Visual Cultures Lecture Series

The School of Fine Art's flagship lecture series

The Visual Cultures Lecture Series enables us collectively to learn as we produce new knowledge. We use the lectures as a means of addressing questions pertinent to our understanding of Fine Art and its broader context today. Our guest speakers, distinguished artists, writers, curators and academics, are carefully selected and invited to speak about their work in relation to a given line of enquiry. Each season's lectures, together with related seminar and workshop activity, contribute towards a body of material, which is collated as a source of new insights in the field and made available within the Royal College of Art and to our broader community.

2013/14: Current Modes of Artistic Production

The Royal College of Art’s School of Fine Art continues its Visual Cultures lecture series with a focus on sculpture and moving image. The series invited artists to investigate various aspects that contribute to the production, circulation and reception of their work. Through in-depth focus on a specific project of each guest speaker, the series aims to give an insight into the complex fabric of artistic production and explore what it means to work as an artist today.


12 November, Mark Leckey
26 November, Gerard Byrne
11 February, Christine Borland and Brody Condon
25 February, Laure Prouvost
4 March, Ulla Von Brandenburg
11 March, Thomas Hirschhorn

Mark Leckey on the 12 of November for his Visual Cultures Lecture at the RCA
Mark Leckey
12 November 2013: Mark Leckey

Leckey's practice ranges across performance, film, sculpture and sound, often creating a space where personal and cultural histories merge and transform. Leckey has exhibited widely, with recent solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Serpentine Gallery, London, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; ICA, London; and Le Consortium, Dijon. Leckey was awarded the Turner Prize in 2008.

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Gerard Byrne during a Visual Cultures Lecture on the 26 of November 2013
Gerard Byrne
26 November 2013: Gerard Byrne

Gerard Byrne is a visual artist working with photographic, video and live art. In 2007 he represented Ireland in the Venice Biennale. Other major presentations of his work at international biennials include the biennales of Gwangju and Sydney in 2008, Lyon in 2007, the Tate Triennial in 2006, and the Istanbul Biennale in 2003. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at the ICA Boston and the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (both 2008), Dusseldorf Kunstverein, the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver (2007), the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2003) and at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2002). In 2006 he was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn award.

11 February 2014: Christine Borland and Brody Condon

Christine Borland and Brody Condon, RCA Visual Cultures Lecture Series
Christine Borland and Brody Condon
UK-based artist, Christine Borland, works around the topics of ethics and bio-politics in art. She investigates collaborations between arts and medicine. Borland was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997 and has shown internationally in numerous museums and large-scale exhibitions, most recently at Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Camden Arts Centre, London. Borland collaborated with artist Brody Condon for the Edinburgh Art Festival 2013. Condon, based in New York and Berlin, creates performances, videos and sculptures that relate to obsession with fantasy in contemporary culture. He explores the world of games, fiction and collective experience. He recently presented work at the Machine Project, LA (2012); Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, NY (2011); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010); Greater New York, MoMA/PS1 (2010); and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010).

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25 February 2014: Laure Prouvost

Laure Prouvost, RCA Visual Cultures Lecture Series
Laure Prouvost

Laure Prouvost works with films and installations characterised by richly layered stories, translation, and surreal moments. Her seductive and disorienting tales toy with the audience’s ability to become fully absorbed by a single narrative. Her unconventional approach to text, montage, cinematic conventions, and imagery create a distinct visual language that is engaged in an ongoing conversation with the history of art and literature. Prouvost lives and works in London. She studied at Goldsmiths College and Central St Martins, London. Winner of the Tuner Prize 2013, her recent solo presentations include the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia (2013); Schwitters in Britain, Tate Britain, London (2013); Why Does Gregor Never Ring? Shut Your Lips, Somewhere Under That Bridge Lies the whole Truth (The Wanderer Sequence 5), MOTINTERNATIONAL, London (2012); and Frieze Projects, Frieze Art Fair, London (2011). Her numerous group exhibitions include 12th Biennale de Lyon, Meanwhile... Suddenly and Then, Lyon (2013); Soundworks, ICA, London (2012); Time Again, Sculpture Center, New York (2011); and Flaca, Portikus, Frankfurt (2011). In 2011, she received the Max Mara Art Prize for Women and in 2009 the EAST International Award in Norwich, UK.

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4 March 2014: Ulla Von Brandenburg

Ulla von Brandenburg
Ulla von Brandenburg
Photographer: David Dixon
Ulla von Brandenburg lives and works in Paris. She works with film, drawing, installation and performance, and creates multi-layered narratives that explore boundaries between reality and artifice. Von Brandenburg engages with popular cultural forms from multiple epochs as a means through which to explore contemporary collective experience. Working within seemingly archaic traditions such as the tableau vivant, von Brandenburg appropriates historical source material and transforms it into the present to tacitly reveal the rules that govern our social reality. Recent solo exhibitions of the artist’s work include: Secession (2013), Kunsthaus Hamburg (2013); Mirror Song, Pilar Corrias, London (2012); The Common Guild, Glasgow (2011); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2009); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2008); Stedilijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2008). Recent group exhibitions include: Film as Sculpture, WIELS, Brussels (2013); 1966-79, Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne (2013); Tools for Conviviality, The Power Plant, Toronto (2012); Intense Proximite, Palais de Tokyo (2012); Secret Societies. To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence, CAPC Bordeaux (2011).

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11 March 2014: Thomas Hirschhorn                                                                           

Visual Cultures Lecture: Thomas Hirschhorn
Visual Cultures Lecture: Thomas Hirschhorn

Swiss-born artist Thomas Hirschhorn creates mixed-media installations, often using everyday materials such as cardboard, foil and duct tape, juxtaposed with found imagery such as violent scenes and pornography. Hirschhorn previously worked in a group of political graphic artists in 1980s Paris which influenced his use of common materials as a political statement. With each exhibition - in museums, galleries, alternative spaces – as well as with specific works in public space, Hirschhorn asserts his commitment toward a non-exclusive public. Hirschhorn’s work has been shown in numerous museums, galleries and group exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1999), Documenta11 (2002), 27th Sao Paolo Biennale (2006), the 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburg (2008), the Swiss Pavillion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), La Triennale at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012), the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012), and Gladstone Gallery New York (2012).  A selection of his writings, Critical Laboratory: The Writings of Thomas Hirschhorn, has recently been published by MIT Press (October Books).

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RCA Visual Cultures Lecture Series

All lectures start at 6.30pm. Lectures are free and open to the public. 

RCA Dyson Building, Lecture Theatre, 1 Hester Road, London SW11 4AN

View recorded talks here.