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Jon Bird, guest speaker at the symposium

Rob Stone (former Senior Research Fellow, Visual Culture Research Group, Middlesex University, 2004-2011), contributor to the publication


Best Laid Plans: publication and symposium

Best Laid Plans: publication and symposium

11 November 2010 – 30 January 2011

Middlesex University collaborated with The Drawing Room and Tate Modern for the publication and symposium accompanying the exhibition Best Laid Plans, curated by Cylena Simonds.

The exhibition showcased the work of international artists Matei Bejenaru, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Janice Kerbel, Marie Lund, Marjetica Potr?, Katya Sander, Ultra-red.

The artists in this exhibition use different forms of drawing to create models for alternative ways of living in or viewing the modern world. Strategic planning is associated with ‘objective’ graphic forms such as maps, diagrams, graphs, charts and sketches. Turning such a notion on its head, the works in this exhibition explore fantastical scenarios, impossible geographies, new beings and habitats and subtle subversions of life as we know it. The international artists in Best Laid Plans exploit the positive potential of human fallibility and explore it as a force for imagining new forms of organisation and existence.

The Best Laid Plans symposium took place at the Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern, on 12 November 2010. It included performances by Matei Bejenaru (with Will Dutta) in the Turbine Hall and by Marie Lund; conversations between artists Trenton Doyle Hancock, Marjetica Potr?, Paul Rooney, Katya Sander, Ultra-red, and writers/curators Jon Bird (Professor of Art & Critical Theory, Middlesex University), Esther Leslie (Professor in Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck, University of London) and Katharine Stout (Curator, Tate Britain).

The Best Laid Plans publication presents the artists’ projects through statements, images and documents. Edited by Kate Macfarlane. Essays by Kate Macfarlane, Cylena Simonds and Rob Stone expand the conceptual framework of Best Laid Plans and examine the nuances of the artists’ contributions.