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Wednesday Talks

Wednesday Talks invites leading artists, thinkers and curators to explore the driving forces, influences and sources of inspiration within contemporary art.

The Whitworth

New season of Wednesday Talks

12.30-2.00pm. Free - book via the Whitworth eventbrite page

The Wednesday Talks series presents leading artists, thinkers and curators who explore the driving forces, influences and sources of inspiration within contemporary art. The series is a collaboration between the Whitworth and Manchester Metropolitan University and is programmed by Pavel Büchler.

Charles Esche
Wednesday 15 November, 12.30-2pm

Much of the curatorial practice of Charles Esche, director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, is focused on examining, questioning and experimenting with the role of the cultural institution in the interplay between art and the interpretation of our present times. He is an influential writer on the cultural and political history of exhibition making and on the potential role of art in progressive social transformation. He published a selection of his texts on the subject, Modest Proposals, in 2005 and in 2007 he co-edited with Will Bradley the reader Art and Social Change. Esche has (co-)curated numerous large-scale international exhibitions and biennales and co-founded with Mark Lewis the journal Afterall. He was Director of the Rooseum Centre for Contemporary Art in Malmö (2000-2004) and Visual Arts Director at Tramway, Glasgow (1993-1997).
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Gert Robijns
Wednesday 22 November, 12.30-2pm

The playful installations, sculptures and interventions, of the Flemish artist Gert Robijns are inspired by everyday situations. Often involving interaction, they try to make the viewers/participants aware of their physical surroundings. Reset, Robijns' most ambitious artwork to date, is a 1:1 remake of the home of the artist's grandparents, rebuilt 10 cm away from the original house. As well as a monumental sculpture the work is also a residential centre for contemporary art that aims to 'reset' the development of a high quality work in the region and has so far hosted projects by Luc Tuymans and Bernd Lohaus. Reset is the artist's second creative return to his native village of Gotem. In 2011, he had realised there a large temporary public sculpture, The Village, a 75%-scale model of a parish house and the Gotem church placed at the head of the runway of a nearby military airfield. Robijns' studied at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht and lives in Antwerp.
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David Batchelor
Wednesday 29 November, 12.30-2pm

David Batchelor is well known for his preoccupation with colour. In his sculptures and installations he uses vivid colour to give new life to discarded lightboxes, industrial dollies and other found objects; in his paintings and drawings he often deploys such brightly coloured materials as highlighter pens, spray paint of adhesive tape. While these works demonstrate Batchelor's interest in modernist aesthetics, abstraction and the monochrome, they are also acute observations of the presence of colour in modern urban life and its leftovers and poetic comments on our everyday environment. Colour is also the subject of Batchelor's writing such as in his books Chromophobia (2008) and more recently The Luminous and the Grey (2014). David Bachelor's work is held in many important public collections including The Tate and the Whitworth.
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Sean Kaye
Wednesday 6 December, 12.30-2pm

As an artist and teacher Sean Kaye is a serial collaborator. In 1994 he founded with Steve Carrick, his colleague at Leeds College of Art (now re-branded as Leeds University of Arts), the collaborative partnership Leeds United. The pair later expanded their light-hearted and often humorous approach to 'institutional critique' onto other collaborations and assumed identities, such as L Foundation and MOMA. But it was in his role as a teacher on the excellent Fine Art Foundation programme at Leeds that Kay developed his interests in collaboration into an impressively effective pedagogy. With his former student, Harry Meadley, he devised an exhibitions programme committed to examining and fostering relationships between contemporary art and art education. While these exhibitions have drawn on the work of past and current students, his most recent project, Fully Awake, with Ian Hartshorne, lecturer at MMU, celebrates the inter-generational effect of teaching painting through exhibitions that present the work of tutors from UK art schools alongside those that they have been taught by and those that they have taught. After more then 20 years at Leeds, Kay will be shortly taking up a new post at British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow.
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Listen to Graham Eatough's Wednesday Talk from 1 November




Hear our previous 'Tuesday Talks' and other audio recordings on the Whitworth's Soundcloud stream