Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.

Leon Golub Symposium Builds on Art and Conflict Research

To coincide with the exhibition Leon Golub: Bite Your Tongue at the Serpentine Gallery, artists, historians, writers and theorists gather to discuss Leon Golub’s extraordinary oeuvre and activism in the context of the contemporary geo-political landscapes. 

Leon Golub’s art has always engaged with the politics and realities of conflict and the trace of violence upon the body. From Vietnam to Abu Ghraib, covert operations to contemporary geo-politics, his art presents scenarios of how power flows unequally and catastrophically across the social world, tracing its roots in archaic cultures and the myths of the Judeo-Christian world, to the contemporary imperial politics of post-war nation states. 

This symposium will address these themes and concerns in Golub’s art and seek to raise questions about the role and effectivity of the contemporary visual arts in investigating and reflecting upon the intersections of the aesthetic and the political. Can art construct visual and other imaginative worlds equal and appropriate to the task of bearing witness to atrocity, conflict and inequalities, and what role might artists fulfil in figuring new forms and possibilities for justice and democracy?

The Royal College of Art has significant research interests in the role of art in areas of conflict, both in the Art and Conflict investigation led by Michaela Crimmin and in the work of individual artists including Peter Kennard, whose retrospective exhibition opens at Imperial War Museum on 14 May 2015.

Participants include Jon Bird, Adam Curtis, Michaela Crimmin, Samm Kunce, Philip Golub, Avery Gordon, Oscar Murillo, John Roberts and Martha Rosler. 


Please note that all times are approximate and subject to change up to and including the day of the event

10am: Coffee/Registration

10:30am: Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist

10:45am: Martha Rosler in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist

11:15:am John Roberts, Empathy and Negation: Leon Golub's Realism 

12:00pm: Jon Bird

1:00pm: Lunch

2:10pm: Oscar Murillo, De marcha, ¿una rumba?... no, solo un desfile con ética y estética (sound piece, 35 mins)

2:45pm: Panel, including Philip Golub, Samm Kunce, John Roberts. Moderated by Emma Enderby and Lucia Pietroiusti

3:45pm: Afternoon break

4:15pm: Adam Curtis in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist

5pm: Panel, including Jon Bird, Avery Gordon, Oscar Murillo, Martha Rosler. Moderated by Michaela Crimmin 

6pm: Closing remarks

Programmed in collaboration with Middlesex University Professor in Art and Critical Theory, Jon Bird and the Royal College of Art; Assistant Curator: Claude Adjil

Royal College of Art Battersea
Dyson Building
Gorvy Lecture Theatre, 1 Hester Road, SW11 4AN