-invent histories, and examine the potential for this type of expansive practice to act as a catalyst for social transformation.

Dancing Borders is an ambitious cross-disciplinary project that uses dancing, ceremony and pollination to transform the psychology of place. Taking place in Berwick-upon-Tweed Dancing Borders marks the start of a collaborative process between artist duo Walker & Bromwich with Mobius Dance Theatre.

Panelists: Neil Mulholland (Associate Head of the School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art), Laura McLean-Ferris (Writer, Guardian, Art Review London), Zoe Walker & Neil Bromwich (Artists, UK), Henna-Riikka Halonen (Artist, Finland)

Event Schedule:
14:00–16.00 Panel Discussion in historic courtroom chambers in the Town Hall Berwick-Upon-Tweed, refreshments and discussion
11.00–17.30 View at your leisure, Dancing Boarders Video showing in Coxton Tower, and the Bath House by Henna-Riikka Halonen showing at the Prison Cells

The Dancing Borders Panel Discussion is supported by Newcastle University Intersections and Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival

Dancing Borders project is supported by: Arts Council England, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Maltings Theatre and Arts Centre, Northumberland County Council, Newcastle University Intersections

Photograph: Mark Pinder