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Image: Tania Bruguera's Hyundai Commission, Turbine Hall launch (2018). Credit: Kirsty O’Connor PA.
Image: Tania Bruguera's Hyundai Commission, Turbine Hall launch (2018). Credit: Kirsty O’Connor PA.

Create National Networking Day in Cork

26 September 2019

Join Create and partners Crawford Art Gallery (Cork), Counterpoints Arts (London) and Cork City Arts Office for Create’s 2019 Networking Day for Collaborative Arts. The Networking Day will facilitate collective exchange and learning about models of collaborative practice; ways of collaborative working which operate in the interstices between socially engaged arts, community expertise, pedagogy and politics. We look forward to hosting an exciting range of speakers and creating a dynamic space of exchange and learning in order to catalyse, critique and make change.

We will begin the day by exploring key questions surrounding economies of collaborative arts practice and how they relate to questions of spatial justice and social change. A central focus will be on the world-renowned socially engaged artist Tania Bruguera’s Tate Modern Turbine Hall Hyundai Commission. Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts, Áine O’Brien, will discuss with Bruguera the unique challenges initiated by the Turbine Hall commission: how cultural institutions can become places for collective civic action, citizen innovation, how they might catalyse transformative learning and inform new social relations. Bruguera’s work has since activated ways for local residents (called Tate Neighbours) to proactively infiltrate a cultural institution like Tate Modern.

Bruguera will be joined by Dr. Cara Courage, Head of Tate Exchange; Jane Wells, Programme Manager of Tate Exchange, and several Tate Neighbours: Shamus Dark, Charles Yassin, Debra Reiss and Natalie Bell. We will discuss with them how this recent commission re-imagines the public art institution as a place for forging different types of neighbourhood-based relations, where cultural and social policy can be imagined and tested; where what it means to act together as a civic collective can be explored.

Working closely with the Crawford Art Gallery and Cork City Arts Office, the Networking Day will reflect on current cross-city collaborative initiatives and artists’ practices in Cork and the wider region. In the afternoon we will further explore how collaborative arts practice catalyses dialogue between diverse fields of knowledge: popular culture, intercultural issues, social innovation, community and sustainable urban development. Workshops and conversations will be led by, among others, Miguel Amado, Director of Cork Printmakers and Eve Olney of Art, Architecture and Activism.

Sören Meschede, curator and coordinator of Concomitentes, will also join us. Located in Spain, Concomitentes encourages the creation of artistic projects devised and commissioned by groups of citizens. Meschede will outline how the Concomitentes programme emphasises the importance of art in social life, proposing a new system of art production involving the transformation of cultural policy.

In addition, with commissioned artists Mark Storor and Stephen King we will explore the Per Cent for Art commission and community-based project I Can Colour Between the Lines But I Choose Not To, presented and produced by the 2018 Cork Midsummer Festival, with residents and artists in Knocknaheeny, Cork.

In the context of planned commemorations relating to Ireland’s struggle for independence and taking account of how those struggles played out very vividly in Cork, it seems fitting that we close the day with a discussion about the notion of commemoration and the symbolic role of public art given the significance of 2019. To this end, we will be joined by Hamad Nassar, Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation and initiator of Let Our Statues Speak project, to reflect on questions of memory and whose history gets written in or out of the urban fabric in broader processes of commemoration. The Let Our Statues Speak project speaks volumes to the present moment in Cork – a city being actively reshaped against the backdrop of a rich history of struggle and against the contemporary resonances created by Brexit.

Following the Networking Day, on the 27th of September, Counterpoints Arts will facilitate a Learning Lab: Art, Cultural Democracy and the City. This will be an in-depth conversation with key stakeholders and strategic players in the arts and cultural landscape who are influencing the evolving urban fabric of Cork.

The Networking Day promises to open up a space for us all to ask a shared and urgent question: how can collaborative forms of arts practice – engaging with the embodied experiences and knowledge of citizens – initiate and implement real civic agency and significant momentum for social change?

Further updates and programme details will be posted on Create's website.

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