In the spring of 2016, Adam King returned to the area south of Norwich, Norfolk, where he grew up. The semi-rural landscape is currently undergoing considerable road and housing development. Over a period of 14 months, King produced a series of constructions, along with related regular format drawings, to explore and make sense of the changes in the identity of a once-familiar landscape.
Adam King was born in 1971 in Norwich, Norfolk. He received a BA (Hons) Painting from Brighton University (1994) and an MA in Drawing from Wimbledon School of Art, London (2003).
Renee Spierdijk’s work responds to images of young women in formal settings, mainly from found photographs. Spierdijk’s current work is largely set in 19th century America during the civil war and its immediate aftermath; a time of upheaval when many were forced to search for a new identity or had a new identity imposed on them. This is an experience which is both timeless and in an era of continued forced migration as contemporary as ever.
Renee Spierdijk is a Dutch artist, born in Amsterdam, who came to England in 1977. She studied Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmith’s College, and now lives and works in Cambridge.
Exhibition Preview, Friday 9 March from 7-9pm
Performance by Sophie Seita ‘Making Light: In the Temple of Formidable Hypotheses’, at 7:30pm (duration 15mins)
“Truth” is of no small importance to human affairs, yet it has been and remains a contested category. Its status shifts radically through time, place, religion, discipline— and today, social platform. Truth can be definite and mercurial, divine and political. As secularism, cosmopolitanism and positivism enter a moment of crisis, and as information seems to be ever more available – while also subject to algorithmic modification – anxieties about the status of truth and the transparency of information are on the rise.
“Post-truth” was the 2016 Oxford English Dictionary word of the year, denoting “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” The crisis in objectivity that this new word unveils has been accompanied by an unprecedented proliferation of homemade images that excel the art of “remixology”, the “practice of recombining preexistent content”. These images result in often-fake contents that circulate both virally and ephemerally online. The “post-truth phenomenon”, however, is not only fuelled by low-tech and intimate creativity, but also by technologically sophisticated and politically driven techniques of image creation, alteration and destruction. These sustain electoral agendas, responses to catastrophe and affective relationships to powerholders.
While fake news has a long history, its contemporary currency has been enhanced by the ways in which new biopolitical regimes, from genetic testing to big data, confront more entrenched epistemes. These regimes are potentially capable of bypassing old forms of expertise and knowledge production. The ethical and aesthetic significance of this shift in the status of “truth” is pending critical debate, as is art’s response to the current wave of iconographic politicization, conspiratorial fears, and data skepticism. Reality Machines addresses this “knowledge controversy” while intersecting it with the work of artists from a multiplicity of countries working as activists, social critics, and human rights advocates. Curated by Mara Polgovsky Ezcurrain.
The exhibition extends over all floors of the building.
The third pandemic of plague (in its bubonic and pneumonic clinical forms) struck the globe with devastating results between 1894 and 1959. It was the first time that plague would reach and establish itself in all inhabited continents. It was also the first time that any epidemic would be photographed. As plague spread from harbour to harbour, and amongst cities, towns and villages, so did photographs of the pandemic through reproductions in the daily and illustrated press. The exhibition Visions of Plague showcases for the first time this founding moment in epidemic photography. Showing photographs collected and digitized from across the world by the ERC-funded project Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic, the exhibition takes us from the frozen steppes of Manchuria to San Francisco, Brazil, India and Madagascar, where epidemics of plague challenged colonial and national forms of government, reshaped the urban environment and generated new ways of understanding infectious diseases.
Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic is an ERC project held at the University of St Andrews’ Social Anthropology Department and the University of Cambridge’s CRASSH, and led by medical anthropologist Dr Christos Lynteris. The project and the exhibition is funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant (under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme/ERC grant agreement no 336564).
The exhibition Visions of Plague: Photographs of the Third Plague Pandemic was realised with the cooperation of the Wellcome Library, the San Francisco Public Library, the Institute of Experimental Medicine, the Hong Kong University Library Special Collections, the Centre for South Asian Studies (Cambridge), the Joseph Needham Research Institute, the New York Academy of Medicine Library, and the Institut Pasteur Archives.
EXHIBITION RECEPTION & ARTIST TALKS, 30 NOVEMBER 2017, 5.30-8PM
There will always be a question over the photographic image as to whether it can ever truly capture reality. ‘Artificial Things’ explores this idea further, bringing together photographic artists who use the medium to explore and merge the boundaries of the fake, the real, and the in-between.
Artist talks start at 6PM
The More That is Taken Away – Ben Altman
Liquid Images – Clara Turchi
This exhibition has been organised and curated in collaboration with Shutter Hub.
Thursday 19 October 2017, 5 – 8PM
Rooms SG1&2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT
Help artist Robert Good celebrate the launch of A New Dictionary of Art – a new approach to an old problem.
Robert will be joined by philosopher Professor Derek Matravers, artist John Clark and designer Jane Glennie for a lively and informative discussion about his project to collate over 3000 definitions of Art from the Internet. Includes a short reading, book signing, and refreshments.
A New Dictionary of Art – One word: 3,000 definitions.
“Both splendid and splendidly bonkers” – Professor Derek Matravers, philosopher
The definition of ‘Art’ has exercised philosophers, artists, and art-lovers for centuries, yet we are no nearer a consensus of what in fact it is. The one term not found in most dictionaries of art is the term ‘Art’ itself.
A New Dictionary of Art takes a refreshingly alternative approach, allowing you to take your pick from over 3,000 definitions compiled from the internet via chat-rooms and discussion forums as well as from more established authorities, artists and institutions. Passions run high as formal sits alongside informal, jocular alongside vulgar: all are left to fight it out on the page.
Each entry is carefully alphabetised and has been valiantly edited and annotated for accuracy and completeness to the point of absurdity. By retaining the format and formality of a dictionary in this way, A New Dictionary of Art acknowledges with humour our continuing desire for absolute knowledge and certainty.
“Weirdly but powerfully provocative… one of the most useful things I’ve read in a while” – John Clark, painter
Robert Good is an artist based in Cambridge UK and Masters graduate from Cambridge School of Art, ARU
Derek Matravers is a philosopher of aesthetics at the Open University and a former Research Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge.
John Clark is a painter and maker based in Cambridge UK.
Jane Glennie is an artist and typographer and founder of Peculiarity Press.
To recognise and commemorate the many meanings of freedom in South Asia in 1947, the Centre of South Asian Studies is holding the first ever public exhibition of its collections. Seventy years on we look back to reflect on the lead-up to and the consequences of independence, partition, and decolonisation. The Centre of South Asian Studies has a unique archive of photographs, maps and films. Across the four floors of the Alison Richard Building, the exhibition will have on display some of the highlights of its collections, most of which are being shown publicly for the first time. These images illustrate the diversity of anti-colonial struggles and independence movements, as well as depict British rule in the twilight of empire.
Please join the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, and the Centre’s Committee of Management in launching the exhibition on Friday, 25 August at 4pm. Drinks and snacks will be served.
The exhibition is part of the University of Cambridge Museums ‘India Unboxed’ programme.
8 June – 28 July 2017
Exhibition opening event on 8 June 2017, from 6 – 8PM
Edgelands presents the work of six visual artists who explore and document the wastelands and the neglected environs to be found on the margins of urban living. Housing estates, out of town retail parks and industrial areas, these spaces are the great ‘unnamed and ignored landscapes…places where our slipstream has created a zone of inattention’ and yet where all manner of interest and beauty thrive.
The exhibition opening starts with a dance performance by LKR & Co (London), choreographed by Lizzi Kew Ross and featuring eight students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. The dancers explore the modern glass spaces in and around the atrium area of the Alison Richard Building and echo the works by artists from the Contemporary British Painting Group. The haunting sounds of a solo viola accompanies the dance with a composition by Michael Berkeley.
7.00 – 8.00PM
‘In Conversation’ evening with Iain Sinclair and Nick Papadimitriou. Sinclair and Papadimitriou, writers on the wastelands and edgelands of Britain, will be talking about their work, followed by a Q&A. This event is free, but booking is recommended.
Iain Sinclair is best known for his book London Orbital, an account of his walking and exploring the terrain close by the M25. Iain is a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction and has presented a number of films for TV and cinema.
Nick Papadimitriou’s exploratory walks led him to coin the phrase ‘Deep Topography’, an amalgam of writing and observation. His much-acclaimed Scarp is a survey of the northern edges of London. Nick is the subject fo John Roger’s film The London Perambulator.
An exhibition of works by two Cambridge artists from different generations, approaching colour, material and abstraction in contrasting ways. This exhibition aims to span these differences and to create interesting visual conversations in the spaces of the Alison Richard Building.
Julia Ball was born in Devon in 1930. She trained at Reading University as a printmaker and has lived in Cambridge since the early 1960s. The East Anglian coast has influenced her work with its spectacular space, light and colour. Agnes Martin and Winifred Nicholson have also both been influential in her work. Julia is represented in the Kettle’s Yard as well as the New Hall art collections.
Loukas Morley studied photography and cinematography at college; the multiple layers found in his paintings bearing reference to the layering of narratives, colour, compilation and framing. He is spare and precise in his work; his paintings are like traces of a performance that took place in his studio. The materiality of paint and its physical relationship with the body, enable him to choreograph compositions that are the tangible placements of his mark making. Loukas is currently artist in residence at Christs College, University of Cambridge.
We have teamed up with photography organisation Shutter Hub, and are excited to announce the call out for submissions for ‘Artificial Things’, a photography exhibition taking place in the Alison Richard Building from November 2017 to January 2018.
There will always be a question over the photographic image as to whether it can ever truly capture reality, but with ‘Artificial Things’ we’d like to explore that idea further, to bring together photographic artists who use photography to explore and merge the boundaries of the fake and the real.
This exhibition will endeavour to bring together contemporary photography that reaches across the medium into alternative and historical processes and stretches the format of photography to its very edges whilst broadly investigating the theme of ‘Artificial Things’.
The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Monday 04 September 2017.