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The first of three lectures by Sarah Pierce throughout 2015, developed for and commissioned by Project Arts Centre.
The title of this lecture series, I rebel — therefore we exist draws upon key concepts in Pierce’s dissertation, where rebellion describes a way of knowing that rubs against regimes of legibility, efficacy and legitimacy. Rebellion stages tensions between official, institutional and situated knowledge and knowledges that are unpredictable, unfixed, and uncontained — knowledges that rebel. Building upon Albert Camus’ idea of rebellion, Pierce connects the ideas to a community specifically formed at the margins of an institution —the learning community of the academy and the community of an exhibition. Using this lecture series to occupy a marginal moment within an exhibition program and proposing the art institution as avatar for other legitimising regimes, Pierce is essentially probing the limits and potentials of being political in the public sphere.
Pierce will present the lectures as a combination of reading and performance. Throughout the series, she will navigate the terms for rebellions that involve people as well as materials. Questions resurface about how community dispenses over time as we move through the community of the exhibition; with an eye on debates and practices that invoke ‘community’ as a way to describe (as well as prescribe) relationships between people. How, why, and with which preoccupations does our desire for community fasten us in the present, in each other’s’ presence? What happens to community when its ‘time’ has passed? How might a different concept of community hinge on the lapses in between intense moments of connectivity and contact?
The unorthodox presentation asks the audience to follow a sometimes wayward path through different texts, references, and spatial arrangements within Project Arts Centre’s Cube and Gallery, with all of the lectures programmed to take place in between exhibitions — between the moment of gathering and dispersal.
Lecture 1: The Learning Community
Tuesday 21 April 5.00pm
Lecture 2: Being-student
Tuesday 4 August 5.00pm
Lecture 3: The Community of the Exhibition
Tuesday 13 October 5.00pm
This is the second in a series of carte-blanche invitations to academics and artists to present lectures from their personal research at Project Arts Centre. The aim is to present these bodies of research without further framing or contextualisation – to simply celebrate the extraordinary academic work being done in the field of culture behind the scenes of more public exhibition moments. Sarah Pierce is an artist who has spent the last 6 years researching and writing towards a recently completed PhD which will be published in 2016. I rebel — therefore we exist follows the success of Maeve Connolly’s TV Museum – Serially, presented at Project Arts Centre throughout 2014.
Since 2003, Sarah Pierce has used the term The Metropolitan Complex to describe her project. Despite its institutional resonance, this title does not signify an organization. Instead, it demonstrates Pierce’s broad understanding of cultural work, articulated through a personal methodology involving performance, video, papers, interviews, archives, talks and exhibitions. Characterised as a way to play with a shared neuroses of place (read ‘complex’ in the Freudian sense), whether a specific locality or a wider set of circumstances that frame interaction, her activity considers forms of gathering, both historical examples and those she initiates. The processes of research and presentation that Pierce undertakes highlight a continual renegotiation of the terms for making art: the potential for dissent and self-determination and the proximity of past artworks. Pierce holds a PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London and an MFA from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and is a past participant of the Whitney Museum ISP in New York. In 2013, Book Works published the first monograph on Pierce’s work, edited by Rike Frank and designed by Peter Maybury, entitled Sketches of Universal History Compiled from Several Authors by Sarah Pierce. Upcoming exhibitions in 2015 include a four person show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in connection with the major exhibition on El Lissitzky; a new commission for the National Gallery of Ireland; and a solo presentation of new work at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.
This event is currently booked out.