The art historian Alexander Dorner declared in the 1920s that the new museum would be “more like a power station, a producer of new energy”. How has this idea manifested in the institutional production, consumption and distribution of art? How significant is the site of the institution and how does this redefine its activity? What is the task of the art institution in a post-Fordist city and can this energy translate into an agent of social change?
Taking its title from Barbara Vanderlinden’s 1990s curatorial project subtitled On the desperate and long-neglected need for small events, LGP staged a multi-faceted programme of live research. The gallery included a library and cinema and was the base for lectures, readings, screenings, conversations, club nights, performances and print. Each event contributed to an examination into alternative strategies and policies for the art institution and the legacies of institutional critique and new institutionalism.
Coventry is a symptom of modern British history, representing homogenous structures of power, state, culture, finance and commerce. Built on the factory-city model, it’s marked by sheer industrial transformation and succeeding political decisions. Once, the symbol of modernity at its brightest, its architecture holds the political aesthetic of a grand social vision. With the sharp fading of these ideas, Coventry is a strong template of a post-industrial city to examine the position of the art institution within these parameters.
LGP used the period On the desperate and long-neglected need for small events to invite active local civic associations, community groups, federations and artists to coffee mornings in the gallery. LGP discussed exchange and engagement in order to contribute to and build, a sustainable cultural ecology in Coventry. LGP developed long term and active relationships with the occupants of Coventry.
LGP has commissioned artist Ruth Beale to select a library from her collection of twentieth-century polemical pamphlets on the theme of the exhibition. The library will be displayed on specially designed bookcases and be open to the public during exhibition hours. Ruth will produce a pamphlet from the proceedings of the events throughout the period, which will be printed and available from Dec 2012.
Daily scheduled screenings of a weekly changing programme (times TBA):
WEEK 1: DAVID PANOS AND ANJA KIRSCHNER: Polly II: Plan for a Revolution in Docklands (2006)
WEEK 2: OLIVER RESSLER: Take The Square (2012); Robbery (2012)
WEEK 3: HARUN FAROCKI: Serious Games I–IV (2009–10); Respite (2007)
WEEK 4: MEDIA ARCHIVE OF CENTRAL ENGLAND Rebuilding Coventry (2012)
WEEK 5: OLIVER RESSLER: The Bull Laid Bear (2012); Socialism Failed, Capitalism is Bankrupt. What comes Next? (2010); The Fittest Survive (2006)
Wednesdays at 6pm
LGP is handing over the selection of material for its Critical Theory Reading Group to West Midlands – based art institutions. The text will be relevant to their operation and the generated material will be discussed each week. Open to all.
Ruth Beale : Sing Me a Song With Social Significance
Thursday 1 November 6.30pm
Ruth will launch On the desperate and long-neglected need for small events with a performance of ‘Sing Me a Song with Social Significance’. The original song was written for the 1930s musical revue ‘Pins and Needles’ and was the first-and-only trade union Broadway hit. The song will be performed by a specially assembled choir from Coventry University students.
LECTURE AND LAUNCH OF AN IDEA
David Rushton : Arts Programming For Local Television
Thursday 15 November 5 – 6.30pm
David Rushton, Director of The Institute of Local Television, will give a presentation on his practice in arts programming for local television and explain the significance of the government’s revised local TV licensing policy. The lecture will explore the political positioning of the local and how this can lead to self-initiated and self-organised networks that can promote local democracy and participation. Following on from this will be an introduction to LGP’s joint proposal to create an arts television channel for the region and a rallying call to West Midlands-based art organisations and artists to sign up to this collaborative partnership.
SCREENING and Q&A
Neil Cummings & Pil and Galia Kollectiv : Museum Futures – Distributed
Friday 16 November 6 – 7.30pm
Neil Cummings will introduce his work MUSEUM FUTURES:DISTRIBUTED and following the screening, there will be a Q&A with Pil and Galia Kollectiv. MUSEUM FUTURES:DISTRIBUTED explores a genealogy for contemporary art practice and its institutions, by re-imagining the role of artists, museums, galleries, markets, manufactories and academies.
The project was commissioned by Moderna Museet Stockholm, Sweden, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2008.
Will Bradley, Suhail Malik, Nina Möntmann
Friday 30 November 4 – 7pm
Presentations and a panel discussion about the prevailing ideological conditions, which bound the art institution. The speakers will discuss strategies and complicity within these complex politico-economic and socio-cultural systems.
Friday 30 November 8 – 10pm
The band WE will stage a performance that questions the individualism of the Western pop song. WE reveal the latent politics of the love song and transforms chart hits by annihilating their liberal subject and replacing it with a collective consciousness.
Current members: Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Victor M. Jakeman, Emily Rachel Beber. Former member: Ruth Angel Edwards
PERFORMANCE AND SOUND EVENT
Saturday 8 December 5pm
An evening of sound and performance, curated by writer and musician Erica MacArthur. The event will be based upon MacArthur’s research into the emotional resonances of sound and its relationship towards ruins of Modernity.