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Rut Blees Luxemburg Appointed Artist in Residence for RCA Battersea South

The Royal College of Art is delighted to announce the appointment of artist Rut Blees Luxemburg as artist in residence for the new building at Battersea.

In this new role of Senior Research Fellow, over a four-year period, Blees Luxemburg will act as artist and researcher in residence, following the transformation of the Battersea South campus from construction site through to inhabited workshops, studios and research spaces.

This appointment follows the recent announcement that the RCA has been granted planning permission by the London Borough of Wandsworth for a new flagship building designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The building is part of the most radical transformation of the institution’s campus in its 181-year history.

Professor Juan Cruz, Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities commented: ‘We are pleased to welcome Rut Blees Luxemburg to the role of Senior Research Fellow. Rut’s practice demonstrates a sensitivity to place and human inhabitancy that will help bring this important new building into cultural existence. The appointment recognises the opportunity the new building in Battersea presents for engaging the public with the broader School of Arts & Humanities activities, and acknowledges the potential to generate new insights at the rich crossover of artistic and architectural practice.’

As Senior Research Fellow, Blees Luxemburg will visualise the progress of the Battersea South campus, creating opportunities for collaboration across the community of researchers, students and staff at the College, making connections with neighbouring institutions and involving the local community. Blees Luxemburg’s artistic research will also contribute to the historic archive of the College, creating a visual record of this period of transformation.

Blees Luxemburg is Reader in Urban Aesthetics at the Royal College of Art. Her work as an artists and photographer concerns the representation of the city and the phenomenon of the urban, combining formats from large-scale photographic work, through public art installations and operatic mise-en-scène.

Recent projects include Silver Forest (2016), an architectural installation on the western façade of Westminster City Hall; The Teaser (2015), an installation incorporating readings  that filled the courtyard of Somerset House during Photo London; and London Dust (2011–13), a series of photographs and a film that trace the rapid architectural transformation of the City of London in relation to corresponding changes in photographic technology.

Blees Luxemburg’s practice often includes collaborations with other artists and photographers, as well as writers and practitioners from other disciplines. A 2015 collaboration between Blees Luxemburg, the architect Charlotte Skene Catling, the Rothschild Foundation and the Photography programme at the RCA, commissioned artists to respond to the construction of the Flint House at Waddesdon Manor. Artworks made included Clare Bottomley’s photographic restaging of Old Master paintings from the Rothschild collection with the craftsmen who built the Flint House.

Discussing her new role, Blees Luxemburg said: ‘I’m excited by this opportunity to develop my research on urban space and architecture with the Battersea South building project as a specific focus and field study. The research fellowship recognises the potential of how narratives of art and photography can be a tool to understand, reflect and communicate the process of architecture.’