Open Courtauld

After Hours: To Be Human

Courtauld staircase

Join this ‘After Hours’ event for a special evening of performances and pop-up talks that explore what it means to be human. Art constantly seeks to understand, as well as revealing, the human condition. This event will investigate the characters in our collection –  the muses, artists and viewers. To respond to the theme we are working with artist Paul Kindersley to stage a site wide Tableau vivant as well as Wet Paint author Chloë Ashby, The Courtauld BAME Society, Feminist Society and Gender and Sexuality Working Group to host pop-up talks exploring intersectionality within our collection.

Our After Hours series is produced as part of the Open Courtauld strand hosted by The Research Forum. This strand is all about sharing advanced research in art history, curating, and conservation, and is part of our Courtauld Connects project. 

Aligning with The Courtauld’s digital events series ‘Open Courtauld Hour’ our ‘After Hours’ will broach contemporary issues in society through participatory activities that encourage new perspectives and thinking, focused on The Courtauld collection. 

This event has passed.

18 May 2022

7pm - 9pm GMT

£0.00 - £9.00

The Courtauld Gallery

Free tickets are available for current Courtauld staff, students, friends, partners and volunteers. Booking closes 30 minutes before the event start time.


After HoursOpen Courtauld



Paul Kindersley presents ‘Don’t Touch Me’ a new theatrical extravaganza based (very) loosely on the collection at The Courtauld. Performed amongst the artworks in hand painted costumes and faces by a travelling bande of comrades this romp explores the relationship between the artists hand and his subject in the style of a medieval travelling mystery play. Both rehearsal and event, the play references the works of Cranach, Reynolds, Botticelli and others whilst confounding and challenging an audience’s expectation of a static artwork.  

Pop-up Talks

  • 7.15 – 7.25: Andrew Cummings (Gender and Sexuality Research Group), Saint Sebastian’s Queer Afterlives, Marco Zoppo’s Saint Sebastian in a Rocky Landscape, Room 3 Blavatnik Fine Rooms (Second Floor) 
  • 7.30 – 7.40:  Lynn Ha (Courtauld Feminist Society), Cecily Brown’s Unmoored from her reflection, Weston Gallery (Third Floor)
  • 7.45 – 7.55: Ruby Bansal and Jamie Kodera (Courtauld BAME Society), Paul Gauguin, The LVMH Great Room (Third Floor) 
  • 8.00 – 8.10: Andrew Cummings (Gender and Sexuality Research Group), Saint Sebastian’s Queer Afterlives, Marco Zoppo’s Saint Sebastian in a Rocky Landscape,  Room 3 Blavatnik Fine Rooms (Second Floor) 
  • 8.15 – 8.25: Constanza Portocarrero De Las Heras (Courtauld Feminist Society), Renoir’s La Loge, Weston Gallery (Third Floor)
  • 8.30 – 8.40: Ruby Bansal and Jamie Kodera (Courtauld BAME Society), Paul Gauguin, The LVMH Great Room (Third Floor) 

Food, Drink and Shopping!

  • 7.00 – 9.00: Both our stylish shop and pop-up bar will be open throughout the event. In each space we have crafted a shopping and eating experience inspired by the world-class artworks on display at The Courtauld.

Please note there will be a special book signing by Chloë Ashby, author of Wet Paint!


Meet the experts, artists and performers!

Chloë Ashby is an author and arts journalist. Since graduating from the Courtauld Institute of Art, she has written for publications such as the TLS, Guardian, FT Life & Arts, Spectator and frieze. She is the author of Look At This If You Love Great Art (Ivy Press; June 2021) and Colours of Art: The Story of Art in 80 Palettes (Frances Lincoln; August 2022). Wet Paint (Trapeze; April 2022) is her debut novel.

Ruby Bansal is the current Student Union President at The Courtauld. She graduated from the undergraduate course in the summer of 2021, specialising in representations of minority communities in political visual communications. During her final year, Ruby co-founded the Courtauld’s BAME Society, which sought to create an informal space for non-white Courtauld students could seek support throughout their degrees, whilst also organising panel discussions with art historians and practitioners.

Andrew Cummings is Associate lecturer and PhD student at The Courtauld. Andrew’s thesis is ‘Strange Encounters: The Alien, Queerness, and Contemporary Asian Art (1990–Present)’.

Lynn Ha is a BA2 student at the Courtauld from South Korea. As the event officer of the Feminist Society at the Courtauld, Lynn has worked as part of the society to organise interesting events such as a series of talks on women in art history. Lynn loves learning about the complex relationships between art and politics, which she believes expands the grounds of art and broadens perspective on art’s impact on society, or vice versa. Because she enjoy looking at artworks that question the position of art in society, she is very interested in modern and contemporary art, especially understanding them in relation to both individual and collective identity, including race and gender.

Paul Kindersley is a London based artist, filmmaker, performer, and video broadcaster working across performance, film, ceramics, drawing and storytelling. His work has been exhibited widely including at Kettle’s Yard, MACVAL Paris, Charleston House, The Hayward Gallery, and the Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge. He is also a visiting lecturer and drawing teacher at UAL. His latest works include the feature film ‘The Burning Baby’, a surreal psychological horror fairy-tale that investigates our relationship to landscape, identity, family, sexuality and death.

Jamie Kodera is currently the Personal Assistant to Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Serpentine Galleries. She completed her MA from the Courtauld in 2021, studying under Jo Applin. During her year at the Courtauld, she established BAME Society, alongside undergraduate student Ruby Bansal. Prior to moving to London, she worked in Development at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and has interned at the MIT Media Lab, Boston Centre for the Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.

Constanza Portocarrero De Las Heras is a BA2 History of Art student at the Courtauld. During her two years as Social Media Officer for the Feminist Society, she has publicised society events and posted book reviews, short biographies about female artists and informational posts about feminist issues. She is fascinated by technical art history, such as X-rays of paintings, and global contemporary art, whether from Latin America, China, or Europe. Throughout her studies, she tries to incorporate feminist readings of both artworks and art histories.