Lisa Le Feuvre on curating, sculpture, and Making work

Curating. Curators need to always talk to artists. Why this show, why here, why now?

On Henry Moore.
What would he think of the institution being run by someone who is now saying we need to move beyond Moore? She says that remembering he was a radical artist, pushing things in his day, so he may well approve.

Sculpture is defined by gravity, by the light that falls on it, by the space it occupies. Scale. Space and depth. It has to be encountered. Pedestrian space. Pushing these and challenging them today is relevant.

Robert Ryman. Grounded in painting.

Karla Black, grounded in painting.

Applying those principles of sculpture to them would be an error.



The place work occupies is relevant to the work. Today the place it is made or conceived- the studio- is increasingly irrelevant. It is an intellectual activist.

Check out ubuweb for Fillieu’s whispered history of art.

Making the perfect 2013 artwork is simply replicating the idea of what artwork is. Moving the thinking on would require thinking about what is it going to take to be able to leave the studio and communicate to people.

LF believes that art does actually belong in an art institution. This is the place to look at it because it is the correct conditions to see it in. It brings a set on conventions and cannon to the experience. You enter the space prepared to engage in that way.
Eg showing RF in the HMI is relevant engaging with the solidity and seriousness of the space juxtaposed with the flippant fragile nature of his work.

The crisis of the encounter today. The physical reaction to the encounter is paramount. Looking online does not count.

Belief in art. Belief has to travel with doubt. Artists must believe in what they are doing but they also need to proactively bring in doubt. Eg Carl popper talks about falsity of real??
We gamble with doubt and failure. The studio is a private place where you can try things out which might be terrible. Just like how science, the CERN exists to find something it hasn’t found yet.

Sculptural thinking references scale and depth and time and plane. Eg Picasso collage from 1913.
Activity of making an exhibition is a proposal for thought. Reexamining set of ideas or set of thinking can be applied to existing works, proposing a different way of seeing them. Exhibitions include work which has to be good neighbours. They need to interact, discuss, not boring, but not aggressive.

How do you know when you know an artwork well enough? You can never know. In some ways you can never see it enough, in other ways it will become so familiar it becomes decoration. Sometimes things need to leave and return for you to really see it again. Similarly, seeing the same work over and over in different shows offers the opportunity to interpret it in different ways.

Lisa Le Feuvre on Robert Fillou: The Institute of Endless Possibiliites

Robert Fillou: The Institute of Endless Possibiliites.

Le Feuvre writes including ‘Failire’ Director of the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds. Research Center.

‘Henry Moore changed the way we understand sculpture. His Foundation continues to do so today’
Institute has outstanding library.
They also put on shows which engage with sculpture today:
Helen Chadwick. Will inherit legacy of Moore.

The Shape of time, 1913, year of Duchamp, ramifications for design, writing, etc.
Check out current Barbican Duchamp show.
The Shape Of Time includes objects which reference and recreate other artworks. Including Sturtevent’s duchamps wheel.

Le Feuvre tests out ideas on other people, sees this as a role of a curator. Filliou asked when does an action or object become a sculpture. HMI will run 40 days of tests of his artworks.
He said ‘art is what makes life more interesting than art.’ ‘ A permanent endless process deply embedded in daily life’
This is his first solo institutional presentation in UK. He has history of involvement with Leeds. He made The Game with yoko Ono, Brecht, Robert Page, etc. This Game involved blindfolds, cards and mutual trust in all players, acting as allegory for how we engage with artworks. This was later expanded. Looking at what is art.

This relates to the crisis we are in today where we do not look at art enough today. Reproductions do not count. Art-light reading of works where we don’t actually engage.
Research is key to Fillous work, and Le Feuvre, and informed them and must inform now too.

Roulette poem. Festival of Misfits . Presented at ICA. Happening. Recreating it this year at the HMI.
RF Often associated with Fluxus, but he rejected being defined. He kept ‘his own council and independence’ :Art needs to be constantly shifting to the limits of its own horizons.

RF was in French resistance. Traveled to USA studied politics and economics, traveled to s Korea where he discovered bhuddism, then around Europe. Broad philosophical theories on society. ?
When asked whether he could contribute to the current proposed show Robert Page responded ‘doubt that I can add much at present to a better future for the past’

RF was interested in Fourrier’s writing which deconstructed social structure. He made a series of galleries in his hats. Multiples, miniatures, conformed to rules o a gallery in gathering and presentations but it was a mobile museum.






RF made works which could be extended, including cup hooks ans stamps, so he could post them as editions (Fourriere had made his manifesto available by subscription too)
This made the artworks available to the public, engaging them with it, a la duchamp who declared that the audience completes the artwork.

‘Well made, badly made, not made’. Equalitarian value of artworks.


Baldassari said ‘art comes out of failure, you have to try things out. No use saying I won’t do anything unless I do a masterpeice’

RF made work of dusters with dust from old masters in the louvre ‘gathering dust’. Even masterpiece gather dust, could the dusters not just as easily be masterpieces?


Towards end of life he made telepathic music, telepathic sculpture. Gathering people round the art, referencing Duchamp saying that he wanted to ‘place painting at the service of the mind’.

Art. Work. Work is about pleasure, engagement, and rethinking the way we might enjoy our part in the world.

A Machine for Living in at Hannah Barry

A Machine for Living In pulicity
A Machine for Living In pulicity
installing the show
installing the show
the wires seemed to snake out of the walls
the wires seemed to snake out of the walls




Since all this is about is getting work out there for people to see, so it can start dialogs with them and other work, the opportunities on this course have been coming thick and fast lately.

The group show we participated in at Hannah Barry Gallery was curated by Dave Charlesworth who came up with a brilliant concept based on Corbusier’s theory of a building being a machine for living in. Here, the proposition was that an artwork is a machine for an idea to live in. Consequently, this unwieldy group of MA students was tamed into a stunning show with an interesting narrative. Not only was the work very well curated, there was a collaborative video and publication too. Using the multiple elements of so many peoples work as the work itself was really successful on both counts, with a perspective on the group presented in a unified way.

The show was as much a lesson in curating as participating. Seeing the floor hang, the wall hang, and the subsequent 3 wall hangs carried out to the full gave a real insight into the evolution of a space and the work sitting within it. No tears or tantrums, a great group project.

Based on how much I enjoyed this process, I am keen to press on with future shows at other galleries, utilising their spaces in-between scheduled exhibitions, to keep an ongoing dialogue going between our work, and the spaces it is seen in.

Under The Influence

When we started this MA it was 100% from the word go. We are feasting on input and critique, visits and discussions, talking about our own work and all our work, and all the work we see in the world. This repeated contextualisation and enquiry into these foundations and inspirations of our work got us talking.
Along with Mel Cole and James Edgar, we decided to curate a show to draw together artists whose work both responds directly to the work of others and their ideas, and also influences and inspires our work. Admittedly this doesn’t narrow it down much, so we looked quite close to home, around south London, and to artists whose work is very current. We discussed artists we are excited about, and drew up a ‘fantasy’ list of people to invite.
This was really nerve-wracking for me and I think for all of us. Just starting out on my MA I was still finding my feet, and slowly gaining confidence as an artist and as an individual. Approaching established practitioners who are all busy and productive individuals, would they take us seriously? Turns out that the more seriously you take yourself, the more seriously people take you. And we were serious about this show.


Future Map

Slight deviation from the Daily/Weekly continuum due in no small part to attending Future Map at Zabludowicz Collection last night. I quote from the website:

“London’s ..annual exhibition of graduating artists and designers from University of the Arts London …, Future Map … showcases the next generation of artists and designers who will define our visual landscape. Future Map can be an important first career break for a young artist or designer, providing an introduction to top UK and international gallerists, curators, collectors and critics.

Future Map 11 exhibitors are selected from nearly 10,000 of the University’s graduating students from across all six colleges by a panel of leading industry experts.”

Wei Wang

The prize went to Wei Wang from LCF for these very quality clutch bags, the decorative accessory taken to new levels of fragility and out-ranking the delicacy of what might be carried inside by the fine porcelain construction.

personally I was rooting for either these:

Chieh Ting Huang- Urban Camper

Saw them at Camberwell MA Designer Maker and love love love the tension I feel when I look at them as ‘safe’ ‘flames’ encased in flammable paper and wood. Seems like making camping safer or inside should make it less exiting, but these lamps are so delicate and well crafted that they are barely there. I know it’s only a lightbulb, not a campfire, but these lamps succeed in drawing me to them and warming me.

My other pick is Karin Soderquist’s To the North Pole:

karin soderquist to the north pole 1
Karin Soderquist To the North Pole 2
Karin Soderquist To the North Pole 3

These Illustrations, arranged one in front of the other heartbreakingly introduced us to the characters and their adventures before swiftly despatching them to the benefit of nature… a wild and chilly tale which I re-read and re-read.

José Roca

International curator José Roca talked at length about his experiences curating art bienials, festivals and events, in particular the in Brazil 2011.

I was particularly struck by his passion and compassion for art as he talked about the selection process involved in staging a large event. He said he was anti comissioning artists to produce work for bienials, as he felt uncomfortable about placing restraints or parameters around artists. For the recent Mercosul Bienial whose theme was ‘inspired by the tensions between local and transnational territories, between political constructs and geographical circumstances, and the routes of circulation and exchange of symbolic capital. ‘ this was of heightened importance.
Travelling extensively in the regions involved, selectors met with artists and invited work which was relevant to the theme, rather than vice versa.

Also, commenting on the inclusion of a separate cinematic event for screening video art, Roca described his view on film art at bienials, saying that the sum of the hours of the works shown at other events would demand the visitor spending 7 days from dawn to dusk to see them all.
Considering this is unrealistic, and most visitors have a couple of days to see all works, he suggested that showing longer works in this context was insulting to the works. Better to invite shorter pieces to show alongside other works, and invite visitors to attend screenins where works could be viewed if they are longer.
This will exclude longer works from general presentations, but make works which are shown more accessible and more likely to be seen. Duration may be a parameter the selectors have to work with themselves rather than pass on to the artists…

the debate continues…