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About Time is a satellite programme of contemporary art running from October 2015 – January 2016. It is curated by a consortium of Leeds-based artists and curators led by Mexico, Pavilion and SPUR with contributions from Assembly House Leeds, Basement Arts, Black Dogs, Leeds Animation Workshop, Left Bank, Pyramid of Arts, Seize, Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun and many others. Coinciding with the launch of the British Art Show 8, this city-wide initiative features commissioned artworks, texts and events which aim to highlight the work of artists, cultural producers and curatorial projects based in Leeds, alongside their international peers. The programme takes place across a diverse set of venues including artist-led spaces, museums and heritage buildings.
Underpinning the programme is an interest in the relationship of art to globalisation. Globalisation has brought about the rapid circulation of ideas and objects around the globe, bringing spaces and people closer together. At the same time, the global is undermined by the slow, perilous journeys made by migrants seeking refuge and by the slow passage of container ships carrying consumer goods around the world. New technology has enabled the so-called ‘death of distance’ in information-sharing. And yet high-frequency traders depend on millisecond advantages in the speed of electronic communication systems to exploit the market for mammoth profits.
Moving from the global to the local, Leeds’ reputation as one of the UK’s biggest Internet server hubs hints at a technological future for Leeds that departs from the industries of the past. Former textile mills are now data centres or offices for digital SMEs. With the domination of technology, and the ever-increasing demands of consumption, how might we ‘slow down’ and enable new ways of looking and thinking about our future?
Framed by these themes, About Time will profile the art practices, curatorial initiatives and ideas that are being produced here in Leeds. It also recognises the opening of the British Art Show 8 as a time to take stock of opportunities for artists in Leeds, to platform our strengths as a city and to think about what Leeds might look like in the future.
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About Time Steering Committee:
Mexico is a curatorial collective who work with UK and international artists to develop projects which support research, production and dissemination of new contemporary visual art. Having run a gallery space in Leeds city centre from 2011 -14 they now work itinerantly. Recent projects include Bear Pit, Focal Point Gallery (2015), Winter Solstice: Hannah Sawtell (2014), Leeds and Pleasure Devotion Balance, Eastside Projects (2014).
Pavilion is a visual arts commissioning organisation based in Leeds that produces ambitious new work with contemporary artists founded in 1983. Through an exploratory process of research and discussion, Pavilion’s programme materialises across diverse sites and locations.
SPUR is an artist-led commissioning and publishing organisation, producing an experimental programme of activity that focuses on visual art, film and creative writing. Founded in 2013 SPUR works both locally and nationally, with recent projects including a print publication for the Annuale festival in Edinburgh in (2014 and 2015) and a residency as part of the Radio City programme at Tate Britain, London (spring 2015).