Context

Art Sheffield 2010 was a city-wide contemporary art event showcasing artwork by locally, nationally and internationally based artists. It took place across venues in Sheffield from 6 March until 1 May 2010. Netherlands-based curators Frederique Bergholtz and Annie Fletcher collaborated with curators and artists in the city to select a dynamic and varied programme for the event.

Click here to read the extended text for Art Sheffield 2010 – Life: A User’s Manual, which tells you more about the ideas behind the festival.

Announcement event: October 2009

In October 2009, we invited Bergholtz and Fletcher to come to Sheffield to talk more about the curatorial framework they have developed for the festival, at a public talk at the Showroom Cinema. They shared thoughts about the context, and the thinking and research that lead to it. They also opened and closed and interspersed their talk with some works and interviews with artists: Katarina Zdjelar, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Yael Davids and Cathy Wilkes.


Part one: Introduction and background

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(8m 49s)

Katarina Zdjelar, Shoum

Introduced by Katy Woods, Artistic Programme Co-ordinator at Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum, Bergholtz and Fletcher talk about their collaborative curatorial practice, and their rolling platform If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, introducing the basic elements behind the thinking for Art Sheffield 2010. They also showed Shoum! by Katarina Zdjelar.

Links and further reading:
If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution

Part two: Announcing the title and ideas of ‘Affect’

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(7m 40s)

Yael Davids, The Hand is Quicker than the EyeHere Bergholtz and Fletcher announce the subtitle for the event ‘Life: A User’s Manual’ and introduce ideas of ‘Affect’, referring to quotes by curators, artists, critics and philosphers, including Okwui Enwezor, Andrea Fraser, Professor Sara Ahmed, and Brian Massuma. They also talk about the three main subcategories, or rubrics, that they have developed for the festival, the first working title being Affectivism, which includes the rallying cry of contemporary critic Brian Holmes who penned the ‘Affectivist Manifesto’. At this point the curators introduce the work of Yael Davids, an Israeli artist based in Amsterdam.

Links and further reading:

Brian Holmes, the Affectivitist Manifesto
Andrea Fraser (on wikipedia)
Professor Sara Ahmed (Goldsmiths staff profile)
Brian Massumi (on wikipedia)
Okwui Enwezor (on wikipedia)


Part Three: Affective economy and the Intimacy of Scale


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Wendelien van Oldenborgh  Après la reprise, la prise , 2009. Still transferred to slide. Courtesy Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam.To finish their presentation, Bergholtz and Fletcher talk briefly about the final two subcategories which they are using ‘Affective Economy’ and ‘Intimacy of Scale’. In relation to the first they show Après la reprise, la prise (2009) Wendelien van Oldenborgh, a video work which follows women working in a Levi’s factory that closed in the 90’s, and their involvement in a theatre project about this experience, and therefore the connection between ‘work labour’ and ‘art labour’.

In relation to ‘Intimacy of Scale’ – they presented a short interview with Cathy Wilkes which articulates the possibility of connection through affect.

Curators’ Reading list for “Affect”

- Sara Ahmed: The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2004.
- Jill Bennett:
Empathic Vision: Affect, Trauma, and Contemporary Art (Cultural Memory in the Present) Stanford University Press 2004.
- Henri Bergson: Matter and Memory, New York: Macmillan. 1911.
-
Leo Bersani: Intimacies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
- Judith Butler:
Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence. London/New York: Verso 2004.
- Gilles Deleuze: Cinema 1 – the movement image. London: The Athlone Press 1986
- Mark Hansen: The Time of Affect, or Bearing Witness to Life
- Critical Inquiry; Spring 2004; 30, 3; ProQuest Direct Complete pg. 584
- Michael Hardt: Affective Labor; info.interactivist.net/node/2589
- Brian Massumi: Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham, London: Duke University Press: 2002.
- Brian Massumi: The Autonomy of Affect
- Cultural Critique, No. 31, The Politics of Systems and Environments, Part II. (Autumn, 1995), pp. 83-109
- Brian Massumi: Navigating movement
www.brianmassumi.com/…/NAVIGATING%20MOVEMENTS.pdf
- Luciana Parisi: Abstract Sex, philosophy, biotechnology and the mutations of desire’ Continuum, 2004
- Mario Perniola: The Sex Appeal of the Inorganic. Contnuum 2004
- Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: Touching, Feeling. Affect, pedagogy, performativity. Durham, London: Duke University Press 2003
- Susan Sontag:
Regarding the Pain of Others. Picador, 2004.