Posts from March 2011

Representing Communism seminar

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Dr Amy Jane Barnes
‘Representing Communism: exhibitions of revolutionary Chinese art in 1970s Britain’
Tuesday 5th April, 2011, 4.00–6.00 pm
Westminster Forum, University of Westminster, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T

In 1972, President Richard Nixon visited China, facilitating a period of rapprochement between East and West, which corresponded with a discernable shift in popular attitudes towards the People’s Republic and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in both North America and Western Europe. This presentation looks at the development and reception of two exhibitions of Chinese revolutionary art held in Britain as a direct result of the renewal of Sino-British diplomatic relations in 1971-1972: a small display of woodblock prints held at the Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art, Durham, in the summer of 1974 and Peasant Paintings from Hu County (Arts Council), which toured Britain in 1976-1977. The presentation will focus on how utopian visions of the People’s Republic were translated into, and consolidated by exhibitionary practice.

Amy Jane Barnes completed her PhD in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester in 2010. She is currently working as an independent researcher, undertaking projects on behalf of the Eunamus project (, and New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester. She recently co-edited National Museums: New Studies from Around the World (2011), and the forthcoming volume The Thing about Museums: Objects and Experience, Representation and Contestation.

Hosted by ur friends in the Contemporary China Centre. All welcome. Participants from outside the University of Westminster please register in advance with Dr Derek Hird at

Home and Away: Group for War and Culture Studies

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On the evening of Wednesday 30th March, our colleagues in the Group for War and Culture Studies at University of Westminster are organizing the following event, and you’re invited:

Home and Away
Wednesday 30th March 2011, 6pm – 8pm, Room 412
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Dr Marian Malet: “Refugees’ Influence on Visual Culture in 1930s Britain”
Called ‘Hitler’s gift to Britain’, artist refugees who came to Britain in the 1930s contributed enormously to British culture over the years – whenever they were permitted to do so. This talk will look at a few instances of their artworks and artefacts, drawn from photography, magazines, book design, pottery and architecture. First appearing to be a part of the ‘British’ fabric of life, these had their origins with refugees who found a temporary or new life here.

Marian Malet works at the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, School of Advanced Study.

Htein Lin on ‘Constrained Art’
Htein Lin will talk about his artistic practice and life experience. Having been a comedian and actor, Htein Lin is a Burmese artist who works with painting, installation, and performance.  From 1998 to 2004, he was in jail for political reasons. There he developed his artistic practice: in the absence of traditional art material, he used items available to him like bowls and cigarette to make paintings and mono-prints on the cotton prison uniform.

Htein Lin has been living in London since 2006. He regularly participates in exhibitions and performance art festivals internationally.  He is a founding member of the Burmese Language Arts website to which he contributes literature and artistic criticism. In 2010, he curated the first Burmese Arts Festival in London.

Dr Kay Chadwick: “Impact and Environment: Philippe Henriot’s Radio Propaganda in 1944”
Philippe Henriot was one of the most powerful personalities in WWII France. Appointed as Vichy’s Secretary of State for Information and Propaganda in January 1944, his subsequent broadcasting endeavours substantially changed the nature of the “battle of the airwaves” with the Free French abroad. This paper explores the ways in which Henriot’s propaganda fed off the environment of endgame Vichy, and considers its impact on public opinion in the final, fraught months of the Occupation.

Kay Chadwick is Senior Lecturer in French in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies at the University of Liverpool. She is currently working on a project funded by the AHRC and the British Academy to produce the first critical edition of Philippe Henriot’s radio broadcasts in 1944.

Entrance free. R.S.V.P. Caroline Perret, tel. 020-7911-5000 ext 2307, or e-mail

The Fitzrovia Intervention Art Trail (26th March – 16th April 2011)

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Art group ‘Fitzrovia Noir’ are organizing the Fitzrovia Intervention Art Trail.

It is Fitzrovia Noir’s wish to bring contemporary independent art practice to a wider audience in Fitzrovia, and they will be placing original artwork in 20-25 local shops and businesses for a period of 3 weeks in Spring 2011. We at the Institute are thrilled that our Wells Street location is on the trail.

Please see for further details of the trail, dates of artist-led guided tours, etc. Further details on Fitzrovia Noir here.

Rorschach Audio On The Road

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Following the success of the ‘Rorschach Audio’ talk at The University of Westminster, and sound installation at Usurp Gallery, a quick notification of two more forthcoming events on Disinformation’s travels…

Wednesday 30th March 2011: Joe Banks is providing a ‘Rorschach Audio’ soundtrack for painter Makiko Nagaya’s drawing performance at the Superhybrid Dada event organised by curator Peter Lewis in Leeds.

Wednesday 13th April 2011: a ‘Rorschach Audio’ lecture features in the Living Room festival organised by University of Auckland, Gus Fisher Art Gallery curator Andrew Clifford in New Zealand, to accompany the National Grid sound installation that will be exhibited there.

Representation of Financial Crises seminar

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Wednesday 23rd March 2011, 1.15-2.30pm
Room 106, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Paul Crosthwaite (Cardiff University)
“Like a Flood or an Earthquake: Trauma and the Representation of Financial Crises”

Further details on the English Literature and Culture research seminar series here.

No Room to Move

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No Room to Move: Radical Art and the Regenerate City
Tuesday 15th March, 2 – 4pm
Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, 32 Wells Street, London W1T

As part of the ‘Interpreting Space’ module on our MA programmes, members of the Mute team, Josephine Berry Slater and Anthony Iles, will be visiting Westminster to talk about their co-edited collection No Room to Move: Radical art and the Regenerate City (Mute 2011), and the kinds of issues they were attempting to address. This will be followed by questions from students on the module.