a.a.s. have been busily creating new instructions for visitors to follow based on the books in our exhibition The Cover of a Book is the Beginning of a Journey. .
You can see them each week on the balck board in the exhibition and on Saturday 27th November you’ll have the opportunity to act some of them out with the artists. Drop into the artists studio or contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join in.
Here’s a few they’ve come up with already…
If you’re into books next week is where it’s at! As well as The Cover of a Book is the Beginning of a Journey opening here at the Gallery on Saturday 9th Oct, next week sees the start of Birmingham Book Festival 2010:
‘Now in its eleventh year the Birmingham Book Festival makes its return to the city from Tuesday 5th – Thursday 21st October. Featuring both fiction and non-fiction writers, poets and workshops, it promises to be a celebration of literature encouraging us to read, write and think.
Highlights include Lionel Shriver, Jackie Kay, John O’Farrell, David Nicholls and Jonathan Coe, plus a panel of new voices. Other events include a keynote exploring the meaning of city of culture, a workshop in Ikon Eastside’s Hitchcock’s Hallway, tea and cake with Jenny Eclair and the BBC’s Environment and Science correspondent David Shukman who brings tales from his new book, Reporting Live from the End of the World.
The Festival also features international writers including the granddaughter of a murdered Prime Minister, Fatima Bhutto from Pakistan and contemporary German writer Jörg Albrecht. Other writers encouraging audiences to think include British diplomat Philip Barclay who brings an account of Zimbabwe’s violent 2008 elections and human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce who has represented families and victims of the Lockerbie air disaster, the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg and the Birmingham Six.’
For more information about all of the events visit www.birminghambookfestival.org
Tickets can be booked at www.birminghamboxoffice.com or by calling 0121 303 2323.
You canalso keep up to date with them though Twitter and Facebook.
Last Thursday Serena Korda came back to The New Art Gallery to lead a Book Club Debate on Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H.Lawrence. She was joined by journalist and broadcaster Helen Brown, along with several members of the public and gallery staff.
It was a great discussion, which got pretty heated, particulaly when topics such as feminism were examined.
Gallery Assistant Julie Jones gave us some valuable insights into Lawrence’s personal life. Discussion quicky turned to censorship and controversy, particularly regarding views on sex in the early 20th Century, which effected several artists of that time. Lawrence came up against a similar attitude from the public/authorities about Lady C as Epstein did about various works, for example The Tomb of Oscar Wilde and the British Medical Building sculptures. These works were lambasted at the time due to their frank nudity which depicts fertility, but at the time was seen as hugely distasteful.
Our debate went on to consider the impact of class and snobbery on these opinions and whether people were actually outraged because of the relationships between classes. This was a time of huge social change and Lawrence describes quite clearly his take on the change in societal structures.
We spoke for 2 hours solid, so I can’t go into too much detail here, but thanks to all who came and contributed. If you want to continue on here then please do!
As a quick aside, I also found that Lawrence had self-published Lady Chaterley’s Lover because he realised it would not be possible to do so through the normal routes. I didn’t know this before reading it, but it now seems fitting that we keep a copy here considering the collection of indendent/artists’ publishing that we hold (even if we don’t have the original) .
If anyone is interested in setting up a regular book club with a visual art slant, please do get in touch, or drop into the Art Library.
Serena will be hosting her final event on 21st November – a nose casting workshop for families. The Library of Secrets is here until 29th November.
Lat night, Thursday 22 October, we hosted the first of the three events which are part of The Library of Secrets residency at The New Art Gallery Walsall. For those of you who missed it, it was a lovely evening with an interesting talk by the artist Serena Korda and book sniffer and journalist Murrough O’Brien followed by a book sniffing session!
The next free event is the Great Book Club Debate on Thurs 5 Nov at 6pm and is inspired by the controversial career of Jacob Epstein. The book club will discuss banned books and ideas of literary censorship. Chaired by Serena and journalist and broadcaster Helen Brown, the book to read is Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H Lawrence.
Especially for all you architecture enthusiasts out there… we’ve just got a lovely new book on Caruso St. John (the architects who designed The New Art Gallery).
Caruso St John: Almost Everything by Philip Urpsung is an in-depth look at almost everything they’ve worked on, looking at their sources of inspiration, and giving a wider context to their projects.
It includes essays, drawings, interviews with the architects and others, and some beautiful photographs.
Well worth popping into the Library to have a look…
Hi, i’m Cheryl, Library and Collections Supervisor at the Gallery.
Just thought i’d let you know about a conference I attended in Cardiff last week all about Artists as ‘Go Between’, in other words artists acting as a mediator between collections and audiences. This is obviously particularly relevant to us with the Epstein Archive project Neil and Bob collaborating on.
Many presentations were given about projects where artists had worked with museum collections to create new artworks, exhibitions and events. There were many different types of project, for example artists placing their own work alongside objects from museum collections, inviting the public to partcipate in making direct responses and new archives, or completly changing the methods of display within the museum.
Highlights included Manchester museum’s Alchemy project, in particular the Manchester Hermit Ansuman Biswas; and The Uncanny Room at Pitzhanger Manor-House.
There were also papers given which brought up potential issues with this type of project, and several question raised, such as:
why has it become the burden of artists to enliven collections?
Is the artist really better at communicating to the public than existing museum staff?
Is the artist’s work comprimised or hindered by the limitations inevitable in working with an institution?
Are our collections in danger of being mistreated by untrained handlers?
Is this all just about the number of people coming through the door of the museum?
These questions are all food for thought, but each person who presented a working example, whether they were artists or institution professionals, reported a positive experience for all parties concerned. However, the conference could have done with some representation of the audiences and public participants to ensure a balanced view.
I still came away from the conference believing that these projects are a fantastic way of introducing people to collections that they may not otherwise ever come across. Artists can bring a fresh set of eyes to the often overlooked parts of a collection, and through a good dialogue with the collection experts within the museum, they can bring their own practice to the table to create innovative methods of interpretation.
I have a copy of The Go Between (Vol 1) available the library which contains some of the papers presented at the conference.
It would be interesting to know what your thoughts are…
Well, i’ve spent the last day or two cataloguing more new books for the Art Library. Highlights include:
The Futurism catalogue from the latest Tate Modern exhibition on this contorversial Italian art movement (the exhibition closes on 20th september i think)
Autumn Flowers, a catalogue on Nina Saunders‘ exhibition at Pallant House Gallery
We’ve also got copies of Endless Supply, an exciting new artists’ zine indepentantly published in Birmingham.
If you’re an artist producing any sort of publication, from photocopied zines to leatherbound gold embossed editions, please contact us email@example.com.
The catalogue for 53rd Venice Biennale Making Worlds has just arrived in the Art Library. It’s a beautiful 2 volume catalogue, which echos the structure of this year’s Bienniale. Definitely worth a look for those of you who can’t make it over (or couldn’t face lugging it around and paying an extra baggage charge!).
Other new arrivals include Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century, a survey of contmporary artists including John Bock, Rachel Harrison and Martin Boyce, and a collection of critical essays on sculpture; and Younger than Jesus: Artist Directory, another survey, but this time of a ‘new generation’ of artists, designed to look and feel like a yellow pages.