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What Does the Artwork Do?: Criticality and Context

Work by Art and Language.

Instead of asking the question “What is Art?”, the symposium provided a space to explore and debate the role and purpose of artwork.

4 December 2014

Through presentations and workshops the event, held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), considered the work of art as a site of criticality and the context of the artwork’s criticality.

Before the symposium a statement from the artists Art & Language was uploaded to alongside an open invitation for short responses to the theme. These were then used as a basis for discussion on the day.

Symposium speakers included: Art & Language, Elena Crippa, David Dibosa, Paul Gladston, Jo Melvin, Bob and Roberta Smith, Chris Smith.

The symposium coincided with an exhibition entitled 'Nobody Spoke' by Art & Language at the Lisson Gallery. Students were given a private tour of the exhibition with Joanna Thornberry and Jo Melvin, as well as, invited to attend the Jackson Pollock Bar performance at the gallery.

What Does the Artwork Do?: Criticality and Context was presented by the Graduate School in collaboration with Lisson Gallery and the ICA.

Mel Ramsden and Michael Baldwin (Art & Language) have been appointed Visiting Professor to Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon in 2015 - 16.

Further reading:

Jo Melvin on the responses to the Art & Language statement