The Elephant in the Room? Talks and Screenings on Social Inequality, Meritocracy and Art

Join ArtReview contributors Stewart Home, Laura Oldfield Ford and Mike Watson at the Royal College of Art and Open School East on 10–11 December, for a series of events addressing the social inequalities in the artworld – free to attend

Curator and ArtReview contributor Mike Watson is organising (with co-curators Dorian Batycka and Seemab Gul') a two-day series of talks, screenings and performances at the Royal College of Art and Open School East to address ‘The Elephant in the Room’, ie the issue of social inequalities in the artworld. The event ultimately pivots around the question of whether a new ‘universal class’ can be formed from an alliance of disaffected and underprivileged workers, students and unemployed people from across the social spectrum? What role would art play in bringing about a class consciousness?

10 December – at Open School East

43 De Beauvoir Rd, London N1 5SQ

6.30–9.30: Films (in order of screening) and talks from Ralph Dorey, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, followed by drinks from 9 to 10pm

Echo by Fiamma Montezemolo (2014, Spanish with English subtitles, 39 minutes), an experimental ethnographic research and video essay on the afterlife and echoes of nine artworks that helps identify the role of the artist in tackling socio-economic issues.

POV by Alessandro Rolandi (2011, 15 minutes), considers the politics of looking, seeing and being in the world in a film that represents a commonplace and domesticated still life.

Et in arcadia ego by Channa Boon (2015, 30 minutes) explores on the heritage of Stalin’s totalitarian power as it follows a game of chess played by two residents of Odessa, Ukraine, sitting near the city’s Arcadia Beach.

In the Red by Oliver Ressler and Ana Pecar (2014, 20 minutes), a film about the Strike Debt group, an offshoot organisation of Occupy Wall Street in New York City who initiate several activities to expose hidden mechanisms of financial capitalism.

11 December – at the RCA

Gorvy Lecture Theatre - RCA Dyson Building - 1 Hester Road - Battersea - SW11 4AN

Two panel discussions and a screening:

6:45–7:25: Social Class and the Art World
Mark McGowan (aka The Artist Taxi Driver), Laura Oldfield Ford, Ana Pecar, Andrew Cooper and Eric Ogbogbo (RCG), and Nadir Letang Cushnie.

7.25 – 8pm: Art and Transformational Possibilities
Stewart Home, Chris Knight, Chardine-Taylor Stone, and Alexei Penzin.

8pm: screening of The Excluded. In a Moment of Danger (2014) by collective Chto Delat?

You can rsvp on the facebook event.

8 December 2015.