A Modest Proposal symposium

27 Oct 2018

Event times

10am - 6pm

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Royal College of Art, Dyson Building

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Buses: 19, 49, 170, 319, 345
  • Tube: Sloane Square
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JUBILEE and Wandsworth Council’s Pump House Gallery, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art (RCA), present a one-day symposium examining fundamental questions raised by our current exhibition A Modest Proposal (in a Black Box) by Belgian artist duo Vermeir & Heiremans.


Developed over the past two years, A Modest Proposal (in a Black Box) investigates the possibility of financialising public art collections, museum real estate and symbolic capital, to generate an ecology of artistic practices in which value generated by artistic practices is distributed more sustainably The artists' new work has been developed in collaboration with financial sector workers, lawyers and academic researchers, and aims to create a financial model that would benefit not only investors and art institutions, but also the artists and art workers.

Picking up on the above scenario, A Modest Proposal (Symposium) questions whether values – both cultural and monetary – originating from public goods should be claimed for the benefit of specific stakeholders, or redistributed through a political process? Can these values be reinvested in arts institutions and art producers, in line with the museum's goals and tasks? Or should a parliamentary debate allocate these resources, making them available for healthcare, education or even military expenses? And what if 'governing' in this case means developing and promoting certain types of financialisation, which are beneficial for (international) elites and companies, yet pose risks or are detrimental to the wider community?

The artists, in collaboration with curator Ned McConnell, invited six speakers for the symposium. Working from different backgrounds, their personal research will shed a specific light on some of the most urgent issues at hand.

Vermeir & Heiremans
Annelore Hofman
Victoria Ivanova
Caroline Knowles
Luke Mason
Louis Moreno
Emily Rosamond

Moderated by Andrea Phillips

Through their work, Vermeir & Heiremans investigate the complex relationship between art, architecture and the economy in today’s highly globalised world.  Having designated their own house an art work, the artists use this 'house as artwork' concept as a framing device that questions the role the arts play within the ever-growing entanglement of finance, urban development and governance. Their practice employs financial tools, historical references, technology, and cinematic language to reflect on social codes as well as on the production of value in today’s artistic and non-artistic realms.


9.30        coffee

10.00     Vermeir & Heiremans
10.45     Victoria Ivanova
11.45     Emily Rosamond               
14.00     Annelore Hofman
14.45     Luke Mason

15.30     coffee

15.45     Louis Moreno
16.30     Caroline Knowles

17.15     Concluding remarks & Drinks

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