Curator talk: Cecilia Wee (September Castlefield Gallery Associates session)

28 September 2021 / 18:30-20:30

For Castlefield Gallery Associates members only

Our September Castlefield Gallery Associates session is a discussion-based session with curator, agitator, educator and resource builder Dr Cecilia Wee, where topics we’re likely to cover include:
whether there’s a difference between being a curator and being someone who makes things happen; how Cecilia has come to have her extremely varied professional career; how she decides who she wants to work with; how she uses her practice to intervene in the world; ways of extending the role of the curator; ethical arts funding; demystifying areas such as the selection process for open calls; different organisational models and how Covid-19 is affecting the artworlds.

Dr Cecilia Wee is an independent curator, researcher, educator and agitator, who grew up in Thatcher’s London. She produces projects that aim to address equity, precarity and infrastructures for art and social action, primarily working with artists and designers from historically marginalised backgrounds, especially people of colour, disabled, working class and LGBTQIA+ communities. 

With a background of working with practitioners from experimental sound, performance, visual art and design practices, Cecilia has worked as a producer in UK arts organisations and taught in higher education. Roles include Senior Producer at Sound and Music (2009-12); Research Tutor at the School of Communication, Royal College of Art (2013-18) where she developed the Sound Design pathway for the MA Information Experience Design; and Head of Artist Development/Producer at Artsadmin (2018-19).

Cecilia’s independent projects explore ethical and relational approaches to the public sphere, financial and economic systems, relationships with technology, environmental change and dialogue; using community-centred design processes and embracing of undervalued knowledge. She has edited books, curated exhibitions, events, workshops and led research with organisations including Akademie der Künste Berlin, Heart of Glass, Live Art Development Agency, Resonance FM, and Tate.

Through her independent practice as well as during her time as Senior Producer at Sound and Music, Cecilia has produced a number of large-scale installations, tours, events and exhibitions with practitioners including artists Broomberg and Chanarin, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Aura Satz, Peter Kennard, sound recordist and Touch artist Chris Watson, composer Jennifer Walshe, Steve Goodman (aka Kode 9) sound theorist/founder of record label Hyperdub.

In 2020 Cecilia co-curated the Heart of Glass event With For About, described as “A slow conference for a fast evolving crisis“, with artist and mental health activist ‘the vacuum cleaner’. With For About 2020 responded to the additional challenges that Covid-19 created for many marginalised people and communities, asking:
What creative solutions have marginalised people developed to survive before Covid-19?
What creative ways of being and organising are being made now in response to Covid-19?
How do we embed and share these solutions, ways of being and organising now and into the future?

With For About 2020 was presented as 4 episodes taking place from 27 May to 17 June 2020, which are archived here.

Cecilia undertakes governance and organisational development work with arts organisations with particular specialism in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion issues. She is a union organiser and has coordinated campaigns and strikes towards better working conditions, access and equity.

Cecilia wrote her PhD on the documentation of Live Art, is Visiting Tutor in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art and founder of tdwm studio.

Image: Cecilia Wee – from promotional video for With For About by Cecilia Wee and The Vacuum Cleaner