Vandalism and Art
Panel Discussion around Simon & Tom Bloor's RESIDENCY WORKS hosted by South London Gallery

22 July 2014 | 7pm | Clore Studio, South London Gallery | Tickets from £3

Taking as its starting point the works produced by Simon & Tom Bloor during their recent residency at Flat Time House, artist Nils Norman, curator Jes Fernie and art historian Richard Clay will discuss the interrelation of creation and destruction, with particular reference to art's relationship to public space and the urban environment. The discussion will be chaired by Jo Melvin.

Photographs courtesy Simon & Tom Bloor (Vandalism and Art 0)

Photographs courtesy Simon & Tom Bloor

Whether it's a historical view of political vandalism, an account of the multiple reasons why an artwork is destroyed, or the destructive creation of adventure play, this discussion considers how artists might incorporate and appropriate acts of destruction and vandalism and how those acts can be views as extreme abstraction or performance.

This event coincides with Simon & Tom Bloor's current exhibition, Residency Works at Flat Time House, where they took as their starting point the maligning, vandalisation and eventual removal of Barry Flanagan's 1972 Cambridge Piece, and also draws on ideas of urban play and utopian pursuit explored in their 2011 exhibition at South London Gallery, Happy Habitat Revisited. Their new works have built a sculptural vocabulary of bollards, paving slabs and road markings that play with the formal and physical properties of the built environment.

This event is hosted by South London Gallery. Book tickets via the SLG website or call 020 7703 6120.

Jes Fernie is an independent curator and writer based in Colchester, East Anglia. She works with artists, curators and architects on public programmes, commissioning schemes and residency projects across the UK. Working primarily beyond gallery walls, she is interested in an expansive idea of contemporary artistic practice, which encompasses dialogue, research, engagement and serendipity.

She is Associate Curator, Public Programmes at firstsite in Colchester and has worked with organisations including Tate, Peer, Serpentine Gallery and the RCA. Information about her research project DESTRUCTION can be found at

 (Vandalism and Art 3)

Nils Norman works across the disciplines of art, architecture and urban planning, challenging notions of the function of public art and the efficacy of mainstream planning and regeneration. Informed by local politics, play and alternative ecological and economic systems, Norman’s work merges utopian alternatives with current urban design orthodoxies to create a humorous critique of the discrete histories and functions of public art and public space.

Norman is a Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and Design, Copenhagen

Richard Clay is an art historian and broadcaster, having recently presented BBC Four's The French Revolution: Tearing Up History. His research is focused on 18th and 19th century French and British visual cultures, with an emphasis on vandalism and iconoclasm, though also maintains an interest in Birmingham’s suburbs (1880-1960).

He gained his PhD from UCL in 1999 and held a Henry Moore Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, and has been based at the University of Birmingham since 2002.

Jo Melvin has been investigating the interconnections between the archives of artists’, critics, museums, galleries and magazines from the 1960s to the present day since the early 90s. She is currently working on the catalogue raisonné of the sculptor Barry Flanagan and is preparing exhibitions for Flat Time House in 2014 and Raven Row in 2015.

She is a Reader in Archives and Special Collections at University of the Arts London and a trustee of Flat Time House and the Barry Flanagan Foundation.