12 Sep 2010

Keynote lectures at the AHM symposium

As September flies by, AHM and the other keynote speakers are preparing their lectures for the symposium on 9th October. Here is a little information about what they will be talking about...

Phillip Schlesinger

As an expert on cultural policy Phillip will set the cultural, political and economic context in which artists, and the visual arts in general, will have to operate today and in the immediate future. What are the real challenges and how can they be met.

NB This keynote lecture will inform all three of the planned symposia by AHM.

Christine Borland

Christine will present a personal view, in terms of her own practice, of what it is to be an artist in today’s rapidly changing world. What are the implications of the change from the Scottish Arts Council to Creative Scotland. Does this change matter? How might the economic situation affect artists and art practice?

Neil Mulholland

Much of what is written about contemporary art could be described more as reportage. While critics do include element of critique in their reviews of art and exhibitions Neil will ask questions about the lack of an overarching critique or as he puts it , a generative critique. How can this be constructed – where and how would it exist?


If the recent past is anything to go by, our future as a society is going to be as much influenced by our artists as it is by our politicians. That is something to be welcomed and celebrated.

However, we need to ask not only who speaks for the arts, but how we speak of art and what it speaks about. How can we develop the institutions and infrastructure to best support our artistic and cultural imagination? And how can we challenge, imagine and dream of a very different kind of society and values to the orthodoxy of the past few decades? That is something worthy of a genuine ‘national conversation’, one that involves the arts, and all of us. Post - devolution and official Scotland has put art and culture centre stage, but how well do they understand what they are supposedly championing?

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