The Cornwall Workshop was a six-day intensive residential workshop for artists, curators and critics. It provided a space for discussion, debate and the sharing of ideas around producing, exhibiting and experiencing art in a remote, dispersed, non-urban region. The workshop approached contemporary curatorial and critical issues through a consideration of contemporary art practice and the practice of critical writing. It provided an opportunity to develop ideas suggested by Lucy Lippard’s keynote address for The Falmouth Convention, ‘Imagine Being Here Now’. Read More
In addition to the closed workshop sessions, a number of public events were arranged in association with The Cornwall Workshop.
The Cornwall Workshop: Supper and Presentations
Monday 17 October, 7.00-11.00pm at the new village hall, Porthallow, near St Keverne
Sixty artists, curators and other members of the arts community in Cornwall attended a curry supper and evening of presentations at Porthallow Villlage Hall near St Keverne on the Lizard peninsula.
Mark Dion: public lecture
Tuesday 18 October, 5.30pm
Woodlane Lecture Theatre, Woodlane, University College Falmouth
One of the leaders of The Cornwall Workshop, the celebrated American artist Mark Dion, gave a public lecture in Falmouth, reflecting on two decades of public commissions, museum exhibitions and installations. Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge and the natural world. ‘The job of the artist’, he says, ‘is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention’. He is fascinated by the principles of taxonomy and his works often take the form of spectacular and fantastical curiosity cabinets.
Dion has undertaken exhibitions and projects across the world, including ‘The Thames Dig’ at Tate Gallery, London (1999) and ‘Rescue Archeology’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004). He has recently completed a major commission, ‘Oceanomania: Souvenirs from the Mysterious Seas’ for the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.
The lecture was hosted by RANE and was part of the Autumn Season of MA Art Lectures at University College Falmouth
Lori Waxman: “60wrd/min art critic”
Wednesday 19 October, 12.00-2.00pm and 3.00-6.00pm
The Exchange, Penzance
The Chicago-based art critic Lori Waxman, one of the leaders of The Cornwall Workshop, performed her “60 wrd/min art critic” for one day at The Exchange, Penzance. This was the first UK stop for this project, which had previously focused on regional arts communities in the United States. Visitors were able to watch the development of Waxman’s reviews as they were written.
Waxman offered brief, serious reviews to all visual artists on a first-come, first-served basis in a performance about art criticism. Reviews, which were free of charge, were scheduled and written in twenty-five minute increments during the hours of 12.00-2.00pm and 3.00-6.00pm on Wednesday 19 October.
Reviews were signed, published and ready for pick-up within the time frame of the performance. The reviews were posted in the Engine Room at The Exchange and remained on view until 29 October. They were published in The Cornishman in the weeks following the performance.
Lori Waxman writes: ‘Artist, artwork, critic and review will all exist in the same space simultaneously, thereby helping to demystify the art review process. The “60 wrd/min art critic” is many things: an exploration of short-form art writing, a work of performance art in and of itself, an experiment in role reversal between artist and critic, a democratic gesture and a circumvention of the art review process. At a time when newspaper and magazine art columns are disappearing, the “60 wrd/min art critic” aims to get a community talking about its own art.’
Lori Waxman publishes a weekly column in the Chicago Tribune and has written for Artforum as well as numerous other art journals and museum and gallery catalogues, on artists well known and not. Her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, considers walking as a revolutionary art practice in the 20th century. She teaches art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Cornwall Workshop: Participants’ Reports
Thursday 20 October, 8.00-11.00pm at the new village hall, Porthallow, near St Keverne
This meeting was planned so that the outcomes of the Workshop could be shared with members of the art community and other interested guests.
The Exchange in Penzance was offered as a potential venue for a curatorial test bed project – an opportunity for workshop participants to test early ideas in a gallery and engage with an audience – perhaps for a short period of time in 2012.