Guest Lectures

Rose English: From the embodied object to the charmed arena

  • 11.00 - 13.00
  • 07 Dec 2022
  • Leeds School of Arts, School of Arts Building Cinema
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Rose English: From the embodied object to the charmed arena
Leeds School of Arts presents Rose English in conversation with Dr Kiff Bamford, offering an insight into Rose’s five decades of collaborative creative practice.

Leeds School of Arts presents Rose English in conversation with Dr Kiff Bamford. From the embodied object to the charmed arena will give us the opportunity to hear Rose English speak about a cross section of work from her diverse, interdisciplinary practice. With a particular focus on the role of collaborations – with others and with specific materials – this in-conversation event crosses time to catch both playful early experiments with ceramics, and more recent work with glass and acrobatics.

Rose has carved a unique place for her work through her formal innovations. For example, her theatrical trilogy engages with questions of staging, on the traditional stage, but also asks important questions beyond the boundaries of a particular discipline. 

From A Divertissement (1973) to Lost in Music (1995-ongoing) we glimpse an insight into five decades of collaborative creative practice.  Rose is an alumna of Fine Art at what was then the newly created Leeds Polytechnic, now Leeds Beckett University.  

The mission of our prestigious INSIDE/OUT series of lectures is to bring the best minds of our generation to inspire and support the work students and staff do across the Leeds School of Arts. To this end, we have flown in renowned speakers from around the globe. To enhance the cultural life of Leeds, we make the lecture series open to the general public and available to an international audience online.

Lectures will be available as digital films through the LARC website and open to all.

Rose English emerged from the Conceptual art, dance and feminist scenes of 1970’s Britain to become one of the most influential performance artists working today. Her uniquely interdisciplinary work combines elements of theatre, circus, opera and poetry to explore themes of gender politics, the identity of the performer and the metaphysics of presence.

English has mounted performances in ice rinks; at the Royal Court Theatre and Tate Britain, London and Franklin Furnace, New York; and collaborated with horses, magicians and acrobats. Her work ranges from her site-specific collaborations of the 1970s, her acclaimed solo performances of the 1980s to her large-scale spectaculars of the 1990s.

Her recent solo exhibitions include The Eros of Understanding, 2014 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, A Premonition of the Act, 2015 at Camden Arts Centre, London and Form, Feminism, Femininities, 2019 at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London.

Her awards include the Wingate Scholarship and the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists.

Dr Kiff Bamford is Reader in Contemporary Art at Leeds Beckett University, with research interests in Performance art and Continental Philosophy. He has published widely on the work of French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard with a focus on the inter-relationship between Art and Philosophy.

Monographs include: 'Jean-François Lyotard: Critical Lives' (Reaktion, 2017) and  'Lyotard and the figural in Performance, Art and Writing' (Continuum, 2012). Bamford edited and introduced the collection 'Jean-François Lyotard: The Interviews and Debates' (Bloomsbury, 2020). In press is a translation of Lyotard’s 1991 work ‘Lectures d’enfance’, which Bamford has co-edited with Prof. Robert Harvey (Stony Brook, New York) under the title 'Readings In Infancy’ (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

A current project, which aims to debate and demonstrate Lyotard’s continued relevance to the arts and humanities, is the collection ‘Lyotard and Critical Practice’ (Bloomsbury, forthcoming). Co-edited with Margret Grebowicz (University of Silesia, Katowice) this volume will include the work of thirteen scholars, writers and artists together with translations of essays and an interview by Lyotard.

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