Monthly Archives: November 2015

SNAP 2015: International Printmaking Symposium

Between 12 and 15 November 2015 the print association Druckvereinigung Bentlage e.V. held its third International Printmaking Symposium SNAP 2015 in cooperation with the cultural institution Kloster Bentlage gGmbH in Germany and the AKI ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands. The two previous symposia focused on the position of contemporary printmaking between traditional methods and the digital future, and the role of printmaking in the international art world. This symposium examined questions concerning the subject Kunstraum Druckgrafik: Printmaking in Other Forms of Art. Specifically, it addressed how various modes of expression in contemporary printmaking combine or overlap with other art disciplines, such as sculpture, painting, installation, film, paper art and laser cut. It also illustrated the increasing significance of the interaction of printmaking with other areas of art in fine art educational institutions in Europe and elsewhere. From a historical viewpoint, printmaking has always been a hybrid medium that has adapted to current technology. Printing was and remains a means of spreading ideas and information, and a catalyst for social change.

CCW Professor Paul Coldwell was invited to give the keynote, called Print, making and the work of art alone. ‘My paper  considered the relationship of print to the transmission of ideas through the multiple. This includes the changing role of the print studio and how artists are increasingly viewing print as an opportunity to produce work, which is distinct and resolved within the medium of print.’

Chelsea MA Fine Art 2013 alumna Tanja Engelberts was asked to participate at the Haus der Niederlande with two other artists from the Netherlands in one of the exhibitions linked to the SNAP symposium. She exhibited a work called Seance, which she made on the MA Fine Art course at Chelsea.

After she completed her degree, Engelberts won the Clifford Chance sculpture award, where she displayed the Island a work exploring escapism within a corporate architectural environment, while simultaneously investigating the relationship between sculpture and photographic imagery. A stipend for emerging artist from the Mondrian Fund (Dutch art council) enabled her to develop different projects including a residency at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming USA, a commissioned work for Scheveningen prison commemorating its second world war history and various group and solo exhibitions.

Currently Tanja Engelberts lives and works in the The Hague NL, where she is preparing an expedition to a North Sea drilling site in order to research the economic, ecologic and human presence on a seemingly empty space.

 

Top Image: Seance by Tanja Engelberts

Cyanotype Workshop led by Peter Gosnell

In advance of the upcoming symposium, Shadow Without Object, Peter Gosnell led a workshop teaching seven selected students how to make Cyanotype prints. Gosnell, Teaching & Learning Technician in the Photography Resource Centre at Camberwell, taught them how to prepare their digital images to be made into ‘tuned-in’ silver halide negatives for printing. The Cyanotype process was then introduced to them within its historical context, and they learned how to be discerning about what papers they selected to use with the Cyanotype printing process. The morning session taught them best practice in how to sensitize papers, dry sensitized paper, calculate correct exposure, and wash-out and dry printed-out paper. In the afternoon students worked independently under supervision.

Shadow without Object considers emerging photographic technologies against a wider historical context of overlooked and marginalised practices, exploring in particular one of the medium’s long-held and contentious theoretical tenets which describes the physical relationship between a photograph and its subject – the index. The symposium is a 1-day event taking place on Friday 4 December at Chelsea College of Arts.

Imperial size cyanoprint from a laser print of a digital collage of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s edited work at Syon House in west London, framed by iconic images of Brown and the churches at which he was baptised, married and buried, to mark the tercentenary of Brown’s birth in 1716. Painted digitally by Alasdair Saunders with assistance from Camberwell staff at the digital print and photographic facilities.

Imperial size cyanoprint from a laser print of a digital collage of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s edited work at Syon House in west London, framed by iconic images of Brown and the churches at which he was baptised, married and buried, to mark the tercentenary of Brown’s birth in 1716. Painted digitally by Alasdair Saunders with assistance from Camberwell staff at the digital print and photographic facilities.

Alasdair Saunders, MA Fine Art Digital student at Camberwell, was one of the students who participated and told us of some of the outcomes. ‘The workshop was extremely instructive and most efficiently organised. The Cynotype was much admired during the MA pop-up show on Wednesday 25th November and as a result a number of other co-students have asked me for introductions to the technical staff running the symposium and workshops. I believe that the broader public will likewise much appreciate the Cyanotype, if and when, it is on display at Somerset House in June 2016 as part of a photographic exhibition to mark the tercentenary of Lancelot Capability Brown in 2016. I am meeting with the Syon House management next week to discuss its possible use as part of their celebrations and, if these and other discussions advance, many more such prints could be required.

The success of these initiatives will create opportunities to credit Camberwell with the Cyanotype process before a wide audience.  It will also require me  to further exploit the Camberwell facilities.’

Top image: Giacomo Raffaelli With a Relative Uncertainty

Temporal Representations and 5 Minutes Conversations at Kinesis and Stasis

On Friday 27th November, CCW PhD doctoral researcher Mohammad Namazi is presenting his talk Temporal Representations at the Barbican Art Centre as part of the the event Kinesis and Stasis. The event is organised by the TECHNE student (Un)Conference to explore a wide range of interdisciplinary interpretations under the theme of Kinesis and Stasis.

Namazi’s paper explores the associations of temporality with contemporary art practice in visual art. His talk at the (un)conference, introduces methodologies such as; conversations, sound, kineticism, installation, participation and sculptural structures as integral part of the creation of the artworks.

On a theoretical level it is also investigating Peter Osborn’s ideas about post-conceptual art as the contemporary art (Osborn, 2013).  The investigation considers art practices that reflects participatory characteristics, processed based or temporal artworks.

As part of the Kinesis and Stasis event, Namazi is also invited to exhibit his recent sound installation. 5 Minutes Conversations, is an investigational platform where dialogical methods and sound performance act as the media of the artwork. The project features one-on-one dialogues and uses the generated information, as the material for a live sound performance, executed by the participants.

The stall lends a non-critical ear to the participants’ views on art and the role of artists in the twenty-first century. It collects ideas and reflects them in order to engage with the particular values of each individuals. Involving the public directly with the process, through methods such as; dialogue and sound device interaction, suggests a collective form of art production in which, not only the construction of the final artwork is temporary but also in alliance with the participation and contribution of the public.

The temporality of dialogue and sound as media opens up possibilities to investigate the outcome of the project in other dynamic formats. For instance, within the virtual world of the internet, the project explores how the documentation of physical activities with temporal representations can morph into other kinds of representations in a digital medium.

The transition that occurs from a dialogue to a sound performance highlights the participatory methodologies for this socially engaged artwork. In addition it attempts to explore the values and differences of temporal art practices in visual art discourse within both, the physical and digital environment.

In his abstract for the talk ‘Temporal Representations’, Namazi says, ‘Temporal Artworks, kineticism and discontinuity became a focal point of analysis in theoretical texts of the late 1960s. For example, Jack Burnham noted that “the cultural obsession with the art object is slowly disappearing […]”. (Burnham, 369: 1968)

Around the same time as Duchamp claimed that artworks have their own “life-span”, (Antoine, 1966), Lucy Lippard documented how art can be unstable and short-lived (Lippard, 1973 and Osborne, 2011)

More recently, Nicolas Bourriaud has suggested that we now live in a “disposable world”, where temporal characteristics are emerging such that “the short-lived is overtaking the long-term […], [and] the stability of things […] is becoming the exception rather than the rule.” (Bourriaud, 80: 2009)

Although still a contested field (see: Peter Burger Theory of the Avant-Garde, 1984, and Hal Foster’s Return of the Real, 1996), ideas such as these have often been central articulations of the early avant-gardes and the neo-avant-gardes.

This paper will examine, consolidate and contribute to understanding of theory and practice addressing contemporary artworks that can be described as temporal. It also aims to explore how ideas such as “Manifesto of Realism” by Gabo (1920) and theories such as “Manifesto for Statics” by Tinguely (1959); could influence the practice of visual arts in such ways that temporality in the field of conceptual art become more prominent in the 21st century.’

Mind the Gap: The Artist in Culture Studies

CCW Graduate School doctoral students Stephanie Spindler and Robert Gadie recently presented papers at Mind the Gap: The Artist in Culture Studies, 5th Graduate Conference in Culture Studies, School of Human Sciences, Catholic University of Portugal, 2nd – 3rd November 2015. Taking as a starting point Hal Foster’s essay The Artist as Ethnographer? (1995), this conference aimed to bring together doctoral and post-doctoral students working within disciplines that relate to the study of culture (arts, humanities and social sciences), and establish a forum for stimulating debate. The keynote speakers included Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck College, University of London), Jean-Francois Chougnet (Director of the Musee des Civilisations de l’Europe et da la Mediteranee, Marseille), Isabel Capeloa Gil (Vice-Rector at UCP/Director of The Lisbon Consortium Programme), and Ruth Rosengarten (Artist/Writer/Curator, Research Associate at University of Johannesburg).

mind the gap- spindler

Spindler presented a talk entitled A Shift in Weight in which she talked about her artistic practice and the components of her research. Her objective was to show how the theory and practice were integrated and how through the activity of the practice questions were generated that would enable her to resolve her research question.

Gadie presented a paper titled The artist as a liberated producer of knowledge? He considered two early examples of artistic-research (academic research done by fine artists), and questioned how they adhered or reacted to, normative conceptions of knowledge production. This allowed for the articulation of a methodological problem caused by a conflation of the context of discovery and that of justification, in which a similarity can be noted between kinds of artistic-research and kinds of ethnography. By comparing these ways to do research, Gadie elaborated the cost of being ‘liberated’ from a disciplinary account of knowledge production.

Qui Pourra Screening by Art & Language and Dr Jo Melvin

On Monday 7 December 2015 at 5.30, Art & Language will present a screening of their film Qui Pourra, 2007 in the Banqueting Hall at Chelsea College of Arts. This launch event will be their first as Visiting Professors at UAL. This short film focuses on the studio and the Art & Language’s collaborative dialogic practice. It uses Courbet’s The Artist’s Studio; A real allegory summing up seven years of my artistic and moral life, 1854-55 as its starting point. The screening will be introduced by Jo Melvin and it will be followed by a panel discussion with Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden.

Art & Language have said, ‘Qui Pourra takes its name from a remark by Gustave Courbet concerning the crowded political and artistic content of his L’Atelier du Peintre. (“Figure it out who can”). The theme of the studio has recurred from time to time in the work of Art & Language since 1982, and in the guise of the “Index” since the early 1970s. Specific reference to Courbet’s Studio was made in the series of paintings titled Index: the Studio at 3 Wesley Place Painted by Mouth, or …in the Dark. The studio painting is a genre that, according to historical convention, enables the artist to reflect on their times – to say what it is like to be an artist. The genre may propose this, but the studio is also an ideological space, a place of fictions, tropes and lies. Indeed, the studio has long been superseded as a site of production by the institution and the gallery and less.’

When conceptual art, performance, happenings and the so called ‘new art practices’ exposed the cracks of modernism’s exclusivity the activities of Art & Language have provoked reflexive enquiry, practical variety and resilience to easy categorisation. The tactics they employ incorporate performance, sculpture and painting to question genre, language and context brings a humorous ambiguity to the status of the art object, and its critical audience within the parameters of its institutional and historical framework. Their most famous work is Index 01. It was first shown in the groundbreaking Documenta 5 1972. In 1997, Art & Language were nominated for the Turner Prize, Tate in 1986, they had a major retrospective at MoMA PSI, 1999 and most recently Art & Language Uncompleted MACBA, 2014-15.

The name Art & Language was first adopted in 1968, to refer to a collaborative practice that had developed over the previous two years between Michael Baldwin and Terry Atkinson, in association with David Bainbridge and Harold Hurrell. Over the next several years it stood for a collaborative practice with a growing and changing membership associated with the journal Art-Language, first published in May 1969, and subsequently with a second journal The Fox, which was published in New York in 1975-6. Joseph Kosuth was invited to act as American editor of Art-Language in 1969. In the following year Mel Ramsden and Ian Burn merged their separate collaboration with Art & Language. Charles Harrison became editor of Art-Language in 1971. By the mid 1970s some 20 people were associated with the name, divided between England and New York. From 1976, however, the genealogical thread of Art & Language’s artistic work was taken solely into the hands of Baldwin and Ramsden, with the theoretical and critical collaboration of these two with Charles Harrison who died in 2009.

The screening is free and can be booked online.

Student Seminar with Jim Dine Prints

On Wednesday 4 November CCW Professor Paul Coldwell brought a group of students from Camberwell College of Arts to the British Museum to work with their new collection of Jim Dine prints.

Coldwell said, ‘As a taster in advance of my in conversation with the American artist, Jim Dine on 25th November, 6-8pm, I arranged an informal seminar with ten students from MA Printmaking at Camberwell in the beautiful Prints & Drawings study rooms of the British Museum. Dine recently gifted over 200 prints to the British Museum in honour of his dealer, Alan Cristea.

IMG_1341

For anyone interested in contemporary printmaking, this is a rich resource, not only to enable an in depth study of this remarkably printmaker, but also to see close up, the wide range of techniques that he has employed, and in some cases invented. There is no substitute for seeing prints “in the flesh” and having such an open and rich resource makes studying in London so special.

After the British Museum, we walked to Alan Cristea Gallery in Cork Street to see the show of Cornelia Parker and by chance met with Alan Cristea himself, fresh from Jim Dine’s print retrospective in Essen so the day had a certain symmetry.’

The student who attended had a positive feedback they agreed. Robert Marney said, ‘Thanks ever so much for showing the second year printmaking around the British Museum yesterday, the work was fantastic, It was greatly enjoyed by all. The work you selected of Jim Dine was superb!!’ Isidora Papadouli said, ‘It was a great opportunity to observe Jim Dine’s work and respond to his images and his printmaking techniques.’

Stories That Matter: Feminist Methodologies in the Archive

This symposium at the ICA on 22 November at 2pm explores whether feminist methodologies make a difference to the kinds of stories that can be told using archives in the expanded sense, i.e. actual archives, virtual archives and/or other concrete sites of encounter which generate historiographical work.

In this work, a tension has often existed between the desire to establish feminist epistemologies and at the same time to attend to feminist ontologies – in other words between knowledge and experience. This is nowhere more so than in the archive which has traditionally been considered as a repository of the past that affords a ‘true’construction of it. However, this traditional idea has also been the basis from which women have been occluded from history. Added to this, it also maintains the subjectivity of the researcher/historiographer as neutral thereby hiding the ideological assumptions that underlie this kind of work.

The symposium follows feminist interrogation of these assumptions by adopting Donna Haraway’s methodological approach to research as ‘situated knowledge’. Leading practitioners of feminist historiography from both art history, Prof. Griselda Pollock, and the social sciences, Prof. Clare Hemmings and Prof. Maria Tamboukou, will present how their particular feminist methodologies have made a difference to their mutually respective sites of ‘archival’ encounter. Essential to the convening of this symposium has been Pollock’s concept of the virtual feminist museum as a ‘becoming futurity’, Hemmings’s emphasis on citational practices and textual affect, Tamboukou’s concept of archival research as intra-actions between phenomena. The speakers ask what differences these new affordances allow for accounting for the past or reactivating its memory in the present? How do feminist pasts engage future readers? An unlikely feminist, Guy Debord, in his infamous Society of the Spectacle posits the question: what would a living archive be as opposed to the archive as the custodian of the dead time of history which merely administers it rather than makes it available for use? Do feminist methodologies in the archive (as museum, publication, or documented record) provide methods for resisting the administration of history? How might we ‘break open’ the archive to listen to and disseminate its contradictory voices so that they may resonate with the present thereby making it available for use for contemporary generations of feminists, men and women?

The full programme and link to book tickets can be found on the ICA website.

This symposium marks the publication of the anthology Twenty Years of MAKE Magazine: Back to the Future of Women’s Art edited by Maria Walsh (Senior Lecturer in Art History and Theory, Chelsea) and Mo Throp (Associate Researcher, CCW), published by I.B. Tauris, which will be launched at the end of the day. The symposium will also include a presentation by Walsh and Throp on their research and it will be chaired by Dr. Catherine Grant, whose work on queer re-enactment addresses the retelling of the past for future generations. The symposium is funded by The CCW Graduate School Staff Fund.

 

Larsen’s Lost Water

Larsen’s Lost Water, timed to coincide with the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit in Paris, takes its name from Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf. In 2002, part of this vast Shelf fell into the sea. The satellite images of this happening brought global warming and melting Polar ice into the public consciousness. But what happened to this melted water?

The exhibition considers how relatively uncharted parts of the world – the Polar regions and the deep seas – might be (mis)represented, and how art can offer us a way to engage with and witness something as large and difficult to grasp as climate change or marine pollution. The exhibition is open 13 November – 11 December 2015 at Wimbledon Space, Wimbledon College of Arts, and is curated by Edwina fitzPatrick. The Opening Event will be on Thursday 12 November, 5–8pm.

The show includes pieces such as Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir and Mark Wilson’s nanoq: flat out and bluesome, which archives the taxidermied polar bears in the UK’s public and private collections; Tania Kovats’ Where Seas Meet; Lucy + Jorge Orta’s Ortawater project about potable water; and Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey’s Crystal Fish. The centrepiece of the exhibition is an ocean-going raft designed and created by a team of Wimbledon students collectively named the ‘Raftonauts’.

Top image: Worcester, Snaebjornsdottir & WIlson

Jo Love at GiG Munich

GiG Munich is happy to introduce the work of Jo Love, MA Visual Arts: Printmaking Course Leader at Camberwell College of Arts and Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton. Love has recently completed her PhD at CCW, entitled Dust: Exploring new ways of viewing the printed photographic image. The research project explored how the visual presence of dust shifts the perception of temporality and materiality within the printed photographic image, thereby opening up new avenues for thought.

Her show at GiG Munich marks the continuation of her research into the viewed surface, the materiality and the time of the printed photographic image. Her work combines drawing with printmaking and photography, and uses the specks of dust found on the surface of the photographic image as the starting point of her investigations.

At GiG Munich Love shows two bodies of work. The first consists of a series of landscape drawings made in collaboration with a senior scientist at the Natural History Museum in London. In this series she re-draws the electron microscope images of marble and graphite particles in order to reclaim the tactile materiality lost to modern technology. She also imbues the image with a different kind of temporality to that of the digital experience. In the second body of work, Love draws over a digital print of a video still, covering the inkjet surface with a layer of graphite. Only small pockets of saturated colour are left exposed. Taken together, the two different layers create an optically unstable image, disturbing and disrupting the act of viewing.

Both drawings operate at the limits of human perception and invoke ideas of the technological sublime. As Love states, ‘My interest lies in constructing images which are resonant with my experience and perception of the world: more fractured, open and complex than the more coherent image can convey, and one that offers an arena within which we can contemplate themes of time, memory and mortality.’

Colour and Abstraction

Dean of Chelsea, George Blacklock has a new book out from 26 October, Colour and Abstraction. ‘The book is written from a methodological point of view. It begins by briefly charting how the use of colour in painting was liberated from a “support” role to drawing in the construction of traditional pictorial space. This around  the turn of the 20th Century – particularly with Fauvism. This sense of liberation allowed significant advances in pictorial dynamics. It discusses (again briefly) how in tandem with this, drawing itself was radically shifted through Cubism.

The book then uses these twin bases to look at the development of abstract (and abstracted) pictorial space and how artists have used various methods and devices to construct their work.  The next section moves on to discuss how the “stuff” of paint (its materiality) affects pictorial dynamics and choices. Finally, it uses examples of my own paintings to illustrate how complex or simplistic pictorial choices can be, and how they can be derived.’

It is now on available from Amazon.