Talks & Events

Photo courtesy of Simon and Tom Bloor

Photo courtesy of Simon and Tom Bloor

Photo courtesy of Simon and Tom Bloor

Simon & Tom Bloor, installation image from Residency Works, Flat Time House, 2014. Photo: Tom Carter

Simon & Tom Bloor, installation image from Residency Works, Flat Time House, 2014. Photo: Tom Carter

Simon & Tom Bloor, installation image from Residency Works, Flat Time House, 2014. Photo: Tom Carter

Vandalism and Art

Panel Discussion with Simon & Tom Bloor

Tue 22 Jul 2014, 7pm, Clore Studio, Tickets from £3


Simon and Tom Bloor talk about ideas developed during their recent residency at Flat Time House where they researched the intentional destruction of public art and the construction of degenerate street furniture. Artist Nils Norman, curator Jes Fernie and art historian Richard Clay discuss the relationship of creation to destruction, with particular reference to arts relationship to public space and the urban environment. The discussion was chaired by Jo Melvin.

Investigating public space and the paradox of unintentional creation, the discussion considered how artists might appropriate acts of vandalism and how those acts might be seen as an extreme abstraction or performance. This event coincided with Simon and Tom Bloor's current exhibition, Residency Works at FTHo, and also touched on ideas of urban play and utopian pursuit explored in their 2011 exhibition at SLG, Happy Habitat Revisted.

Simon and Tom Bloor's works and projects use a range of media including publications, drawing, sculpture and installations. Recent projects include work that has been for or about public space, focusing on the ambivalent relationship with post-war urban landscape. They are currently developing large scale public projects with Futurecity in Cambridge and London and have been commissioned by Bristol City Council and Arnolfini Gallery to produce new work as part of the Primary Capital Programme. Recent solo exhibitions include South London Gallery (2011) and Modern Art Oxford (2010). Simon and Tom Bloor were born in Birmingham in 1973 and are amongst the founding directors of Eastside Projects, Birmingham.

Richard Clay is an art historian and broadcaster, having recently presented BBC Four's The French Revolution: Tearing Up History. His research is focused on 18th and 19th century French and British visual cultures, with an emphasis on vandalism and iconoclasm, though also maintains an interest in Birmingham’s suburbs (1880-1960). He gained his PhD from UCL in 1999 and held a Henry Moore Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, and has been based at the University of Birmingham since 2002.

Jes Fernie is an independent curator and writer based in Colchester, East Anglia. Fernie works with artists, curators and architects on public programmes, commissioning schemes and residency projects across the UK. Working primarily beyond gallery walls, she is interested in an expansive idea of contemporary artistic practice, which encompasses dialogue, research, engagement and serendipity. She is Associate Curator, Public Programmes at Firstsite in Colchester and has worked with organisations including Tate, Peer, Serpentine Gallery and the RCA. Information about her research project DESTRUCTION can be found at

Jo Melvin has been investigating the interconnections between the archives of artists’, critics, museums, galleries and magazines from the 1960s to the present day since the early 90s. She is currently working on the catalogue raisonné of the sculptor Barry Flanagan and is preparing exhibitions for Flat Time House in 2014 and Raven Row in 2015. She is a Reader in Archives and Special Collections at University of  the Arts London and a trustee of Flat Time House and the Barry Flanagan Foundation. 

Nils Norman works across the disciplines of art, architecture and urban planning, challenging notions of the function of public art and the efficacy of mainstream planning and regeneration. Informed by local politics, play and alternative ecological and economic systems. Norman’s work merges utopian alternatives with current urban design orthodoxies to create a humorous critique of the discrete histories and functions of public art and public space. Norman is a Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and Design, Copenhagen.

Booking for the talk is essential. Book online or call 020 7703 6120. 

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