Doing the Work: Interventionist Practices, 24 February 2021

16 March 2021

Part of ‘Doing the Work’, an online CPD workshop series for curators co-produced by the Contemporary Art Society and the Decolonising Arts Institute (University of the Arts London). Read more.

This workshop considered the role of artist residencies and interventionist projects staged by independent curators and organisations. Questions for discussion included:

What short and long-term impact can interventions by artists and external curators have on problematic but long-standing institutional practices, orthodoxies, and attitudes? How can interventionist voices/practices be embedded into museum and gallery work? How can relationships with artists and external curators be meaningfully and ethically sustained after interventionist projects end?

This workshop began with case studies from Dr. Sylvia Theuri (artist/curator/educator/researcher) and Priyesh Mistry (Associate Curator Modern and Contemporary, National Gallery), moderated by Fatoş Üstek (independent curator and writer). Click here for participant biographies.

Video Timings:
03’40 – Introduction from Fatoş Üstek
10’18 – Presentation by Dr. Sylvia Theuri
25’19 – Presentation by Priyesh Mistry
41’52 – Discussion

The workshop groups are not included in this recording to maintain the confidentiality of the discussions, however a written report from the day will be available shortly.


Further Reading:

Minott, Rachael. The Past is Now: Confronting Museums’ Complicity in Imperial Celebration, 2019.

A short summary and reflection on Uncomfortable Truths – a series of artist interventions that took place at the V&A in 2007.

Sylvia Theuri’s exhibition, Thirteen Ways of Looking, at the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.


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