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Public Lecture: Claire Doherty, Litmus Fellow



From Studio to Situation: How Contemporary Art Grew Out of Place
Thursday 7 December 2006, 7pm
The Physics Room

The Physics Room, in association with the Litmus Research Initiative in conjunction with the Massey University Foundation, is proud to announce that it will be hosting a public lecture by internationally renowned contemporary art curator, writer and researcher Claire Doherty on Thursday 7 December 2006, 7pm.

Currently Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art at Bristol University of West England, independent curator and writer Claire Doherty is recognised as a specialist in contextual and process based art practice. Doherty develops research into contextual practice for the Fine Arts field through the research and commissioning programme Situations (www.situations.org.uk). She lectures widely on curatorial issues and has published in a diverse range of art magazines and exhibition catalogues, as well as editing over twenty publications – including the influential: Contemporary Art: From Studio to Situation.

The international visual arts landscape has become dominated by the artwork as situation. Emerging at biennials, art fairs, through the programmes of kunsthalle, museums and commissioning agencies, through digital media, radio and tv broadcasts, these works are recognisable by their project rather than object-based nature. Often time-based, performative or participatory, place-based or place-responsive, they demand new curatorial approaches, display techniques, promotional and financial systems and perhaps most importantly different kinds of engagement from their audiences and participants.

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Doherty will examine the challenges of such works for audiences, curators and artists. Her lecture will introduce and compare some of the most significant international projects of the past five years, exploring and interrogating how the site-specific became place-responsive. She will ask for whom such projects are produced, whether there should be a code of ethics for such projects and does it matter what is left behind?

Litmus has invited Doherty as the School of Fine Arts inaugural Curatorial Fellow in recognition of the significant benefits her knowledge and expertise as both a curator and writer will bring to a New Zealand context, this includes longstanding and established connections to artists and arts professionals engaged in this field worldwide.

This first phase of this two-part project is research focused, with Doherty holding a series of open dialogue forums with artists, arts professionals and students in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, New Plymouth and Dunedin, as well presenting a number of public lectures nationwide. This will be a significant opportunity for both the public and arts specialists to familiarise themselves with Doherty’s vision and contribute to a major programme of events that will take place in 2008.

The Fellowship is designed to provide the starting point and eventual delivery of a major contemporary art project in the public domain of Wellington and an affiliated symposium in February 2008. This represents a unique opportunity for Litmus to develop in association with Doherty not only an important art project involving leading national and international artists, but also provides a platform for the analysis and discussion of fine art approaches and projects that exist beyond art gallery walls.


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