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Research presentations on Exhibition Studies – 24 March

Paulo Nazareth, Noticias de America [News from the Americas], 2011–12 (Michelle Sommer)

Paulo Nazareth, Noticias de America [News from the Americas], 2011–12 (Michelle Sommer)

Tuesday 24 March 2015
Time: 10am to 1pm
Venue: CSM, Room KX D119

Presentations by 3 members of staff/visiting scholars:

Erika Tan (4D Pathway tutor at Central Saint Martins) will speak about her current research for her next film, focusing on ‘minor exhibition histories’ through the figure of a forgotten Malay weave/performer within the Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924.

Maria Iñigo Clavo (visiting research fellow in Exhibition Studies, from the University of São Paulo) will reflect on how to display history. What happens when you rub a work of contemporary art up against one from the colonial era, or against an ethnographic artefact?

Michelle Sommer (visiting PhD candidate in Exhibition Studies, from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) will speak about her current research into contemporary practices of ‘errancy’ in Brazilian art, reflecting on artistic proposals for which being in motion is a fundamental condition. The leading question is: how to exhibit an art that escapes the frame of an exhibition, or how is it possible to write new exhibition narratives to discuss these artworks?

Places are limited, so please contact Dr Lucy Steeds if you are interested in attending:

Email: l.steeds@csm.arts.ac.uk

Further information about the CSM Research Group: Exibition Histories Practices.

Hammad Nasar: Navigating the Afterlife of ‘The Other Story’ – 14 April

Cover of the exhibition catalogue for ‘The Other Story’, Hayward Gallery, 1989

Cover of the exhibition catalogue for ‘The Other Story’, Hayward Gallery, 1989

Tuesday 14 April 2015
Time: 10am to 12.30
Venue: CSM, Room KX D107

A presentation by Hammad Nasar.

Tate Britain’s exhibition ‘Migrations: Journeys into British Art’ (2012) can be seen as an attempt to map the impact of immigrant artists on the landscape of ‘British’ art over the past 500 years. It can also be positioned as an effort to productively complicate the ‘Britain’ in Tate Britain. But if we sharpen our focus to one of the nine galleries covering different eras that comprised the exhibition, it can be read as a partial restaging of the Hayward Gallery’s ‘The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Post-war Britain’ (1989).

‘The Other Story’ – Rasheed Araeen’s polemical intervention – is among the small number of historically significant exhibitions in 1989 that have collectively shaped a new geography of contemporary art. But I do not see ‘Migrations’ as an example of the de rigueur reconstruction of key exhibitions. I see it, instead, as an inadvertent restaging: compelled, as if by a ghost, to address questions that have been left unanswered.

Based on access to Araeen’s personal archives, this paper begins a longer-term inquiry into how the artworks, and the discourses they were embedded in, changed during the 23 years it took them to move from the South Bank to Milbank. It also asks, through specific examples based on recent exhibitions in Asia, if migration ‘into British Art’ is matched by an emigration out of other places? Where does British art history intercept with that of Pakistan, the Philippines, or Taiwan?

Places are limited, so please contact Dr Lucy Steeds if you are interested in attending:

Email: l.steeds@csm.arts.ac.uk

Further information about the CSM Research Group: Exibition Histories Practices.

Meet Mette Sterre

Mette Sterre, MA Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins, is another of our fabulous alumni to be selected for the Catlin Guide 2015. Here she talks about how her time at CSM and her unique performance art…

Mette Sterre: Crystal Mette & the Fictions

Mette Sterre: Crystal Mette & the Fictions

Why were you drawn to Performance Design? And what made you want to move to London, and particularly CSM to study?
I’ve always been in love with London, ever since I was five years old I knew I had to be here. Roaming the streets with my parents when I was 12, I knew it wasn’t just my imagination. I did my BA in fine Art in Rotterdam and started to do performances whilst studying, encouraged by one of my tutors ten years ago. I knew I wanted to a masters abroad and I knew I always wanted to live in London. I also knew I wanted to understand and learn from the history of theatre, be conscious of its discourses and so luckily I ended up at Central Saint Martins. I had a bit of sidewinding in the road that brought me here, but thank God my mama taught me perseverance.

Describe your time at Central Saint Martins in three words…
crazy sexy cool, no just kidding: challenging privileged and enlightening

Would you recommend the course?
Yes, definitely, you can do what you want with the support of peers and the amazing staff in the workshops, and your tutors (of course). I understood and was able to apply new knowledge to my practice but also understand so much better how we construct reality through our belief systems.

Tell us about your work?
My work deals with the grotesque; the world of topsy-turvy, the paradox and the uncanny.  I make sculptural costumes on which I base a narrative and create a performance.
Like a Dr. Frankenstein, I sew body parts together, creating new forms of living beings in the forms of sculptural costumes. I’m interested in distorting the human contours. By the de-identification of the human body I question the stigmatisation of “the other” and the social construction of identity.
My work critiques on contemporary culture; I’m inspired by fiobinacci patterns in nature, the notion of animism, artifice and horror movies.
I’m super happy if my audience experiences uncanniness and doesn’t know how to define whether the creatures I make are human or not.

Hummerman, Credit: Lovis Ostenrik

Hummerman, Credit: Lovis Ostenrik

How do you think being selected for the Catlin guide will benefit you?
It’s amazing to be part of this great selection of artists and to get the thumbs up by the selection committee. I hope I’ll be able to reach more potential collaborators, audience members and interesting places to make new projects with and in.

What are your plans for the next few years?
I hope to make a new theatre production in which I want to work together with a dance group and musicians; collaboration, make music videos, travel, expand and get back into drawing and photography. Develop tools to create my costumes more rapidly or get some assistants. Grow as an artist, learn to explore and develop. Open up a design studio possibly maybe.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The bible/lifelineguide of my life is Baz Luhrman’s song “everybody’s free to wear sunscreen”, I try to live by this song. Recently I also got this great piece of advice which was “you may have missed the past but the future belongs to you” which is also a pretty good one.

Where do you live? And what are your favourite hangouts?
I’m currently a true European citizen, travelling from one place to another and I am in the super position to have two bases; London and Rotterdam. I love the Wellcome collection library, it might sound a bit dull but I just lalala-love books. In Rotterdam it probably would be the Koffie Lokaal, great coffee and interior.

You can see more of Mette’s work on her website 

Find out more about MA Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins

TFRC and CSM Research sponsors: Studio Houndstooth launch of The Houndstooth Project

Studio Houndstooth

Studio Houndstooth launches The Houndstooth Project – a serious play, ludic, egalitarian project, which uses the well-recognised, houndstooth textile motif as the starting point for a public engagement making project for everyone and anyone as either individuals or as collaborators, using any media or approach, actual or virtual.

The launch will be a workshop to make freely with a range of materials and also provide the opportunity for participants to make links and to seek future collaboration and co-design relationships.

Date: 29  January 2015
Venue: The Crossing, CSM, Kings Cross
Time: Drop in anytime between 10.30am -5.30pm
Materials: All materials provided

www.thehoundstoothproject.com

Sponsors: CSM Research and Textile Futures Research Centre

PhD researcher, Idit Nathan talks about her current show at Standpoint Gallery

02_idit-nathan  01_idit-nathan

The exhibition FOOTNOTES PLAYING DEAD is Idit Elia Nathan’s (PhD candidate at CSM) first solo show. It opened at Standpoint Gallery in London on the 15th January and will run till 14th Feb 2015.

Footnotes Playing Dead is the culmination of 5 years of practice-based research titled Art of Play in Zones of Conflict, which explores the intersections between the seemingly unrelated phenomenons of play and conflict.

The exhibition title takes its cue from the opening lines of Günter Grass’ famously controversial poem What Must Be Said, which considers personal and collective responsibilities in times of adversity and interminable conflict. The title also reflects on children’s games and certain theatrical demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza as well as more recently here in London, where people pretend to be dead in order to highlight the way in which children and innocent civilians are targeted by one of the most powerful armies in the world.

Tell us about the work you are showing in Footnotes Playing Dead and why did you choose this work?

The artworks are all playful and interactive because I wanted to create participatory experiences in which the viewers are invited to “play with” and explore for themselves the complexities of conflicts, which as stated by Artist Simon Leung

‘…even if we do not live under the direct threat of war’s violence, we understand ourselves in relationship to the state-sanctioned killing of others, elsewhere, in our time, and at times in our name’.

I included three projects which are central to my research and which I wanted to concentrate in one space. For example Seven Walks in a Holy City which explores Jerusalem, the city I grew up and left more than twenty years ago is explored through walks of varying length, thematic foci and staring points, all determined by cards and dice. Following the walks I produced seven series of postcards, which are on display and available for purchase. Another project called Hegemonopoly/Machsompoly is an adaptation of the classic monopoly game to reflect on the landscape of Israel Palestine with its wealth of settlements as well as checkpoints and where freedom of movement and restrictions on it are not equal to all, as those playing in the gallery soon find out. In Painting the City Golden or a Leaf from Tansy’s Book the gallery visitors are invited to ‘colour in’ their own version of one of the city’s most iconic tourist sites.

There are other games such as a triptych of HAND MADE MEMORY GAMES where all the cards are made out of black and white photos from different parts of the world as well as from a variety of historical times with subject matters ranging from Aerial Bombs in the first to Checkpoints and Refugees inthe second and third, making it tricky to win. And there is my first inkjet print Invisible Cities Series, No. 1 and my first artists book Please watch ur head, published with marmalade publishers of visual culture so its a very varied show.

It has been particularly interesting to get all the artworks of recent years into one space and it was great to site the work at Standpoint gallery, with its intimate and evocative features such as the lift with its heavy metal mesh doors. The opening event included a raffle of postcard paintings which will be sent out to the winners once the show comes down. So far I have had some excellent feedback and with two discussion events planned it promises to be a busy and interesting month for me.

Why did you choose CSM for your PhD studies, and how did you find the experience? (how has studying for a PhD developed your work)

When I started considering the possibility of embarking on a research project to contextuaise work that was loosely tied together a friend pointed me in the direction of my now supervisors Pam Skelton and Professor Anne Tallantire. I knew and admired their work and was delsighted when they offered me a place. They were then joined by Caterina Albano and I now have an amazing team of supervisors, each contributing from their own perspective so its proved to be a very rich experience so far. There is no doubt that the research has impacted positively on the work I have made in ways that I am still in the process of reflecting on and I hope will be articulated in the thesis itself. It seems to have made me more reflective and I’d like to think a better writer too. In terms of the work produced I think it has benefited from the contextual research and hopefully become richer and more rigorous.

How do you juggle being a PhD student and practitioner?

It is a challenge and I have given up on trying to find the perfect balance – it just doesn’t exist. Some weeks/months are dedicated to making work and others to writing and the word juggling is the right one in this context. I make work, sometimes relating to the thesis, at others less so, and then it feels like I will never manage to write about it or get back to the thesis and then it can be quite the opposite – making the work – means that some of the thoughts fall much more easily onto the page and find their way into the thesis. As fluxus’ score says ‘you never quite know.’

For further information: