Strategy: Get Arts. SGA50
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SGA50 and the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Strategy: Get Arts. SGA50 came to life in ‘Can Artists Still Break the Rules? Revisiting Strategy: Get Arts’, one of three high-profile events officially sponsored by the University at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival.

In 2021, the Edinburgh International Book Festival relocated from Charlotte Square Gardens to Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), a new partnership with the University.

It included a range of

  • live online author talks,
  • in-person events,
  • workshops,
  • and readings,

with art studios being transformed to broadcast studios.

The Festival ran at ECA from Saturday 14 to Monday 30 August 2021, utilising

  • the open outdoor courtyard,
  • the ECA café,
  • the old Fire Station building (converted to a Book Festival bookshop),
  • the stunning Sculpture Court and other Main Building spaces,

the very same spaces that the remarkable Düsseldorf artists had metamorphosed into Strategy: Get Arts for the summer of 1970.

Richard Demarco instigated this now legendary Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) exhibition, which then formed part of the official Edinburgh Festival programme.

SGA50 at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Photography of ECA Café display, and Fire Station, by Chris Scott @Chrisdonia

Photography of Poster Display on Lady Lawson Street and New York Times Sculpture Court event by C. Weikop and A. Weikop

‘Can Artists Still Break the Rules? Revisiting Strategy: Get Arts’, in association with ECA, was an in-conversation event, broadcast by the Edinburgh International Book Festival, with Christian Weikop (SGA50 Project Leader and author of Strategy: Get Arts. 35 Artists Who Broke the Rules), Alexander Hamilton (Chair of Studies in Photography and SGA Student Helper in 1970), and Fiona Bradley (Director of the Fruitmarket Gallery), with Richard Demarco (SGA organiser) as a VIP guest in the audience. It was held on Monday 30 August in The New York Times Theatre (in the Sculpture Court).

It was one of only three high-profile events officially sponsored by the University, the others being ‘Black Britain, Writing Back’ with Bernardine Evaristo, Judith Bryan, S I Martin and Nicola Williams, in association with the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and ‘Building Moments Into Movements’ with Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, in association with RACE.ED – the University’s interdisciplinary hub for race, ethnicity and decolonial studies.

As it was an official University-sponsored event, the SGA50 project was well promoted. It included a stunning poster display in Lady Lawson Street, designed by Nicky Regan, and a Strategy: Get Arts photo display in ECA Café, designed and installed by a Studies in Photography team, and supported by a Creative Scotland grant.

Richard Demarco, Terry Ann Newman, and Anne Demarco attended a private view of the café display in the afternoon of 30 August 2021.



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