• fa9bdcd4-033b-4c6b-8d77-6861d6002cf7
  • 2020-10-29—2020-10-29

    On the impossible histories of Art(ist) and Activism: A lecture/list


    Register here for free tickets.

    Streamed live 4–5pm, Thursday, 29th October 2020


    The Virtual Lectures by Frank Wasser — trace the ways that art has been conceived as a form of political activism since early 20th century

    Now, the urgency and need to address what it might mean to organise and how to organise, to ‘demand the impossible’ [1]  is necessary, if not vital. All is at stake.

    An anthology of examples, subjects, themes, tangents, distractions that may be addressed include but are not limited to:

    Manifestos pinned to frosty telephone poles,
    David Hammons melting snowballs,
    Responsibility (and a thereof lack of),
    The co-opting of artistic practices by art institutions,
    Guerrilla Girls,
    Judith Butler,
    Joseph Beuys,
    Patrick Ireland,
    Nan Goldin,
    Living Newspapers,
    Tania Burgera,
    Adam Pendleton,
    Forensic Architecture,
    Activism and Social Media,
    The current direct action campaigns that are holding art institutions globally accountable for their decisions and demanding the impossible.

    This virtual lecture will trace the ways that art has been conceived as a form of political activism since the early 20th century through to today. The lecture will take the form of a seemingly sporadic yet intricately linked list. The political histories, legacies, influences, successes, failures, and implications of artistic practices that have been positioned as forms of activism will be the focus of this list which can be used as resource for further conversations and direct action.

    [1]  ‘Be realistic: Demand the impossible’ a May 1968 quote referenced by the artist Tai Shani in a recently published opinion piece on the contemporary art world informs the title of this lecture.  Specifically, the opinion piece outlines concerns with the ‘art worlds’ move towards the right https://artreview.com/why-art-workers-must-demand-the-impossible/


    Frank Wasser is an artist, writer and art historian from the Liberties, Dublin who lives and works in London. He works across an array of materials and mediums that often concern writing and performance (on and off-page) and educational pedagogies. He has exhibited and lectured internationally. Recent Projects include: ‘The Slow abrogation of the…’ A solo performance at Jerwood Arts, London, Survey, a group show, BALTIC centre for contemporary arts, Newcastle, G39, Cardiff and The Bluecoat, Liverpool, THE LIVING NEWSPAPER (with Elaine Reynolds and Chris Timms), Tate Modern, London.

    Wasser will publish his first book ‘Slip’ with the imprint MA Bibliotheque in April 2021. He is currently a Dphil candidate at Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford and he lectures regularly at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. In 2018 Wasser was the recipient of an Arts Council of Ireland Visual Arts Bursary.

    For individual lectures, please contact frank@thevirtuallectures.com
    or visit  The Virtual Lecture

    Pallas Projects/Studios is funded by The Arts Council