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Working Together: The Impact of Artists on Institutions

Working Together
The Impact of Artists on Institutions
2 April 2016, Registration from 10am
Focal Point Gallery, Southend

Please book on Eventbrite HERE

Keynote Speakers: Artist Ed Atkins with Beatrix Ruf, Director of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Working with colleagues in The Netherlands, this symposium will explore the dynamic relationship between artist, curator and organisation; looking at how collaborations on new projects and commissions allows for institutional methodologies and processes to be challenged and changed. The symposium will profile innovative case studies from arts organisations in the Netherlands, presented in partnership with the artists they work with, to interrogate how artists have impacted on working with communities and on the development of collecting and curating contemporary art.  

Organised by Wysing Arts Centre on behalf of the East Contemporary Visual Arts Network (ECVAN), the symposium is hosted by Focal Point Gallery in Southend. There will be a keynote lecture by Beatrix Ruf with Ed Atkins, case studies presented, a chance to see the exhibition Duh? Art & Stupidity, as well as break-out sessions which will give more individual attention to specific subjects. The end of the day will see a drinks reception and performance to celebrate the closing of the exhibition.

£10 admission (including lunch and refreshments)
Concessions available for students, practising artists, unwaged and registered disabled attendees.
Please book on Eventbrite HERE


10am      Registration with coffee and tea  

11am      Welcome by Joe Hill, Director, Focal Point Gallery and introduction to the day by Chelsea Pettitt, Head of Partnerships, Wysing Arts Centre

11.15amKeynote address by Beatrix Ruf, Director of The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam with artist Ed Atkins. Followed by Q&A  

12.30pmLunch including an opportunity to look around the exhibition ‘Duh? Art & Stupidity’  

2pm          Case studies followed by Q&A

·         Artists working with communities, Casco, Office for Art, Design and Theory Publishing & Education coordinator Yolande van der Heide with Werker Magazine

·         Artists in residence, De Ateliers Director Dominic van den Boogerd with artist David Jablonowski

·         Artists working with collecting institutions, Stedelijk Museum Head of Collections Bart Rutten  with artist Cally Spooner

4pm           Coffee and tea break, move to breakout session rooms

4:15pm     Breakout groups exploring whether there are examples of similar ways of working already in the UK, and what the barriers might be to institutional change.  

·         Group 1 Working with communities (Casco and moderator Harriet Loffler, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Norwich Castle)

·         Group 2 Artists in residence (De Ateliers and moderator Donna Lynas, Director, Wysing Arts Centre)

·         Group 3 Working with collections (Stedelijk and moderator Jenny Powell, Senior Curator, Kettle's Yard)

5:15pm     Summary of the day

5:25pm     Screening/performance programme curated by Outpost, Norwich  
6pm           Ends with a drinks reception in the gallery for closing of the exhibition


This symposium is supported by the Art Fund who are providing additional funding to offer ten bursaries for travel and admission for UK based curators to this event. To apply send your CV and a 300 word statement explaining why attending would be beneficial to you – priority will be given to curators working in a museum or gallery that has a permanent collection. Please include the level of bursary you require and a financial breakdown. Email your application to by 12noon on Friday 18 March.

Additionally, ECVAN is offering five bursaries for travel and admission for UK based Artists. To apply, send your CV and a 300 word statement explaining why attending would be beneficial to you, to by 12noon Friday March 18th. Please include the level of bursary you require and a financial breakdown.

Supported by The Art Fund with additional support from the Contemporary Art Society and with thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Speaker Biographies:

Ed Atkins is a British artist currently living and working in Berlin. He has exhibited internationally, including recent exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and New Museum Triennial, New York (all 2015), Serpentine Gallery, London (2014), Kunsthalle Zurich (2014); MoMA PS1, New York (2013), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012) as well as the Lyon and Venice Biennales (2013).  Atkins' video, sound, drawing and writing explores the limits of representation through CGI, performance and rhythm. His practice particularly explores the ambivalent distinctions between so-called material and immaterial worlds, the digital and the analogue, the figurative and the literal. 

David Jablonowski is a German artist currently living and working in Amsterdam. He has had solo exhibitions around the world, including Kunsthalle Lingen, Germany (2015), Gallery Luettgenmeijer (2014), Baltic, Gateshead (2013), Bloombergspace, London (2011) and Dallas Contemporary, USA (2011). His work has been featured in recent group exhibitions at the Witte de With, Rotterdam, Gallerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria and Les Territoires, Montreal, Canada (all 2015). Jablonowski was previously in residence at De Atelier from 2007-2009 and is now a tutor and on the Advisory board for the institution. His work explores the history of sculpture and how it can aid communication between analogue and digital contemporary culture.

Beatrix Ruf is the Director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. After completing her studies, she was Curator at Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Warth from 1994-1998 and Director of Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus from 1998-2001. In 2001, Ruf was appointed Director of Kunsthalle Zürich, overseeing a substantial expansion project launched in 2003 and concluded in 2012. In 2006, she curated the third edition of the Tate Triennial in London and in 2008 she was Co-Curator of the Yokohama Triennial.  She has been a member of the think tank core group of the LUMA foundation since 2010. In 2013 Ruf co-founded POOL, a postgraduate curatorial program in Zürich. She is also a Member of several Advisory and Programme Committees amongst others: the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Garage Moskow, MAXXI, Rome, the Samdani Foundation, Bangladesh and serves frequently as a jury member in award committees, among them the Guggenheim Museum’s Hugo Boss Prize and the Absolut Award and currently the Han Nefkens/MACBA Award, the Turner Prize, Erasmus Prize and the Prix de Rome.

Bart Rutten has been Head of Collections at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam since 2014 and was previously the Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Stedelijk from 2008. His recent exhibitions include The Oasis of Matisse (2015) and Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Avant-Garde (2013) as well as a major rehang of the Stedelijk's contemporary art collection in 2012 alongside numerous other exhibitions. He has worked closely with artists such as Rineke Dijkstra, Stanley Brouwn, Joan Jonas, John Knight and Guido van de Werve. He also sits on advisory boards for more alternative artspaces like the NDSM art foundation, the Kunstvlaai and the Service Garage (all in Amsterdam), and has been a guest speaker focusing on the history of video art for various art courses and universities in the Netherlands and abroad.

Cally Spooner is a writer and an artist based in London. She has had solo presentations around the world including at New Museum and Performa 13, New York;  Bielefelder Kunstverein; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; gb agency, Paris; Spike Island, Bristol; Tate Modern, Frieze Projects 2014 and Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen. Her novel Collapsing In Parts was published by Mousse in 2013 and she is a recipient of the 2013 Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists. Using assemblages of theory, philosophers, pop music, media, current affairs and corporate rhetoric, Spooner has developed a distinctive body of work consisting of installations, essays, novels and live performances such as radio broadcasts, plays and musicals.

Dominic van den Boogerd is director and tutor at the international artists’ institute De Ateliers in Amsterdam. His reviews and articles on contemporary art have been published in numerous art magazines, including Parkett, Frieze, ArtReview, Metropolis M and De Witte Raaf. He wrote essays for books and exhibition catalogues on a.o. Marlene Dumas, René Daniëls, Luc Tuymans, Mary Heilmann, Fiona Tan, Thomas Houseago and Michael Raedecker. He was guest tutor at the Fachhochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung in Bern, Switzerland, the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, UK, and the Dublin Institute of Technology and Fine Arts in Dublin, Ireland.

Yolande van der Heide is publishing and education coordinator at Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, where she started as an intern in 2008. She is managing editor for Grand Domestic Revolution (GDR) Handbook (2014) and Practice International (forthcoming), and the How to Live Together (2012–2013) and Community in Print (2013–2014) editions of Publishing Class, a course designed by Casco within the MFA program at the Dutch Art Institute in collaboration with the Werkplaats Typografie. She has been working with art collective Werker since 2012, specifically in the context of Ask!, an alliance of domestic and cultural workers making actions to support workers while confronting theoretical and material representations of invisible labor.

Werker Magazine is a publication about photography and labour initiated by the visual artist Marc Roig Blesa and the graphic designer Rogier Delfos. Its starting point is the Worker Photography Movement, a group of associations of amateur photographers that appeared in Germany in the 1920s, following in the steps of the first socialist photography experiments in the USSR which extended to Europe, the United States, and Japan. It takes an interest in working methodologies, based on self-representation, self-publishing, image analysis, and collective learning processes. Each issue of the publication is produced and distributed in a different context (a fine arts academy, a museum, a neighbourhood, the Internet…), thus exploring strategies of interaction with specific audiences. They have worked with partners from around the world, including in Cuba, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, China, the UK, Bolivia, Russia and Switzerland.

ECVAN is part of the national Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) and delivers collaborative projects that explore new ways of working together to support artists, develop arts infrastructure and reach new audiences for art in new ways. ECVAN includes Aid & Abet, Cambridge; Art Exchange at The University of Essex; Bedford Creative Arts; Black Barn Project Space, Norfolk; Deborah Smith Projects; Departure Lounge, Luton; Focal Point Gallery, Southend; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Norwich Castle Museum; Outpost, Norwich; The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich; Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds; The Minories, Colchester School of Art; UH Galleries, University of Hertfordshire; freelance artists and curators. ECVAN is chaired and coordinated by Wysing Arts Centre.