16th January Post Graduate Lecture - Psychogeography- Maryclare Foa
Psychogeography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as
'the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals'
Foa commented that refugees and displaced people are more sensitive to the landscape, more wired to the environment. She said that ‘The others’ or foreigners are more alert to the surroundings than the inhabitant’s who have lived there all their lives.
Within the first few minutes I was immediately reminded of an interview I did for my dissertation on my BA Degree in 2003 where I interviewed artist Petre Nikoloski about his feeling of living in a country he wasn’t born I and how this affected him and his work.
‘You never adopt completely, you form a kind of third way; a kind of space in between; you live in the space between in which you can use one experience and the other , you never touch both because you have a ...we are fortunate we can do faster than nature gave to you……you in a sort of survival rate which means like being on the street, when you see people from the countryside or somebody from the Balkans they are so vigilant. They learn to read in between the lines’( Streatfield C. 2003)
I didn’t know there was a name for it!
Foa then mentioned David Eagleman who said ‘Time is a rubbery thing’ and gave the example that as children everything goes slowly as you are having new experiences but as you get older you do more things on automatic so in order to combat the feeling so life getting faster , change your route to work, sit in a different desk at work ,learn new things.
Notes to be researched
The migration museum
In search of miraculous. 1973 ‘Stories of places’
Hamish Hamilton 1967
‘If I’m imprinted by those places, have they been printed on me’
The way to the mountains, Perceptions: humankind interactive with the environment.
‘Can places be blended and traced with us. Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862
Constantin cays 1802-1892
Walter Benjamin 1926
Paul Smith- micro- geography.
Creativity impacted by our environment. Gerrard Winstanley
Reality ,imagination and memory. Bachelard.
19th October 2018- Robert Storrie, Keeper of anthropology- Horiman Museum
Storrie talked about the interpretation of experience seen through world views , how this is processed ;
The ways we create worlds and interpret the experience of growing up in a different culture induces culture shock and trauma when see the world differently.
Storrie set up field work in an stable and safe environment with the Hoti tribe in the Amazon. Before Storrie went he read 'how to learn an unwritten language' as their language had to be learnt by signing.
The tribe are so cut off from the world view they don't know they live in Venezuela ,most adult men have walked 150 miles to town which is their choice and they do this every three years, this is their only contact with the outside world.
The tribe believe in order to hunt animals you have to have empathy with the animals.They see animals as people.
They also believe that dreaming is just as valid as being awake and that time isnt linear. Because of this belief they would have to see you being born to know you are human and there is no proving you are human until you die and upon death do not turn into a jaguar!
The solid world is illusionary and the dreams are the real world.The physical world is fluid.
For them to be human is to be bored. When everybody is sitting around sometimes for days they know it is a state that wont last as they have to hunt for food or fight.So they understand life is short and they are trying to create a timeless state.
Because they are always seeking to become human and their dreams are the real world , they believe that things that last are immoral and not valuable so they don't make art for this reason.
This was a really interesting talk and an insight into a a part of the world I do not know a lot about. Storrie was so enthusiastic and really brought the subject alive.
Wed 9 Jan 2019- Mall Galleries.
Q- Art Crit talk 3-6pm
Q-Art London programme crit
Wed 9thJan 2019, Mall Galleries. SW1
I saw this event advertised on the Mall galleries website, I thought it would be helpful to attend to give me a different perspective from the crits at Wimbledon, as I did not know the artists presenting their work.
Q- Art are a charity organisation who go into Universities and deliver workshops. There were 5 artists who stood up for ½ hour each and presented about their work, the audience was made up of art lecturers, artists and passers by.
Four out of the five artists presenting their work were also in the FBA exhibition at the Mall galleries so the crit took place in the gallery.
There were constructive questions such as “how did you arrive at this point?’ and ‘where do you see your work heading?’ and rude questions such as ‘You look like a fragile artist ( To a foreign student that in my opinion did not look fragile )’ how do you deal with your subject research?’. There was one artist in particular who had similar research to me about British identity and exploring issues around this, some members of the audience said‘your work is confusing and you don’t look dual nationality ‘and ‘how can you be if you were born in the UK‘( Her Mother is Philippian, her Father British) This I felt was ignorant and showed the prejudice that crops up with this subject as have experienced it myself. We spoke afterwards as this student is also a tutor and studying for an MA and we hope to stay in contact by maybe working together In the future.
I observed for an effective crit and positive learning experience to take place, it is down to the skill of the facilitator and the experience of the artist at handling the questions asked. One lecturer in the audience said’ it helps if there is a degree of sensitivity in the questions and to be fair when looking at an artwork’
There is a book to accompany these crits that I read before ( See book review)
book to accompany the talk
Saturday 13th January , Mall Galleries- Talk with Jack Candy-Kemp, Beyond The Liminal
Jack Candy-Kemp introduced his talk with a presentation of his two paintings that were in the FBA exhibition , he talked about how he wanted them to be ambiguous and deliberating erasing place names and presenting them as non political . Hi talk was about his book 'Beyond The Liminal' which detailed his trip to Glasgow to find inspiration for the paintings.His moving account recalled his reflections of when he used to drink and how his life has changed since giving up alcohol.
His recollections of homeless people while walking around Glasgow are particularly poignant
I arrive at a covered way where there are shops and kebab houses. It stinks. On the pavement is a homeless kid, about 13 years old.
A man sat with him, a foil wrap in hand.
My heart breaks.
I was 13 when I started drinking and 28 before I hit the bottom. I always had a place to rest my head.'
Candy-Kemp ( 2018)
Perspectives Lecture -16th Oct 2018
This talk by Kapajeva who was born in Estonia was about cultural identity.She tells stories about the disappeared amidst a post soviet era backdrop.She describes her direct experience and how she wants to show the real post soviet era not just the western view point as portrayed in the media.
She also found a box of her fathers photographs taken before she was born and documented them in a book "You can call him another man"
Ruin, 11th Oct, 2018
This was a lecture by Geraint Evans, Suzy Round, Zoe Mendelson and Nelson Diplexcito as part of the years theme at Wimbledon for painting research.
Geraint Evans talked about Architecture and how nature eventually takes over abandoned places.
Suzy Round talked about the demolition of Didcot power station, this was especially poignant as my Aunt and Uncle live nearby and My Unlce used to work near there and as a child I always knew we were almost at their house when we saw the power stations on the horizon.
Round spoke about 'How will be know when we are nearly home?' when they are gone.She did a project in 2014 and asked the locals to talk about and draw about what the power station meant to them.
Nelson Diplexcito talked about recognition and ruin.He started with a film clip of Final Portrait about Alberto Giacometti struggling to finish a portrait.
He talked about rethinking things from the ruins, the sense of despair he feels when struggling with a piece of work and how 'the crisis moment makes painting for me' He also talked about moving from a place of looking to seeing.
24 Jan 2019 Czech Embassy cinema, London
Revolution begins at home: The Women of Czech Dissent
Sociologist and gender scholar Marcela Linkova, was in discussion with former dissident Kamila Bendova who wrote the recent book Revolution Begins at Home: The Women of Czech Dissent ( Ed. Linkova & Strakova, 2017)
Also joining them was Tobias Jirous, the son of Vera Jirousova who has edited and published his Mothers diaries Tweets 1956-1963
Kamila Bendova spoke in Czech and it was translated into English as she went along.
Rough notes to be added to at a later date
Bendova spoke about how she was part of Charter 77, a group of initially 240 people who signed a document stating their basic human rights, she spoke about how their phone was cut off for 8 years how the secret police would blackmail her and her husband through their children and not allow them to go to the grammer schools .
She spoke about how she had 'The Dissidents Dream' where she use to regularly dream in the night that her doorbell had rung and when she awoke there was no one there as they lived in fear of the secret police raiding their house ( They used to raid their house about once month in the night) she told a funny story about once her mother rang the doorbell for ages and they didn't answer thinking it was the secret police.
She said that women played a big part in the movement as a lot of meetings took place in the kitchen, the women cared for the children and hide notes in the prams and baby slings to pass the word of meetings etc around.
They would hide all unpublished manuscripts around the house incase the secret police knocked on the door.
They wrote down important information to get around wire tapping as the police would listen in.People found ways of spreading info, for example Bendova recalled how when Mother Therese visited Prague one evening , a few people knew in the mornng and by the evening 10,000 people had turned up.
Tobias Jirous spoke about his Mother ,Vera Jirousova and how she wrote a diary which has been published ( Tweets 1956-1963) it contained the most moving poetry and I am hoping to get the English translation to ref in my work.Jirous is a writer, actor and musician.He spent his childhood in dissident circles and was not allowed to get an academic education during communism.He has published poetry collections, stories and novels, formed the band The Models and starred in films Cabriolet, Toyen and Alois Nebel. Jirous also told how he knew his house was being wire tapped so he would play his drums badly for hours!After the talk I spoke to Tobias and exchanged details, he also said during our discussion that Marketa Luskacova ( The photographer exhibiting at the Tate Britain at the moment and who I wrote about in exhibition tabs) was a dear family friend and hes known her all his life.
I thought this interview was very relaxed and accessible and for me as a painter I could identify with a lot of what Matthew Krishanu said especially when he said when he painted boy on a bed the painting concretized ( great word!) his art practice for him and the push pull of painting as a world building exercise.
The quote ‘that’s what we paint for’ relating to the response from the public when they view Matthews work early on in the interview stood out for me as being very honest as there’s a school of thought that says you should just paint for yourself, I always think it’s a two way process.
Krishanus memories of going to the Bengali church services as a child , especially how he projected the spirituality onto the people while looking at them to make sense of it all, was a beautiful memory I thought.
Also how school was a way of managing boredom and how he couldn’t wait to get home, made me laugh.
Krishanu talked about his paintings being immersive when they are grouped together and they hold the viewer with their presence and I can see how this works having been to see the crows at Matts Gallery.
Just a really interesting interview and I will listen to more of the studio visits radio after I listened to this one.
Painting Childhood Symposium
Friday 29thMarch 2019
Compton Verney Art Gallery
This was such a informative day, I learnt so much. Amongst the speakers were Dr Martin Postle ( Deputy Director for Grants & Publications, Paul Mellon Centre for British Art)who talked about the fancy painting.
Angela Cox( Independent )who spoke about portraits of Elizabethan and Jacobean Childhood
Katherine Gizzard(UEA National Martime Museum/National Portrait Gallery)
Alasdair Peebles( private collector)Collecting surviving 18thcent boys clothes
Dr Sophie Handle( Independent) Breaking the mould: playing without play things
Below are some notes taken in Dr Martin Postle's lecture:
Dr Martin Postle spoke about the fancy painting and how, subjects were typically, old beggars, market traders, and innocent young women. The fancy paintings began in the Old-Master traditions of High Art, and examples start in the Renaissance. Sir Joshua Reynolds painted the Age of Innocence (1788?) one of his most famous works, which was copied countless times and immortalized in the film of the same name starring Shirley Temple.
Reynolds, Child asleep
In the 1770s Joshua Reynolds by then the president of the RA made fancy pictures during the summer as in the winter he was busy with commissions for portraits. In his ‘Child Asleep’ which is unfinished .He painted a beggar child and was so pleased with the innocence of the sleeping child he did not wake him and just took another canvas and started again.
Millais, Souvenir of Velasquez . Velasquez, Infanta Maria Marguarita
John Everett Millais (1829-1896), in the 1860s began to paint the fancy picture and its reference to the art of the Old Masters. This was at the time he saw himself as following on from Reynolds who was his rival. When he was elected an Royal Academician in 1868 he presented his work ‘Souvenir of Velasquez.’
Millais was inspired by Velasquez and though the little girl was dressed in the Spanish costume, he was mainly influenced by Reynolds which was partly because he wanted to show the main inspiration for this very painterly composition was Reynolds as much as Velasquez; because he wanted to show he was now a member of the RA.
Millais’s also painted Cherry Ripe ( 1879), which was influenced by Reynolds painting of Penelope Boothby. This sentimental painting damaged his reputation as a serious artist.
The suggestion that Millais had sold out through such paintings, was confirmed in 1886 Millais painted Bubbles, with his grandson posing. When it was sold the owner used the image to sell pears soap. This commercialisation ruined his reputation, hence he wasn’t as well known as Gainsborough and Reynolds.
Talk by Geraint Evans -9th May
In this talk Geraint referenced The Art of Curating by Hans Ulrich Oblist and he mentioned curators need to have exchanges with international artists to create exhibitions that have a sense of blend and richness and not simply a western European point of view. He went on to say there needs to be a cultural mix of ideas which leads to a philosophy that we have to make shows and to think about broadly what the exhibition can be.
Geraint also talked about looking for exhibition’s that aren’t based in traditional art galleries, and mentioned Alighiero Boetti who had an exhibition on aeroplanes , where art work was displayed on planes, he produced jigsaws made to fit on airline tray tables, it’s a way of thinking about how exhibition’s may take different forms out of the institution. So the public are confronted with art that they can participate with.
Artists need to think about the conceptual approach that art may exist outside the institution , that is an unexpected event that you might come across it in your every day.
Edouard Glissant (1928-2011) influenced Oblist with his idea of Creolization meaning that cultures can develop new identities embracing inherited cultures and intersect with other cultures to emerge into a new identity that is different from the original culture. Oblist thought this concept could work with exhibitions and that they could change depending where they were in the world.
Geraint went on to say the historical context of the exhibition for the curator, is a much more recent development and in ancient Rome curators were more like civil servants and were there to develop things around the emperors , and in the middle ages it was about looking after things. In the 17thcent there was development of the saloon it was about showcasing art to the public and before that art had been collected and been inaccessible and people would have encountered art in churches.
These were hung in such a way in the saloon that the artists who would display paintings were early curators. Deciding what went where in the saloon. Artists themselves developed idea of modern curation.
Courbet showed ordinary people in their own town in his paintings and people were suspicious of him ,so in 1855, he submitted the painting ‘The Artist’s Studio’ to the saloon it was rejected and he set up his own exhibition, and began an idea it was like an artist’s show. There was a pressure on Napoleon 3rdto say that artists could be given a space in the Louvre, and then this started the Saloon de Refuse which lead into artists showing paintings in their own space. Cezanne Renoir etc hung their work there ,Manet with Dejeuner sur l’herbe , Manet said paintings should be given their own space and they don’t need a salon hang, began to develop a more sensitive approach which today is reflected in displays today where painting is given a whole wall for itself.
In more recent times there was the The kitchen show (1991) curated by Oblist where artists Christian Boltanski, Fischli and Weiss,Hans-Peter Feldmann, Richard Wentworth showed in a kitchen .
The unrealised project
There was Jeremy Deller’s ‘My Failures’ where he showed all his work that had failed to show a exhibition that only exists as a proposal .
Geraint then went on to talk about shows he’s taken part in.
To be resourceful , he exhibited in Leipzig and had to paint the walls when he got there.
Worked with friends to put on shows, to put together a proposal /statement about everyday imagery. Exhibited at Gasworks and the footfall was low then on the last night they invited directed of the RA to go and someone from Time out gave a review for the next show. Geraint said its best to see shows as a stepping stone towards next show, to get galleries and curators to trust you and be aware of you.
Networks; being able to organize shows is very important.
Think about theme of show and how you can show with other similar artists.to develop an identity so you can fit into a show.
Deluge and Destruction talk by Alex Veness 30th April
notes from the lecture
Its easy to package historical societies by referring to them as Ancient Greek or ancient
Rome but they are influenced by different people and places , so when we talk about Ancient Greece we talk about emphasis on the language latin & greek because in the bible the word has a certain truth , study of the truth of subjects is very important especially in this day and age.
For example an oncologist will only understand cancer and cure it the best they can ,they do not do the opposite by spreading it,.
Advice if you are interested in a word ,always look up its origin , to get the true sense of the word .
Shows image of Moses, unknown artist, dutch painting, symmetry associated with classism, painting was about authority a bit like a propaganda poster ……….. he talked about how art was used a church propaganda and gave an example of Riberia 1638 , national gallery the power of the word ,there was an assumption that you knew the bible.
Owen Hatherley Talk
Adventures in the Land of the Soviets
This was a very entertaining talk where Owen Hatherley talked
about his travels through the former USSR.He
talked about how you can understand the history of the
people by studying the architecture and proceeded to talk about
how he got by speaking limited Russian.