Beginning in the academic year 2015/16, the CSCA blog invites members of UCL’s History of Art postgraduate community to contribute c.650 words reviewing, reflecting, and/or reporting on our scheduled events. The purpose is to document the Centre’s activities and offer greater public engagement via the department’s growing digital platform.


The aim of the Centre is to develop a lively research community for graduates and staff working and researching in the field of contemporary art. Since its establishment in 2008 we have organised a diverse programme of workshops, conferences, reading groups and exhibition visits, as well as an on-going series of invited artists’ talks. One of the central objectives of the Centre is to provide a workshop-like forum for participants to present and debate ‘work in progress’, as well as to foster interdisciplinary exchange with other institutions outside UCL.

All events take place from 6pm in Seminar Room 3 and 4 at UCL History of Art Department, 20 – 21 Gordon Square, London  WC1H 0AG unless otherwise noted. Click her for event schedule.

The Centre seeks to generate debate concerning those pressing questions facing the contemporary condition of art, as well as providing a valuable space in which to work through the complex trajectories of contemporary art’s long history. Engaging with the work being done by postgraduate students and staff in the department, the Centre provides a place to think, theorise and historicise contemporary art, exploring what it has become in light of the complex global, historical, social and political aspects of its current expanded field.

The Centre’s programme of events reflects the interests of its participants. These include the relation of contemporary art to neoliberalism, new forms of community, collectivity, and social engagement, as well as to new technologies, globalization and environmentalism; postcolonial studies; art and feminism; documentary practices; photography and film throughout the twentieth century; historical and contemporary exhibition strategies; new curatorial practices, and the relationship between critical writing and contemporary art. The Centre has organised major conferences and workshops addressing issues including: the self-destructive tendencies in Latin Americana art; the Occupy movement; ecology and art; performance and labour; Hanne Darboven and her legacies; IRWIN and self-historicising strategies in Eastern European art; contemporary art and immaterial labour; the legacies of feminism, psychoanalysis and postcolonialism; art and globalisation; thing theory and materiality; Eva Hesse’s relationship to European models of experimental art practice; Ida Applebroog; contemporary South African Photography; Arte Povera, subjectivity and ‘sexuate subjects’. We are presently hosting a series of keyword lectures in collaboration with Tate Liverpool and Iniva, inspired by Raymond William’s influential book ‘Keywords: a Vocabulary of Culture and Society’, 1976, and including talks by Linda Bellos, Douglas Crimp, Leo Bersani and Geeta Kapur. We have invited artists to give workshops or present their recent projects, including Allan Sekula; Phil Collins; the Otolith Group; Renzo Martens, and Walid Raad. We have collaborated with institutions including the Whitechapel, Camden Arts Centre, Iniva, Gasworks, the Tate, Nottingham Contemporary and the V&A.


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