To coincide with the launch of Huw Wahl’s film about the 1970s radical art movement Action Space, this one-day symposium, hosted by the Centre for Sculptural Thinking, explores how spaces – public and civic – can be put into action.
Founded by artist-educators Ken and Mary Turner in 1968, Action Space used large inflatable sculptures to create interventions with members of the public and different communities. Bringing together artists, performers, dancers, painters and musicians, the movement sought to produce cultural democratic spaces for art, education and creative play outside of the restrictive space of the gallery system.
Wahl’s award winning film (Prix d'Argent, 2016) features archive footage of the first ten years of Action Space in operation, alongside interviews with key members of the movement, present-day writers and theorists. It also presents a new iteration of an inflatable sculpture within which contemporary performances and happenings are staged.
This symposium explores artistic projects, past and present, which have sought to put space-into-action, and presents an opportunity for a day event which brings together different approaches to the dynamics of activating space in art and culture.
Schedule for the day
9.00-9.45 – Registration and Tea/Coffee
9.45-10am - Introduction: Rowan Bailey
10.00: Dawna Schuld (Department of Visualization, Texas A&M University), Happenstance and Presence: Incident as Sculpture in the Work of Maria Nordman.
10.20: Ana Torok (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London), “An Inspiring Wreck”: Rooms, P.S. 1 and the Work of the IAUR as an Enactment of Henri Lefebvre’s Right to the City.
10.40: Anna-Maria Kanta (Department of the History of Art, University College London), Ferdinand Kriwet in Televisual Space: Mass Media, the Public as Sculpture and the Architecture of a Counter Public Sphere.
11.00-11.30: Q&A. Chaired by Rowan Bailey
11.30-11.45: 15 min break
11.45: Elisabetta Rattalino (School of Art History, University of St. Andrews), Curating the Invisible: Ecological Implications in Maria Lai’s Legarsi alla Montagna.
12.05: Rose Butler and Becky Shaw (Sheffield Hallam University), Hide and Seek: Playing with Visibility.
12.25: Boris Oicherman and Laura Steenberge (Department of Art and Art History and Department of Music, Stanford University) 49 Days for Space: Reflections on an Experiment in Public Learning.
12.45 – 1.15: Q&A. Chaired by Dawna Schuld
2.30 – 4.00: Film Screening of Action Space Film – filmmaker Huw Wahl
4.00 – 4.30: General discussion with participants in project - Amanda Ravetz, Ken Turner, Huw Wahl, etc. Chair – Tim Stott (Dublin School of Creative Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology).
4.30-5.00: Closing Remarks
For further details please see: https://www.hud.ac.uk/research/researchcentres/st/psia/