neil cummings

Pitt Rivers

30 May 2015

On Saturday I went to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, the first time in a long-time….

sympathetic magic

In the 1990's I used to lead a five week seminar at Chelsea College of Art and Design entitled Adrift in Taste. It was a chance to leave the college to visit other exhibitionary institutions, and also reflect on our -students and staff - habits and practices. Here's the introduction;

This seminar will presume to dismantle some of our prejudices about art, and evolve tools to build some new ones. It will in part, attempt to put `theory' into `practice'.......

On an individual and cultural scale we are described by a bewildering range of clothes, tools, art, trinkets, gifts, cuisine, souvenirs, electronic technology and rubbish. Objects and images are spilling from every shelf, cupboard, display case, television, vitrine, monitor, supermarket, studio, gallery, shop, museum and land-fill site. Adrift in Taste will begin to unpick our learned habits; the values our parents, teachers and friends taught us about art. We will also uncover some of the the wider institutional structures that have evolved to produce, accumulate and classify the stuff -therefore the meanings- within our cultures.

The intention is to become more sensitive to the contexts through which art is produced and mediated, so we will be better equipped to participate within such a seductive system of power and promotion; as art continues to mesh with and dissolve, into everything else.

We will visit and discuss several sites in central London, including the British Museum, Selfridges, Tate Modern, Chelsea School of Art and Design, and our own Homes.

In part, the seminar produced Reading Things, contributed to the research for The Value of Things, and amplified a lifelong interest in the material of culture.

51.755449, -1.24905

Pitt Rivers Museum
Parks Road
United Kingdom

Submitted by neil on 1 June, 2015 - 13:04