firstsite’s long-awaited new building by internationally renowned architect Raphael Vinoly opened on 25 September. The opening exhibition ‘Camulodunum’, curated by Michelle Cotton, takes its title from the Roman name for Colchester, and features major commissions by international artists Michaela Eichwald, Aleksandra Mir, Karin Ruggaber and Danh Vo. Items of Colchester’s archaeology will be shown alongside artworks which consider the treatment of objects in the museum and contemporary culture as future historical record. Among these are works by Ai Weiwei, Subodh Gupta, Barbara Hepworth, Sarah Lucas, Henry Moore, Cildo Meireles, Grayson Perry, Robert Smithson, Bill Woodrow, and Andy Warhol.
As firstsite Associate Curator, Jes has organised a series of talks and lectures for the opening programme which take the opening exhibition Camulodunum as a starting point for a discussion about Colchester - its history and its present. Speakers include historians, art and architecture critics and artists. Click here for more details.
Jes is also working with Scala publications and Jay Merrick, writer and architectural correspondent for the Independent, on a book for Scala Publishers on firstsite’s new building, as well as the historical and topographical context in which it has been built. The book will be published early in 2012 and will be part of the Scala Art Spaces series.
Visit firstsite’s website: firstsite.
Jes is working with firstsite and Wysing Arts Centre on a research project with Dutch artist Marjolijn Dijkman. This is an extension of the work Marjolijn began last year at Clare Cottage in Helpston near Peterborough.
Marjolijn will be holding two events at Wysing on 29 September and 3 November 2011 as part of Wysing’s Department of Overlooked Histories programme. She will present her research on how history is represented in the East of England and the role that idealisation plays in our constructed narratives.
The programme is funded by Visiting Arts, the Royal Society of Arts, Arts Council England, firstsite and the Mondriaan Foundation.
Solo exhibitions of Marjolijn Dijkman’s work have been presented at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and Spike Island in Bristol in 2011 and she has contributed to many programmes, residencies and biennales across Europe and further afield. Recent projects include work in Tblisi, Georgia and Riga in Latvia.
The Floating Cinema has been launched.
Designed by architects Studio Weave, working with artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie (Somewhere), Floating Cinema is navigating the waterways of the five Olympic host boroughs during the summer 2011. A programme of on-board film screenings, larger outdoor film events and community events is currently under way.
The Floating Cinema is a continuation of UP Projects’ Portavilion programme of temporary pavilions for London’s public spaces. It is part of the Create 2011 summer festival and is commissioned by The Olympic Delivery Authority. Jes is on the ODA steering group for the project.
See http://floatingcinema.info/events/ for more information.
Jes has been invited to become a member of the Keilder Art & Architecture Advisory Group. The programme includes commissions by a broad range of artists and architects including Layla Curtis, James Turrell, Adjaye Associates and Charles Barclay Architects. The works are located in the extraordinary setting of Keilder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland. The programme is curated by Peter Sharpe.
Jes attended the first Advisory Group meeting with Richard Wentworth (artist) Eric Parry (architect) and Laurence Sillars (curator at Baltic) in Keilder on 9 May 2011.
Jes is running the next firstsite book group discussion, the focus of which is Owen Hatherley’s polemic ‘A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain’ - a damning appraisal of Blairite urbanism which Hatherley views as vapid, alienated, blankly consumerist, class-ridden and anomic.