Marking its 70th anniversary this year, New Contemporaries will celebrate its legacy and future direction with a two-day conference with The Research Forum, Courtauld Institute of Art in London. The conference programme will address the development of New Contemporaries as it continually evolves to support the needs of emerging artists and practices. Established in 1949, New Contemporaries, formerly Young Contemporaries, is the longest-running support platform for emerging artists.
The programme will explore different aspects of representation and visibility for emerging arts, bringing into dialogue artists, curators, writers and artworks from New Contemporaries history alongside contributors drawn from the Courtauld’s own alumni network of curators, artists and art historians.
Day 1 will explore notions of diversity and gender politics in the UK’s art scene, along with definitions of the contemporary. Panel discussions will consider globalisation, identity and the difficulty in defining new artistic tendencies as well as what agency performance art still holds as an artistic medium.
Day 2 will focus on the future of artistic practice and the responses needed to support its continual evolution. Sessions will discuss new artwork platforms, how conventional forms of exhibition making are evolving, opportunities for artistic collaboration, and new and necessary funding models for artists.
Schedule and Programme
Day 1: 25th October – In My Generation
Registration: 9.30 – 10.00
Day: 10.00 – 19:00
Panel 1: Diversity, globalisation and identity politics in the UK art scene
Kevin Atherton & Sunil Gupta, chaired by Sacha Craddock.
Panel 2: Representations of gender politics and sexuality in New Contemporaries
Presentations from Edwin Coomasaru, Adham Faramawy, Laura Hindmarsh & Elaine Shemilt, followed by a Q&A.
Screening of films by Derek Jarman with an introduction by James Mackay, Jarman’s collaborator.
Presentation from Alex Massouras on his PhD research on New Contemporaries history, which appears in his thesis ‘Patronage, Professionalism and Youth: The Emerging Artist And London’s Art Institutions 1949–1988’
Panel 3: The emergence and evolving agency of performance practice in New Contemporaries
Mike Collier & Emily Gray in conversation about the ‘Live Show’ exhibitions of 1976 and 1977, which ran in parallel to the New Contemporaries exhibition and focused on performance and live works, followed by a Q&A.
Panel discussion with Leah Capaldi & Mike Collier, chaired by Kirsty Ogg.
Performance of Auto Cutie by Rosa-Johan Uddoh
Day 2: 26th October – The Shape of Things to Come
Registration: 9.30 – 10.00
Day: 10.00 – 18.30
Panel 4: The evolving gallery: online platforms and virtual spaces
Panel discussion and Q&A with Lawrence Lek, Laura Sillars & Jon Thomson (Thomson & Craighead), chaired by Erika Balsom.
Screening of Larry Achiampong and David Blandy’s FF Gaiden: Black Death, with an introduction by project collaborator, Kamile Ofoeme.
Panel 5: Collaborative and participatory practices as an agent of autonomy
Panel discussion and Q&A with Cullinan Richards, Alan Kane & Alison Craighead (Thomson & Craighead), chaired by Kirsty Ogg.
Panel 6: Sustaining emerging practice through new support structures and necessary funding models.
Panel discussion and Q&A with Anna Colin, Matt Copson & Chris Rawcliffe, chaired by Russell Martin.
Screening of TOO MANY FEELINGS by Georgia Lucas-Going
Panel 7: Rethinking historical and conventional forms of exhibition making: where next for the artist/curator?
Panel discussion and Q&A with Jeremy Akerman, Ryan Gander & Zarina Muhammad, chaired by Jeremy Millar.
Closing performance by Patrick Cole.
Full price: £20 a day or £30 for the two days
Concessions: £10 a day or £15 for the two days
The Courtauld conference is part of an ambitious public programme of events for New Contemporaries 70th anniversary comprising exhibitions, talks, symposia and workshops, as well as contributions from alumni in the form of performances, commissions and filmed interviews.