Art and the Rural Imagination is a slow conference presented in partnership with Arts University Bournemouth. The conference explores ‘The Rural’ as a central concern in contemporary artistic practice and debate. Artists today make work in or about rural locations, producing startling visions and radical conceptions of life and space beyond the urban centres. This conference approaches ‘the rural’ by exploring relations between people and places, including the visible and invisible inhabitants that populate or traverse it. What is the lure of ‘the rural imagination’ as a site for alterity or a space of existing power relations? How might critical art discourse and practices reimagine or reinvent the rural for our present moment?
The New Forest is an area that invokes multiple concerns: the cultural consumption of landscapes, tourism, ecological change, land ownership, access, animal ethics, ecological justice, and more. The conference is part of More than Ponies programme that seeks to reinvigorate the New Forest as a site for contemporary art engagement, discourse and practice.
Speakers and participants include: Julian Stallabrass (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Rosemary Shirley (University of Leicester), Catherine Elwes (independent scholar), Anna Sofie Hvid (Founder, Ruralagentur, Denmark), Jenny Holt(Manchester School of Art), Katarzyna Depta-Garapich (Slade School of Art),Feral Practice (independent), Marina Velez (Anglia Ruskin), Lucy Reynolds ( University of Westminster), Ben Roberts (Artistic Director, Brighton CCA), Adam Chodzko (independent artist), ZOOX (independent artists), Harry Meadows (Arts University Bournemouth), Paul Finnegan (Arts University Bournemouth), Javier Rodriguez (Standart Thinking), Victoria Lucas (Sheffield Hallam University). Convened by Dr Colin Perry (Arts University Bournemouth).
The conference will take place across the week of 29 June 2020. Presentations will take place online on the evenings of Monday 29 June, Tuesday 30 June, Wednesday 1 July. A plenary discussion will take place on the morning of Friday 3 July. Recordings will be available for delegates during the conference week on our passworded online platform. The platform will also include artist micro-commissions, featured films and videos, a discussion forum and other content. Sessions will also include breakout network events.
· Katarzyna Depta-Garapich: ‘Polar Bear from Krupowki’: the clash between mass tourism and rural life in the Tatra Mountains, Southern Poland.
· Catherine Elwes: Faking It: Parks & Gardens in Artists' Film and Video
· Jenny Holt: New narratives of labour and landscape in rural Northamptonshire: The Great Bear.
· Anna Sofie Hvid: Field trip to the Danish countryside
· Feral Practice: Sexual Libertarianism and Reproductive Slavery in Honeybees
· Rosemary Shirley: Farm Noir and other Rural Mythologies
· Julian Stallabrass: Entangled in the Forest of Brexit
· Marina Velez: Art at the Periphery: other knowledges and other cognitions as resistance to monocultures of the mind
A conference publication will be developed throughout 2020 and available in early 2021. Conference ticket holders will receive a copy of this publication. Ticket holders will also receive a free artwork sent to you through the post (please note, this is only available to those based in the UK).