FIELDWORK – Hospitalfield International Summer School 2015

8–11 July 2015


Programmed with Pavel Büchler

A programme of conversations, talks and workshops thinking through the relationships between education and influence.

The summer school included contributions from Ami Barak, Penelope Curtis, Bik van der Pol and Pavel Büchler, among others, to discuss the significance of peer groups, visitors, exploration and institutions when considering influence.

GENERATION – 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland is a programme that took place across Scotland in 2014 initiated as part of Culture 2014.  As part of GENERATION some financial support has been given to organisations, including Hospitalfield, to work to a longer time frame and focus on engagement and exchange. Our FIELDWORK programme comes out of this work.

GENERATION was designed to highlight the unprecedented evolution of the contemporary visual arts ecology in Scotland over the last 25 years which, in part, traces its roots back to the dynamic and active period in the 1990s in Glasgow which continues today. Oscillating between the Art School, Transmission, Tramway, artist’s flats, semi-derelict buildings and many other projects and organisations, this was a time that highlighted the dynamic and ever renewing impact and influence of artist led projects. Woven in to this was a network of visitors who came to the city from far and wide; curators, artists, writers and others introduced a generation of artists based in Glasgow and Scotland to an international network of activity beyond Scotland. Central to this was that institution the Friday morning Sofa Talks at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) initiated by Pavel Büchler, Head of Fine Art at GSA at the time, it is hard to measure the impact of these lectures and why would we attempt to measure! It is just that we know that where people meet, where paths cross, where there is a certain dynamic, that knowledge and influence changes hands through the ether. The impressive reach of the network that Pavel called upon brought with it a new sort of role for teaching and learning and a trust in the power of conversation.

For 2015 we invited Pavel Büchler to Talk About Influence and to programme three core events for the summer school.

He invited the following participants to be in conversation with him – three early evening discussions followed by dinner:

In conversation with Pavel Büchler

Ami Barak

Penelope Curtis

Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol


Daytime programme included:

Kathryn Ashill

David Bellingham

Remco de Blaaij

Stephen Sutcliffe

Richard Wrigley

The starting points for Pavel’s conversations with his invited speakers were:

  • What can an art school be at the time when there are no privileged ways of making art?
  • What can we learn from each other when there are as many models of practice as there are artists?
  • How can we recover the art school as an open social space where we can do something together while each of us doing something different?


Wednesday 8 July

4pm: arrivals to campsite

5.30pm: registration and welcome

Evening: Ami Barak in-conversation with Pavel Büchler

Thursday 9 July

Morning: talk and discussion led by Remco de Blaaij

Afternoon: walking visits in Arbroath then talk and discussion led by David Bellingham

Evening: Richard Wrigley talk then Bik Van der Pol in-conversation with Pavel Büchler

Friday 10 July

Morning: talk and discussion led by Stephen Sutcliffe

Afternoon: Kathryn Ashill performance and coastal walk (coach trip)

Evening: Penelope Curtis in-conversation with Pavel Büchler

Saturday 11 July

Morning: pack up tents

View full schedule…


Pavel Buchler, born in Czecheslovakia describes his practice as “making nothing happen”. He has been based in the UK since the 1980s first in Cambridge, then Glasgow and now Manchester where he is a Research Professor and teaches on MA Fine Art. While in Glasgow, as Head of the School of Fine Art at The Glasgow School of Art (1992 – 96), he initiated the Sofa Talks, a regular Friday morning lecture and discussion slot, in which many influential international artists, curators and magicians presented and were grilled by the attending students. Büchler belongs to a generation of artists directly influenced by the discoveries of 1970s conceptual art – or, as he insists, by the creative misunderstandings that conceptual art suffered in translation to the Eastern European cultural and political context (quoted from Tanya Leighton Gallery website). Trained as a type setter originally, Büchler’s work often includes text (and language) in both performative and formal means. As well as being known for his cerebral, philosophical approach, Büchler returns to processes, (typewriting and letterpress for example), which can be perceived as ‘work’. Reflection on the meaning and significance of this word carries through to his recent exhibition titles, (Honest) Work at Icon, (2015), and Back to Work, Tanya Leighton, (2014). In 2012 Büchler was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists 2012 and in 2009 the Northern Art Prize 2009. Büchler’s solo exhibition runs at Ikon in Birmingham until 12 July and in the last two years he has shown at Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2014); Broad Art Museum, Michigan (2014); Power Plant, Toronto (2013); and The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2013).


Ami Barak is an independent curator and art critic based in Paris. He is currently a Lecturer at the Paris I Sorbonne University and is a former president of IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art). In the last two years he has curated Taryn Simon Rear views, star forming nebula and foreign propaganda bureau, Jeu de Paume, Paris, (2015); Une saison en enfer, None Futbol Club, Les Eglises Chelles, (2015); Smash & Grab None Futbol Club, Iconoscope Montpellier (2015), Tim Parchikov – Features of intuition Mmoma Moscow, (2015); An estranged paradise works from DSL collection JMTC Moscow, Stuttering – Melik Ohanian Crac Sete, (2014). In 2011 he was the curator of Performing History the Romanian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. Barak is a former director of the Frac (regional collection of contemporary art) Languedoc-Roussillon (1993 – 2002) and General Associated Curator of “Public Treasuries, 20 Years of Creation in the Fracs” (2003). He was Head of the Visual Art Department at the City Council of Paris (2003-2008). He has devised extensive public art programmes including being the Artistic Director and Coordinator of ‘Nuit Blanche’ (“Sleepless Night” Contemporay Art Festival) in Paris, (2003 – 2004), and the initiator Art for the Tram, including projects by Sophie Calle/Frank Gehry, Dan Graham, Peter Kogler, Claude Lévêque, Christian Boltanski, Bertrand Lavier, Angela Bulloch and Didier Fiuza Faustino. Barak met Scottish artist Douglas Gordon in 1993 in Paris and accepted a subsequent invitation to visit Glasgow. Barak then curated Gordon’s first solo exhibition in France in 1994 at the FRAC Languedoc Roussillon in Montpellier. In 2013 he curated a solo exhibition of Gordon’s works, entitled I am also…, at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel.


Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol have been working together as Bik Van der Pol since 1994 and are based in Rotterdam. Their multilayered practice is concerned with the knowledge-production potentials of art and research and they seek to create platforms for communication and exchange in their projects. Bik Van der Pol often work on location, use, reuse and reactivate the work of others—be they from the world of art, journalism, media or history—and confront the visitors with situations in which they themselves have the last word. In 2015 Bik van de Pol exhibited in the Pavilion of Mauritius at the 56th Venice Biennale and have ongoing shows and projects: Eminent Domain at Powerplant, Toronto; Speechless (working title), Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Jakarta Biennale. In 2014 Bik van der Pol organised a major programme of public workshops, events, lecture and walks during the 31st Sao Paulo Bienal in Brazil. Entitled Turning a blind eye the programme explored different notions of the `unseen´ and the ways in which we look at things or choose what we look at. It investigated the idea of ‘publicness’ as well as recent events in Brazil and worldwide, departing from tensions around the exploitation of urban and natural space. The programme involved the participation of the general public, and students of the School of Missing Studies and universities and organisations in Sao Paulo. The Bienal acted as the site for the project’s creation and research, implementing the educational model of ‘the school’ as a form of mental theatre. In 2013 Bik van der Pol were commissioned by Frieze Projects and presented a large scoreboard animated by live by activators which was inspired by research into architect Cedric Price and his interests in temporality and visibility.


David Bellingham is an artist and small press publisher whose work has been shown throughout Scotland and internationally. Using diverse media, from painting and sculptural installation to books, postcards and other printed material published by his imprint Wax366, he explores the relation between objects, words and contexts. Graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 1991 Bellingham benefited from the presence of a number of remarkable mentors and tutors including Pavel Büchler. Bellingham’s practice, as Pavel Büchler has observed, ‘tests, case by case, the conditions of art as a model of resistance to the numbing complexity of the rules of our engagement with the world and with one another.’ Bellingham has collaborated with a number of other artists and poets including Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Connearn and Thomas A. Clark. He has worked often in series (sections project, found rulers works, camouflage series (with Jim Hamlyn)) saying that “it is the repetition that consolidates the work” (interview with Lisa Otty 2009). Pavel Buchler, Little Things in the Margins, David Bellingham, ASP, (Nurnberg: Kunsthaus Nurnberg, 2001), p.97.


Remco de Blaaij has been curator at CCA Glasgow since October 2012. He previously worked at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, where he co-curated Picasso in Palestine an unique project of presenting one of Picasso’s works at International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah, connected with Picasso Talks, a special programme in which international speakers were invited to respond to the artistic, political and social implications surrounding the Picasso exhibition and process of taking it to Ramallah. He also worked on the team of Be(com)ing Dutch, a two-year elaborate project in the museum that dealt with residues of globalisation, national identity, and immigration and which included the work of Bik van der Pol. While at Van Abbemuseum de Blaaij also curated a space called “The Eye” that invited local artists for a six-month working period within the museum. Recent exhibitions at CCA, Glasgow have included a double solo show of new films from Amsterdam artist Mounira al Solh and Glasgow artist Sarah Forrest and the collaborative research project, Circles of Focus, by Christine Borland and Brody Condon. He moved to London in 2011 where he concluded his research at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University with the publication too little, too late on border practices of visual culture against the backdrop of Suriname, South America. In 2013, he was recipient of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros / ICI Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean. He conducted research about women activist practices in the countries of Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Suriname.


Dr Penelope Curtis studied Modern History at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (1979–1982) followed by a Masters and Ph.D on French sculpture after Rodin at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1983–89). In summer 2015 Curtis will become the Director of Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon after being Director of Tate Britain since 2010. In her role at Tate Britain she oversaw a number of successful exhibitions, along with the opening of the new Tate Britain in 2013, and critically acclaimed rehang of its collections. She was also chair of the jury for the Turner Prize. Prior to her to Directorship of Tate Britain Curtis was Curator at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds from 1999 (and Head of the Henry Moore Centre from 1994) where she was responsible for developing an acclaimed and distinctive programme of exhibitions, research, collection development and a unique archive of sculptors’ papers. Previously, she was the first Exhibitions Curator at Tate Liverpool when it opened in 1988. Major exhibitions she has curated or co-curated include Barbara Hepworth: A Retrospective, Tate Liverpool (1994), Henry Moore Institute’s Sculpture in Painting (2010); Modern British Sculpture, Royal Academy (2011). Curtis is an established scholar and author with particular interest in inter-war art and architecture and contemporary art, on which she has written widely for many artists. This year she delivered a series of Paul Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery. Her publications include Sculpture 1900–1945 in the Oxford History of Art (Oxford 1999) and Patio & Pavilion: the place of sculpture in modern architecture (Ridinghouse/Getty 2007). She has previously been a member of Art Commissions Committee for the Imperial War Museum and is currently on the Advisory Committee for the Government Art Collection as well as the British School at Rome.


Kathryn Ashill is a Welsh artist who graduated from the MFA course at The Glasgow School of Art in 2015. Ashill aims to pursue the theatricality in the everyday, building work from observations of literature, autobiography, people, history and site. Civic life and duty is explored through interactions with memorial sites, face painting, costume and public events. At the centre of her practice are amateur dramatics, theatre flats, stage lighting, public monuments and performance. There is a strong participatory spirit within the live performances Ashill creates. She has presented work both inside the gallery and in the public realm. In 2016 Ashill will start a practice based PhD supervised by the University of Manchester drama and biosciences departments through which she will create an opera about medical leeches. This PhD award has come about through discussions stemming from a 2008 performance which was commissioned by SATnet and University of Wales Trinity Saint David. For FIELDWORK 2015 Ashill will present a new performance entitled Ambush.


Glasgow based artist Stephen Sutcliffe creates film collages from an extensive archive of British television, film sound, broadcast images and spoken word recordings which he has been collecting since childhood. Often reflecting on aspects of British culture and identity, the results are melancholic, poetic and satirical amalgams which subtly tease out and critique ideas of class consciousness and cultural authority. He has shown widely in the UK and internationally and has recently completed a residency at BBC Scotland. In a 2013 exhibition at Tramway, Glasgow, Sutcliffe presented a multiple screen installation of his video, Outwork, which had been commissioned for the Margaret Tait Award and supported by Creative Scotland and LUX. The work was a physical development on Sutcliffe’s approach to choreography of image and sound and was a filmic collage inspired by Erving Goffman’s book Frame Analysis. Sutcliffe recently worked with Hospitalfield to present a programme of screenings and discussion with film maker John Smith. Sutcliffe brings an interest in developing the ideas found within Harold Bloom’s 1973 book The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. Written in a moving personal style, anchored by concrete examples, and memorable quotes, this second edition of Bloom’s classic work maintains that the anxiety of influence cannot be evaded – neither by poets nor by responsible readers and critics.’%20pages/Stephen%20Sutcliffe/stephensutcli


Richard Wrigley’s research is focused within the 18th and 19th centuries, and has dealt with French material, and also Rome. Topics he has worked on include iconoclasm, various aspects of the visual culture of the French Revolution, Italian travel (especially to and in Rome). His current work centres on questions of health, disease, and hygiene, and their significance in shaping in material and metaphorical terms the experience of Rome; a particular aspect of this project is to reassess the Roman landscape as a subject for visual representation. He has recently completed a book, Roman Fever: influence, infection, and the image of Rome (Yale Univ. Press). Roman Fever invites an original and alternative perspective on the city and its countryside, revisiting the history of Rome in terms of ideas about climate and the role of its filthy and contaminated environment. It focuses on the interplay between enthusiasm and inspiration, and debilitation and mortality, within the competitive artistic community present within Rome in the 18th and 19th Centuries. He is currently working on articles on the origins of the flâneur; the phenomenon of incognito travel; and a project with the working title ‘After Piranesi’, on the evolving representation of Rome in the early 19th century, with particular reference to the impact of photography, more specifically the work of the great Rome-based Scottish Robert Macpherson.


Tickets for the summer school cost £50 (include all meals and camping space).

Special offer for students and 2015 graduates was a reduced price of £15.

The cost for one of the evening talks and dinner is £20.

After having several enquiries from people who really wanted to come but could not afford the ticket price we made a small number of bursary tickets available at £25.

Other Events