Art Talks @ Shoreditch House with Louise O’Kelley (2014 – )

Art Talks is a series of presentations and conversations by some of the most exciting artists,
curators, gallerists and other art professionals working in the field today
speaking about cutting edge practices and current trends in contemporary art.
Organised and moderated by Louise O’Kelly, Artforum’s representative for the UK & Ireland,
founder of Block Universe Performance Art Festival, and Fatos Ustek, independent curator and writer. Held at Shoreditch House since July 2014, the series have been exploring contemporary artistic, curatorial and philanthropic practice with a special focus on Women in the Arts and 90s London Art Scene.

Andrea Schlieker (09.03.2020); RoseLee Goldberg (30.09.2018); Shezad Dawood (24.07.2018); Frances Morris (15.05.2018); Anna Somers Cocks (27.03.2018);  Jake Chapman and Funhole, Molejoy (25.01.2018); SPIT! (Carlos Motta, John Arthur Peets, Carlos Maria Romero) (01.10.2017); Adham Faramawy, Rosie Hastings & Hannah Quinlan (18.05.2017); Stephanie Rosenthal and Noor Afshan (23.03.2017): Attilia Fattori Fanchini and David Gryn (12.01.2017); Vanessa Carlos & Rozsa Farkas & Stephan Tanvin Sawstrawidjaja (13.09.2016); Ravioli me Away, Charismatic Megafauna (27.05.2016) Iwona Blazwick (14.03.2016), Candida Gertler & Valeria Napoleone (20.11.2015); Hannah Barry & Kirsten Dunne & Nikola Lees (25.09.2015), Caroline Douglas & Maureen Paley & Catherine Wood (13.03.2015); Stephen Cairns (18.11.2014); Celia Hempton & Prem Sahib (23.09.2014); Pilvi Takala & Julia Crabtree & Will Evans (31.07.2014)

Andrea Schlieker

Women in the Art World 09.03.2020

This session of Art Talks will focus on women’s role in shaping London’s artworld over the last 20 years, as part of International Women’s History Month. As part of the ongoing series, we will be in conversation with Andrea Schlieker, Director of Exhibitions and Displays at Tate Britain. We will visit her extensive and outstanding career to date, having worked at various institutions from ICA to Serpentine, artistic director at the first and second Folkestone Triennial, and her independent years to her current role at Tate.


Performance Now 30.09.2018

This session hosts RoseLee Goldberg in celebration of her newest book ‘Performance Now: Live Art For the 21st Century’. Listen Here

Performance Now charts the development of performance by visual artists across six continents since the turn of the 21st century. It reveals how live art, so integral to the history of art in the 20th century, has become an increasingly essential vehicle for communicating ideas across the globe in the new millennium.

RoseLee Goldberg – an American-based art historian, author, critic and curator of performance art. She is most well known as being the founder and director of Performa, a performance art organisation. She is also currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Arts Administration at New York University.


Shezad Dawood 24.07.2018

This session hosts artist Shezad Dawood and concentrates on his new body of work Leviathan, which looks at the fault lines between marine conservation and migration, the first chapter of which was premiered at Venice last year. Listen Here.

Shezad Dawood – works across film, painting and sculpture to juxtapose discrete systems of image, language, site and narrative, using the editing process as a method to explore meanings and forms between film and painting. His practice often involves collaboration, working with groups and individuals across different territories to physically and conceptually map far-reaching lines of enquiry. These networks chart different geographic locations and communities and are particularly concerned with acts of translation and re-staging.


Frances Morris 15.05.2018

The first female director of the Tate Modern, Frances Morris, leads a conversation about championing female and non-European artists and her vision about the institutions’s future. Listen Here.

Frances Morris – She has played a key role in the development of Tate, joining as a curator in 1987, becoming Head of Displays at Tate Modern (2000–2006) and then Director of Collection, International Art until April 2016 when she was appointed to her current role. She has continually worked to re-imagine Tate’s collection and has been instrumental in developing its international reach and its representation of women artists. Frances was jointly responsible for the initial presentation of the opening collection displays at Tate Modern in 2000, which radically transformed the way museums present the story of modern art. 


Anna Somers Cocks

Women in the Art World (part of women’s history month) – 27/03/2018

This session focused on women’s roles in shaping London’s art world over the last 20 year, as part of Women’s History Month. We were in conversation with Anna Somers Cocks, founding editor of The Art Newspaper. Listen Here.

Anna Somers Cocks – Former curator of Victoria and Albert Museum, she served as the editor in chief to Apollo Magazine between 1986-1990 before founding The Art Newspaper. She is the author of various books and made contributions to scholarly publications; such as articles in The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph. She has also lectured at various museums including Metropolitan Museum New York and National Gallery London. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to art in 2011.


Artist’s Band Night 25.01.2018

This session hosts artist Jake Chapman and a live gig with his new band Funhole, who made their debut at Art Night 2017, with support from up-and-coming artist’s band Molejoy. 

Funhole – Jake Chapman is known mainly as one half of revered YBA sibling duo Jake and Dinos Chapman, today the artist lets us in his musical tastes and introduces to his band, Funhole. Funhole is a band formed by Jake Chapman, Michael O’Mara, Tim Watkins, Murray Clack and Robert Violette.

Molejoy – They are interested in unlearning, community building, the social imaginary and structures that give permission to collective creative acts. Molejoy is a band formed by Kerri Jeffries, Giles Brunch and Sophie Chapman. 


Frieze Projects Focus – SPIT!  01.10.2017

SPIT! (Sodomites, Perverts, Inverts, Together!) is a newly formed collective comprised of Colombian artist Carlos Motta, American art writer John Arthur Peetz and Colombian choreographer and live artist Carlos Maria Romero, in a first-time collaboration presenting a series of performative interventions at Frieze Project with a group of six performers. Listen Here.

Carlos Motta – Multi-disciplinary artist whose work draws upon political history in an attempt to create counter narratives that recognize suppressed histories, communities, and identities.

John Arthur Peetz –Writer based in New York. He writes for publications such as Art Forum and is the editor of “should I go to grad school?”.

Carlos Maria Romero –Multidisciplinary artist with a background in dance and live art, working in the fields of performing and visual arts, heritage and architectural activism, pedagogy and curating. 


Music in the Arts 18.05.2017

This session of Art Talks focused on artists with practices that have been influenced by music and club culture. Guest speakers were Adham Faramawy, Rosie Hastings and Hannah Quinian.

Adham Faramawy –  an artist working across a variety of media including moving image, painting and print to describe embodiment and what it is to be physically present. He studied both The Slade School of Fine Art and The Royal Academy. The body is central to his practice and is approached as a primary, sensual site. His works attempt to describe an urban lived experience where technology and its relationship to the body take a central role. The experience of cities, architecture, advertising, high-density populations – and how these affect the ways in which we behave and construct identity – are described through the distortion of commercial and art historical forms. He realised several group shows/solo projects in places such as  Whitechapel Gallery, ICA, The Royal Academy of Arts. 

Rosie Hastings & Hannah Quinlan –  artist duo collaborated since graduation from Goldsmiths. Their work centers themes of queerness and resistance. They realised projects such as @gaybar wherein the artists rematerialize the historic gay bar as a container for queer practice. The importance of their directory lies in its ability to function as a public resource, which is part of the artists’ intention for the work: to consider the future of how we archive and rematerialise LGBTQ+ histories. They showed their work at Arcadia Missa, Saatchi Gallery and DRAF 10th anniversary Party at KOKO.


Women in the Art World 23.03.2017

This session of Art Talks focused on women’s roles in shaping the London art world over the last 20 years, as part of International Women’s History Month. Continuing on from previous editions, we profiled well-respected female voices such as Stephanie Rosenthal, chief curator at the Hayward Gallery and artistic director of the 20th Bienalle of Sydney and the artist Noor Afshan Mirza formerly known as Karen Mirza of and Museum of Non Participation.

Stephanie Rosenthal – Director of Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. Former chief curator of Hayward Gallery. Prior to her position there, she worked at the Haus der Kunst in Munich for over a decade. Rosenthal was also the artistic director of the 20th Sydney Biennale, which took place in 2016. She has published and lectured extensively about contemporary art, curating and performative practices in public institutions and has been part of international advisory boards and symposiums about modern and contemporary art since 1996.

Noor Afshan – (Karen Mirza) –  an artist and her work spans filmmaking, installation, drawing, publishing and curating. She is collaboration partner to Brad Butler with their infamous project The Museum of Non-Participation’ (2008-2016). They explore contradictions of inequality, power, privilege and (non) participation in a practice that spans over 20 years and until recently took the form of a fictional institution.


Digital Art Market 12.01.2017

This session of Art Talks focused on digital art as a medium of artistic production and it’s modes of engaging with the art market. Guest speakers included Attilia Fattori Franchini, independent curator/writer and David Gryn, director of Daata Editions. Listen Here.

Attilia Fattori Franchini – Independent curator and writer. She is co-founder of the online platforms and Opening Times and contributes critical essays and reviews to publications as CURA, Kaleidoscope and Flash Art International.

David Gryn – Founder of daata editions which commissions artist video, sound, poetry and web. This new and innovative way to collect art is designed specifically to be a native platform to a new generation of artists who work with moving image and sound. Limited edition artworks can be viewed and acquired as digital downloads. He works with artist such as Tracey Emin, Chapman brothers and Amalia Ulman.


Young Galleries and the Art Market 13.09.2016

This session of Art Talks focused on emerging galleries and alternate modes of engaging with the art market. Guest speakers included gallerists Vanessa Carlos of Carlos/Ishikawa and Founder of Condo, an alternative model for art fairs, Rozsa Farkas of Arcadia Missa and Stephan Tanbin Sastrawidjaja of Project Native Informant. Listen Here.

Vanessa Carlos – Founded “Carlos/Ishikawa” in 2011. Works with Oscar Murillo, Ed Fornieles and Pilvi Takala. She also alongside initiated Condo which is a “collaborative exhibition” that invites galleries from around the world. Condo takes its name from ‘condominium’ and is a large-scale collaborative exhibition of international galleries. Host galleries share their spaces with visiting galleries – either by co-curating an exhibition together, or dividing their galleries and allocating spaces. Carlos told Artnet News that Condo answers to the lack of excitement that comes with having it to play safe :  “I started by thinking about how art fairs limit the level of experimentation and risk that artists and galleries can take.”

Rozsa Farkas – The founder and director of Arcadia Missa, a gallery focusing on “contemporary art with intent” that “began as a self-organised space in austerity Britain”. Farkas has been experimenting with Arcadia Missa as a multi-platform project space since 2011, and as a commercial gallery since 2014. The space has provided new aesthetic approaches and alternative organisational structures with the dynamic display of work through her Peckham gallery and publications. While still presenting work in major art fairs around the world, Arcadia Missa constantly explores and questions the ethics of the gallery space and of artist representation, works with artists such as Amalia Ulman, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings and Ann Hirsch.

Stephan Tanbin Sastrawidjaja – The founder of “Project Native Informant”.  Works with artists such as Hal Fischer, Harumi Yamaguchi and Sean Steadman. He describes the project as dedicated to “painting, institutional critique and online life as we know it”.


Performance as Action 27.05.2016

This session of Art Talks took on the form of a gig night with the artist’s bands. We featured artist Alice Theobald’s band Ravioli Me Away and Jenny Moore’s feminist punk band Charismatic MegaFauna which expanded the regular Art Talks discussion orientated approach. The event was also scheduled to announce the launch of ‘Block Universe,’ an annual performance art festival which runs across major institutions and offsite venues throughout London.

Ravioli me Away – Ravioli Me Away’s ambitious and delusional jazzy-post-pop-punk-hip-funk sound with stylistically schizophrenic motifs span all-known past, present and future human cultures and sub-cultures.

Charismatic Megafauna –  is a feminist drum-hop band of Jenny Moore, Georgia Twigg and Susannah Worth since 2013. They describe their act as “reverse cheerleading” and something between skeletal punk, thunderous tribe and the brink of total collapse.


Women in the Art World (Part of Women’s History Month) 14.03.2016

As part of 2016′s International Women’s History Month this session of Art Talks was focused on the role of women in shaping London’s art world. For this talk we were in conversation with Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery. Listen Here.

Iwona Blazwick OBE – Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery since 2001, also works actively as Art critic and lecturer. Before, she was the Head of exhibitions at Tate Modern. She is considered as one of the most important woman in British art and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to art in 2008. She has been a judge on a number of award panels, including the Turner prize.


Philanthropy & Patronage 20.11.2015 

This session of Art Talks focused on different modes of philanthropy and patronage within the changing landscape of funding cuts for artists, institutions and art organisations. Our speakers included Candida Gertler, founder of Outset Contemporary Art Fund and collector and patron Valeria Napoleone.

Candida Gertler OBE – Co-founding director of Outset Contemporary Art Fund. She initiated the contemporary art events as a board member of the British Friends of the Arts Museums of Israel and is Chair of the organization ‘Women in the Arts Lunch’. She co-founded Artprojx and developed its philanthropic arm resulting in the creation of Outset Contemporary Art Fund. Fore more than a decade, she serves as Executive Member of the Tate International Council. She was recipient of the 2010 Mont Blanc Award for Arts Patronage and was acknowledged as Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Contemporary Visual Arts and Arts Philanthropy in Her Majesty’s 2015 Birthday Honours List.

“ There is not a single person I know who is indifferent to art if they open themselves up a little bit. Then it’s an explosion. ” – Candida Gertler 

Valeria Napoleone – Collector and Patron. She started her collection in the mid 1990s, she resolved to acquire only works by women artists. Over the years, the collection has grown at a steady pace, covering a wide range of media, from pottery to video. Alongside her attempt to address gender inequality in art, Napoleone is an active patron of a number of arts organizations. She launched global project – XX – to get women artists into museum collections in the US and UK in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Society in London and Sculpture Center in New York. XX initiatives endeavor to increase the number of commissions and number of female artists in public collections.

“ Valeria Napoleone XX will build upon my continuous mission to support relevant artists’ practices and those realities which are overlooked and ignored by the mainstream. ” – Valeria Napoleone


Outside the Box- Art in the Public Realm 25.09.2015

For this edition of Art Talks we focused on the programming of art outside the traditional context of gallery or museum space, specifically in London. We were in conversation with Kirsten Dunne Senior Cultural Strategy Officer at Greater London Authority, Nicola Lees former curator at Frieze Projects and Hannah Berry, curator of Bold Tendencies, Peckham. 

Kirsten Dunne – Senior Cultural Strategy Officer at Greater London Authority. She have also launched the London Regeneration Fund for artist studios, creative workspace and production spaces.  

Nicola Lees  – An independent curator and former Curator of Frieze Projects. She was previously Senior Curator of Public Programmes at the Serpentine Gallery, London, where she oversaw interdisciplinary, time-based and performance projects, artist commissions, initiating Park Nights and the Serpentine Cinema series, and realizing the Serpentine Gallery Marathon. 

Hannah Barry – Founder of the Hannah Barry Gallery in 2008, she has been influential in pulling the locus of contemporary art in the capital away from the East End and south to Peckham. Works with artists such as James Capper, Nathan Cash Davidson and Nick Jeffrey.  Most notably, she set up the annual ‘Bold Tendencies’ exhibition, which has drawn more than half a million visitors already to this previously unfashionable corner of the city.


Women in the Art World (Part of Women’s History Month) 13.03.2015

This edition of Art Talks London focused on the role of women in shaping London’s art world over the last 20 years, as part of International Women’s History Month. We were in conversation with Caroline Douglas, director of the Contemporary Art Society and Catherine Wood, curator of Contemporary Art & Performance at Tate Modern and Maureen Paley, founder of Maureen Paley, amongst othersListen Here.

Caroline Douglas – Director of the Contemporary Art Society since 2013. CAS is a charity that purchases important works of art to place in public collections across the UK. She has been head of the Arts Council Collection since 2006 where she made a significant impact in documenting the development of contemporary art collection.

Maureen Paley – Founder of the contemporary art gallery Maureen Paley in London. She was one of the first to present contemporary art in the East End. Alongside running the gallery she has also curated a number of large-scale public exhibitions. Works with artists such as Sarah Jones, Wolfgang Tillmans, David Thorpe and Morgan Fisher.

Catherine Wood – Curator of Contemporary Art & Performance at Tate Modern. Sheworks on performance projects, exhibitions, collection acquisitions and displays at Tate Modern, as well as being actively engaged in research. Wood was instrumental in founding the performance programme at Tate in 2003. 


On Curating Film 18.11.2014 

For this edition of Art Talks London we were in conversation with Steven Cairns, associate curator of Artists’ Film and Moving Image at the ICA, London about his curatorial practice. The presentation featured a screening of artists’ films including Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost’s, Ed Atkins and Hannah Sawtell

Steven Cairns – Associate curator of Artists’ film and moving image in the ICA. He coordinated the LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images 2012, curated Alma Mater (2011/12) a LUX annual touring programme of recent Moving Image from the UK and has contributed to numerous screening programmes and panel discussions. He is also a regular contributor to Artforum and Frieze among other publications.


Sharing Practice  23.09.2014

The focus of this edition of Art Talks London was the practices of up and coming London based artists Prem Sahib and Celia Hempton, who were both participants of the 10th Gwangju Biennale, Burning Down the House in South Korea. Belong to the same generation of artists and they have been showing together at group shows in London. They both question body, sexuality, and the internet as medium installing their work with the concerns of the architecture and built-in environment. Life drawings of Celia and sculptures of Prem further the investigations of mediated body and the virtual space to the realm of 21st century.

Celia Hempton – studied MA Painting at the Royal College of Art and BA Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art.. Hempton’s paintings are graphic and sensual explorations of flesh. The artist investigates situation and paints works from an interesting position, exploring her responsive emotions which range from ‘fascination to rage and hilarity’. It is the confidently distinct way in which her work extends beyond its overt sexual inflection, which she describes as incidental, that defines Hempton as a painter.

Prem Sahib – previously studied at The Slade School of Fine Art 2002-06 and has an MA in Material & Visual Culture from University College London (2006-08).Sahib’s practice incorporates both sculpture and painting that appears abstract and minimal, formally clean and precise. However each is work arises from convictions regarding sexuality, intimacy, desire, and community.The work deals with notions of encounter and presence, codifying minimalist forms with anecdote. Most recently his practice has expanded to include installation and event-based work.


Cartoon Imagery in Art  31.07.2014

The focus of this edition of Art Talks London was the use of cartoon imagery in the practices of artists. Speaking at this event we had Pilvi Takala, an artist and recipient of 2013 Emdash Award and Julia Crabtree & William Evans, artist duo recipients of 2014 Nina Steward Artist Residency.

Pilvi Takala – Graduated with MFA degree from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and also studied in Glasgow School of Arts. Takala is known for her video works that investigate different social situations and human behaviour. These narrative works are based on site-specific performances and interventions. 

Julia Crabtree and William Evans – have worked collaboratively for over ten years and see their practice as an ongoing experiment in shared subjectivity. Their work references the high artifice of B-movies and the spatial logic of cartoon physics as part of an ongoing investigation into the imagery of our collective conscious. Their work is rooted in sculpture, used as material across installation, video, print and performance, subjecting forms and figures to varying stages of virtual and material transformation.