UNDERFOOT OVERHEARD Symposium
UNDERFOOT OVERHEARD Symposium
The Hunterian, Panel, Glasgow School of Art and Dovecot Studios
Date: Friday 24 March 2023 - Saturday 25 March 2023
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Venue: Friday 24th March - The Glasgow School of Art Reid Lecture Theatre; Saturday 25th March - The Hunterian Art Gallery Lecture Theatre
Category: Conferences, Exhibitions, Public lectures, Social events, Academic events, Student events, Alumni events
Free to attend - booking required via Eventbright
UNDERFOOT, the first solo exhibition in Scotland by Elizabeth Price, has been realised as a collaborative project with The Hunterian, Panel, Fiona Jardine (Glasgow School of Art) and Dovecot Studios. It takes the archives of carpet manufacturers Stoddard-Templeton as its point of departure, reflecting on the textile heritage of Glasgow's industrial age.
For the exhibition, Price has produced two new works. UNDERFOOT is a two-channel video work combining archive imagery, digital animation and musical composition in a scripted narrative, describing a journey which descends various levels of the Mitchell Library through the pile of its carpets to a space where technologies and fantasies co-exist. SAD CARREL is a bespoke textile work, hand-tufted at Dovecot Studios which reworks motifs extrapolated from the famous Mitchell Library carpets in colours and textures that gesture to pressed vinyl and LEDs.
Concurrently at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow (GoMA), Price is showing SLOW DANS, a cycle of three 10-screen videos – KOHL, FELT TIP, and THE TEACHERS. These works present a fictional past, parallel present, and imagined future, interweaving compact narratives that explore social and sexual histories and our changing relationship with the material and the digital. Following the presentation at GoMA, FELT TIP will enter the Glasgow Museums’ collection.
SLOW DANS been realised as a partnership between Artangel, Film and Video Umbrella, Nottingham Contemporary, the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Glasgow Life Museums with previous iterations of the trilogy shown in Manchester (2019) and London (2020).
Across two days, the UNDERFOOT OVERHEARD symposium explores some of the contexts and themes to which Price’s work on show in Glasgow alludes.
Friday 24 March
The Glasgow School of Art Reid Lecture Theatre
Elizabeth Price visited Scotland in the 1980s as part of the legendary indie band, Talulah Gosh. The rhetoric of West Coast jangly guitar which features in UNDERFOOT strikes up an intimate connection between the video and Glasgow, tacitly acknowledging the special provision the Mitchell Library makes for musicians: anecdotally, the Mitchell’s music practice rooms and catalogue – which has an extensive sheet music collection and a hand-written catalogue – have fostered the ambitions of many songwriters and musicians in the city.
As can be seen in the trilogy of works on show in SLOW DANS, over the years, Price has frequently returned to inhabit the architectures that organise gesture, voice, power and place in her work: the speakers taking part in the Symposium today, have been invited with these intersections in mind.
Professor Angela McRobbie is Fellow of the British Academy and Emeritus Professor at Goldsmiths University of London. She has researched extensively on feminist cultural and social theory, young women and society, gender and popular culture, fashion and the creative industries, work, employment and precarity. Here most recent books include Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries (2016), Feminism and the Politics of Resilience (2020) and (with Dan Strutt and Carolina Bandinelli), Fashion as Creative Economy: Microenterprises in London, Berlin and Milan (2022).
Carla J Easton is a singer-songwriter from Carluke, Lanarkshire. Alongside study at Edinburgh College of Art and The Glasgow School of Art, she formed the bands Futuristic Retro Champions and TeenCanteen before embarking on a solo career. Recently, she has been instrumental in research and writing 'Since Yesterday: The Unsung Pioneers of Scottish Pop', a new feature-length documentary that gives prominence to the long-lost history of Scotland’s girl bands.
Claire Biddles is a Glasgow-based writer and zine maker, specialising in music, queerness, glamour and desire. She is a regular contributor to The Wire magazine and has a monthly show on Clyde Built Radio.
Dr Tamara Trodd teaches the history of modern and contemporary art at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of The Art of Mechanical Reproduction: Technology and Aesthetics from Duchamp to the Digital (2015), and editor of Screen/Space: The Projected Image in Contemporary Art (2011). She is currently working on a book about contemporary moving-image art in relation to the 1930s.
Dr. Diane Watters is an architectural historian and author at Historic Environment Scotland and the University of Edinburgh. She has undertaken a succession of research based publications on nineteenth and twentieth century architecture in Scotland, including: Little Houses (2006); Homebuilders (2015); and St Peter’s, Cardross: Birth, Death and Renewal (HES, 2016). She is currently researching the history of Scotland’s New Towns – including her hometown Cumbernauld, and Livingston. HES’s online publication Scotland’s Historic Schools is now available through CANMORE https://canmore.org.uk.
Saturday 25 March
The Hunterian Art Gallery Lecture Theatre
Research for UNDERFOOT focused initially on the design archives of the Stoddard-Templeton Collection. Price visited the Mitchell Library in order to experience the physical impact of patterned carpets installed wall-to-wall across a field-like expanse of space. The Mitchell’s carpets are famous – frequently instagrammed and fondly remembered: they physically insinuate a time-shift that relocates anybody using the rooms that they furnish. The Library is a building haunted by a civic ambition that generously catered to the publics it imagined.
Similarly, in SLOW DANS, Price has worked with private, personal and public archives’ collections of images and objects and there is a sense in which her work deals with the organisation of information and reconstitution of meaning. The speakers invited to take part in the Symposium today are concerned, in one way or another, with the processes of ‘archiving’, the intimacy between technologies and design, and interiors that were Modern.
Juliet Kinchin is an independent design historian and former curator of modern design at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. She has held faculty positions at the University of Glasgow (as the Founding Director of postgraduate studies in decorative arts and design history), The Glasgow School of Art, and the Bard Graduate Center, New York; also curatorial positions at The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and in Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries. As a curator, university professor and writer on aspects of twentieth-century design and material culture, she has a longstanding interest in the social and political contexts of modern design. Exhibitions organized during her MoMA tenure include Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen (2010), Century of the Child: Growing by Design (2012), Designing Modern Women (2013), Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye (2015), How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior (2016), The Value of Good Design (2019), Taking a Thread for a Walk (2020) and Automania (2021).
Dr Jonathan Cleaver is a textile researcher and weaver. Jonathan studied Tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art and gained an MLitt in Dress and Textiles Histories at the University of Glasgow. His PhD, awarded by the University of Glasgow, generated fresh perspectives on the interrelationship of industrial carpet design and weaving technology using the archives of the former manufacturer James Templeton and Company, Glasgow. His research into the cultural histories of British carpet production continues to be informed by his prior professional experience as a Master Weaver with Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh.
Dr Helena Britt is Programme Leader for Textile Design in the School of Design at The Glasgow School of Art. Current and past projects use archive and practice-based methods, oral testimony and exhibition curation to investigate themes that intersect creative processes, designing, making and art school pedagogy. Her ongoing research examines the ways in which designers and design groups act as curators, collectors and archivists, appropriating and reinterpreting historical design practice, motifs and procedures to generate new work. She is currently working on a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship project exploring the work and practices of The Cloth, a pioneering collective formed in 1983 by Brian Bolger, David Band, Helen Manning and Fraser Taylor, for their Royal College of Art (RCA) graduate show.
Duncan Chappell is Library and Collections Manager at The Glasgow School of Art, where he manages and researches both contemporary and historical collections. He is curator of the Special Collections Reading Room at The Whisky Bond, and has published on topics such as late nineteenth century library collecting within an art school context. He has previously worked at the libraries and archives of the National Portrait Gallery and London School of Economics.
In 2013, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh Design History Society and GSA, Duncan and Helena worked on ‘Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005’, an exhibition which resulted from research into the workings of the Stoddard Templeton design studio and in particular use of the design library.
Professor Penny Sparke is Professor of Design History at Kingston University, London. She studied French Literature at the University of Sussex from 1967-1971 and was awarded her PhD in Design History from Brighton Polytechnic in 1975. She taught Design History at Brighton Polytechnic (1975-1982) and the Royal College of Art (1982-1999). She has given keynote addresses, curated exhibitions, and broadcast and published widely. Her publications include Italian Design from 1860 to the present (1989); The Plastics Age (1990); As Long as It’s Pink: The Sexual Politics of Taste (1995); An Introduction to Design and Culture, 1900 to the present (3rd edition 2004); Elsie de Wolfe: The Birth of Modern Interior Decoration (2005); The Modern Interior (2008) and Nature Inside: Plants and Flowers in the Modern Interior (2021).