Monday, December 14, 2009


The A Curriculum
A Foundation Liverpool
The Blade Factory
Greenland Street

The deadline for applications is 4th January 2010.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Artists of all ages who have completed a BA or MA Fine Art course within the last five years may apply. Open to all EU residents.


A Curriculum will provide eight artists with studio space and stipend for two months, with four full accommodation places. Four artists will be selected who live within traveling distance of Liverpool.

The studios will be in an open plan space in A Foundation Liverpool's 'Blade Factory'. In addition to the studio time, artists will take part in an intensive programme of discussions with art professionals, who will then carry out one-on-one studio sessions. The A Curriculum programme also includes one artists' dinner, a studio open day and a public closing event.

The A Curriculum Selectors are:

Jaime Gili, an artist based in London and represented by Riflemaker. His recent exhibitions include, COMMA04 at BloombergSPACE, London, and Coalesce Happenstance, Smart, Amsterdam

Axel Lapp, Director of Axel Lapp Projects, Berlin, Art Review's contributing editor for Berlin, Editor at art publishers The Green Box

Kate MacGarry, Director of Kate MacGarry Gallery in Vyner Street, London

Juan Cruz, Head of the Art Department at the Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University, represented by Matt's Gallery, London and Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid

Mark Waugh, Executive Director of A Foundation

A Curriculum is supported by Saatchi Online and John Moores University.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Contemporaries – A Tour

A Foundation London
Club Row
E2 7ES
Saturday 12 December 2009

Exhibiting Artists lead a tour of the exhibition inviting discussion and debate.

Both events are free but places are limited so booking advised.

Please call 020 7033 1990 or email

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Reely and Truly 111

Notting Hill Arts Club
21 Notting Hill Gate
London W11 3JQ
December 8th 2009


Alexander Hislop "The idea was to resurrect Mark Lebon’s film night, Reely. He set it up in the late 80s in what used to be Kensington Market. I approached Tyrone, Mark’s son and the brains behind DoBeDo, and we came up with Reely and Truly. The Reely and Truly team consists of Tyrone Lebon, Mark Lebon, Phoebe Collings James and Alexander Hislop – that’s me. Each month we open with an hour of short films curated by DoBeDo, featuring the work of both young filmmakers and some of the original Reely contributors. We also invite a guest photographer each month to shoot and project an exclusive slide show that plays as the visual accompaniment to the party that happens after the screening. No VJs, we promise."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Paul Virilio Bunker Archeology

Back in print after nearly a decade: Paul Virilio’s Bunker Archeology, originally published in French in 1975 after appearing in an exhibition at the Pompidou Center. (The first English edition came out in 1994.) The urban theorist presents his 124 duotones of abandoned World War II–era German bunkers along the coast of France and muses on oppression, destruction, and the notion of fortress.
Princeton Architectural Press.

Paul Virilio, born in 1932 in Paris, is a cultural theorist (or ‘urbanist’, as he describes himself) best-known for his writings about war and its relation to history, architecture and culture. Virilio studied at the Ecole des Metiers d’Art and then began to specialise in stained-glass artwork. He studied phenomenology at the Sorbonne after his conscription into the army during the Algerian war of independence. Virilio began to collaborate with Claude Parent in 1963, and formed the ‘Architecture Principe’ group. He was nominated Professor at the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture by the students in 1968, and became its Director of Studies in 1973. His important works include Speed and Politics, War and Cinema, and The Information Bomb.

Monday, November 30, 2009

School of Saatchi – BBC2

The final 12 artists (L-R): Samuel Zealey, Elliot Wilcox, Iain Andrews, Eugenie Scrase, Rhys Himsworth, Tiago Lisboa, Giles Ripley, Matt Clark, Saad Qureshi, Ben Lowe, Claudia Borgna, Suki Chan.

School of Saatchi

As they came to choose a longlist of 12, however, the judges grew increasingly suspicious, and began to question the intentions of the artists, rather than the work itself. "You definitely seem like a real artist," said Collings to one hopeful, as if their task was to sniff out the dental hygienist hiding among the conceptualists.

The four judges are Tracey Emin, Kate Bush (not that one, the curator one), critic Matthew Collings and collector Frank Cohen, here described as "the Saatchi of the north".

The virtual unknowns - Suki Chan, Matt Clark, Eugenie Scrase, Saad Qureshi, Ben Lowe, Samuel Zealey - have been whittled down from an initial 12.

Some of the art was undoubtedly good: Suki Chan's video of starlings flocking was beautiful and accomplished; Matt Clark's creepy installation was inventive and surprising.

But the judges repeatedly asked the artists "Why is it art?" Why should artists have to explain themselves? Does good work become less good when its creator fails to present a convincing case?

Saatchi's pronouncements are instead relayed to the judges by Rebecca Wilson, who works for him and who may or may not resent her role as a sort of Charlie's Angel, taking his orders over the phone.

Initially, the judges acted with the kind of rigour we might imagine is largely missing from the art world: the guy who crumpled up two emails and put them on a table was quickly dismissed, as was the bloke who copied out War and Peace in longhand. Emin called one artist's explication of his arrangement of folding chairs "the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard in my life". Tim Dowling

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tony Kaye in conversation with Peter Jenkinson

Boiler House
Old Truman Brewery
Brick Lane
27th November 2009

A Day in the Life of Tony Kaye” - A Journey into his Mind is the first in a series of Design Inspiration events.

Tony Kaye got thrown out of Hollywood shortly after directing Edward Norton’s neo-Nazi opus American History X in 1998. Previously one of the biggest ad directors in Britain, Kaye got into trouble after editing his feature debut for too long, and when the film studio took it away from him, he fought them in the trade press, sued them, took rabbis, priests and monks to meetings, then had a sort of breakdown.

Kaye is currently putting the final touches to a commercial commissioned by the UN (and filmed through Kaye's Above The Sea production company) to raise awareness around the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference which takes place from December 7 to 10. It's all part of Ogilvy New York's Hopenhagen campaign which is encouraging people to sign the UN Climate Change Petition.

In recent years, he’s been climbing out of the hole, and has directed Johnny Cash videos, American crystal meth PSAs, and a brilliant, no holds barred abortion documentary called Lake Of Fire. This Friday night at 7pm at the Boiler House in London’s Old Truman Brewery, Kaye will be discussing “his processes” with ‘cultural broker’ Peter Jenkinson.

Email for tickets.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cast Offs - Channel4

The cast, from left, Tim Gebbels, Sophie Woolley, Victoria Wright, Mat Fraser, Kiruna Stamwell and Peter Mitchell

Channel 4
Tuesday Wednesday
Starts 24th November

Alison Walsh
the Channel’s editorial manager for disability, “telling the stories of six disabled characters who’re left on an island for a long time. We follow their struggles and the relationships that build up between them and there are also flashbacks to their lives before they went to the island. So it’s trying to show the reality of disabled people’s lives in an entertaining way.”

“It’s drama done in a mock documentary way,” Jack Thorne, who has a disability himself, is a fantastic writer. He has a subtlety and fearlessness that I’ve not seen anywhere else.”

Miranda Bowen: The idea was bold, fearless and truly original. It was totally unapologetic and although I was originally given just a one page outline for the series, it wasn’t hard to make the decision. It was nothing like anything I had seen on TV before. It felt like an opportunity to do something that was truly radical. There was an opportunity for an insight into a world that I had previously had very little contact with. I kept on thinking throughout the process, “I can’t believe that no one has done this before’. And I had loved Jack’s short films and Joel is hard to say no to.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Artur Żmijewski in conversation with Sebastian Cichocki

Novas Contemporary Urban Centre
41-51 Greenland Street
L1 0BS

A Foundation presents curator and sociologist Sebastian Cichocki in conversation with Polish artist Artur Żmijewski.

Seeing his role as "inducing the field," the artist often adapts the strategies of political action in his work, creating scenarios that cause a stir among otherwise passive participants and documenting their actual reactions. His work frequently explores long-term trauma caused by historical and sociopolitical events. While his projects sometimes focus on marginalized or disenfranchised populations, Żmijewski is also interested in what he terms the “dominant state of mind,” widely held popular beliefs and attitudes that shape “common reality.”

Żmijewski’s gaze is anthropological, distanced and occasionally passive-aggressive. In Belfast, a girl at a unionist festival speaks into the camera to tell the artist to ‘fuck off back to Poland.’ Żmijewski says nothing, but follows her down the street, the girl turning around and repeating her message, becoming more confused each time. ‘Do you not understand? Fuck off back to where you came from.’ The discussion ends after Żmijewski’s camera catches sight of a young boy standing in the middle of the street, listlessly hitting a drum, one beat at a time.

Żmijewski is an active member of the Polish political movement Krytyka Polityczna, and the artistic director of their self-titled magazine. His new work appears more realist and more directly political than some of his work from the past, yet in other ways might be read as less engaged. In ‘Democracies’, Żmijewski no longer appears interested in constructing situations, as he was in his confrontation-staging video Them (2007), but instead simply in recording them. Time will tell whether this is a permanent change of direction, or a tactical detour.

Żmijewski is in Liverpool working on his first British commission at A Foundation (due to be shown in June 2010) and will have his first major solo UK exhibition at Cornerhouse, Manchester, opening 12 November. Sebastian Cichocki is an art critic, essayist, curator and sociologist who is currently chief curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

Artur Żmijewski's exhibition, commission and related events are a partnership between A Foundation, Cornerhouse and The Salford Restoration Office.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Economy of Art - A DACS Debate

A Foundation London
Rochelle School & Club Row
Arnold Circus
London E2 7ES

Thursday 12 November, 6-8pm

The first in a series of high-profile DACS debates on visial artists in the 21st Century. Chaired by Alan Yentob, a distingished panel of artists, economists and commentators including Susan Hiller, Paul Graham, Alan Freeman and Michael Landy will explore the value of the visual arts to the economy and society at a time when the value of traditional sectors are being seriously challenged.

The Panel
Alan Yentob (Chair) is the Creative Director of the BBC and Editor and Presenter of the Imagine programme. A celebrated and award-winning programme maker, Alan became the BBC’s Creative Director in June 2004.
Susan Hiller is an American-born artist, living in the UK. Her practice encompasses installation, video, photography,
performance and writing.
Paul Graham is a UK-born, New York-based artist photographer whose work uses and abuses the classic genres of photography to map a cultural and social topography.
Alan Freeman works for GLA Economics, the Mayor of London’s Economics unit, where he leads the unit’s work on cultural economics and city comparisons.
Michael Landy is a London-born artist best known for the performance piece-cum-installation, (2001), in which he destroyed all of his possessions.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2009

A Foundation London
Rochelle School & Club Row
Arnold Circus
London E2 7ES
10 November - 20 December 2009

New Contemporaries 2009 brings together work by 47 emerging artists selected by established artists Ellen Gallagher, Saskia Olde Wolbers, John Stezaker and Wolfgang Tillmans.

With an extraordinary generosity of spirit, the selectors of the 2009 edition of New Contemporaries debated every artwork with gusto, intelligence and sensitivity.

The final selection of work and artists is coherent, with layers of enquiry, inter-connection and reference.

'Much work this year plays with the role of decription, of telling things as they are, or inventing things till they look at least real.' Sacha Craddock, Chair of the selecton panel.

Artists selected this year are: Adam Bainbridge, Myka Baum, Frances Blythe, Sam Burford, Amir Chasson, David Cochrane, Andrew Curtis, Jorge de la Garza, Nicolas Deshayes, Bee Emmott, Teresa Eng, Anna.M.R. Freeman, Felix Frith, Joseph Gower, Susie Green, Alexandra Handal, Richard Healy, Jung-Ouk Hong, Benjamin Jenner, Peiyuan Jiang, Michael Just, Dean Kissick, Paul Knight, Una Knox, Simone Koch, Rinat Kotler, Martina Lindqvist, Susanne Ludwig, Rachel Maclean, Francis Mason, Jack Newling, Marco Palmieri, Rebecca Parkin, Chinmoyi Patel, Johanna Piesniewski, Sam Plagerson, David Price, Konrad Pustola, Hannes Ribarits, Nick Smith, Christopher Thomas & Kristel Raesaar, Jonathan Trayte, Jack Vickridge, Amanda Wasielewski, Barbara Wolff, Freya Wright, Laura Zilionyte.

Tuesday - Sunday, 12-6pm, Admission Free.

See the New Contemporaries website for full details:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


photo by Julia Waugh.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blanca de la Torre talks to Alevino Sala, Democracia, Elena Bajo, Josechu Dávila, Jacobo Castellano, Maider López and PSJM.

Blanca de la Torre: How do urban spaces effect your work?

Alevino Sala
: I am interested in the communication of ideas in public spaces as a way of making people rethink, deconstruct their lives and the society in which we live with the paradoxes and contradictions, working in the streets is very lively, it has realism.

Democracia: On many occasions our work has been connected to urban spaces. in these cases we try to be aware of the context. beyond the urban or formal considerations, we are interested in the social context, in the communities and their memories. recently we worked the streets of Cartagena, in South East Spain, starting with the strong presence of the immigrant Moroccan community. The project was aimed at that community - we intervened in the city through big billboards with political messages written in Arabic. This meant Moroccan people could understand them but not the native Spanish who on the other hand, would be made aware of the presence of another community, culturally and socially different and in the heart of city life. In this way some distrust was manifested from the Spanish side that smacks of racism and latent paranoia.

Elena Bajo: My work is generated by informative found and researched in urban spaces, historical, social, political and personal. I don't conceive of my practice without the urban element, whether on the scale of cities or on a microscale. This zooming in and out is part of investigation. the space of the city and everyday life contain the basic materials I need to establish the dynamics of the work. This is expanded into an internal dialogue, a variety of discourses then become embedded in the work and an open dialogue a developed between the viewer and the place.

Josechu Dávila: Urban space doesn't directly effect my work and it's not a terrain which I'm specifically interested in however, as it is my natural habitat it has been an important element of reference and medium for most of my works. In the piece "You Are My Artwork" (2004) after selecting an urban rectangle in Madrid of 480 x 937 m2 as an artwork, the thirty six thousand seven hundred and twenty people who lived in that area were informed they were part of an artwork. Each notification with the measurements proportioned to the urban rectangle corresponded to a slip numbered identically that recreated the same rectangle inside the art gallery where the project was presented. In the end, the installation suggested an atemporality reflected in a commitment of passing these notification slips to the past and future inhabitants of the rectangle.

Jacobo Castellano: I have never worked directly on the street, so this project is a challenge. It is true some that some of my projects have been associated with the exploration of private spaces, particularly in some of the houses where I used to live. In those houses I recovered objects with a personal and to some extent, collective memory. In this situation I plan to engage the street with a similar approach; as an explorer in search of strange objects or sounds that will situate me in the space.

Maider López: My projects are made with specific spaces in mind and the context is the starting point for the development of the project. The ideas grows from the experience of the city and how people live and enjoy public space.

PSJM: We always work with urban space regarding it as public space that includes mass media too, such as advertising. T.V., internet and the like. Actually our work is inspired by socio-commercial behaviours which wholly belong to society. We focus on the industrialised cartography, in the sense that we play with signs that mark the city and produce meaning for us urban cartography is a point of departure and a destination at the same time.

Read the rest of this interview and more in the Autumn edition of The A Bulletin, available at the A Foundation galleries and at selected bookshops and art spaces.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ben Rivers talks to Jordan Baseman

Jordan Baseman: Can you describe your films for me and perhaps more importantly why you make them?

Ben Rivers: When I start shooting they are closely related to documentary, but they are not about facts. I'm not just documenting, I am of course recording actual people in their actual living settings, but I always think of that just as a starting point. it's a catalyst for what the film is actually going to be, which is only worked out while its being made and even more so while its being edited. By the time I'm at the editing stage I'm not thinking of the work as documentary, its become much more fictionalised. I'm doing so much construction, particularly with sound I'm transforming it into some other world which is somewhere between dream and fiction.

Jordan Baseman: I've looked at your work, some of it seems very portrait driven, would you use that word to describe it?

Ben Rivers: I would. I've talked about all of the films of people as portraits. but somehow I try and move away from just creating a portrait. I do hope that an element is still there in the finished film, but at some point in the film it moves away from being a portrait directly and becomes more about something else I've seen in that space. I want to be truthful to that person and sensitive to their way of life, but at the same time I'll discuss with them that the film is going to go off on tangents. for example with "Ah Liberty!" all the adults are left out, so that film becomes much more fictionalised and unlike what it's actually like to be there, but at the same time somewhere at its core, there's a portrait of a family.

Jordan Baseman: Does this "something else" really start to come through in the editing process?

Ben Rivers: That's when it starts to make sense. when I'm filming I try and make more than one visit and that's increasingly important. so I'll film than go home and look at what I've got, get a sense of what the film might become and then go back and do some more filming, responding to what I've already done. the editing is crucial, that's really where the work is made. the filming is the gathering material, it's the fun bit, the bit I enjoy the most, I get excited by the travel and the adventure - the work really starts when I'm back home. when what I've seen and experienced has been transformed into something else by the camera and will then undergo further adaptation.

Jordan Baseman:
I totally understand that. Can you please tell me about making your films, how you find your participants and why you choose those people?

Ben Rivers:
Generally I've found people through friends. The participants tend to be friends of friends and not that far removed from my life really, I spend quite a bit of time in the countryside therefore I get to know people who live out in the sticks and they know other people who live out in the sticks! As the films have grown I get recommended to people - you know, "there's a guy who lives 20 miles down a dirt track - you should go and visit him."

It's been a really natural progression, the whole thing started by accident really, with, "This Is My Land," I wasn't thinking about making portraits at all, I was making things in a studio without people and I suddenly felt the need to put people back in the work...
Read the rest of this interview and more in the Autumn edition of The A Bulletin, available at the A Foundation galleries and at selected bookshops and art spaces.