Sullivan Galleries: Chicago Social Club Archive
The Chicago Social Club, initiated by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies and DePaul University, is a think-tank in the field of socially engaged art practice. Sessions focus on institutional and noninstitutional collaborations that, in their process, create or seek to repair social relations. Begun in January 2012, artists, collectives, and scholars from around the world share their research with participants Chicago-wide and attendees from other Midwest locations. The uncommonness, open intimacy, and directness of the presentations among this community of practitioners makes these forums a place for shared experience and critical consideration of today's socially engaged practices.
This public archive documents this series with project overviews from the presenters. It also includes video recordings of the primary presentations from each session.
This archive was created through the efforts of Graduate Curatorial Assistants Will Ruggiero (Dual MA 2014), Gibran Villalobos (Dual MA 2013), and Ann Meisinger (Dual MA 2014), working with the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies in a curatorial training practicum.
January 20, 2012
Education for Socially Engaged Art: A Materials and Techniques Handbook
SAIC alumnus Pablo Helguera (BFA 1993) discusses his recent project, the publication Education for Socially Engaged Art: A Materials and Techniques Handbook (Jorge Pinto Books, 2011).
Conceived as a "materials and techniques" book, Education for Socially Engaged Art addresses the emerging field of socially engaged art practice. Helguera discusses projects that take creation and collaborative making as the focal point of the experience. Drawing on histories of performance, pedagogy, sociology, ethnography, linguistics, and community and public practices, this book acts as a primer to clearly situate and structure the language that has long been associated within the field. In his talk Helguera also takes the audience through the process that led to several of his projects, particularly The School of Panamerican Unrest (2006), a nomadic think-tank that physically crossed the continent by car from Anchorage, Alaska, to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, making 40 stops in between. Covering almost 20,000 miles, it is a geographically extensive and ambitious public art project.
Following his presentation, Helguera is joined in discussion by Jim Duignan, Associate Professor in the Visual Art Education Program at DePaul University.
Pablo Helguera is an artist and educator who creates work that focuses on history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics, and anthropology in formats such as lectures, museum displays, performance, and written fiction. He has been Director of Adult and Academic Programs in the Department of Education at the Museum of Modern Art since 2007. There he has spearheaded socially engaged initiatives for adult audiences, including interactive workshop spaces and collaborations with contemporary artists in the creation of public programs. He is the recipient of many awards including a Creative Capital Grant (2005) and John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2008). In 2011 he was named winner of the International Award of Participatory Art of the Region Emilia-Romagna in Italy.
February 17, 2012
Emily Pilloton presents on her nonprofit design organization Project H Design and its core educational initiative Studio H.
Founded in 2008, Project H uses the powers of creativity, design, and hands-on building to amplify the raw brilliance of youth, transforms communities, and improves K–12 public education from within. Pilloton also discusses another integral part of Project H, Studio H, a yearlong design/build program that began in Bertie County, North Carolina, one of the most rural and impoverished counties in the state. Through this program high school students earned early college credit as they learned critical and creative thinking for new models of effective design, as well as new skills they can use to give back to their community.
Following the presentation, Pilloton engages in conversation with Drea Howenstein, Associate Professor in Art Education at SAIC. They will discuss different approaches to design pedagogy.
SAIC alumna Emily Pilloton (MFA 2005) founded the nonprofit design firm Project H to use creative capital to improve communities and public education from the inside out. Trained in architecture and product design, she believes in design as an honest process of building and activism that benefits communities by engaging them in public education experiences. Pilloton has spoken worldwide, from the TED conference stage to the Colbert Report. She is the author of Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People (Metropolis Books, 2009), which ignited the Design Revolution Road Show, a traveling pop-up exhibition that visited 16 design schools across the United States.
John Preus presents happenings and projects at SHoP (Southside Hub of Production).
SHoP is a collective of artists, writers, filmmakers, craftspeople, educators, and local civic organizations who came together in 2011 to create a local cultural hub space in Hyde Park, Chicago. SHoP’s main aim is to engage creatively with the neighborhood and encourage local cultural activity. SHoP is a space for productive creativity as well as for slow culture, leisure time, and meaningful social engagement. John Preus co-founded SHoP in 2011 with Laura Shaeffer, as well as the art group Material Exchange in 2005. He is also the founder of Dilettante Studios in 2010, which designs and builds cabinets, furniture, and residential and commercial spaces, relying almost exclusively on second-hand materials. Preus is creative director of the Rebuild Foundation and lead fabricator for Theaster Gates studios.
Now in its second iteration, SHoP had moved locations.
March 23, 2012
Luiz Vergara and Jessica Gogan
Luiz Vergara and Jessica Gogan present their project Instituto MESA based Rio de Janeiro.
A key project of MESA (Mediation, Encounters, Society and Art) is the Experimental Nucleus of Education and Art at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro. Created in 2009, it brings together artists and educators to develop different levels of social and cultural interactions both inside and outside the museum. By bringing together different fields together such as art education, art historians, social practicioners and various publics, MESA experiments with different modes of the museum as a civic engager. Gogan and Vergara discuss ideas around experience, specifically the collecting of experience as well as the ethics of collective experience. They cite their philosophies and influences from the Warhol Museum as well as from Brazilian artists Helio Oiticica and Lygia Clark.
Jessica Gogan is an independent curator and educator working in the US and Brazil. She recently completed an evaluation of the pedagogic project of the 8th Mercosul Biennal, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Her article “Museum as Artist: Creative, Dialogic and Civic Practice” (Animating Democracy/Americans for the Arts) reflects on aspects of her former work as Director of Education at the Andy Warhol Museum.
Luiz Guilherme Vergara is researcher on contemporary art practices and critical theories of socio-cultural agency focusing on curatorial studies and education inside and outside museums. He is currently a professor in the art department of the Universidade Federal Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
May 25, 2012
Stephanie Smith presents the curatorial process the exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality (2012) at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum.
With a serious focus on audience participation, Smith's curated Feast, an extensive exhibition that looks at 20th-century precedents and contemporary practices around food and drink as a mode of artistic expression and social engagement. From drinking beers to tasting spoonfuls of jam, the participatory projects varied from ritualistic to transitional, with Michael Rakowitz's Enemy Kitchen food truck parked outside the museum and traveling elsewhere in the city to Lee Mingwei's Origins of Hospitality that offered intimate dinner exchanges with the artist.
Stephanie Smith is Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art. Since joining the museum in 1999, she has played a central role in establishing the Smart's reputation as a home for challenging thematic exhibitions that address the complex relationships between contemporary art and larger social issues and for projects that combine rigor, generosity, and play. Her curatorial projects include Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art (2012); Heartland (2008–09), and Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art (2005). She has been recognized as one of the most visionary curators working in Chicago. Smith also serves as a founding member of the University's Open Practice Committee and as an editor with the international art journal Afterall.
Abby Satinsky and Bryce Dwyer
In conversation with Stephanie Smith, InCUBATE members and SAIC alumni Abby Satinsky (Dual MA 2009) and Bryce Dwyer (Dual MA 2010) discuss Sunday Soup and other practices.
Sunday Soup began in 2007 as a monthly meal where guest chefs cook simple soups and other brunch foods by using local ingredients. Paying participants enjoy the meal, and they have an opportunity to vote on artistic initiatives or community projects that have been selected for possible funding. In this way, there is a microgranting process established that uses local economies. This model has been taken up worldwide with International Day of Soup, which also uses the microgrant model in order to operate. InCUBATE’s Sunday Soup is now co-organized with Roots and Culture and others in Chicago, and happens on an intermittent basis.
InCUBATE (Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and The Everyday) is a research group dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding. InCUBATE members as curators, researchers and coproducers of artist projects. These activities have manifested in a series traveling exhibitions called Other Options, an artist residency program, and various other projects. They don’t have nonprofit status, but instead are interested in what kinds of organizational strategies could provide more direct support to critical and socially engaged art and culture beyond for-profit or nonprofit structures. Their core organizational principle is to treat art administration as a creative practice. By doing so, they hope to generate and share a new vocabulary of practical solutions to the everyday problems of producing under-the-radar culture.
October 12, 2012
Mika Hannula presents an interactive project to participants that he calls "Mind Mapping." As much performance as academic lecture, he traces connections between theories of modernity and their evolution over time in a textual mapping exercise.
At the center of this process is the crossroads between art and life, a relationship that has been crucial to the 20th century. Hannula articulates the boundaries, intersections between ways of making a space into a place, and situating the self by creating art. He explores the interconnectedness between past, present, and future as they relate to everyday life. His exercise breaks down linear time and asks us to think about situations contextually by connecting different ideas, historical events, and figures.
Following his interactive exercise, Hannula engages with the audience participants on different ideas around art as research, which is part of Hannula's larger critical fields.
Mika Hannula is a professor for artistic research at the faculty of Fine, Applied, and Performing Art at the University of Göthenburg, in Sweden. Through the years 2000–05 he was the director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, and also the chairman of KUNO, Nordic Network of Art Academies. He was the curator for the Estonian Pavilion at Venice Biennale (2007), and curated the show Situated Self with Branko Dimitrijevic in Belgrade and in Helsinki in 2005. He has also curated an exhibition on artistic research Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Something—Four Perspectives into Artistic Research in Göthenberg in 2008. With Branko Dimitrijevic, he also collaborated on The Good Life-Physical Narratives and Spatial Imaginations for the 53rd October Salon, Belgrade (2012). Mika Hannula holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and is the author of numerous articles and of several books on contemporary art.
Charlie Roderick and Josh Ippel
Hideous Beast discusses their project "Survival School," an engagement project with art students about examining the aesthetic and ideological dimensions of survivalist culture through the lenses of art education and the art world. The project was eventually exhibited at both Houghton College and Trinity College in 2012.
Hideous Beast is a collaborative effort between two artists, Josh Ippel and Charlie Roderick. Through organizing structured participatory events, they attempt to encourage cultural activity outside the bounds of mainstream entertainment and fabricated desire.
November 2, 2012
Rebecca Zorach and Daniel Tucker
Never the Same
Zorach and Tucker discuss Never The Same, a project initiated in 2010, that aims to archive Chicago's rich history of socially engaged and activist over the past 40 years.
NTS, as Tucker and Zorach tag it, are conversations about art transforming politics and community in Chicago and beyond. It exists online as a series of recorded interviews with the key practitioners through which they uncover support networks and personalities. In this series of oral histories they also develop a language for discussing social and politically engaged art. The archive also exists as a collection of miscellaneous ephemera from the projects, catalogues, and pamphlets of interest to Tucker and Zorach and which some interviewees have made available to them.
Mary Jane Jacob joins Tucker and Zorach after their presentation of Never the Same in a conversation around culture and politics in Chicago.
Rebecca Zorach is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, whose range of research inquiry is vast. Currently her research deals with African American artists, institutional experimentation, and the notion of the public in the 60s and 70s. She is a member of the group Feel Tank, and has organized exhibitions with Smart Museum, DOVA temporary, University of Chicago Library, and Gallery 4. Her latest book, Blood, Milk, Ink, Gold: Abundance and Excess in the French Renaissance, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.
Daniel Tucker has worked as a cultural and political organizer in Chicago for the last 12 years, initiating a number of large-scale local projects and events. His particular focus has been on documenting social and cultural movements and the places from which they emerge. He is the author of numerous books and pamphlets, and most recently Farm Together Now. In 2005, he founded the magazine AREA Chicago, a publication that focuses on organizations in Chicago active in culture and politics.
The Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Project
Kevin Kaempf and Alice Kim
Kevin Kaempf (SAIC faculty, Sculpture) and Alice Kim (Illinois Humanities Council) lead a tour through the Sullivan Galleries exhibition Opening the Black Box: The Charge is Torture.
Opening the Black Box, organized by the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Project, invited artists and justice seekers to submit proposals for a speculative monument to memorialize the Chicago police torture cases. Their goal is to honor the survivors of torture, their family members and the African American communities affected by the torture. The monument will also recall and honor the nearly two-decades long struggle for justice waged by torture survivors and their families, attorneys, community organizers, and people from every neighborhood and walk of life in Chicago. The project organizers recently held their first exhibition at Sullivan Galleries, which subsequently turned into a traveling show. The Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Project was named Best Critical Art Project of 2012 by Chicago’s Newcity magazine.
November 9, 2012
Dan Peterman discusses his artistic practice and general questions he held before the cofounding of the Experimental Station in 2002 with Connie Spreen.
Peterman addresses the different local material networks and economies in which the programming at the Experimental Station is involved, such as the Blackstone Bicycle Works, the 61st Street Farmers Market, and the Invisible Institute. In addition, in 2008 the station made EBT and Link Card a form of currency at the farmer's market, allowing for local foods to be available to community members who would otherwise not have access. As an incubator to all of these different projects, generosity becomes a medium for sustainability and community building at the Experimental Station. The focus on environmental projects directly addresses the local needs and produces a space to be nourished by those who help to build it.
Following his presentation, Jim Duignan joins Peterman in a dialogue about earlier social practices in Chicago and the specific needs of localities, as well as certain lifestyles part of Chicago’s cultural terrain.
Dan Peterman is recipient of the University Scholar Award from University of Illinois, Chicago, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Lewis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. His works have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Venice Biennal, Italy; Vanabbe museum Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland; Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; among other venues. Peterman is represented by Galerie Klosterfelde-Berlin, Germany and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY.
Detroit, USA: Site, Material, Narrative.
Kevin Kaempf and Kirsten Leenaars
SAIC faculty members Kevin Kaempf (Sculpture) and Kirsten Leenaars (Contemporary Practices) lead a gallery tour and provide first-hand insight into the work in Detroit, USA: Site, Material, Narrative.
Curated by SAIC faculty members Kevin Kaempf and Kirsten Leenaars with guest curator Kerstin Niemann, the exhibition includes work by Detroit-based artists and designers; ephemera from the city’s historical collections; the Living Archive from the research residence FILTER DETROIT; and works by SAIC students developed during their summer study trip to Detroit. Through the work on view, Detroit, USA examines how the narratives created by residents, visitors, and the media come to represent the Motor City, considering how they are chosen and which ones are left out.
December 14, 2012
Nance Klehm presents on her decades of practice and environmental projects in which she's been involved.
Klehm's projects, she explains, work with different types of time, geological, seasons, or even the life of a tree. Many of these projects are articulated with artistic language and conceptual design. Klehm shares her personal life and beliefs as well as her international and Chicago-based projects around ideas of recycling, composting, and activism.
Following the presentation, Jim Duignan joins Klehm in a conversation around sustainability in Chicago activist, and environmental projects.
Nance Klehm is a radical ecologist, systems designer, professional forager, published writer, exhibiting artist and teacher. Her solo and collaborative work focuses on creating participatory social ecologies in response to a direct experience of place. She has lectured and taught internationally and has show her work widely in museums, galleries, and less formalized, truly public spaces. For the past two decades, Klehm has lectured and exhibited internationally at: the Hammer Museum, the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Temple Contemporary, the University of Cincinnati, and others. She has taught university-level courses at UCLA, Northwestern, Dartington College of Arts (UK), Jutland Kunstakademi (DK), and countless community groups worldwide.
Kaija Kaitavouri presents her ongoing research on audience participation in contemporary art based in museums. Kaitavuori expresses her frustration in the way that participatory art is not defined and provides the different levels an audience is able to participate. An important term to her discursive practice understands the museum as a forum for the public, a place of exchange where audiences are co-creators of work. Her presentation takes the form of an intellectual exercise.
Kaija Kaitavuori is an art historian and a gallery educator. She worked as the Head of Education at the Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma, Helsinki, where she designed and implemented the education programs since the opening of the museum in 1998 until 2008. In the interim, during three years, she was the Director of the Art Museum Development Department, Finnish National Gallery, leading the department in charge of professional development and the network of art museums in Finland. She has recently returned to academia to work for a PhD degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Her former studies include also sociology and cultural policy. Her research subject at Courtauld is audience participation and contemporary art. She is a founding member and the first president of the Finnish Museum Educators' Association and has taught courses, lectured and written widely about contemporary art and museum education.
February 22, 2013
University of Hip-Hop
Lavie Raven presents his work with the University of Hip-Hop, alongside some of his current students.
Part performative lecture and part interactive forum, Raven's work engages the audience with different models of pedagogy that the University of Hip-hop uses. With graffiti and breakdancing as positive forms of social change and communication, Raven focuses projects where he has taken the youth abroad to different exchanges, one of which was in Israel at the West Bank. Accompanying students also perform at the University of Hip-Hop.
Following the presentation, Jim Duignan joins Raven in a conversation.
Lavie Raven is a social studies and language arts instructor at North Lawndale College Preparatory HS (a Chicago high school), and the Prime-Minister of Education for the University of Hip-Hop. Raven has taught in the Chicago public school system for 17 years, done community arts work for more than 20 years, and created strategies for integrating hip-hop into community service projects and classroom education. He has worked with youth on many community hip-hop arts programs and social justice projects for groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Pogranizce (Borderlands Project), Alternatives community center, the Southwest Youth Collaborative, the Chicago Park District, the University of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools, and numerous other organizations. Raven has also done community mural projects in Poland; Liberia; Costa Rica; and Oakland, California among numerous other places. He is completing his doctorate in interdisciplinary studies at Teacher's College at Columbia University where he is researching the impacts of hip-hop education and the integration of alternative arts on community development guided by youth-centered curricula.
"Dialogic Communities: Repairing the Social Bond," Evanston Art Center
Keith Brown, Director of Education for the Evanston Arts Center discusses a new initiative "Dialogic Communities: Repairing the Social Bond."
This monthly participatory art-and-culture discussion series convened at the Evanston Public Library, seeks to inspire thoughtful dialogue and reinvigorate the spirit of community while serving as a productive social model. Participants were given an article from chapters of books or academic journals (chosen by Brown) and were then convened to discuss it critically. The program’s goal was both to invigorate participants to think about contemporary practices and to engage with one another on a level that was not common to the public of the Evanston Art Center. Brown also introduces a program he is organizing on graffiti that features the University of Hip Hop.
March 22, 2013
Jane Addams Hull House Museum
SAIC alumnus Lisa Junkin (MA 2007) gives a brief history of the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, referred to by many artists and activists as one of the most historically formative locations for Chicago's engagement with social justice.
Junkin discusses two different projects, and foils her presentation with the social philosophies of Jane Addams, namely that of making spaces of equal opportunity. She presents on the Sex Positive Documentary Film series, which aims at providing a space for sex education and conversations around the culture of sex to Chicago's queer communities. Junkin also presents Report to the Public: an Untold Story of the Conservative Vice Lords, an exhibition organized around the impartial representation the history of CVL gang of the West Side of Chicago. In the presentation, Junkin offers different accounts of public perception of the making of the exhibition and collaborating with the older gang members in order to portray their oral and written histories.
Lisa Junkin is a public historian, art educator, and organizer. For the past five years Junkin has worked at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, previously in the roles of education coordinator and assistant director. She was asked to serve as the museum’s Interim Director in 2013. Junkin earned a Master of Arts in Art Education at SAIC and a BA in Art History from the College of William and Mary. She has worked in museums and art organizations since 2004. She was a 2011–12 Policy and Social Engagement fellow at UIC's Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and in 2011 won the Association of Midwest Museums' "Promising Leadership" award. Since 2012 she has served on the National Board of Editors for the Public Historian, a journal of the National Council on Public History. As president of the Dill Pickle Food Co-op, Lisa is an avid supporter of co-ops.
Alvendia gives an overview of some of the projects he as initiated and curated as director of the Storefront.
The Storefront acts as a multipurpose, noncommercial, non-nonprofit institution-as-art project that operates according to the logic of a gift economy. Its mission, Brandon Alvendia explains, is to support temporary and/or long-term projects by local cultural producers of all kinds, while promoting the idea of artists as local community producers working within the history of a 21st-century global discourse.
Alvendia is an interdisciplinary artist, publisher, curator, and educator. Some of his projects and initiatives are: Founder of the Silver Galleon Press, founder and director of the Storefront in Logan Square, co-curator of BEN RUSSELL (2009–11), and co-publisher of the Makeshift Reader with Threewalls. Alvendia has curated several exhibitions including Ornament and Crime (and Crime), 2010; Fair Use, (2010), vaportrails, (2005–present), and artLedge (2004–07). His practice is expansive, collaborative, and always moving in and out of different forms.
April 26, 2013
In a relaxed conversation with their audience, members from Cream Co. discuss their ongoing social science experiment, General Economy, Exquisite Exchange (G.E.E.E.), that invites communities to establish alternative, post-profit, post-retail sites for the exchange of plants, goods and services based on neighborly values and creative bartering.
Cream Co. converts under-utilized spaces into functional exchange sites. Each site evolves organically through exchanges made by the community. Through donations of surplus plants from local gardeners, for example, communities in Hyde Park and in Omaha worked with G.E.E.E. to plant abundance gardens in neglected landscapes. Since its inception in 2010, G.E.E.E. has facilitated over 10,000 exchanges.
In addition to GEEE, Cream Co. conducts research regarding perpetual time, perennial time, and the duration of color. The group researches and records perceived and remembered moments of being in time, analyzes their collective findings, and makes paintings that present ephemeral qualities of life, such as the memory of a year or the color of time in a specific location. Cream Co. has participated in exhibitions in North America and Europe, including shows at Berkeley Art Museum; DePaul University Art Museum; the Fleming Museum; the Herron Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Hyde Park Art Center; Rijks Academie (Netherlands); and Song Song (Vienna). Cream Co.'s art is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Berkeley Art Museum. The work has been frequently reviewed and included in essays and texts, including James Elkins's Six Stories from the End of Representation (Stanford University Press, 2008).
Kuumba Lynx members Jacinda Bullie and Jaquanda Villegas present the work of one of Chicago’s premiere street arts organization.
From Hip-Hop empowerment to other interdisciplinary programs, they focus strongly on themes of self-respect, self-confidence, and self-discovery through different street media. For a large part of their presentation, they also focus on ½ Pint Poetics (HPP). This is a literacy project that encourages students to write and perform original works. HPP challenges students to find, develop, present, and apply their voices. Through arts making and learning, students increase their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills while simultaneously introducing them to service learning, civic engagement, and building cross cultural dialogue.
Kuumba Lynx (KL) is an Arts and Education Organization founded in 1996 by three women, J. Villegas, L. Garcia, and J. Bullie. KL has a mission of working to provide access to programs that preserve, promote and present urban arts and culture. They seeks to empower youth and their communities by employing Hip-Hop culture as both an art form and vehicle for intergenerational and cross-cultural dialogue, and believe in developing healthy hearts, minds, and bodies so that strong community foundations can thrive. KL is dedicated to providing programs for creative expression and literacy for Chicago youth and their families so to increase social consciousness, community analysis and exchange, self-reflection, global action, inner peace, and universal freedom. Our goal is currently achieved through four core areas: Drop In Arts, Arts Residencies and Workshops, Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble (KLPE), and Community Cultural Events. KL programs push community reflection, critical thinking and the active exchanging of ideas.
October 21, 2013
Claire Doherty discusses three recent projects that Situations has worked on, focusing on questions around development of the organization, site based practices, curatorial work and social change.
Since 2002, Situations has commissioned and produced groundbreaking public art projects throughout South West England, across the UK and beyond our shores to the far corners of the world, achieving international recognition and critical acclaim.
From our UK studio at Spike Island in Bristol we work with a range of contemporary artists: visionaries, storytellers and people with ideas. We collaborate with communities and partner organizations from around the world to help us realise ambitious public art projects that inspire a different way of imagining place. Not fixed to the confines a gallery space, a programme schedule or any specific medium, our work can occur in any place, or at anytime.
Claire Doherty is Director of Situations. Claire initiated Situations in 2003 following a ten-year period investigating new curatorial models beyond conventional exhibition-making at a range of art institutions including Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Spike Island, Bristol and FACT (Foundation of Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool. Doherty lectures and publishes internationally. She is editor of Contemporary Art: From Studio to Situation (Black Dog Publishing, 2004); Documents of Contemporary Art: Situation (Whitechapel/MIT Press, 2009) and co-editor with David Cross of One Day Sculpture (Kerber, 2009), with Paul O'Neill, Locating the Producers: Durational Approaches to Public Art (Valiz, 2011) and with Gerrie van Noord, Heather and Ivan Morison: Falling into Place (Book Works, 2009). She was also an external advisory member of the Olympic Park Public Realm Advisory Committee and a Fellow of the RSA.