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The Courtauld | Considering Collecting: Collecting the Ephemeral

February 8, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

When we think of art collections, our thoughts often turn to paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, photography, or perhaps to mixed media, collage or found objects. However, there are an increasing number of artworks in the art market which use more complex, ephemeral materials: light, sound, the internet, computer software, digital images and even the body.
The fourth event in the ‘Considering Collecting’ series will focus on the collection of performance art – works which are made using the artist or performer’s body and which often do not leave any material trace once they are finished. While these might seem impossible to collect, museums, corporations and individuals have been doing so for decades, not only through the collection of documents and photographs relating to a performance work, but as artworks which can be activated time and time again. In this event, Rose Lejeune, curator, researcher, and director of ‘Performance Exchange’, will explore some of the history and relationship between performance art, curation, commissioning and the art market, and consider how apparently ephemeral artworks now form an important part of art collections, both public and private, today.
This event is part of the Open Courtauld strand, organised by The Research Forum
Speaker: Rose Lejeune is a curator and researcher with a specific interest in commissioning and collecting context-based, social and performative practices. She has built a reputation for curatorial innovation and in 2020 was named in ArtNet’s Intelligence Report as a “global innovator” for her work on expanding collections.
Rose is the Director of Performance Exchange, an international project working to embed performance within collections. Rose is also the Associate Curator for the Delfina Foundation’s Collecting as Practice programme where she developed the groundbreaking programme that looks at the politics and economics of global collections. In 2021 she is also curating the programme of live art for Abu Dhabi Art and a selection of performance to camera works for LOOP, the video art fair in Barcelona.
Rose’s current curatorial activities have developed following a decade of working with public organisations commission for non-gallery situations in the UK. This includes as Curator at Art on the Underground, and Education Projects Curator at the Serpentine Gallery. Rose holds a BA in Philosophy and Art History, and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art. Finally, Rose is currently a PhD candidate in Curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where her research focuses on curatorial frameworks for performance art in, and out, of the art market.
The Considering Collecting Series:
Collections of art and artefacts can be found everywhere, from major museums and galleries to the lobbies and offices of international businesses to people’s homes. Some collections are made by committee, influenced by trends and investments, while others are driven by personal taste and choice. Decisions about who and what to collect can be made strategically, based on gaps in an existing collection or the increasing value of a type of work, or can be more spontaneous and subjective, dependent on an affinity with an artist, medium, or period.
The six online events in the ‘Considering Collecting’ series explore collecting from different perspectives, lifting the lid on the behind-the-scenes of the art market and the museum sector. The series will cover a broad range of issues including: what motivates people and organisations to collect; the impact of digital technologies on collecting; caring for collections, including documenting, cataloguing, and labelling; how ephemeral artworks can be collected; the historical and contemporary position of women in the world of collecting; and how organisations are working to create more representative art collections.
Supported by Laurence C. Zale Associates, Inc., a visual arts advisory company