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Hoarding Monaco


 

Twenty years ago, in 1997, I researched and curated a complex multi-site exhibition.....

Collected

26th April - 21 June 1997
Exploring the depth and diversity of the collection...from Egyptian antiquities via 18th century paintings to Marilyn Monroe memorabilia.. at the Photographers Gallery, The British Museum, Habitat, The Royal College of Surgeons, Richard Lowe’s flat, Selfridges, Paul Smith, The Wallace Collection and Sir John Soane’s Museum.

On an individual and national scale we are associated with a bewildering array of clothes, tools, art, bibelot, gifts, cuisine, souvenirs, technology and rubbish. Objects are spilling from every shelf, cupboard, display case, vitrine, supermarket, gallery, shop, museum and land-fill site. Societies are collective, we are defined by evolving methods to classify, structure and direct this material avalanche.

[..] The activity of collecting, perfectly plays out the tension between the drive for order and the tendency towards excess and chaos implicit in our relationships. The collection cuts across all categories of objects, from the almost worthless to the literally priceless. Collected things hold the promise of a coherent space within the profligate material world.

In 1999 I researched and realised a project in Cardiff, for the soon to open Centre for Visual Arts. This is from the accompanying publication

PROMOTION leaflet 

PROMOTION: A new work by Neil Cummings
Limited edition artist’s prints
Centre for Visual Arts, and Habitat
20th July - 20th September 1999

PROMOTION is part of 'Not For Sale' a group exhibition organised by the Centre for Visual Arts in and around The Hayes, Cardiff. 

PROMOTION

There has been an exponential rise in the promotion of contemporary art; an expanding network of artists, curators, dealers, critics and magazines, books and catalogues, lottery fund distributors, freelance advisers, sponsors agents and promoters have all flourished and prospered. These ‘artworlds’ are part of a wider phenomena, the astonishing proliferation of promotional culture.

Built on Saint-Barthélémy hill in Nice, with magnificent views over the city and the Bay of Angels, the Villa Arson, designed in the 60s is a utopian art school built on an ideal-model of a defensive provençal village in a brutalist style.

Over the last few years, as part of Critical Practice research cluster at Chelsea College of Arts, we have been hacking the popular board game Monopoly.

Monopoly celebrates some of the worst aspects of our current political system, particularly the socially useless rentier behaviour, in which ironically, the 'winner' dominates a non-functioning economy; the end is economic suicide.  A more preferable 'game' would be to exchange values, where the aim was maximise economic wellbeing and minimise harm, for feveryone to flourish in a mutually beneficial way. 

The Power Walk

Who: The tour was lead by environmental lawyer and Dotmaker guide Rosie Oliver

I'm part of an insurgent research group working on the Anthropocene Atlas of Geneva, and London (TAAG and TAAL). Sensing long term, slow, slow compared to human lifespans, climatic changes and understanding how our activities are influencing these changes is complex and challenging.  As a result, we are working on micro-investigations in the city, developing awareness of local erratics - erratics are geological anomalies, rocks out of place, that enabled early geologists to deduce that giant ice flows had shaped much of our planet – as tools to narrate climatic changes, while identifying institutions and communities experimenting with resilience to the changes to come.

You can read about the inspirational anthropocene walk in Geneva.

Thames foreshore

 

As part of my ongoing research I visited Wapping in east London, and wandered down a narrow alley besides a pub that leads to some watermen's stairs and then descended to the Thames foreshore.

 

I was invited by Nadine Monem of common-editions to contribute a text to The Creative Stance. The beautiful publication is an exploration and celebration of creativity, from filmmaking to design, fashion to sculpture, and from painting to protest.  

Creative Stance What does it mean to be ‘creative’? What’s the point of a creative education? What happens at art school?

Academics, critics and creative practitioners, including Grayson Perry, Siobhan Davies, Richard Deacon, Neil Cummings, Edmund de Waal, Pratap Rughani, Bob and Roberta Smith, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Nils Norman, Sonia Boyce, and Roger Hiorns consider these questions and more in The Creative Stance, an authoritative and innovative contribution to the literature on creativity.

Structured around seven key creative values – imagination, provocation, risk, resilience, rigour, agency and ambiguity – The Creative Stance reflects on the rewards and demands of any creative endeavour. It brings together texts, conversations and materials from across and beyond the traditional artistic disciplines, it is essential reading for art students, entrepreneurs, and everyone who has felt a creative urge.

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Museum Futures rehearsalDocuments publicationAfterall Showroom seminarScreen Tests 04Workers resting, RibadeoPublication: More things can happen than will, or have