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Transmission: PROVOCATION


Mark McGowan

27 Oct


Wednesday 27 October 4-5.45pm

In SHU’s new series of Transmission lectures they will explore how art can provoke, activate, and antagonise the viewer, without referring to or employing well-known aesthetic and political strategies that seek to produce shocking and immediate affects. They will consider how the concept of provocation is at its most incisive when it is conceived as fluid and unfixed, and discussed and disputed outside the borders of the hoary discourse of the historical avant-garde. They are interested in a provocation in art that is determined by a broad range of factors, external to the physical properties of art.

Each week a member of the Fine Art staff will invite a guest speaker and chair the discussion. This wide-ranging series of talks will, through discussion with the audience, question the concept of provocation and its relation to art.

Guest: Mark McGowan

According to JJ Charlesworth, Mark McGowan’s work ‘takes the ghost of performance art and uses it to haunt the mass media, and the art world, with their own bad faith. Thumbing his nose at those artists who affect an interest in social issues, without stepping too far out of their comfortable enclave, McGowan intentionally grabs at whatever constitutes public discussion at any given time, forcing us to reconsider the hypocrisy and self-flattery that underpins contemporary art’s indulgence of both the media and the ordinary public’. Live actions include leaving the tap running for a year at House, Camberwell, the ‘re-enactment’ of the London tube bombing, and eating a corgi.

Host: Becky Shaw

Becky Shaw’s work explores the relation between objects and people, and ideas of objectivity and subjectivity. Recent works include Getting Warm, a collection of drawings for the Korean International Art Fair 2010, and A: The Christmas Party, a durational radio work made with readers from Roehampton University, commissioned by Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum. An ongoing work, Aggregate, explores the materials to be used in the new Firstsite building, Colchester. New works stubbornly refuse to respond to place or external requirements, and involve myopic study of single objects including an extraordinary inlaid marble table and a secondhand vintage classics t-shirt.


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