The Royal College of Art announces five MA Curating Contemporary Art graduate

April 26, 2021
Shenece Oretha, Testing Grounds, 2019. Café Oto Project Space London for Not/Nowhere. Photography by Katarzyna Perla.

Various Dates: 1 – 17 May,
For information about projects visit the CCA 2021 website.
Public programme to be announced.

The RCA announces five MA Curating Contemporary Art graduate projects across a range of platforms, mediums and spaces in collaboration with partners the British Library, Camden Art Centre, Furtherfield and Gasworks.

Professor Victoria Walsh, Head of Programme, Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art:

This year’s MA Curating Contemporary Art (CCA) graduate projects once again highlight the extraordinary resilience and creative capacity of the visual arts community and cultural sector that our students became part of during the last eight months as they worked with our 2021 partners.

The projects include a site-specific interplay through sound between the inhabitants of Finsbury Park (Furtherfield, We are just animals, humans, and machines getting on together in specific lifeworlds), an investigation of techno-capitalism through billboards, delivery vehicles and e-commerce (Gasworks, Fulfilment Services Ltd.), works by Camden-based artists who engage with the past and present of Somers Town, (Camden Art Centre, In the meantime…), an artistic response to sound recordings themed around the nature of play by Shenece Oretha (British Library, Notes on Play), and a collection of new works that question and reimagine the notion of ‘awakening’ (Gasworks, Hear the Light).

Curating under Covid-19 continues to pose challenges to established modes of curatorial practice. Hybrid modes of working are fully explored in this year’s projects as opportunities to experiment across platforms, spaces and audiences emerge.

Learning to work together across 14 different cities and 7 countries, this year’s students have commissioned over 20 artists and contributors to produce projects that fully embrace today’s global context of creative and curatorial collaboration.

Highly alert to the cultural and political conditions in which art is made, accessed and debated, this year’s projects particularly consider ways to engage audiences beyond the UK, to include students’ own geographical settings. Enthusiasm, trust, and confidence are essential to curating during a pandemic, and this year’s projects are a testament to all of our CCA partners, and artists and contributors.

Furtherfield, We are just animals, humans, and machines getting on together in specific lifeworlds
1 – 7 May (accessible on the People’s Park Plinth website until 31 May)

We are just animals, humans, and machines getting on together in specific lifeworlds is a site-specific, digital listening experience connecting the human and non-human inhabitants of Finsbury Park. Created by sound artists Lisa Hall and Hannah Kemp-Welch, the work offers new ways of experiencing this vital green space via a sound based navigation system accessible on personal digital devices and through QR codes in the park. The commission is part of Furtherfield’s People’s Park Plinth which imagines the whole of Finsbury Park as a platform for public digital art that can be voted on by users.

Artists: Lisa Hall and Hannah Kemp-Welch
MA curators: Kevin Bello, Jindra Bucan, Soyeon Park, Yifei Tang, Yuting Tang and Harriet Min Zhang
Visual identity: Studio Hyte and An Endless Supply
Supporters: Arts Council England, Here For Culture and Haringey Council

Gasworks, Fulfilment Services Ltd.
4 – 10 May

Fulfilment Services Ltd. explores the implications of techno-capitalism on the widespread supply and demand networks that fulfil consumer needs and desires. New work by four artists and collectives are situated in and around London, unfolding across physical and digital spaces of distribution including on billboards, delivery vehicles, an e-commerce platform and website. These works come together to imagine alternative realities of fulfilment by interrogating the chain of production, networks of transportation, and the extortionist quality of fabricated needs.

Artists: Arvid&Marie, DNA, Florence Jung and Frank WANG Yefeng
MA curators: Andreanne Beguin, Zidong Chen, Sarah Daher, Zifei Ge, Hayley Gibson, Jiawei Gu and Brenna Horrox
Visual identity: An Endless Supply
Supporters: JACK ARTS and Print&Digital

Camden Art Centre, In the meantime…
7 – 13 May

In the meantime… is an online public programme of commissions by Camden-based artists, whose works act as a companion for audiences to explore the stories, both past and present, between Somers Town in north-west London and neighbouring Camden Art Centre. Contributors have been invited to contemplate small moments of exchange, anecdotes or personal resonances that speak to moments missed and moments that have remained and sustained them in the area, brought together online as a directory, an interactive PDF and a collection of sound recordings.

Contributors: Javier Calderón, Jaimie Denholm, Louise Gholam, Lucy Joyce, Esther Leslie, Caroline Mawer, Joygun Nehar and Sonia Uddin
MA curators: Ted Targett, Lolita Gendler, Olivia Abando, Johnnie Valantine, Seulki Yoo and Isadora Graham
Visual identity: Louise Gholam and An Endless Supply

The British Library’s Sound Archive, Notes on Play
8 – 14 May

For Notes on Play, multi-disciplinary artist Shenece Oretha has been commissioned to respond to the ‘Playtimes’ collection within the British Library’s sound archive as part of the Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project, which aims to preserve and provide access to thousands of the UK’s rare and unique sound recordings. Inspired by a rich variety of recordings documenting the imaginative, subversive and interpretative nature of play, the artist explores the creative capacities of active listening, the politics of play, and the archival, resulting in a new online artwork.

Artist: Shenece Oretha
MA curators: Mahamed Abdullahi, Maria Abramenko, Liza-Rose Burton, Rodrigo Chaveiro, Matilde Silva Fry, Kahyun Lee and Ruby Yang
Visual identity: An Endless Supply
Supporters: Unlocking Our Sound Heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and London Arts Board

Gasworks, Hear the Light
11 – 17 May

Hear the Light brings together new work by four artists to explore how the concept of ‘awakening’ could be seen as a metaphor capable of introducing new possibilities and raising awareness. Starting from the conviction that the internet is a luxury, the exhibition is an invitation to reconsider current times, as a moment full of inheritances, repetitions and comings. The project also questions the notion of web accessibility by adopting a hybrid mode of delivery with works accessible through an online platform and offline via a USB.

Artists: Chibuzor Adiele (Sporting Life), Anat Ben-David, Simnikiwe Buhlungu and Chen Zhe
MA curators: Ludovica Bulciolu, David Lisbon, Hyeona Shin, Haoyang Wang, Shiying Wang, Kechun Qin and Duruo Zheng
Visual identity: An Endless Supply

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