Launched in 2010-11 and taking place over one semester, the Residency in Contemporary Art Theory and Curating is offered by invitation to a scholar and/or curator whose body of work has contributed to advancing the field of contemporary art research.
MSc Modern Art: History, Criticism, Curating and the Postgraduate Research Programme
History of Art, The University of Edinburgh
The Residency is intended to be an essential part of the Department’s research culture and an integral component of MSc Modern Art as well as the Postgraduate Research Programme overall. In particular, the Residency is intended to promote a more experimental, genuinely dialogical and mutually beneficial experience between postgraduate students and experts in their field of study. The resident art theorist/curator will have an opportunity to present and discuss his/her work and ideas with staff and students as well as to debate key and emerging trends in contemporary art theory and curating. The resident will also have the chance to network with Edinburgh art institutions, while the use of the Residency as a starting point for future projects is strongly encouraged.
We are delighted to announce that Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt is our inaugural resident theorist and curator for 2010-11. Having contributed to both the national and international art scenes, Rebecca will be working with postgraduate students and staff on an analysis of key issues in the contemporary art world, with particular emphasis on its socio-economic infrastructure and on self-initiated and critical interventions.
Upon completing her MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Rebecca worked with Maria Lind and Hans Ulrich Obrist to establish salon3 in London in 1998 as a space for international exchange. In 2000, she was appointed as a curator at NIFCA (Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art) in Helsinki, where she initiated exhibitions and publications with artists from the Nordic region and, latterly, from the UK and Ireland, which culminated in ‘Greyscale/CMYK’ at Tramway (Glasgow, 2002) and the Royal Hibernian Academy (Dublin, 2003). Other group exhibitions she has curated include ‘Continuum001’ at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow (2000), which investigated the impact of digital technology on visual art, architecture and film and ‘Between the Lines’ at Apex Art, New York (2005), which looked at the absence of critical analysis in the US media on the eve of the Iraq war.
Increasingly disturbed by the ‘new world order’, Rebecca undertook an MRes in Social Research at the University of Strathclyde, where she has co-authored a manual for investigative research. She has recently concentrated her efforts on research into the infrastructure of the art world, its institutions and economies. Having served as editor of Make: the magazine of women’s art, she increasingly deploys an investigative methodology and her essays have appeared in Variant, Critique, Mute and Scottish Review (a selection of which is available at www.shiftyparadigms.org). In April 2010, she spoke on the social dimension of artist-run spaces at a seminar hosted by Afterall journal at Tate Britain; in September, she delivered a paper at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht on the ways in which the emancipatory potential of Hegel’s theory of negation might be deployed within critically engaged artistic practice. As a counter model to the creative industries discourse found in the UK, she is currently charting the cultural policy that was developed in the aftermath of the 1959 Cuban Revolution.
This article was published on Aug 1, 2011