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Student Showcase Archive

Curating Contemporary Art: Turn the Tide

Thursday 27 April, 6–9pm: Opening with public press conference, 7–7.30pm
Friday 28–Sunday 30 April, 12–5pm: Open to the public  
Dyson Gallery, Dyson Building, Royal College of Art, 1 Hester Road, London SW11 4AN

At a time when nationalist agendas and a renewed belief in the nation-state is gaining ground, freedom of movement across countries is increasingly threatened. Whilst geographical border controls are intensified to reduce the flow of people from one place to another, decreased financial regulations enables capital to circulate easily across the globe, accelerated via secondary routes such as financial offshore centres and tax havens. Within this context can the offshore company offer a model to investigate ways of thinking and experiencing citizenship differently?

In collaboration with a group of international artists, Curating Contemporary Art students from the Royal College of Art present Turn The Tide, a conceptual offshore company operating from a boardroom temporarily based in the Dyson Gallery at the Royal College of Art.

Visitors to Turn the Tide will find themselves in an office environment, constructed from newly commissioned and existing works by international artists, where they will be invited to take ownership of the company by participating in public board meetings. These meetings will establish a fluid space to explore how new, more flexible models of citizenship can be reached through sharing the company’s ownership.

Meetings are participatory and open to everyone who visits the Turn The Tide boardroom. Taking place throughout the duration of the project these events are divided into two phases. Each session begins with a collective reading of a script in the form of meeting minutes that explore ideas and experiences of liquidity, capital, citizenship and geographical borders from diverse perspectives, drawn from a range of existing material including theoretical texts, film dialogue and interviews, devised by the curators. This is followed by a debate to discuss the launch of Turn The Tide’s liquidation process, and strategies to share the company ownership more broadly.  

Each meeting is transcribed and a printed copy of the minutes will be given to all participants. This document acts as a bearer-share: turning the individual into a permanent share-holder and company owner. With this process, Turn The Tide activates a real collective space dedicated to the production of shared knowledge.  

Board room meetings: meetings last 30 minutes and are open to the public.  They will be held in the exhibition at the following times:  12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Please arrive at the gallery at these times if you would like to participate.   

Artists: Eva Barto, Julie Béna, Jesse Darling, Martti Kalliala, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Aron Kullander-Östling / Centre of Nowhere and John Menick.

Curated by: Vittoria Bonifati, Margaux Bonopera, Gerardo Chavez-Maza, Elisabeth Del Prete, Cédric Fauq, Umay Mammadzada and Cristina Vasilescu, as part of the Curating Contemporary Art programme Graduate Projects 2017, Royal College of Art.  

For further information or images please contact Bethany Bull, RCA Press Office on t: +44 (0) 20 7590 4114, e: [email protected], or [email protected] 

Notes to Editors

Curating Contemporary Art Programme (CCA)

Established 25 years ago the MA Curating Contemporary Art (CCA) programme is recognised both as an international leader in its field and for its commitment to collaborative group project-based work that integrates theory and practice throughout the two years of the curriculum. The CCA programme approaches the field critically, theoretically and through best practice in commissioning, curating and programming with London-based and national arts organisations and spaces ensuring that the knowledge and understanding of these practices is grounded in the context of public audiences, urbanisation and the digital. CCA is part of the RCA’s School of Humanities, led by Professor Victoria Walsh. This year’s graduate project course has been led by Kelly Large, Tutor in Curatorial Practice. For information about joining the CCA programme and updates on Open Days visit:

The Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art is the world’s leading university of art and design, placed at Number One in the 2015 and 2016 QS World University Rankings. Specialising in teaching and research, the RCA offers the degrees of MA, MRes, MPhil, and PhD across the disciplines of applied art, fine art, design, communications and humanities. There are over 1,500 Master’s and doctoral students and more than 1,000 professionals interacting with them – including scholars, art and design practitioners, along with specialists, advisers and distinguished visitors.