Between October-December 2021, four workshops explored how innovative curatorial approaches to histories and practices of post-1960s contemporary art can contribute to the continuation of artists’ archives within institutional collections.
The workshops used the unique time-based archival collections at DJCAD as a starting point to generate cross-sector dialogue – with artists, curators, archivists and conservators – about the curatorial challenges arising from either artists’ ‘unruly’ approaches to production and presentation, or the materially complex and changeable nature of artworks and archives that are left behind.
The workshops were initiated by Dr Judit Bodor and Adam Lockhart around specific themes and co-convened with leading practitioners and researchers active in the fields of new media conservation, performance studies, oral history and open-source curating including Prof. Heike Roms (University of Exeter), Patricia Falcao (Tate Modern), Dr Hanna B. Hölling (University of the Arts London and Bern University of the Arts) and Dr Roddy Hunter (The Glasgow School of Art). Guest contributors included Kevin Atherton (DJCAD), Professor Elaine Shemilt (DJCAD), Luke Fowler, Julie-Ann Delaney (Edinburgh College of Art), Prof. Andre Stitt (University of Cardiff), Benjamin Sebastian and Joseph Morgan Schofield (]performance s p a c e[), Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett (Furtherfield), Theresa Kneppers (South Bank University) and Artemis Gryllaki. Workshop participants included researchers and practitioners (artists, curators, new media conservators) from the UK, Ireland, Hungary, Brasil, Switzerland, the Philippines and New Zealand.
Workshops included presentations, group discussions and group tasks. The website includes documentation of presentations, participant biographies as well as resource material used in discussions.
The workshops were accompanied by an artist commission to test out a methodology for activating the archives, and a writer commission to creatively capture what has been discussed.
#1 Speaking Performance: Oral history as a curatorial tool for reactivating performance and media art
Co-convened with Heike Roms, Professor in Theatre and Performance at the University of Exeter, and with contribution from artists Elaine Shemilt and Kevin Atherton, this workshop will explore how oral history conversations and artists’ interviews can be used as curatorial tools with which to re-activate artworks, especially those of multimedia performance and new media art. The two artists are part of a pioneering generation in the UK who experimented with time-based media from the early nineteen-seventies and whose works are now part of the REWIND collection at University of Dundee.
#2 Reactivating Media Installations within Collections
Date: 28 October 2021, 2-6 pm, Zoom About this workshop How do collections, curators, conservators and artists attempt to deal with the unruly aspects of re-exhibiting and collecting media artworks? The challenges faced are diverse, from understanding the parameters for displaying a work, to transferring media from analog to digital formats, to sustaining or sensitively […]
#3 Curating As Expanded Conservation
Date: 18 November 2021, 2-6 pm, Zoom About this workshop A workshop co-convened by Dr Judit Bodor and Dr Hanna B. Hölling, and with contribution from artist/curator Prof André Stitt and Benjamin Sebastian and Joseph Morgan Schofield from ]performance s p a c e[.The presentations examined how the intersection of curation and conservation might contribute […]
#4 Resisting Recuperation: Articulating the unruly politics of artists’ archives through open-source practices
How can open-source peer-to-peer archival and curatorial practices articulate the unruly politics of artists’ archives? With much focus on conservation challenges of the so-called ‘dematerialisation’ of contemporary art practice, there is arguably less consideration of how archiving and curating can articulate, in practice, artists’ critical and radical politics in circumventing and critiquing institutional discourses and structures. Current debates about omissions and distortions in constructing art histories and their subsequent influence on present and future art practice add further urgency. How can we address those omissions and distortions while mitigating against potential institutional recuperation or dilution of unruly politics through proprietary interfaces and practices? What new approaches to addressing this tension emerge in the context of post-digital, post-custodial open-source curatorial solutions? How can we develop archival and curatorial approaches to artists’ archives to articulate the work’s unruly politics and material identity?