Correspondences: a conversation about art, memory and heritage.

By the Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories.

Katy and Rebecca Beinart have invited Prof Rachel Garfield, Dr Ben Gidley and Prof Tim Ingold to ‘correspond’ with their work & exhibition.

Tuesday 15 June, 2:00 – 4:30 PM GMT

Book a place here


About this event

Programme:

2.00 Introduction by CMNH Director Professor Graham Dawson.

2.10 Panel: Katy Beinart, Rebecca Beinart, Professor Rachel Garfield, Dr Ben Gidley and Professor Tim Ingold (Chair Graham Dawson)

3.10 Short break

3.20 Panellists Q & A (Chair TBC)

3.50 Audience Q & A

4.30 Ends.

In their exhibition ‘Correspondences’ https://origination-project.info (Five years, online, 2020) Katy and Rebecca Beinart presented a new body of research and artwork, developed through a process of correspondence during 2020. The online exhibition featured new sculptures, installation, performance and digital works that emerged from their long-term collaboration Origination, which explores the family history and migrations of their Jewish ancestors.

The exhibition focuses on the story of the artists’ Jewish great-grandparents Morris (Moishe) and Sarah (Zlata) who left Eastern Europe in the 1900s to come to London and settle in the East End, joining a growing Yiddish-speaking community. The artists’ research draws on oral histories collected by the family, archival material from the British Library and Jewish Museum London, and autobiographies and histories by Jewish East End writers. Personal stories of family and community intersect with the lively radical politics that flourished in the area in the early 20th century. Moishe, Zlata and their wider family worked as paper-bag makers, cabinet-makers and hairdressers, and like many other working class Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe they were actively involved in politics and Trade Unions.

Correspondences emerged through an ongoing conversation between the artists, via post, sending back and forth a handwritten scroll, paper patterns and print blocks, as well as through the contemporary correspondence of the online zoom call. Tim Ingold talks about correspondence “in the sense of not coming up with some exact match or simulacrum for what we find or the things and happenings going on around us, but of answering them with interventions, questions and responses of our own. It is as though we are involved in an exchange of letters.” (Ingold, 2015) 

For this event, Katy and Rebecca have invited three speakers to ‘correspond’ with their work: Rachel Garfield is an artist and Professor of Fine Art at the University of Reading, whose writing and practice has extensively explored the formation of subjectivities at the intersection of Jewish and other identities, and her own personal heritage; Ben Gidley is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London and works on the history of British Jews, with a focus on East London, migration and diaspora, and the radical politics of early 20th century; and Tim Ingold, Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, whose current interests lie on the interface between anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture, and who recently published Correspondences (2020). Each speaker will present their own work in relation to the Beinart’s recent exhibition, which will be followed by a panel discussion and then audience Q & A.

Tim Ingold, ‘Foreword’, in Philip Vanini, ed. Non-Representational Methodologies: Re-Envisioning Research (Routledge, 2015)

Invitations to join this event online will be shared a couple of days before to those who have registered. Please note: we will be recording the Panel presentations but not the Q and A.

Bios:

Katy Beinart is an artist, and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Brighton. Her practice engages with the public realm and includes installation, public art, performance and socially engaged projects. Her recent work and exhibitions include Correspondences (with Rebecca Beinart), Five Years (2020), 2 Metre Conversations (with John Edwards), for Phoenix Art Space/Centre for Arts and Wellbeing (2020), My Life is but a Weaving at Gunnersbury Museum (2018-19), Saltways (2017-18) for the Canal & River Trust, Fabric of Faith (2016-18) for UCL, and Brixton Museum (with Kate Theophilus, 2015-16). Recent publications include ‘Don’t Look Back: The challenges of public art and meanings of authenticity in heritage contexts,’ in Public Art Dialogue Vol. 10 Issue 2. (2020) and ‘Khlebosolny/Bread and Salt: a time-travelling journey to Eastern Europe (and back)’, Mobile Culture Studies 4: Artistic representations of Migration and mobility (2019). She is currently working on Arts Council funded project Acts of Transfer with writer Lizzie Lloyd. http://www.katybeinart.co.uk

Rebecca Beinart an artist, educator and curator, based in Nottingham. She develops research-led, collaborative and site-based projects that evolve through long term engagement with places and people. She makes sculpture, installation and performance, and uses live engagement and public dialogue to reflect on collective histories and futures, social and environmental justice, knowledge-making, and the politics of public space. Projects and commissions include work with the National Trust, Wellcome Trust, Jerwood Open Forest, and Wasteland Twinning Network. She is the Engagement Curator at Primary, Nottingham. rebeccabeinart.info

Rachel Garfield is an artist and Professor of Fine Art at the University of Reading.  Recent exhibitions of Garfield’s video work include a screening at the Star and Shadow, Force/Fields: Three Works on Conflict, Militarism and their Legacies, Newcastle, (2019), Unsensed, group show at the Hatton gallery Newcastle (2015), London Short Film Festival (2013), ICA London, Solo show Beaconsfield London (2012).  As well as reviews, Garfield’s work has featured in for example, “An ‘Other’ History: Feminist Art in Britain Since 1970’ Amelia Jones (eds. John Slyce, Adler, Phoebe), Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom (Black Dog, 2015); Steyn, Julia, “In the Hinterlands: Identity, Migration & Memory”, Cross-cultural Identities: Art, Migrants and the Metaphor of Waste, Steyn, Juliet, Stamselberg, Nadja (eds.)  (I.B.Tauris, 2013).  Garfield herself has written extensively on Jewish identity for example, “Valences of Subjectivity: The Politics of Personal Narrative in Video Art”, Art and The Politics of Visibility, (edited by Zeena Feldman) (IB Taurus, London and New York, 2017); Playing with history: Negotiating subjectivity in contemporary lens based art”, Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Jewish Cultures, eds Nadia Valman, Laurence Roth. (Routledge NY, 2015). Her forthcoming book Experimental Filmmaking and Punk: Feminist Audio Visual Culture in the 1970s and 1980s, (Bloomsbury, 2021) will be available in November 2021. http://rachelgarfield.com/

Ben Gidley is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. He works on the history and sociology of British Jews, with a focus on East London and on the context of migration and diaspora. He is the co-author, with Keith Kahn-Harris, of Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today (Bloomsbury, 2010).

Tim Ingold is Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He has carried out fieldwork among Saami and Finnish people in Lapland, and has written on environment, technology and social organisation in the circumpolar North, on animals in human society, and on human ecology and evolutionary theory. His more recent work explores environmental perception and skilled practice. Ingold’s current interests lie on the interface between anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. His recent books include The Perception of the Environment (2000), Lines (2007), Being Alive (2011), Making (2013), The Life of Lines (2015), Anthropology and/as Education (2018), Anthropology: Why it Matters (2018) and Correspondences (2020).

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