Chelsea Conversations

Chelsea Conversations is back for a new season of lively discussion and heated debate. This season’s focus is on exploring intersections between art and politics.


The Art & Politics season begins with an ongoing online discussion on Art in the Recession. Artists, designers, curators and other cultural practitioners are invited to kick start the discussion, and we will encourage all interested parties to pitch in and have their say.

‘What can the arts sector expect to happen during the recession? Does it mark the beginning of the end for public funding of the arts? Or should government see the recession as an opportunity to reconfirm the importance of art and artists, in the manner of Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administrations ‘Federal Project Number 1’? What strategies should cultural practitioners and institutions adopt to support themselves and each other during this time? What effect will the downturn have on you?’

Join the discussion online via the blog
This discussion will run throughout the duration of the talks and beyond. We will also include links to other sites/articles of interest.


The Art of Protest (Tue 5 May 2009)

A discussion with three artists who, in different ways, are engaged with practice-based activism, or adopt what might be called ‘activist stances’ within their work:

Mark McGowan (artist), Yara El-Sherbini (artist) Guyan Porter (artist)

Left is Right? (Tue 12 May 2009)

Are the arts intrinsically ‘progressive’? Is there a ‘left’ consensus in the arts? If so, how do we explain the ‘art market’ and reliance on ‘free labour’? Where are all the right-wing artists / curators? What does ‘left’ & ‘right’ mean now anyway for politically engaged art / artists?

Claire Fox (Institute of Ideas), Emma Ridgeway (curator, RSA) and one other tbc

What is Engagement? Contesting ‘socially engaged practice.’ (Tue 26 May 2009)

‘Socially engaged’ and ‘participatory’ practices are increasingly attracting public subsidy and support, with some artists naturally seeing this form of practice as a positive way of engaging with ‘communities’ and others as a form of cheap social work. Three leading cultural practitioners discuss..

Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre (artist), Sophie Hope (curator), Dave Beech (artist)

All discussions are free and take place in the Banqueting Hall @ Chelsea College of Art & Design, between 6 – 7.30pm.

TO BOOK – please contact clearly stating the name of the event and the number of places you would like to book. *Please note – places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.*

Please mention any additional requirements (wheelchair access, BSL etc.) if applicable.
Chelsea Conversations

Event Title: Chelsea Conversations
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