In 2017, artists and practitioners Laura Mulvey, Anne Bean, Georgina Starr and Goshka Macuga speak about their work in response to the following:

Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired.[1][2] Different writers give the word "intuition" a great variety of different meanings, ranging from direct access to unconscious knowledge, unconscious cognition, inner sensing, inner insight to unconscious pattern-recognition and the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.[3][4]

Femininity (also called girlishness, womanliness or womanhood) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Femininity is socially constructed, but made up of both socially-defined and biologically-created factors.[1][2][3] This makes it distinct from the definition of the biological female sex,[4][5] as both males and females can exhibit feminine traits.

07/07/17    Georgina Starr

Moment Memory Monument (2017) is Georgina Starr’s most recent work. It is a large-scale sculptural performance installation where visitors are chosen by 'The Sun' and 'The Moon' and offered a chance to return to a lost memory. This lecture is a guide to the voice of the central time machine known as 'The Sphere’ –while the audience is able to experience the mystery of the temporal shift.  Beginning with Starr’s history of encounters with ‘The Voices’, heard and experienced in many forms and from an early age, this lecture attempts to map out the journey revealed by the strange companionship of these fragile and elusive others.

Georgina Starr is a British artist working with video, sound and performance. Her works are known for their complex and fragile emotional narratives, in which she explores female identity, history and fiction to create multi-layered theatrical events and installations. Starr often appears in the artwork, either as a performer or narrator. The inherently speculative truth of memory and biography are endlessly transformed and explored through her work—“Everything happens as if it were experienced twice, as though recorded, listened again and rewritten, once for herself and then again for the stranger inside her.”

Georgina Starr has exhibited widely over the last 25 years in galleries and museums both in the UK and internationally, from the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney and Tate Britain to Kunsthalle Zurich in Switzerland and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A major survey of her work, Hello. Come here. I want you., opens at Frac Franche-Comté in May 2017 and runs until September.

Georgina Starr, Moment Memory Monument, 2017. Photo Henrik Blomqvist


30/06/17    Anne Bean

A central and inspirational figure, Anne Bean, born in Zambia, is intentionally a difficult artist to categorise. Since the early 70’s, this ‘uncatchability’ has been a purposefully created strategy to question style, consistency, career and categorisation itself. Morphing between numerous contexts, materials, media, collaborations, ideologies and manifestations she challenged herself to follow a trajectory that allowed for fluid, direct and dynamic response, resulting in a huge range of solo and collaborative projects as well as curatorial enterprises worldwide. This range is apparent just from work within the last year, including performances at Whitechapel Gallery, Unlimited Action, Cooper Gallery, Dundee, Of Other Spaces, Humber St Gallery, Hull, City of Culture, Tempting Failure Festival, 5 Duets with Strangers, London Shuffle Festival, Waking the Dead(with Richard Wilson),  Green Culture, Montenegro and exhibiting in group shows in Photo London, Bank Space Gallery, London, Sidney Nolan Trust, INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, New York,  Foundacion Joan Miro, Barcelona, DZIALDOV, Berlin, light/sound installations in Auckland Festival and a solo exhibition and performance/lecture EMIT at Coleman Project Space, Bermondsey.

In Anne's book Autobituary, the writer, Guy Brett captures this scope and reach:

Reading Anne Bean’s CV is like following a continuous performance, a continuous response to the world… a ‘magicification’ of the world. The panoply of places she has worked, times of the day or night, interiors, exteriors, seasons, publics, materials, concepts, tools, is astonishing: all shifting but all attuned to unique situation.

Anne Bean, Infinity in the Palm of my Hand. East Side tattoo parlour. Photo: Marketa Luscacova

22/06/17    Goshka Macuga

For this event, Goshka Macugainvites professors Nicky Claytonand Kathryn Abelto discuss memory and cognition from a scientific perspective, opening up questions about the relationship between how things are, how we perceive them to be and how we remember them – ultimately how cognition and memory interact to form individual and collective human knowledge. Historicising and visualizing connections between science, philosophy and new technologies, Macuga’s works are the culmination of lengthy, in-depth research activities, often carried out in dialogue with members of the scientific community. Memory and knowledge are topics of great relevance for Macuga’s artistic practice, which is often takes on the roles of an artist, curator, collector, researcher and exhibition designer. Many of her projects over the years have reflected on the experience of knowledge and the fundamental questions of how humans categorise material and information, often challenging interpretations of the validity of human perspective, especially since the fast evolution of artificial intelligence.

Goshka Macugawas born in Warsaw and lives in London. She works across a variety of media including sculpture, installation, photography, architecture and design. Her artistic practice is often referred to as taking on the roles of an artists, curator, collector, researcher and exhibition designer. Her recent solo shows include To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scrollat Fondazione Prada, Milan (2016), Time as Fabricat New Museum, New York (2016), and Now this, is this the end... the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?at Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin (2016).

Nicky Clayton is the Professor of Comparative Cognition in Psychology at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and Scientist-in-Residence at Rambert (formerly Ballet Rambert). Together with her tango partner Clive Wilkins, she is the co-founder of The Captured Thought, a science-arts collaboration which explores the subjective nature of memory and its implications for perception and cognition. 

Kathryn Abel is (among other things) Professor of Psychological Medicine, European Research Council Science Fellow and Director of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the University of Manchester. She works in the NHS as an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist and has been involved with the SICK! Arts Festival since 2010 and with a number of artists and curators considering the nature of the spectator in art and the possible role of art in the evolution of human cognition.

Goshka Macuga, Olympe des Gouges, 2016, Rubber and resin. Courtesy of the artist

24/05/17    Laura Mulvey

Quotation, repetition, cinematic time (and beyond):  thinking through some images of motherhood.

In the lecture, Professor Laura Mulvey discusses the privileged relation of film to the representation of time.  Not only can it shift between the different temporalities of still and moving images but also, by integrating pre-existing footage into a newly configured text, film can layer time, creating a juxtaposition of a past and a (then ever-receding) present. But now, aided by new technologies, film images are, as never before, migrating from text to text.  As always with quotation, the film image cites its origins while simultaneously relating to its new setting, confusing time through repetition and reference. 

In order to think through some aspects of these issues, Mulvey uses examples of films that revolve around stories of motherhood and its related iconographies. Each of the films have, in some way or another, reconfigured images that already have a cinematic past or have found an unexpected afterlife, detached from their original settings. The questions raised by form (cinematic temporalities) have no immediate relevance to the questions raised by content (images of motherhood); on the other hand, perhaps they might…

Laura Mulveyis Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of: Visual and Other Pleasures (Macmillan 1989; second edition 2009),Fetishism and Curiosity (British Film Institute 1996; second edition 2013), Citizen Kane (BFI Classics series 1992; second edition 2012) and Death Twenty- four Times a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (Reaktion Books 2006). She made six films in collaboration with Peter Wollen includingRiddles of the Sphinx (British Film Institute 1977; DVD publication 2013) and Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti(Arts Council 1980). With artist/filmmaker Mark Lewis, she has made Disgraced Monuments (Channel 4 1994) and 23 August 2008(2013).