‘The Personal Was Political’

30 October 2003 / 18:00 - 20:00

In connection with the ‘Look To This Day’ exhibition Castlefield Gallery hosts a debate into the extent to which the artist should be actively and overtly involved in political discussions. The panel, comprising of three artists from the exhibition and chaired by Dave Beech, will discuss the following questions and take questions from the audience:

‘Are all artistic statements necessarily political in nature is it possible to be an apolitical artist?’

‘Can art convey a political idea/message in a more successful manner than a speech?’

Dave Beech is an artist, critic, curator and lecturer who was a prominent member of the young London art scene in the years following the yBa explosion. He worked closely with BANK in seminal exhibitions such as Zombie Golf, Cocaine Orgasm, BANKTV and Dog-u-mental. He is a regular writer for Art Monthly and other art magazines such as Untitled and Mute, and has contributed to several books, including The Philistine Controversy and Pop Fictions. He convened a session for the Association of Art Historian’s Conference, under the heading Political Art Now which was published as a special issue of Third Text.

He is currently the Subject Leader of Fine Art as Social Practice at the University of Wolverhampton and is co-director of FLOATING IP gallery, Manchester.

Clare Charnley is an artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Lincoln. She has shown widely internationally and works across a wide variety of media including video, performance and sculpture. Her primary concern is the way in which objects alter as they move across contextual and cultural boundaries using cultural and linguistic ignorance as a starting point.

David Gledhill is an artist and writer who lives and works in Manchester, and has been a member of Rogue studios since its’ inception. His recent exhibitions include ‘Cedar Avenue’ at the Comme Ca Art Gallery and ‘Thermo 03’ at the Lowry. He is a regular contributor to Citylife Magazine and has written for various artists projects and the 24 Hour Museum website.

Jai Redman is an artist, political activist and a member of the UHC political art collective. He co-curated the AgiTate political art exhibition in Manchester last year. Along with ‘Look to this Day’ his work; This is Camp X-Ray can currently be seen in the exhibition ‘Don’t Cross the Line: Artists’ Reflections on the New Imperialism’, which he co-curated with Helen Knowles. His work explores issues of media control and manipulation over a wide variety of politically sensitive issues.

‘Look To This Day’ is an exhibition curated by Castlefield Gallery from The Comme Ca Art Prize North 2003 nominees. The exhibition explores historical referencing within an art and social history context, much of the work pointing to defining moments in art practice and social, political and environmental change.

Castlefield Gallery is supported by Arts Council England with Lottery funding. Sponsored by Crosby Homes North West Ltd and Linn Products Ltd.

For further information and images please contact: Sophia Crilly at Castlefield Gallery,
2 Hewitt Street, Knott Mill, Manchester M15 4GB. T: 0161 832 8034.
E: sophia@castlefieldgallery.co.uk