Tag Archives: archives

Exchanges between Sol LeWitt and Jeffrey Isaac in Spoleto, Italy, and New York and Chester, Connecticut US

Sol LeWitt and Jeffrey Isaac were neighbours and friends in New York, USA and also in Spoleto, Umbria, Italy. This display documents Sol LeWitt wall drawing 806# in Isaac’s collection and shows a few of the special collection and library’s holdings of Sol LeWitt books. LeWitt publications displayed are ‘100 Cubes’, ‘Autobiography’, Artforum October 1981, ‘Four Basic Kinds of Lines & Colour’, ‘Lines & Color’, and ‘PhotoGrids’. Also showing are Jeffrey Isaac’s imprint, PIM (Public Illumination Magazine) the smallest magazine of its kind.

Jeffrey Isaac met Sol LeWitt through Printed Matter, the artists bookshop in New York that was founded by LeWitt and Lucy Lippard amongst others. He came into the shop with copies of PIM. LeWitt and Isaac were neighbours in New York and in Spoleto, Italy, where LeWitt lived from the mid 1980s for several years, thereafter returning for 3-6 months each year. Isaac moved to Spoleto in 1986 where he has since lived permanently. The two formed a close friendship and had an on going dialogue. This display brings their publications together – for the first time in London. Coincidentally Isaac studied for a year at Camberwell in 1975-76 in the painting department when he made a series of works spanning across London, notably a series of lines in various sites including the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square.

Jeffrey Isaac will be speaking about his work with Jo Melvin in the Green Room at Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street, SW1P 4JU on January 31 2017, at 4.45.

The display is arranged by Jo Melvin, Reader in Fine Art, Archives and Special Collections

 

Matter and Meaning: Materiality and the Visual Arts Archive

ARLIS/Committee for Art and Design Archives Symposium – ‘Matter and Meaning: Materiality and the Visual Arts Archive’

DATE: Friday 23 September 2016

TIME: 10.00am – 6.30pm

VENUE: University of Brighton, Room M2, Grand Parade, BN2 0JY

‘On the one hand… material is discussed today in the light of an idea that it has been dissolved by the so-called immaterialities of new technologies, while on the other – from the margins – we can observe the consolidation of material as a category of its own’.

– (Monika Wagner)

Within the expanding digital environment that encompasses our professional and personal experience, ideas of materiality have received extensive recent attention, across a range of disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, art history, literary studies and material culture.  As yet, archival theory and practice have given limited consideration to materiality as an approach to the archive. Conservation practices, while focussing on material qualities of archives, may not attend to more philosophical implications beyond technical research. This symposium seeks to reach across and between these various bodies of knowledge, considering materiality as a framework for analysing, interpreting and engaging with archives of art and design.

To view the full event page for the Symposium, including the programme, please visit the University of Brighton website:

http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/research/research-events/research-exhibitions-and-events2/materiality-conference

Materiality and the Visual Arts Archive: Matter and Meaning

arts.brighton.ac.uk

Materiality and the Visual Arts Archive: Matter and Meaning at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities

If you would like to book a place please visit the Arlis Events page to register and pay: http://www.arlis.net/events

Please note that lunch is not provided

Life Cycle, Continuous

Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre (PSC) was delighted to host Life Cycle, Continuous on 3 December 2015. This evening of talks and discussion considered the life cycles of artworks, alongside the legacy of their artists, exploring in particular how these things transform, evolve and transition across platforms, people, places and time.

The evening began with a few words from the organisation’s co-directors, Dr Marsha Bradfield, Visiting Scholar at CCW, and Lucy Tomlins. The life cycle of artworks, especially sculpture, is something that has preoccupied PSC since the summer of 2013, when the organisation hosted an artist talk by sculptor Richard Wilson at his Slice of Reality on the Greenwich Peninsula. Here Wilson spoke candidly about the challenges of maintaining the public artwork, a chunk of ship, after the millennial project was decommissioned. Who takes decisions about an artwork’s care after it leaves its artist’s orbit? What responsibility do artists have to how their artworks are stored, shown, conserved or disposed of? Where does the work reside? Does it reside in the work that we look at? Does it reside in the idea of the work?

Jo Melvin presenting at Life Cycle, Continuous. Photo credit: Sinead Bligh

Jo Melvin presenting at Life Cycle, Continuous. Photo credit: Sinead Bligh

These were questions that CCW Reader Dr Jo Melvin engaged in her talk, The conundrums of remaking sculptural practices and their legacies. Melvin has been investigating the interconnections between the archives of artists’, critics, museums, galleries and magazines from the 1960s to the present day since the early 90s. For Life Cycle, Continuous, she considered specific conundrums in connection with re-presenting the work of Naum Gabo, Barry Flanagan and Christine Kozlov. For instance, she referenced the exhibition of Gabo’s Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave) at MOMA in 1968. When the artwork, owned by Tate, proved too fragile to travel, the possibility of whether it might be remade in the US came to the fore. Gabo agreed on the grounds that like Kinetic’s previous iteration, the artwork should be made from materials that were ‘ready to hand’. Crucial here is the artist’s specification. For as Melvin observed, without clear instructions about what conditions must be fulfilled for an artwork to be remade or represented, ambiguity pervades. She went on to discuss the challenges of identifying what and where the artwork is with reference to Barry Flanagan’s practice and his sense that his sculptures were not based on experience of the world but rather, each work is an experience of its making. Further, discussion of Christine Kozlov’s 271 BLANK SHEETS OF PAPER CORRESPONDING TO 271 DAYS OF CONCEPTS REJECTED touched on the thorny of issue of what traces slip away, either because they are perceived as unworthy for posterity or undesirable in some way. And in the case of this particular work by Kozlov, what is most important: concept or materials? Should only the 271 blank sheets the artist selected be shown, however yellow they become with age? Would would any ‘bank sheets’ serve to gesture towards the absence of presence that her artwork explores?

The other two speakers for Life Cycle, Continuous grappled with very different concerns in their talks. Artist Anne Hardy discussed the challenges of re-presenting site specific works like those recently featured in her acclaimed exhibition FIELD at Modern Art Oxford. Artist and senior lecturer Jenny Dunseath Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University discussed her ongoing research into the transmission of knowledge from artists to their assistants, based on her personal experience working in Anthony Caro’s studio.

Life Cycle, Continuous was part of the public programme that accompanied PSC’s 2015 artists-in-residence programme, with the talks talking place culminating exhibition, Which one of these is the non-smoking lifeboat?  This approach to hosting the talks tracks with PSC’s ongoing commitment to making the making of sculpture more visible so as to better appreciate the process of an outcomes production.

Audio documentation of Life Cycle, Continuous will be available on PSC’s website in early 2016.

Top image: Jo Melvin installing heap 3 ’67/68, 1967/68 at Cullinan Richards, London, January 2015

The Brutalist Playground

Balfron Tower in Poplar, commissioned by the London County Council and known during development as Rowlett Street Phase 1, was designed by Ernö Goldfinger as social housing. Built in 1968 and listed Grade II in 1996, ownership was subsequently transferred from Tower Hamlets Council to the Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (Poplar HARCA) who have managed the building since 2007. It was announced by Mayor Lutfur Rahman on April Fool’s Day (2015) that ‘Poplar Harca were unable to afford the cost of refurbishing Balfron Tower without selling it on.'[1]

Following on from a recent archival display at the Chelsea Café Project, managed by Sinéad Bligh, and the moving image screening during the Research Hub programme at The Cookhouse Gallery, organized by first year CCW research students, the BALFRON TOWER/Rowlett Street Archives will be included in a forthcoming evening event at RIBA on 9th June 2015 to launch The Brutalist Playground. RIBA, with Assemble and artist Simon Terrill, are hosting an evening of free talks, films, tours and more exploring the links between post-war architecture and urban play.

Part sculpture, part architectural installation, all play, The Brutalist Playground is a new commission by Assemble and artist Simon Terrill exploring post-war design for play. Occupying the entire Architecture Gallery at RIBA, it encourages visitors to look at the materiality and visual language of now lost Brutalist landscapes in new ways through an immersive and conceptual landscape.

In the run up to the planned refurbishment of Balfron Tower, the installation at RIBA will offer a timely opportunity to consider this internationally acknowledged building from a different perspective.

The BALFRON TOWER/Rowlett Street Archives were established by CCW PhD student James Lander/Those Who Wish To Remain Anonymous. As property guardians or artists in work/live residence at Balfron Tower, they have been privileged to its inner workings over three years. Their research is distinguished by its forensic nature, encompassing everything and nothing. From its historical beginnings as Rowlett Street, to the widely documented process of regeneration. From the internationally profiled artistic and cultural activities of recent years, to the overlooked traces and ephemera captured in common areas such as the north and south stairwells. Their research uses non-identical twin archives to investigate William Burroughs’ claim ‘Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted.'[2] In collaboration with art and intellectual property lawyers, they will consider the legal implications of these archives and their place within the discourse of architectural modernism in Britain. The aim of their research is the construction of unofficial storeys, in order to repeat the unrepeatable. They will determine who has the legal right to use the material and intellectual property associated with the archives and in which context. The aim of their research is the construction of unofficial storeys, in order to repeat the unrepeatable.

[1] Rahman, L. (2015) Statement on Balfron Tower. [Online] 1 April 2015. Available at: http://lutfurrahman.com/statement-balfron-tower/ [Accessed: 1 April 2015] Mayor at time of announcement subsequently removed from office due to electoral fraud.

[2]  Burroughs, W. (2010) Cities of the red night. London: Penguin.

Image: Children’s playground, Pepys Estate, Deptford, London, 1970s