Lecture Series | Palimpsest at La Trobe | Shamin Momin, Jack Becker and Rob Garrett

Arts Mildura, La Trobe University and LUMA | La Trobe University Museum of Art partner to bring to Melbourne three leading international curators all with a long standing interest and commitment to site-specific contemporary art practice. All three speakers are taking part in Mildura Palimpsest Biennale #9, 4-7 October, a biennial visual arts event that invites artists to engage with the cultural and natural environment of the Mildura and Murray Darling region.

Palimpsest is organized by Arts Mildura an independent non-profit organization with full tax deductible gift status. La Trobe University is Arts Mildura’s principle education partner.

October 3rd 6.30pm, State Library of Victoria, Seminar Room 1

Shamim Momin | An introduction to L.A.N.D. (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)

Shamim Momin is the Director of L.A.N.D (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), a non-profit public art initiative committed to curating site and situation specific contemporary art. She is a leading force in North American contemporary arts and site-specific curatorial practice and a former Curator of the Whitney Biennale. This year Shamim will be curating In/Situ the site-specific arm of Expo-Chicago.

In this lecture Shamim will give an introduction to the establishment, motivations and ideas behind L.A.N.D.. She will also discuss public site specific projects, site and context and what that means in varying ways- including but not limited to the specific use of land outside the gallery.

October 8th 6pm, State Library of Victoria, Seminar Room 1

Jack Becker | The Rise and Rise of Public Art

Jack Becker is the founder and Executive Director of Forecast Public Art, a 35-year-old nonprofit based in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1989, he established an annual grant program for artists exploring the public realm, and founded Public Art Review, an international magazine. Becker leads Forecast’s consulting team, serving a diverse clientele. As an artist with experience in theatre and the visual arts, he applies his creativity and creative problem-solving skills, typically focusing on projects that connect the ideas and energies of artists with the needs and opportunities of communities. Becker received the 2007 Award of Excellence from Americans for the Arts for his contribution to the public art field. He is currently working in partnership with Shanghai University to research and recognize public art projects around the world, including the first International Award for Public Art.

Public art serves as visible evidence of our culture. During the past two decades, the field has exploded. Today, artists around the world are moving beyond simply placing works of art in public places. They are leading collaborative engagements with communities working toward common goals and common good. Indeed public art can rightly be defined as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry. In this lecture Jack will talk about new trends in the field. He will share images and information about programs that have emerged to support research, experimentation and exploration, and lead a dialogue about new ways we can all co-create a sense of pride in the places we call home

Rob Garrett | Invisibility, improbability, empty shoes and insistent communities: temporary public art strategies and cultural citizenship

Rob Garret is a leading international curator of site specific art projects in the public realm. Rob’s current projects include Curator of Narracje Festival, Gdansk, Poland, Nov 2013. Other recent projects include curating “Don’t hold your breath”, the NZ-Australia video art programme for the inaugural Ängelholm International Video Art Festival in Sweden (2012); “Lost in a dream” an international group show at Snake Pit, High Street, Auckland (2012); and guest curator of the NZ Sculpture OnShore sculpture biennial in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

In this lecture, presented directly after Jack Becker, Rob will considers a number of temporary public art projects and strategies for community engagement and aesthetic activism, selected for what they might tell us about our way ahead. Looking ahead necessarily involves us in a dialogue with an historic process of which we are all, already a part. In exploring a burgeoning trend for participatory culture and political activism we will traverse 30 years and touch down in places as diverse as Taksim Square in Istanbul; a watchtower in Treptow, Berlin; the gardens of Venice; bombed and burnt out ruins in Gdalsk, Poland; a storefront in Rogers Park on Chicago’s far north side; a housing estate in London’s Elephant and Castle district; a London battle of the bands; a claustrophobic basement in Sydney; community committees in France; and a wasp nest.