Navigation

was reprinted in BRACES, LEVERS, FETISHES & TALISMANS

 

Side-Issues

 

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.

For two weeks, I was a visiting professor at the Villa Arson;

Terrace-Brise Soleil

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

A historical account of the Villa Arson site could go something like this; it was home in the 16th and 17th Century to a community of Capuchin monks who cultivated orchards, vineyards, watercress beds, and olive groves. Then in the 18th century it was purchased by an aristocratic consul of Nice who built a mansion on the hill looking down to the city and the sea. In 1812, after the revolution and the end of aristocratic consul of Nice, all 6.5 hectares of the estate was purchased by a wealthy merchant, Pierre Joseph Arson. He remodeled the villa, and also designed a spectacular formal garden, constructed from successive terraces – parterres - criss-crossed with paths and staircases.

Over time and as fortunes changed the Arson family began selling off parts of the estate, by 1927 a clinic was built next to the villa, the villa became a hotel, and the site shrunk to 2.5 hectares. After the war, in 1946 the estate passed into the ownership of the City of Nice.

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.

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.

images

workspacecell bootsArtifacts, time & spaceVeloglyphFlooded McDonald'sBamboo Bike frame