The 2021 edition of Margate NOW festival, Sunken Ecologies, takes on the human-made natural environment and the possible role, participation and responsibility of cultural practitioners in caring for, engaging with, reclaiming or reimagining green spaces. The festival primarily takes place at the Sunken Garden in Westbrook, Margate, a garden landscaped in the early 1930s on the site of a former chalk quarry and under the care of the community group Sunken Garden Society since 2018. All commissioned for the festival, the artworks range from permanent, functional sculptures serving the storing, composting and sitting needs of the Sunken Garden, to ephemeral or immaterial contributions, such as sculptural and landscape interventions, walks, texts, sounds, films, workshops and talks.
Artist commissions: Ama Josephine Budge ↬ Adam Chodzko ↬ Kim Conway ↬ Nicolas Deshayes ↬ Lindsey Mendick ↬ Olu Ogunnaike ↬ Sonia Overall ↬ Christina Peake ↬ Molly Pickle ↬ Holly Slingsby ↬ Francesca Ter-Berg ↬ Shamica Ruddock ↬ Sara Trillo
Partner commissions: Cliftonville Cultural Space with Charlie Evaristo-Boyce, Falle Nioke, Dominic Rose & others ↬ CRATE with Rebekah Ubuntu, Jules Varnedoe & Jerome White ↬ Arts In Ramsgate with Rosie Carr, Jemma Cullen, Holly Hunter, Trevor Neal & members of GOLD (Getting on with Learning Difficulties) ↬ Limbo with Sadie Hennessy ↬ Margate Bookie with Billie Penfold ↬ Open School East with Sara Jackson, Lottie McCarty, Sam Slattery, Kathryn Tovey & Young Associates ↬ Transit Collective with Simon Cole, Dominic Rose & Jon Spencer
A project co-curated with Cédric Fauq, enquiring about the values that surround the contemporary art sphere, and activating proposals and mechanisms for a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable art world.
The project takes the form of 9 videos interviews available here with English subtitles, and of a performative assembly at Villa Arson, Nice on 8-9 Sept 2021, where we gathered to make concrete proposals to be applied by the project’s commissioner Botox(s), the French contemporary art networks in the Alps and Riviera, in the coming months.
With: Gianmaria Andreetta, Eloïse Bonneviot, Ève Chabanon, Aurélien Catin, Marine Lang, Guillaume Maraud, Noémi Michel, Aude Mohammedi Merquiol, Emilie Moutsis, Laurence Perrillat, Cindy Sissokho, Ramaya Tegegne, Mawena Yehouessi
With: Gianmaria Andreetta and Noémi Michel, Anonymes, Somnath Bhatt, Eloïse Bonneviot, Ève Chabanon, Teresa Cisneros w/ Rose Nordin, Jemma Cullen, Cédric Fauq, Adrien Fregosi and Marine Lang, HTSU Cooperative, Guillaume Maraud, Nad Ma and Raju Rage, Louis Palfrey, Francesc Ruiz, Mawena Yehouessi, Abbas Zahedi, and the participants to the workshop ‘Towards critical, ethical and intersectional curating’: Mohamed Amin Abdessadok, Pierluigi Albano, Cloé Brun, Alice Dupuy, Margaux Horel, Chloé Lavanoux, Yassin De Hullessen, Sofia Lautrec, Jean Lemonnier, Fiona Mazza, Clotilde Moureau, Federica Simeoni, Adrienne Orssaud, Lénaïc Roué, Lingjun Yue
Solo show by Wu Tsang at Lafayette Anticipations, Paris.
Co-curated with Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel.
While at Open School East, I initiated, curated and/or facilitated a number of commissions in forms ranging from participatory projects, residencies and publications, to bespoke spaces and web interventions.
With: Yemi Awosile, Neil Cummings, Carla Cruz and Antonio Contador, Benedict Drew, Jonathan Hoskins, Marguerite Humeau, Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau, Kris Lock and Josephine Sweeney, OOMK, Sally O’Reilly, Troy Town Art Pottery
Curator of Francesc Ruiz’s solo show at Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, CA2M, Móstoles, Madrid.
A collaboration between Lafayette Anticipations, curators Judith Wielander and Matteo Lucchetti (Visible), Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto and Fondazione Zegna, to bring to Paris the 5th edition of the biennial European award dedicated to producing and sustaining socially engaged artistic practices in a global context.
Shortlisted artists/projects: Richard Bell, Embassy (Melbourne) / Cooking Sections, Climavore: On Tidal Zones (Isle of Skye) / Luke Ching Chin Wai, Undercover Worker (Hong Kong) / Forensic Architecture, Killing in Umm al-Hiran (London) / Daniel Godínez-Nivón, Tequiografías (Mexico) / Morten Goll et Tone Olaf, Trampoline House (Copenhaguen) / Emily Jacir, Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research (Bethlehem) / Marisa Morán Jahn, CareForce (USA) / Otobong Nkanga, Carved to Flow (Athens, Uyo) / Jasmeen Patheja, Blank Noise (Bangalore)
Recipient of the award: Jasmeen Patheja, Blank Noise (Bangalore)
Solo show by Hella Jongerius at Lafayette Anticipations, Paris.
Co-curated with François Quintin.
A group show exploring the current reinforcement of cultural, social, and political categorizations, and the necessity to produce less dichotomous methods to address them. Held at Lafayette Anticipations, Paris and co-curated with Charles Aubin, Hicham Khalidi and François Quintin.
With: Isabelle Andriessen, Lucy Beech, Ève Chabanon, Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe), Julien Creuzet, Danielle Dean, Kenny Dunkan, Rana Hamadeh, Paul Maheke in collaboration with Ligia Lewis and Nkisi, Jumana Manna, Yuri Pattison.
With the participation of Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation
The British Art Show is a quinquennial touring exhibition that provides an overview of the British art scene. Co-curated with Lydia Yee, this edition took place in Leeds (Leeds Art Gallery), Edinburgh (Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; and Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh), Norwich (Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery and Norwich University of the Arts) and Southampton (John Hansard Gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery and Bargate Monument), and was produced by Hayward Gallery Touring.
With: Åbäke, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Caroline Achaintre, John Akomfrah and Trevor Mathison, Aaron Angell, Pablo Bronstein, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Andrea Büttner, Alexandre da Cunha, Nicolas Deshayes, Benedict Drew, Simon Fujiwara, Martino Gamper, Ryan Gander, Melanie Gilligan, Anthea Hamilton, Will Holder, Alan Kane, Mikhail Karikis, Linder, Rachel Maclean, Ahmet Ögüt, Yuri Pattison, Ciara Phillips, Charlotte Prodger, Laure Prouvost, Magali Reus, James Richards, Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Daniel Sinsel, Cally Spooner, Patrick Staff, Imogen Stidworthy, Hayley Tompkins, Jessica Warboys, Stuart Whipps, Bedwyr Williams, Jesse Wine, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
A group show exploring the figure of the witch as a metaphor for alterity and a symbol of resistance to the norm, whether social, cultural or economic. Over the centuries and in different geographical contexts, the ‘witch’ label has been applied by those in power to women considered dangerous or bothersome. The designation, with its suggestions of a potential reversal of that very power, has been directly appropriated by artists, militants and other agitators – from choreographer Mary Wigman, as early as 1910, to contemporary militant and writer Starhawk. In the 1970s, the figure of the witch became a potent symbol of the feminist and gay movements in Europe and the United States, leading many activists to research and rewrite the obscured history of the witch-hunts in Europe and its colonies from the 15th to the 18th century.
The Witching Hour was the last instalment of a research project started in 2010, and which had previously taken the form of an exhibitions and events series at La Maison populaire, Montreuil in 2012, and of a publication.
With: Jean-Luc Blanc, Florence Doléac, Camille Ducellier, Mary Beth Edelson, León Ferrari, Derek Jarman, Richard John Jones & Max Allen, Latifa Laâbissi, Bruce Lacey, Ana Mendieta, Anita Molinero, Marie Preston, Olivia Plender and Patrick Staff, Carolee Schneemann and Victoria Vesna, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero
A group show engaging the histories of music, sound and speech as reinterpreted and written by artists. From Latifa Echakhch’s geopolitical scores and Adrian Piper’s funk lessons to a concert by a group that Hiwa K has assembled in Delme, the exhibition presented works that sketched diverse aural genealogies. Held at La Synagogue de Delme and co-curated with Sam Thorne.
With: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Latifa Echakhch, Sharon Hayes, Hiwa K, Franck Leibovici, Eileen Simpson/Ben White, Adrian Piper, The Otolith Group
Nothing Beautiful Unless Useful delved into nineteenth century industrialisation and the making and patronage of art. Centering on the relationship between art and social reform between 1850 and 1950, this exhibition focused on three case studies: Thomas Horsfall’s Manchester Art Museum (1886-1953), Leeds Art Club (1903-1923) and Mass Observation (1937-1950). All three organisations simultaneously looked to art as a means to “instruct” and empower the working classes, and promote social progress.
The exhibition took place at the Whitechapel Gallery and was the result of a fellowship with the Contemporary Art Society, which entailed researching public collections in the north of England, from Liverpool to Manchester, through to Leeds and Carlisle.
With: Graham Bell, Frank Brangwyn, Edward Burne-Jones, Walter Crane, Emily Ford, Eric Gill, James Hamilton Hay, William Henry Hunt, William Holman Hunt, Humphrey Jennings, Jacob Kramer, L. S. Lowry, Patti Mayor, Gwladys Rodgers, John Ruskin, Humphrey Spender, Emily Gertrude Thomson
Plus ou moins sorcières was the precursor to The Witching Hour and the result of a year-long curatorial residency, three exhibitions and an events series at La Maison populaire, Montreuil in Greater Paris. The exhibitions approached the figure of the witch as a militant symbol and in its relation to feminism, queerness, nature, rituals, collectivity and capitalism.
With: Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, AA Bronson, Vanessa Desclaux and Morgane Lory, Camille Ducellier, Mikala Dwyer, Victoria Halford and Steve Beard, Latifa Laâbissi, Candice Lin, Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson, Olivia Plender and Patrick Staff, Marie Preston, Joan Jonas, Birgit Jürgenssen, Suzanne Treister
Using anthropologists Arjun Appadurai and Igor Kopytoff’s concepts of “social life” or “cultural biography” of objects, this group exhibition set out to map the socio-economic, cultural and political implications behind the circulation of tropical plants since the end of the 16th century. Held at Bétonsalon, Paris and co-curated with Mélanie Bouteloup and Flora Katz. Scientific curators: Françoise Vergès and Serge Volper.
With: Hendrick Danckerts, Édouard Bouët-Willaumez, Germaine Krull, André Lassoudière, Lois Weinberger, Amos Gitaï, Claire Pentecost, Dan Peterman, Dominique Juhé-Beaulaton, Mark Dion, Maria Thereza Alves, Otobong Nkanga, Yo-Yo Gonthier, Pablo Bronstein, Marie Preston
A sequel to the exhibition Hydrarchy: Power and Resistance at Sea at Gasworks, this group show curated with Mia Jankowicz for Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo continued its exploration into the sea as a geopolitical space.
With: Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Ayed Arafah, Bouchra Khalili, Uriel Orlow, The Otolith Group, Xaviera Simmons, Take to the Sea (Lina Attalah, Laura Cugusi, Nida Ghouse, Shaimaa Yehia and Mohamed Abdel Gawad), Lawrence Weiner
One caption hides another aimed to expand the field countering official history by taking as a departure point a key topic in current museological debates, that of anthropological restitution. The exhibition further problematised the displacement between traditional and cult object, on the one hand, and historical and museological object, on the other. Held at Bétonsalon, Paris and co-curated with Melanie Bouteloup.
With: Agency, Daniel Boyd, Peggy Buth, Jimmie Durham, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Camille Henrot, Patrizio di Massimo, Uriel Orlow, Francis Upritchard, Françoise Vergès (Maison des Civilisations et de l’Unité Réunionnaise), Susan Vogel
Solo show by Matthieu Kleyebe Abonnenc at Gasworks, London.
A group exhibition approaching historical and contemporary examinations of the sea and the offshore as contested cultural, political, legal and socio-economic territories. Focusing on specific events, situations and mythologies attached to past and recent maritime history, the works address power relations at sea and the forms of resistance and survival developed as a response. Held at Gasworks, London and co-curated with Mia Jankowicz.
With: Mathieu K. Abonnenc, Goldin+Senneby, Laura Horelli, Melanie Jackson, Anja Kirschner and David Panos, Paul McCarthy, Uriel Orlow, Femmy Otten, Christodoulos Panayiotou, João Pedro Vale
A project uncovering the largely untold history of Brixton-based activist Olive Morris (1952-1979). Developed by London-based artist Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre, this exhibition was the culmination of three years of artist and community-led research inspired by this remarkable figure in South London’s recent history.
The Remembering Olive Collective developed the public programme and worked on an archival project.
A second generation collective, Remembering Olive Collective (ROC 2.0) was set up in 2019.
The Otolith Group received a nomination for the Turner Prize 2010 for their A Long Time Between Suns project and the respective exhibitions at Gasworks and The Showroom.
A group exhibition focusing on how European colonial powers during the 17th and 18th Centuries appropriated the natural environment in the Americas. The exhibition featured works which address how organisms, land and people have been respectively classified, renamed and dislocated by generations of explorers and colonisers, as a consequence of economically and scientifically motivated expeditions by European empires to the Americas.
With: Maria Thereza Alves, Vasco Araujo, Alberto Baraya, Matthew Buckingham, Luis Camnitzer, Antonio Caro, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Jimmie Durham, Andrea Geyer, Miler Lagos, Gabriel Sierra
Disclosures was a platform set up with curator and writer Mia Jankowicz that aimed to open up and draw parallels between non-dominant histories, contemporary cultural practices and political structures. Disclosures organised four projects that took the form of seminars, commissioning, exhibitions and events programming clustered round a single focus each time.
– Disclosures at Gasworks, London, 2008;
– Disclosures II: The Middle Ages, 2008 in collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary as part of their pre-opening programme;
– Women and the Archive: A Partial Disclosure, 2009 at the defunct Women’s Library in London;
– Hydrarchy: Power and Resistance at Sea, 2010 at Gasworks.
Older projects, 2005-09
At Gasworks, I curated solo exhibitions by the Otolith Group, Aurélien Froment, Martin Beck, Olivia Plender, Matthew Darbyshire and Gail Pickering, among others which are currently not available on the website’s archives.
I curated the project Radio Gallery in 2006 for Resonance FM inviting artists, curators and cultural practitioners to think of one hour of radio as an exhibition space. The website is now defunct but the e-flux announcement remains live. Participants included: Åbäke, Sinisa Mitrovic and Susan Phillips, Francesco Manacorda and Ryan Gander, Oliva Plender, Raimundas Malasauskas.
I co-curated the sound art project Six Sites For Sound with Tobi Maier in 2005, in spaces that have largely disappeared and no longer have an internet presence. Participants included Jem Finer, Keiko Uenishi and Michael J. Schumacher.