What is contemporary about painting? That's a question this 2D studio tackles from multiple directions.
How painterly languages and contexts emerge is a trajectory we can observe not just through art, but also via those multi-value networks and relationships we can categorise as culture. Long gone are the days of High Art, where patronage and elitism determined the value of painterly meaning and skill. Now, the stakes are much higher.
The challenge is to give potential to the meaning and function of painterly production – through resourcefulness and the wealth of human knowledge and actions. This doesn't just mean appropriating the familiar, but also to embody and analyse the experiences of making – to find a new art vocabulary to communicate the art practice. Drawing, print, sculpture, craft, movement, performance, sound – these all qualify as making. None are exhaustive in their utility here or in their need for reinvention.
In this art studio, we expect to unearth answers that challenge our perceptions, formed not only through painterly history but also via those current social, economic and political circumstances, which point right at the changing nature of representation and communication. This art studio will look at the presence of digital and virtual technologies in relationship to painting's production, explore the ethics and the legitimacy of painterly gesture and mark-making. This studio's concerns with the contemporary will further venture into the formal and material elements of painting, exploring its objecthood and frontality, the embodiment of content or, indeed, its lack. Our intention is to return to the well-trodden legacies of art (what is modernism, after all? Can we really do without it?) and so to re-align art's legitimacies with the experiences of the now. This will entail asking good, solid questions about the presence of body, expression and subjectivity within painterly practice. Yes, that's human, that’s about us. Which is how we'll reinstate the currency of what it is we mean by contemporary.
Image: Karen David, 'Summer Residency' (2018)
Studio Art 01: We, the Contemporary
Andrea Medjesi-Jones and Karen David
What is ‘Contemporary’ about painting? That's a question this 2D studio tackles from multiple directions.
Studio Art 02: Art and Non-Art
Galia Kollectiv and Joseph Noonan-Ganley
Allan Kaprow described non-art as “whatever has not yet been accepted as art but has caught an artist’s attention with that possibility in mind”.
Studio Art 03: The Black Box
Patrick Ward and Dr Jonathan Whitehall
Increasingly artists are confronted with technologies and systems whose internal operation appears mysterious to its users.
Studio Art 04: The Thingy World
Rosemarie McGoldrick, Olga Koroleva and Jessie Flood-Paddock
The critic Viktor Shklovsky's striking words a few months before the Russian revolution over 100 years ago were against the attrition of routine.
Studio Photo 05: UN/staging the UN/staged
Heather McDonough and James Cant
UN/staging the UN/staged considers image making through a critical lens of the constructed and unconstructed image. It sets out to challenge the binary distinction between photographic works that are considered staged and those works that are considered unstaged.
Studio Photo 06: Disrupting Borders: the Personal to the Universal
Ania Dabrowska and Yiannis Katsaris
Disrupting Borders: the Personal to the Universal, responds to timely contemporary issues supporting students in making works that embrace speculative visions, deconstruct cultural and political myth-making and forecast new contemporary photographic subjectivities.
Studio Photo 07: Shifting Glances
Paola Leonardi and Lee Brodhurst Hooper
A fleeting stream of images passes on our screens: everyone has a camera, we snap photos on our phones, we upload them to the cloud, we like them on Instagram, we search them on online platforms, we send them to friends, we snapchat them to strangers.