What purpose do arts festivals have in the urban fabric of a city? In the run up to Art Night 2017, a free night-time contemporary arts festival taking place across the East End, join an evening dedicated to the subject of art in the public realm, with contributions from artists and curators.
In an artist’s talk, Melanie Manchot discusses her performance commission for Art Night, a live event featuring local dance schools, and asking how art can engage directly with its surrounding environment.
This is followed by a panel discussion exploring current practices of commissioning art in the public domain, with Fatoş Üstek Curator, Art Night 2017, Gareth Evans co-curator, Estuary Festival and Adjunct Film Curator, Whitechapel Gallery and Sam Wilkinson, co-founder, InSite Arts.
Fatoş Üstek is an independent curator and writer based in London. Üstek is curator of Art Night 2017 London, working in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery and Unlimited Productions. Also currently, she is Art Fund Curator at fig-2, editor of the publication that commemorates the visual arts programme of 50 projects in 50 weeks at ICA, London. Üstek is chief-juror for the Celeste Prize 2017, as well as jury for the sculpture section at the 2017 Arte Laguna Art Prize, Venice. She contributes regularly to international art magazines, publications and exhibition catalogues.
Melanie Manchot lives and works in London. Her practice spans across photography, video, sound and performance. Recent solo exhibitions include: Towner Art Gallery, UK (2016); Aspex Gallery, UK (2015); Bloomberg Space, London (2015); fig-2, ICA, London (2015); Peckham Platform, London (2015); Toronto Photography Festival (2012); and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010).
Gareth Evans is a London-based writer, curator, presenter, producer and Whitechapel Gallery’s Film Curator. He is also co-curator of Swedenborg Film Festival, Estuary 2016, Whitstable Biennale and Utopia 2016 at Somerset House. He created and programmed PLACE, the annual cross-platform festival at Aldeburgh Music, is Co-Director of production agency Artevents and has curated numerous film and event seasons across the UK at the Barbican, ICA, Institut Francais, Arnolfini and Watershed among many others. He regularly hosts events at institutions nationally and internationally.
Sam Wilkinson has worked through the UK as an art consultant and commissioner for over 25 years. She develops policy and strategy, and curates arts programmes for a range of clients. She has extensive experience of working with both the public and private sector. As Curator-in-Residence for the Olympic Delivery Authority she worked with artist Neville Gabie, exploring the lives of those people who built the park.
Recent project include a new work with Make Architects and artist Kenny Hunter in Leicester, The Cambridge Judge Business School with Nicole Wermer and Caroline Wright and the University Arms Hotel with Emma Smith, with curator Maeve Polkinhorn. Sam if joint consultant with Contemporary Art Society at the University of Cambridges North West Cambridge Development.
Sam is shortly to commence a two year contract with UCL as their Public Art Manager.