Week 10
Friday December 11th, 2009, Wilson Road

We had an excellent session that spent the first hour discussing plans for the event, followed by a presentation by Roman on Robert Mapplethorpe and political aspects around public funding of his work. Finally a number of us visited the Tate Turner Prize show.

Elective Plans
Lerryn reported on a planning meeting that taken place during the week. One idea to emerge was that of a ‘map’ perhaps allied to a virtual presence, that might act as an overall programme to draw together various activities of different groups.
Igor volunteered to work with Mike Doorly on the Map.

Exciting work is continuing in the collaborative groups:
  • One group (Mike, Lerryn, Karen, Bella and Emily) is negotiating with Flat Time House to show work in conjunction with the elective event
  • Another group (Camilla, Giorgia, Renata, Joanna, Jenny) is planning an event in Ruskin Park – and others may also be attached to something in the Park (Serden and Stella wish to show work there for example).
  • I think Igor, Naomi and Ewelina are also planning something in conjunction with the park (have I got this right?)
  • Arnar mentioned the possibility of the elective using exhibition space at the Brixton Village Project that his Artinavan group have negotiated
  • David and others are looking for a space for a group show – for the whole elective - (which may happen around the elective event or may be later on, in a found space – we can investigate, as Jim Pearson suggested, touring such a show to other UAL galleries during the year and I am pursuing this with Jim Pearson)
  • Charlotte and Mike and others are planning a psychogeographical walk in conjunction with the event
  • Nathalie has an idea for a performance, based on allegory, for the event
  • I am aware that other things are planned that are missing here (do let me know!)

Other possibilities
  • Do we want to use our base room at Wilson Road for some kind of installation? Or an installation elsewhere in the building? We need to let Jim Pearson know as soon as possible in the New Year, what our requirements for Wilson Road will be?

We also have the slot of 1hr 30mins in the main hall on Friday January 22
There was a good discussion about possible uses of this:
  • A discussion of some kind
  • A discussion in which people are punished for using the letter ‘e’
  • An interactive workshop / game
  • Some kind of performance
  • Recreation of La Cabina

For the moment I guess the priorities are
  • Continuing working in collaborative groups
  • Planning for use of the Main Hall slot (is there a volunteer to act as a coordinator for this – who can email the group?)
  • Planning for associated installation / event at Wilson Road or elsewhere (is there a volunteer to coordinate this?) – it could be an impromptu installation in our Ground Seminar space for example...
  • Development of the map (Mike and Igor)
  • Contacting the park authorities regarding any necessary permission (once you’ve found the contact do let me know if you need me involved in negotiations) – I guess this needs to be set up as soon as possible...
  • Risk assessment forms completed for various events (we just have to do it...)

Whatever happens I am sure that we will have exciting things to show around the event.

Robert Mapplethorpe
Roman gave a great presentation on the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (born 1946). Mapplethorpe’s work is an interesting exploration of the boundaries of ‘taste’ and a conjunction of the transgressive with the beautiful. In this of course it is in itself highly political (in the broadest sense of the word – in terms of power relations).

Roman showed some of Mapplethorpe’s work and highlighted in particular the issues of public funding. After objections from states such as Texas the US National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) dropped Mapplethorpe from its public funding of the arts. This raises many important questions and there was a lively discussion about the role of public funding and whether politicians should be involved in issues of aesthetic judgement, and whether art should be subject to moral constraints. Should the ‘taxpayer’ (and interesting oft-used word – as opposed to the citizen – what is a pensioner or a child or somebody sick?) have a choice in determining funding for the arts?

The Turner Prize
A number of us visited the Tate Britain for the Turner Prize 09 show.