CANCELLED: Discourse Series #22 with Janna Graham

Unfortunately there has been a last minute cancellation for CuMMA Discourse Series talk by Janna Graham. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We will reschedule another date for her coming for the next semesters, and send out information on our programme for the spring 2015 in January.

CuMMA Discourse Series # 22: Janna Graham – The Anatomy of an ‘And’. Naming Conflicts in Arts Education on the 26th of Nov 2014 6pm

26th of November 2014
18.00–20.00, NODE Space


Arts Education is often conceived of as an ‘and’ in cultural institutions.

Its budgets are smaller, its staff more stretched and its position in the chain of production ‘after’ the main representational moments. However, arts and neoliberal urban and social policy, education has come to play an increasingly important role.

In the UK, this is has occurred in the wake of emancipatory, community artists and educators in the 1970s, who argued for the democratization of culture. A dream only partially fulfilled, today’s proliferation of ‘social’, ‘participatory’ and dialogic art and pedagogical projects are situated within hegemonic processes of production and sit at the table with regressive social agents. Within this, emancipatory educators often play a confusing and dangerous dance, acting at times as the host for re-negotiation of the cultural process from below and para-sites of those who construct culture from above. How do we map and understand the position of the AND its parasitic occupations? How might we understand it in political terms? What do the histories of emancipatory politics and education have to teach us about naming (and acting upon) the conflicts in which we are situated? These questions will be posed against the backdrop of tensions and conflicts experienced in five years of the creation of the Centre for Possible Studies, an off-site project of Serpentine Gallery, in which artists, educators and activists, generated studies of the possible in relation to urban inequalities in London’s Edgware Road neighborhood.

Janna Graham
Originally trained as a Geographer, Janna Graham has initiated and collaborated on a number of pedagogical, artistic and research projects in and outside of the arts. She is currently Projects Curator at the Serpentine Gallery, where she works with others to create The Centre for Possible Studies, an artistic residency, research space and popular education programme in the Edgware Road neighbourhood of London where artists and local people develop ‘studies of the possible’ in response to social inequalities of urban space. Graham is also member of the 12 person international sound and political collective Ultra-red.

CuMMA Discourse Series # 21: Sabine Dahl Nielsen – CURATING CONFLICTUAL CONSENSUS on the 12th of Nov, 2014, 6pm

12th of November 2014
18.00-20.00, NODE Space


Taking a closer look at today’s international scene for art in urban spaces, it quickly becomes clear that we are not only witnessing an expanded spectrum of applied artistic strategies. We are also experiencing the emergence of new curatorial strategies and institutional models that are based on alternative conceptions of production and representation. Thus, a series of art institutions have recently begun to experiment with the curatorial possibilities of presenting temporary, process-oriented and socially engaged artistic practices while at the same time seeking to address a multiplicity of particularized and often quite fragmented counter-public positions. In this sense, art institutions can be said to perform as the organizers of friction-filled spaces of mediation. In other words, they perform as that which the art critic Simon Sheikh refers to as “the in-between, the mediator, interlocutor, translator and meeting place between art production and the conception of its ‘public'”. In order to elaborate further on this idea of an alternative institutional model I will look at how art institutions can function as politically engaging sites of conflicts and negotiations. More specifically, I will engage in a discussion about how art institutions might – in accordance with the reflections of the political theorist Chantal Mouffe – seek to create spaces for so-called conflictual consensus while experimenting with counter-hegemonic curatorial strategies in urban spaces.

Sabine Dahl Nielsen is a researcher, writer, teacher and curator, currently based in Copenhagen. Her research fields are contemporary art, urban development, curatorial practice and conflict theory. Since 2012 she has been working on a PhD project at Copenhagen University and KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces. The project is entitled Art in Public Spaces: Conflict and Negotiations as Critical Urban Practices and will be published as a book in both Danish and English in 2015.

Nielsen is also editor of the Danish photo magazine Filter and writes regularly for, among others, the Scandinavian architecture magazine Arkitekten. She has published the book Det fotografiske rum (The Photographic Space) in 2012 and has furthermore contributed to various Danish and International anthologies, reviews, and magazines.
2011/2012 she was Curator in Residency at CAPACETE in Sao Paulo and Rio, Brazil. Her curatorial projects have been carried out at KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces (Køge), Gallery Michael Andersen (Copenhagen), Galerie Asbæk (Copenhagen), ARKEN Museum of Modern Art (Ishøj), and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk).