Visual & Material Culture Research Centre

Researchers focus on the histories, practices and theories of art, design, film and performance. They work across a broad range of modern and contemporary visual and material cultures, predominantly in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Japan.

Researchers use a range of disciplinary methodologies. They engage individually and collaboratively with cultures of writing, display, performance, and curating; and collaborate with various institutions, organisations, archives and collections.

Research in the Centre has five interweaving strands:
• Alternative Modernities, Transnational Encounters and Networks
• Mobilisation of Archives and Collections: publication, exhibition, film and digital platforms
• Sites of Material and Immaterial Heritage
• Forms of Intervention in Social Practice: art and cultural activism
• An Expanded Visual Culture: histories, theories and practices of urban culture, performance, film and photography

The Centre regularly organises conferences, symposia and public events. It collaborates with partners including The Estorick Collection, the ICA, Whitechapel Gallery, and Tate in London; the Berlin Free University, and with Tokyo Keio University. The Centre currently has 25+ PhD researchers and frequently hosts visiting postgraduate researchers and international scholars.

Collaborative research on Dora Gordine, funded by the AHRC, Heritage Lottery, the Henry Moore Foundation and Paul Mellon Foundation, established the significance of her contribution to 20th century art, design and architecture, and to the wider cultural and political arena of Europe and Empire. In 2009, the first retrospective exhibition of Gordine’s work was held at Dorich House Museum and Kingston Museum, and in 2012 travelled to the Adamson Eric Museum, in Tallinn, Estonia. Publications include Dora Gordine, Sculptor, Artist, Designer (2007, Philip Wilson), Subtlety and Strength: The Drawings of Dora Gordine (2009, Philip Wilson) and Embracing the Exotic: Jacob Epstein & Dora Gordine (2009, eds. MacDougall and Dickson). Ongoing research focuses on Gordine’s networks, and émigré artists in Britain and Singapore.

Co-Directors: Professor Fran Lloyd and Professor Stephen Barber


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