Director, MA Curating Contemporary Art, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds
Installing 'Merz', Magazin 4, Bregenz 2006
I have been an artist and curator since mid 70s. I worked with Paul Neagu after leaving Chelsea and St Martins Schools of Art, maintaining a studio whilst teaching. I started to organise exhibitions in 90s more energetically, with Runa Islam, Matthew Arnatt and David Mollin. We involved critics Mark Harris and Julian Stallabras and others in important independent shows such as Candyman2, Lost Property and Flag.
Flag itself represented a nomadic and serial way of working. We used domestic space very often, and worked closely with Bank, and artists groups such as Urban Drift in Berlin, at that time [around ten years of active alternative curating in London and cities in mainland Europe [Beauvais, Berlin, Amsterdam]. Big Blue was a poster project set on Election night in London in 97 and on the following year on the anniversary of the Berlin Wall, at Checkpoint Charlie. I collaborated with Franscesca Ferguson and we went on to think about peripheral spaces. These independent actions had political dimensions to making work and were recognised by Emma Dexter, shown at Tate Modern in Century City and later for the German Pavilion at the 9th Architecture Venice Biennale.
I was also holding the post of assistant Director of Curating at Goldsmiths at the time 99-03. I had written the essay for Get Together at Kunsthalle, Vienna, in 98, based on my work as Curator, organising the project Host at Tramway a year earlier, that attempted to formalise the alternative strategies that now are nominated as 'curating' or 'relational'. The Kunstverein Bregenz allowed me to curate British artists in group shows from 98 -07 that gave a look from central Europe to what we were doing in London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Belfast, and how there were parallel developments in other countries. I was invited to Milan by NABA to the Utopia Display Platform, to debate these ideas with Maria Lind and others. I worked in the Middle East at Sharjah Museum and established in 2002, with Hoor Al-Qasimi, the international dimensions and 'global' focus of the 6th Sharjah Biennale, as its Chief Curator.
Back to London I set up Redux in Commercial Street with Makiko Nagaya, hosting curators and artists projects, invited to take over the space where we also lived. 50 projects were held there since 2004. I moved my practice to Leeds Met University as Fellow [in Curating] in 2004 and set up /seconds online journal, a curatorial project designed to network artists and curators internationally and build new relationships, especially questioning value in the art work via its electronic significations.
Currently I am organising the guest lecture series at Leeds Art Gallery, starting with Gilda Williams. This series will anticipate the MA in Curating Contemporary Art at Leeds Met. Students will work in multiplying and extending some of these experiments, utilising the research of Redux and seconds to assemble a critique of new curatorial projects.