Reading International is pleased to present our autumn season 2018. Artists and curators have been invited to respond to divergent moments of the university’s history in relation to the town and its contemporary culture. The outcomes are presented as part of an itinerant programme of exhibitions and events located around the University of Reading’s historical London Road Campus.
Reading School of Art, University of Reading
1 Earley Gate, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AT, United Kingdom
Reading RG6 6AT
Curatorial and publishing platform NOVEL have responded to the University’s student occupation in May 1970, led by artist Rita Donagh, where a group of students occupied a studio at the University of Reading. Staging events, performances and collective actions they wrote and discussed circumstances within and beyond the confines of the university. Didactic conventions and context were replaced in an attempt to diagram a charged collective knowledge. Activated against a backdrop of student protest, in particular the Kent State massacre, the group sounded political images, registered distance and invested in a politics of time, place and bodies.
This historical scenario acts as a catalyst for the year-long publishing and curatorial project. A reproduction of three weeks in May 1970 will present a programme of interdisciplinary projects that include commissioned events and exhibitions—with contributions from Patricia L Boyd, Helen Cammock, Renée Green, Studio for Propositional Cinema, and Steven Warwick.
Kyiv-based independent cultural organisation the Method Fund was established in response to the political protest centred around Majdan. It functions as an experimental, self-educational project focused on the search for a new site-specific contemporary art institution. It aims to test new forms of self-organisation, self- determination and collaboration, and a responsive mode of art education to support young artists in their specific local context and in response to current political urgencies. Following Lada Nakonechna‘s residency at Reading’s Abbey Ruins, the Method Fund responded to this historical site, which was destroyed, purged and looted marking Reading’s warring history. They have created a new online publication, Creatingruin.net as a platform to demonstrate different states of ‘ruin’, showing fragments of lives in contemporary Ukraine, where everyday relations, war, and mass manipulation have become inseparable, and the rhetoric of capitalism is fused with that of national heritage.
Curated by sculptor and musician Steve Claydon, The Outside In will take the form of a series of interventions in the galleries of the Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL). Melanesian artefacts from Claydon’s personal collection and new sculptural works will be introduced into the displays to explore how we attach meaning and narratives to objects in museums, creating mysterious fusions of old and new, questioning their cultural resonance. In these juxtapositions Claydon explores how the value of an object can extend from being a simple tool through to a more complex role as a spiritual or apotropaic implement, used to ward off evil in an English cottage or house the spirit of an ancestor in a New Guinean longhouse. Through highlighting their individual alterity, Claydon intends to demonstrate that the agency of objects across contexts speaks to their individual power as things.
Mammalian Diving Reflex will lead Nightwalks by Teenagers, a walking performance created in collaboration with young people from Maiden Erlegh School in Reading. They will plan, design and lead public walks through the town at night, sharing their favourite parts of the neighbourhood with members of the community. The project brings together teens and adults who might not otherwise meet, to have experiences related to a shared place and time.
Nightwalks with Teenagers
by Mammalian Diving Reflex
October 5 and 6, 8pm
Starting point: Watlington House
South Street, Reading
A publication launch and performance
by Method Fund
October 20, 2pm
University of Reading
The Outside In
October 20, 2018–January 13, 2019
Preview October 20, 6pm
A sonic performance
by Jeff Morton
November 20, 7pm
A reproduction of three weeks in May 1970
Organised by NOVEL
May 2018–May 2019
A multi-faceted programme of events and exhibitions featuring:
Patricia L Boyd, Helen Cammock, Renée Green, Studio for Propositional Cinema, Steven Warwick
A screening of Partially Buried (1996–97)
by Renée Green
October 20, 4pm
University of Reading
A performance of RECITAL: Redundant As Eyelids In Absence Of Light (2018)
by Studio for Propositional Cinema
with Hampus Lindwall
November 15, 7pm
University of Reading
The Programme is supported by Arts Council of England, the University of Reading, Reading Borough Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Ankor Property Management and a grant from the European Union within the framework of the Culture Bridges Programme.