I’m currently teaching on the BA Culture, Criticism, and Curation course at CSM, covering subjects as broad as gender studies, feminist art practice, exhibition making, Black performance art, and post-internet art.
I’ve been working with UP Projects, Flat Time House, and Liverpool Biennial on a programme of online talks about socially-engaged practice. The next one is on 18 May and we’ll be discussing the ways that these projects can inspire structural change.
The conversation will involve a discussion about the relationship of artists and communities to the structures that shape society. How can the incredible range of knowledge, experience and practice that artists, curators, creative practitioners, and communities bring to these projects be used to challenge existing power structures?
More information here.
Watch a recording of the talk here
Portrait by Robin Silas
Working with Nothing: artists & architects building a new neighbourhood
The Råängen programme of art and architecture commissions in Lund is at once very strange and very straight forward. Join us for a discussion about its character, with three artists and architects from Barcelona, Glasgow, and Trondheim who are involved in the programme.
Kieran Long, Director, ArkDes
Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores, Flores & Prats Architects
Nathan Coley, artist
Geir Brendeland, Brendeland & Kristoffersen Arkitekter
18 January, 2022, 12.00–13.15 CET
Watch the talk here.
Drawing by Flores & Prats - ideas for Råängen buildings
Hage, a new public garden for Råängen , has opened! Designed by Norwegian architects Brendeland & Kristoffersen, this walled space in Lund, south Sweden, is the first permanent commission for the Råängen programme and is open to all.
Over the coming years, a new neighbourhood will grow up around the space, which will shift from being an object in the landscape to a local park for a new community.
Watch a film about the making of Hage here
Photo: Peter Westrup
The Archive of Destruction talks organised to celebrate the launch of the project, are now available to watch online.
A SERIES OF UNEXPECTED INCIDENTS
22 June 2021
Speakers: Maja Bekan, Kristina Norman, Jes Fernie
Many of the artworks in the archive are catalysts for conversations around political and environmental turmoil, social ills, colonial oppression, and institutional conservatism. For the first event of this series of talks, two of the artists whose work is in the archive presented their projects and discussed the political, historic, and social contexts in which they were realised. Jes Fernie gave an overview of the Archive of Destruction.
EVERYTHING WILL BE INTERRUPTED
14 July 2021
Speakers: Eloise Hawser, Marysia Lewandowska, Vanessa Onwuemezi, Jes Fernie
The Archive of Destruction includes a series of commissioned essays by writers, artists, curators, and academics. For this event, Jes Fernie was joined by three of the contributors to discuss their response to archive, and their texts.
The talks were held in partnership with Flat Time House.
Image: still from video, Everything Will Be Interrupted (Jes Fernie, Gareth Bell-Jones, Vanessa Onwuemezi, Eloise Hawser, and Marysia Lewandowska)
My Archive of Destruction website is now live! The project brings together narratives around destruction and public art. Spanning a hundred years and many continents, it tells cumulative stories of vulnerability, interference, rage, fear, boredom and love.
The website is made up of texts and images of artworks, projects, and performances that have been destroyed by institutions, local government, the general public, and the elements, as wells as works that have been destroyed by artists themselves, or have the concept of destruction embedded within them. Examples include Robert Smithson’s Partially Buried Woodshed (1970), David Hammons’ How Ya Like Me Now? (1989), Joanna Rajkowska’s Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue (2002), and Nicole Eisenman’s Sketch for a Fountain (2017).
The aim is to create an exploratory, open-ended repository that reveals the multiple ways that public art can become a catalyst for conversations about political, social and environmental issues, as well as a vehicle for expressions of wit, humour and tenderness.
See the programme page for details of talks in June and July 2021. This is a partnership project with Flat Time House
Follow the project on Instagram
Graphic design by Daly & Lyon
Build by Matthew Luke
Samra Mayanja has been awarded the 2021 Nigel Greenwood Prize. It was such a pleasure to be a judge along with Giles Round, Tai Shani and Amy Sherlock. Shortlisted artists: Marianna Simnett, Ann-Margreth Bohl, and Rebecca Chesney.
For her residency in the Scottish Borders, Samra plans to continue her exploration of ‘what moves us and what it is to be moved’. Drawing on texts from Ugandan and world history as well as her experience of worship as a child, she plans to think through faith as a bodily and sonic practice, as a thing with an emotive draw that informs our past and future.
Image: Samra Mayanja, Untitled (still from video), 2019
I’ve been working with UP Projects and Public Art Network UK on this series of talks for curators, artists, producers and public art practitioners. Join us!
The programme advocates for a broader, more nuanced, understanding of what it means to commission work for a public context and work in socially engaged ways. In the UK, while there are increasing opportunities for socially engaged work, particularly in urban development and regeneration programmes, there are very few opportunities to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills.
We have great speakers and chairs including Amanprit Sandhu, Linda Rocco, Roseanna Dias, Matteo Lucchetti, Jes Fernie, and Siddarth Khajuria.
Programme funded by Art Fund
More information here
I’m delighted to take up Robin Klassnik’s invitation to become a board member of the incredible Matt’s Gallery in London.
I so look forward to contributing to the mad, sprawling, brilliant, peripatetic story of the gallery as it moves into its new home in Nine Elms later this year.
Image: Robin Klassnik at Matt’s Gallery, 2017. Photo Jes Fernie.
I was delighted to chair this panel discussion which looked at the ways we can use the past to understand the future. The event was part of the incredible Forecast programme by Invisible Dust which considered the ways that artists, indigenous people, scientists, public health experts and curators are thinking about the planet’s future.
4th March 2021
Pat McCabe (Weyakpa Najin Win, Woman Stands Shining) indigenous leader and activist
Jeremy Deller, artist
Miranda Lowe, Principal Curator and museum scientist, Natural History Museum
Professor Anne Johnson, epidemiologist and public health expert
Hosted by Jes Fernie, independent curator and writer
Watch the talk here
Site by Counterwork