Museum Debate:

Traces of the Body, Remnants of the Voice: Curating and Commissioning Performance Art in Contemporary Spaces

Organised by the 鶹Ƶ’s MA Curating the Art Museum cohort, this event is part of a series of talks accompanying Good Morning, Midnight, on view at the 鶹Ƶ Gallery from 25 May to 7 July 2024. The exhibition brings together Post-Impressionist works from the 鶹Ƶ’s collection with contemporary art in the David and Indrė Roberts Collection in a first-time collaboration between the Roberts Institute of Art and the 鶹Ƶ Gallery.

Performance is a defining theme that runs throughout Good Morning, Midnight. From the screen to the stage, many works explore entertainment, spectacle and voyeurism. This panel expands upon the theme of performance, considering the complexities of curating and commissioning performance art today. Curators Rose Lejeune and Erin Li bring to the panel expertise in curating live arts both within and outside institutional spaces, pushing the boundaries and expectations of contemporary art. The panel will also feature curator Ned McConnell and artist Prem Sahib, whose work, User_01 (2016), is exhibited as part of Good Morning, Midnight. The pair will discuss Sahib’s recent performance piece, Alleus, curated by McConnell, allowing deeper insight into how and why artists adopt performance practices to address certain themes and topics. The panel will be moderated by Dr Catherine Grant, Reader in Modern and Contemporary Art at The 鶹Ƶ.

Organised by The 鶹Ƶ’s MA Curating the Art Museum 2023/24 cohort.

This event has passed.

10 Jun 2024

18:00 - 19:30

Free, booking essential

Vernon Square campus, Lecture Theatre 2

This event takes place at our Vernon Square campus (WC1X 9EW)


Museum Debates


Catherine Grant is Reader in Modern and Contemporary Art at The 鶹Ƶ. She is the author of A Time of One’s Own: histories of feminism in contemporary art (2022), and co-editor of Fandom as Methodology (2019), Creative Writing and Art History (2012), and the questionnaire on “Decolonizing Art History”, Art History, 2020. She is a co-lead of two research networks: “Group Work: Feminism and Contemporary Art” and “Animating Archives”.

Erin Li ‘s recent curatorial practice centres around liveness, from street dance and live art, live culture in fermentation, to transforming everyday relations, processes and emotions into interdisciplinary art projects. She is currently Curator at Delfina Foundation. She was previously Asymmetry Curatorial Fellow at Whitechapel Gallery and a resident at Delfina Foundation. Erin has also worked as Associate Curator at Tai Kwun Contemporary (Hong Kong), Art Manager at Duddell’s (Hong Kong and London) and Project Researcher and Development Coordinator at Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong). She is a member of AICA and her articles have appeared in Artforum and ArtReview.

Rose Lejeune is an independent curator based in London. In 2019 she founded Performance Exchange, a United Kingdom–wide program that works with commercial galleries and has established a network of museums to present and acquire performance works. She is also Curator for Delfina Foundation’s Collecting as Practice, which engages with both historical museums and the future of collection development in a global context, and Co-Curator of the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, 2024. Currently, she is finishing a PhD in curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London, focusing on the institutionalisation and marketisation of performance art.

Prem Sahib The work of Prem Sahib embodies a poetic and provocative “destabilised minimalism”, referencing the architecture of public and private spaces, structures that shape individual and communal identities, senses of belonging, alienation and confinement. Mixing the personal and political, abstraction and figuration, Sahib’s formalism is suggestive of the body as well as its absence, drawing attention to traces of touch and frameworks of looking.

Ned McConnell is a curator and writer. He is curator at the Roberts Institute of Art where he commissions performances, develops exhibitions and delivers the RIA Residency alongside other public programmes in relation to the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. He is a writer for Art Monthly and has written variously for other publications. He has also written various catalogue texts including for Ryan Gander’s exhibition The Rates of Change at Space K, South Korea in 2021; Flesh Arranges Itself Differently at The Hunterian, Glasgow in 2022; and Deep Horizons at MIMA in 2023.

Alleus (2024), Prem Sahib. Commissioned by Somerset House Studios and the Roberts Institute of Art. Photo: Anne Tetzlaff
Alleus (2024), Prem Sahib. Commissioned by Somerset House Studios and the Roberts Institute of Art. Photo: Anne Tetzlaff