SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Cumbrian Cosmopolitanisms, Entangled Histories and De-Imperializing Britain

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Hammad Nassar, Senior Research Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art | Senior Research Fellow (Black Artists and Modernism) at University of the Arts London (UAL)

Date: 6 February 2018Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 6 February 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B211

Type of Event: Seminar

Description:

This presentation shares selected research trajectories explored in the forthcoming exhibition, Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition, at Manchester Art Gallery (May 2018). The exhibition is in conversation with Black Artists and Modernism (BAM) – the three-year AHRC-funded collaborative research project between UAL and Middlesex University – that examines how the work of artists of African and Asian descent in Britain is accounted for in histories of 20th Century art.

Speech Acts, drawing primarily from four public collections in Manchester and Bradford, takes the LYC Museum & Art Gallery (1972-83) – a dilapidated barn in Cumbria that the artist Li Yuan-chia turned into a hub for nurturing creative practices and community – as the site of an inclusive and wide-ranging ‘Cumbrian cosmopolitanism’. It exhibited more than 320 artists, including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Lygia Clark. A young David Nash designed and built its entrance window. The sound pioneer, Delia Derbyshire, was Li’s first assistant.

Speech Acts considers the LYC Museum as Li’s artwork, and reflects on: how artworks and archives in public collections reflect and shape our collective imagination; and, on the role of exhibitions in repeating or disrupting these collective narratives.

The presentation draws connections between this forthcoming exhibition and recent and ongoing projects including: the London, Asia project at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, which explores the entangled histories between Britain and Asia; and Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play – the UAE’s national pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017) – that examined identity formation and belonging through the lens of play.

About the Speaker:

Hammad Nasar is an independent curator and Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, where he co-leads the London, Asia project. He is also Senior Research Fellow (Black Artists and Modernism) at University of the Arts London. Earlier he was Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong (2012-16), and co-founded the arts organisation Green Cardamom, London (2004-12).

Recent public exhibitions he curated or co-curated include: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play – the UAE’s national pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (2005-13); Drawn from Life (2011); Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (2010); and Beyond the Page: The Miniature as Attitude in Contemporary Art from Pakistan (2006-10).

At AAA he directed numerous collaborative research projects with institutions including: the University of Hong Kong, the Museum of Modern Art (NY), and the Indonesian Visual Art Archive. He also led the exhibition projects: 15 Invitations for 15 years – including newly commissioned projects by Shilpa Gupta, Marysia Lewandowska, Walid Raad, ruangrupa, T. Shanaathanan and Samson Young (2015-2017); and Excessive Enthusiasm: Ha Bik Chuen and the Archive as Practice (2015).

Organiser: Pamela Corey

Contact email: pc50@soas.ac.uk