A Symposium exploring artists interventions at the Freud Museum and beyond
This half-day symposium uses Paul Coldwell’s current exhibition at the Freud Museum, Temporarily Accessioned: Freud’s Coat Revisited as a starting point to explore artistic interventions inside and outside the Freud Museum
The Freud Museum is the antithesis to the concept of ‘the white cube’, a space stripped of references wherein artworks can be viewed without distraction. Here the artist has to fight for space and compete with an environment not only rich in material possessions, but also in the stories that it fosters. This symposium considers ways that artists and curators have approached this challenge and how increasingly, digital media has become part of an artist’s studio practice.
Carol Seigel (Director, Freud Museum)
Ropes, tropes and bots: Museums working with artists and new media
Finding the Freud Museum one May afternoon wrapped in ropes of Alice Anderson's copper hair is the beginning of an investigation into why museums like the Freud and contemporary artists choose to work together. Travelling from Hampstead to Wellcome Collection on the Euston Road, the journey takes in artists working with digital technology, twitter's role in mental health, and the relationship between the digital artist and the coder-maker. The final stop will be back at the museum's archive, where we ask how ephemeral digital works can be preserved beyond their moment of life.
Dr Joanne Morra
Why Contemporary Art? Why Inside the Freud Museum?
More and more contemporary art exhibitions are finding their way into institutional spaces such as large and small-scale museums: whether they are national historical museums or independent micromuseums, contemporary art seems to be increasingly welcome in these spaces. What makes contemporary art so appealing to these institutions? What can contemporary art contribute to a museum whose primary focus is not art? Is the purpose of contemporary art to raise matters or questions that are otherwise repressed in these sites? Or does contemporary art simply become complicit with the museum’s status quo? Can a contemporary art exhibition make a lasting incursion, or is it a temporary hiatus in the museum’s otherwise normative practices?
By considering the Freud Museum London’s extraordinary history of contemporary art exhibitions, this talk will open up these questions for discussion.
in conversation with Carol Seigel
Paul Coldwell will discuss his relationship with the Freud Museum, beginning in 1996, the work made for this current exhibition and his projects with other museums and collections.
The symposium will be followed by drinks at the Museum and view of the current exhibition. In Temporarily Accessioned: Freud’s Coat Revisited Paul Coldwell presents new work, twenty years after first exhibiting at the Freud Museum London in an exhibition entitled Freud’s Coat. This current work has just been shown at the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new film, The Hope, by Susan Steinberg.
Paul Coldwell is a practicing artist and Professor in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, the University of the Arts London. His art practice includes prints, book works, sculptures and installations. He has exhibited widely, and his work is included in numerous public collections, including Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), the British Museum, the Arts Council of England and the Musee d’art et d’histoire, Geneva. He was selected for the Ljubljana Print Biennial in 1997 and 2005; for the International Print Triennial, Cracow in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009; and the Northern Print Biennial in 2009 and 2011. In 2013 the Universities of Canterbury and Greenwich presented a survey exhibition of his prints, ‘A Layered Practice Graphic Work 1993-2012’. In the same year he also had a solo exhibition at the Scott Polar Research Institute entitled Re-Imagining Scott which included prints, postcards, sculptures and glassworks. Material Things at Gallery II, University of Bradford, focused at the relationship between his sculptures and prints over a period of fifteen years.
Danny Birchall is Digital Content Manager at the Wellcome Collection. He has been working with digital technology, art and education for twenty years, currently at London's Wellcome Collection. He is also working on a forthcoming exhibition for the Wende Museum in Los Angeles about the psychological landscape of the Cold War.
Dr Joanne Morra is Reader in Art History and Theory at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. She runs The Doctoral Platform at CSM, and is Founding Principal Editor of Journal of Visual Culture. She has published widely on modern and contemporary art and psychoanalysis, including in New Formations (Spring 2002), The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future (co-edited with Smith, MIT 2006), What is Research in the Visual Arts? (eds. Holly & Smith, 2008), Journal of History of Modern Art, (December 2009). Recent activities include the exhibition Saying It (Freud Museum London 2012), 50 Years of Art and Objecthood (with Green, Journal of Visual Culture, April 2017), the research project Intimacy Unguarded: Autobiography, Biography, Memoir (with Talbot, forthcoming issue of Journal of Visual Arts Practice, November 2017), and her forthcoming monograph Inside the Freud Museums: History, Memory and Site-Responsive Art (I.B. Tauris, 2017).
Carol Seigel is Director of the Freud Museum London. She is a historian by training, studying at Cambridge University and at Birkbeck, University of London. Before coming to the Freud Museum in 2009 she worked at a number of other museums, including the Museum of London, the Jewish Museum and Hampstead Museum.