Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Gill Park

0113 343 4265

PGR office

BA History of Art, MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies (University of Leeds)

My research centres on the feminist intervention into visual art, and in particular photography, during the 1980s.

Biography

I am a curator and researcher with a particular interest in recent and contemporary visual art that deals with the politics of representation, in particular photography and moving image work. I am interested in feminist and postcolonial interventions in art as well as the theory and analysis of power, subjectivity, memory and institutional critique. In addition to undertaking doctoral research I am Director of Pavilion, a visual arts organisation based in Leeds. In this role I work on the commissioning and programming of new work in collaboration with artists and constituencies across Leeds and beyond. This role directly relates to my doctoral research, which is an analysis of the founding of Pavilion as a feminist intervention into the landscape of visual art in the 1980s.

Research Interests

  • History of the women’s movement
  • Feminist and postcolonial interventions in art and art history
  • The politics of representation
  • The body in art practice
  • Photography and the moving image

Teaching

Elements of Visual Culture (2015-Present)
New York School (2016–17)

I have also taught as a Visiting Lecturer at University of Leeds, University of Portsmouth, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and University of Central Lancashire

Research Projects & Grants

University 110 Anniversary Phd Scholarship (2014–17)

Leeds 2023 Explore Grant to undertake a research visit to documenta 14 and Skulptur Projekte Munster (June 2017)

Speak, Body: art, the reproduction of capital and the reproduction of life, conference co-convened with Rose-Anne Gush, Tom Hastings and Sophie Jones. Funded by the Centre for Practice-led Research in the Arts, University of Leeds and the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (AHRC) (April 2017)

British Council Subvention Grant to undertake research and studio visits in Colombia (October 2016)

Erasmus + Mobility Grant (February 2016)

Curatorial Consortium (led by Griselda Pollock), which brought together academics and art professionals to assess the impact of selected international exhibitions. Funded by a Creative Cultural Exchange Ignite grant (December 2015–October 2016)

Proper Faultless Enemy, screening programme organised with Rose-Anne Gush. Funded by the Centre for Practice-led Research in the Arts, University of Leeds. (April–May 2015)

Istanbul in/+ Leeds (led by Griselda Pollock), which assessed the Impact of the Istanbul Biennial. Funded by a Creative Cultural Exchange Ignite grant. In relation to this I was also awarded a water@Leeds SPRING grant. (November 2015)

Intersecting Practices: assessing the role and impact of contemporary art in heritage spaces (led by Nick Cass) Funded by a Creative Cultural Exchange Ignite grant

Fluxus Curatorial Grant (2012)

Mondriaan Fund International Visiting Curators Award (2012)

A Thing Like You and Me, screening programme co-curated with Amy Charlesworth (Open University) Funded by Arts Council England and AHRC Roberts Award (2011-12)

Research Centres & Groups

Centre for Critical Materialist Studies
Curating the City Collaboration with Pavilion
Migration Research Network

External Appointments

Trustee, South Square Centre (2014–2016)

Steering Group, Leeds Visual Arts Forum (2012–15)

Artistic Assessor, Arts Council England (2010–12)

Curatorial Assistant, Arts Council Collection (2008)

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Supervisors: Professor Griselda Pollock and Dr Gail Day.

PhD Thesis

The Pavilion Women’s Photography Centre was founded in 1983 as a feminist photography project with a commitment to new democratic structures, art practices and radical social change. It was initiated as an independent, volunteer-run space in the Hyde Park area of Leeds to programme exhibitions, events and pedagogic activity. My thesis asks: What might we learn from a study of The Pavilion as an ‘incomplete project’, rather than a defunct one? This question opens on to a range of broader issues with regards to the impact and legacy of artistic and curatorial practices inflected by feminism, the way in which feminist projects have been both erased and historicised and the potential of feminism for art’s futures. Drawing on Marxist theory, psychoanalysis, film theory and the Social Science methodology of Grounded Theory, my analysis of the history of The Pavilion relies on two elements: its archival material and an interpretation of a particular moment of British art and cultural history that has not been fully documented or examined – that of the intersection between the women’s movement and photography as explored by a set of artists during the 1970s and 1980s. Secondly, my work explores the changing relationship between art and politics from the early 1980s until the present day. In the current moment, as financial resources for alternative, political and independent activity are virtually depleted, and as arts organisations are constantly forced to argue the ‘business case’ for their programmes, it is necessary to examine how what was initiated by feminist projects, such as The Pavilion, can be taken up as a challenge to the capitalised art world and its futures. How can an analysis of feminist art practices and initiatives enable a better understanding of feminism’s potential to confront and resist late capitalism and its effects on the contemporary art world, when, while women artists may now have been included in exhibitions and collections, feminist politics has not?

Professional Practice

I am Director of Pavilion, a visual arts commissioning organisation that was founded in 1983 as the UK’s first feminist photography centre. This founding moment is the subject of my PhD research. Since 2008 I have worked with Pavilion on a series of commissions and exhibitions with artists including Lucy Skaer, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Gintaras Diziapetris, Grace Schwindt, Louise Herve & Chloe Maillet. From 2013-15 I led on a major partnership project titled Retreating Ahead: Curatorial and Artistic Speculations in partnership with the CAC Vilnius (Lithuania) and Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof (Germany) for which I achieved a Cooperation grant from the European Union. In 2015 I initiated About Time, a programme of contemporary art events and commissions that coincided with the launch of British Art Show 8. In 2015-16 I achieved funding from Film Hub North to produce a programme of screenings titled Images and Journeys which considers the politics of representation in relation to the so-called ‘migration crisis’. This was programmed in partnership with Amy Charlesworth (Open University) and in collaboration with refugees and asylum seekers from across Leeds and was part of a series of projects we have programmed together (http://workingimages.tumblr.com/) In 2017, I collaborated with Amy Charlesworth, Louise Shelley and Rehana Zaman on ‘Bad Practice: a centre for collective action’, an exhibition that took place at Gallery II (University of Bradford) from April–July 2017.

Links

www.pavilion.org.uk
http://workingimages.tumblr.com/
http://istanbul2015.leeds.ac.uk/
http://www.ccsmgh.leeds.ac.uk/research/intersecting-practices-assessing-the-role-and-impact-of-contemporary-art-in-heritage-spaces/
http://about-time.org/

 

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