Tag Archives: ICA London

Painting: Atoms and Speech Bubbles

23 May 2017 | 6:30 pm | Studio | Tickets £3.00 to £5.00 Book Online

In this panel discussion, chaired by artist and writer Zara Worth, artists Jeffrey Dennis, Kimathi Donkor and Fay Nicolson will discuss their practices in relation to the expanded field of contemporary painting.

Each artist will speak about their individual reference points, as well as how their work negotiates between a kind of surface strategy of collage or appropriation of snapshots, magazine images and other windows onto popular culture and the everyday, and a contemplation on scale of the human in relation to his or her political, historical and molecular context.

The same evening will see the launch of Jeffrey Dennis’s new publication Ringbinder, a monograph based on his solo exhibition at Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art in 2015.  Edited by Andrew Hunt and George Vasey, designed by James Langdon, the book includes essays by Sue Hubbard, Sunil Manghani and Dan Smith, an interview with the artist, and the thoughts of artists, writers, curators and gallery directors including Stephen Bury, Jeffery Camp, Nigel Cooke, Dan Coombs, Penelope Curtis, Dexter Dalwood, Stephen Farthing, Catherine Ferguson, Rebecca Fortnum, Ian Giles, Martin Holman, Timothy Hyman, Elizabeth Magill, Jo Melvin, Eleanor Moreton, Lynda Morris, Andrew Nairne, Mathew Sawyer, Barry Schwabsky, Nicholas Serota, Donald Smith, Damian Taylor, Rob Tufnell, Virginia Verran, Emrys Williams and Sam Windett.

Image: Jeffrey Dennis, The Flowers that Came Again (detail), 2012. 122 x 148 cm, oil & charcoal on linen.

Transpersonal: Elizabeth A. Povinelli

8 Feb 20172:00 pm | Cinema 1 | £3.00 to £5.00 Book Tickets

Elizabeth A. Povinelli is Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University where she has also been the Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Law and Culture. She is the author of numerous books and essays as well as a former editor of the academic journal Public Culture.

Her writing has focused on developing a critical theory of late liberalism that would support an “anthropology of the otherwise”. This potential theory has unfolded primarily from within a sustained relationship with Indigenous colleagues in north Australia and across five books, numerous essays, and three films with the Karrabing Film Collective including Wutharr, The Saltwater, 2016 which premiered at Sydney Biennale and was winner of the 2015 European Visible Award.

This lecture is the fourth in a series entitled Transpersonal: art and life directives, ten lectures which will engage with the production of psychotechnologies, socio-political awareness and art and design practices in an automated reality. Each lecture will explore the ways in which the term transpersonal relays states of consciousness that go beyond the limits of personal identity.

Transpersonal: art and life directives is a lecture series on the theory and application of art and design, curated and convened by Dr. Stephen Wilson. It is staged in collaboration with the ICA and the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon College of Arts postgraduate community at the University of the Arts London.

Image: Karrabing Film Collective, Wutharr: Saltwater Dreams, 2016.

Transpersonal: Susan Kelly | Micropolitics: Practices of Freedom and Rehabilitation

25 Jan 20172:00 pm | Cinema 1 | £3.00 to £6.00 Book Tickets

Micropolitics: Practices of Freedom and Rehabilitation

This lecture, the third in the Transpersonal series, explores what we can learn from terrorist rehabilitation programmes about the relationship between micropolitics and subjectivity, practices of freedom, and the psychic spaces of the (ethno) state today.

From the late 1990s the Egyptian, Yemeni and Saudi Arabian governments developed a series of programmes that sought to ‘rehabilitate’ jihadists as part of broader counterterrorism measures. ‘Jihadi Rehab’ camps employ clerics and scholars to engage in theological debates with prisoners, and provide counselling, education, sports and practical training. Their aim is to re-orientate prisoners toward the family and the private sphere, and to re-programme subjects who are non-violent and accept the legitimacy of the state. Such practices of ‘rehabilitation’ have a long history under British colonialism, and provide us with fascinating blueprints of explicit programmes for the un-making and re-making of political subjects.

The Mau Mau Rehabilitation Camps in Kenya in the 1950s for example, also claimed to transform Kikuyu inmates into loyal and productive citizens. Working with colonially educated ethno-psychiatrists, they attempted to ‘de-programme’ fighters through performative ‘counter-oaths’ that would free the individual from the group. In these contexts, technologies of the self and micropolitical processes are employed not as practices of freedom as thinkers such as Foucault and Fanon conceived of them, but are rather used to consolidate racist and pseudo-medical notions of normalization and submission – coded as ‘cure’.

Susan Kelly is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her research looks at relationships between art and micropolitics, technologies of the self, space and practices of organisation. She works in the context of various collectives and individually in time-based work, installation and through writing, publishing and convening events and performative/ militant investigations.

Transpersonal: art and life directives is a lecture series on the theory and application of art and design, curated and convened by Dr. Stephen Wilson. It is staged in collaboration with the ICA and the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon College of Arts postgraduate community at the University of the Arts London.

Image: A still from the British Pathé Newsreel: The Lari Massacre 1953 and the capture of Dedan Kimathi, 1956 

Transpersonal: Gilda Williams | The Tao of Warhol, and Other Tales

18 Jan 20172:00 pm | Cinema 1 | £3.00 to £6.00 Book Tickets

 This talk by Gilda Williams is an experiment in examining the art and life of artists from a spiritual perspective, from Andy Warhol to Amalia Ulman. The lecture is the second in a series of responses to the theme ‘transpersonal’, which relays states of consciousness that go beyond the limits of personal identity. This may include peak and spiritual experiences such as near death phenomena and the expansion of awareness beyond the usual remits of individuality, which may be brought on by experiences of crisis related to the spiritual, ethical and relational extremes of contemporary life.

Gilda Williams is a writer and art critic who teaches on the MFA Curating programme, Goldsmiths. Her most recent book is ON&BY Andy Warhol (MIT/Whitechapel Press, 2016). She has also authored How to Write about Contemporary Art (Thames & Hudson, 2014). Williams is a London correspondent for Artforum magazine and a member of the International Association of Art Critics. She was Editor and Commissioning Editor (from 1997) for Contemporary Art at Phaidon Press 1994-2005, where she commissioned the ‘Contemporary Artists’ monographs, ‘Themes and Movements’ series of anthologies, and other books including Salon to Biennale: Exhibitions that Made Art History (2008).

Transpersonal: art and life directives is a lecture series on the theory and application of art and design, curated and convened by Dr. Stephen Wilson. It is staged in collaboration with the ICA and the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon College of Arts postgraduate community at the University of the Arts London.

Image: ON&BY Andy Warhol by Gilda Williams (MIT/Whitechapel Press, 2016)

Decommissioned

You are in the dark, in the car, watching the black- tarred street being swallowed by speed; […] When you arrive in your driveway and turn off the car, you remain behind the wheel another ten minutes. You fear the night is being locked in and coded on a cellular level and want time to function as a power wash. Sitting there staring at the closed garage door you are reminded that a friend once told you there exists a medical term — John Henryism — for people exposed to stresses stemming from racism. They achieve themselves to death trying to dodge the build up of erasure. Sherman James, the researcher who came up with the term, claimed the physiological costs were high. You hope by sitting in silence you are bucking the trend.

– Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric 

In a series of ten lectures, Decommissioned seeks to address how strategies of disavowal, inactivity and transition are employed in contemporary art and design. When encountering cultural bias, uncertainty and co-option across the arts, how can the dominant flows of information, language, policy and ideology be circumvented? Curators, sociologists, artists, politicians, academics, queer-thinkers, bio-designers, film-theorists and other, will respond through diverse fields of exciting and critical research.

This series is curated and convened by Dr. Stephen Wilson and is staged in collaboration with Chelsea College of Arts Postgraduate Community and the University of the Arts London, CCW Graduate School.

For more information and to book tickets please visit the ICA Website

Coming up in the Decommissioned Series…

Başak Ertür | Building Barricades: Resistance and the Untimely | 27th Jan 2016

Sook-Kyung Lee | Radical acts: Political consciousness in Asian art | 10th February 2016

 

Feminist Practices in Dialogue

Practice in Dialogue is a research group of feminist artists dedicated to examining the formal structures and strategies of historical feminist art alongside their own art practices. Founded in May 2014 by AHRC supported CCW PhD researcher Catherine Long in collaboration with Rose Gibbs, Practice in Dialogue evolved out of a need to create a space in which to think critically about feminist art practices. Participating artists are: Miriam Austin, Alison Ballance and Abigail Smith, Ingrid Berthon-Moine, Cécile Emmanuelle Borra, Rose Gibbs, Lora Hristova, Catherine Long, Ope Lori, Lauren Schnieder and Nicola Thomas.

Practice in Dialogue will be launching their first publication on 18 December 2015 at the ICA alongside their event Feminist Practices in Dialogue: an afternoon showing of work including video installations, performances, sound pieces and sculpture followed by We Are Anti-Capiphallism, a discussion on the challenges facing contemporary feminism chaired by Helena Rickett. Supported by the CCW Graduate School Student Initiative Fund, the publication will feature contributions by the participating artists as well as essays by Catherine Long and Rose Gibbs.

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Feminist Practices in Dialogue cover. Image credit: Alison Ballance, 2015

The group aims to create a space where artists can talk and think critically about the current challenges to feminism in a climate where the backlash against it combines with neoliberalism to reduce the political agenda of feminism to a set of fragmented rights and personal choices that neatly dovetail with capitalism. In this environment, behaviours are divorced from the gendered circumstances within which they have been generated and are recast as feminist. Here feminism becomes about infiltration of the very structures that are responsible for women’s subordination in the first place, rather than a practice that seeks to circumnavigate them and create alternatives.

The exhibition and discussion at the ICA will foreground the importance of art and feminism as lived practices that have the potential to unsettle hegemonic patriarchal structures. Avoiding the pitfalls of dominant heteronormative culture is not easy and, as such, the emphasis of the event will be on feminist art practices as an ongoing work-in-progress that calls for continual self-reflection and critical analysis. The day will explore the methods by which feminist artworks contest the status quo and resist recuperation by the dominant patriarchal system. The artworks and discussion are an invitation to gauge how the artists involved with Practice in Dialogue have responded to contemporary issues while offering the possibility for a thorough and interrogative conversation, which is essential if feminism is to retain its potency.

Catherine Long’s own doctoral research focuses on video art practice and its potential as a radical tool for deconstructing mainstream images of femininity as well as reconstructing and developing progressive representations of female subjectivities. Through re-examining critical feminist video artworks of the 1970s and 1980s, Long has been investigating the ways in which women artists have historically challenged the dominant economy of representation. The camera apparatus allowed women to control the production of their own image, articulate their subjective experiences and directly address the spectator. Underpinned by the radical principle that ‘the personal is political’, feminist art practice utilised consciousness-raising as both a formal strategy and a means of generating content in order to speak to other women and inspire political activism.

Amidst a resurgence of feminism, Long’s video practice explores how artistic strategies used in the second wave feminist era can still provoke and undermine the status quo of gender representations, proposing new possibilities of female identities. Drawing upon strategies of performance to camera, direct address and narrative, her practice explores the dialectics of representation and criticality in relation to themes of internalisation, anxiety and body image.

The publication will be on sale in the ICA’s bookshop from 18 December 2015.

Top image: Untitled Leytonstone 2005, Rose Gibbs

General Theory Forum

The General Theory Forum is a series of lectures produced for the Chelsea College of Arts postgraduate community (though they are now open and welcoming to the public), chaired by Dr. Stephen Wilson, Postgraduate Theory Coordinator. The General Theory Forum comprises 10 lectures, and this year we are delighted that they will be held at London’s ICA. This year’s series is titled Where Theory Belongs and begins on 21 January with Stine Hebert. Hebert will be in conversation with ICA curator Matt Williams and CCW Professor Neil Cummings on topics related to her book titled Self-Organised, edited by Stine Hebert and Anne Szefer Karlsen (Open Editions, 2013).

Where Theory Belongs is a title that refers to an increasingly resistant culture of auto-regulated art-speak, art theory that is in a constant need for a reflective governance. This series offers a platform that brings together: art theorists, anthropologists, sociologists, humanists, queer theorists, artists and political economists. All of the lectures are followed by a panel discussion. In looking closely at the broader relationships between art, culture and politics, Where Theory Belongs presents the thoughts of Federico Campagna and his recently published book, The Last Night – Atheism, Anti-work, Adventure on 28 January.

Campagna writes, ‘Yet a glass still has sides, though transparent. It has its own limits, which include and exclude: any action, thought or feeling that exceeds its boundaries is irrevocably banned from its territory. Or, at least, this is how normal words function. But adventure is in our hands like a piece of paper. We can cut it, fold it, make an origami out of it. We can even invert the rules that normally apply to other words, and turn its boundaries inside out, or, more precisely, outside in.’

To echo this, Where Theory Belongs proposes the possibility for a single word, or a single action, to become an adventure through its deterritorialising potentials. The limitless, yet boundaried, nature of words and theories allows for reflections and counter-reflections to create infinite possible subjectivities and hence, political manifestations of projected futures.