Past Events

Art is Not an Island: on Interdependence and Complicity

Lecture – Kathrin Böhm, Rachel Grant, Hammad Nasar, Sam Trotman

  • 9 October 2021
  • 2:30 – 3:45 pm
  • A conversation presented as part of British Art Show 9 in Aberdeen.
  • Online

A talk and conversation with British Art Show 9 artist Kathrin Böhm; Sam Trotman, Director of Scottish Sculpture Workshop; Rachel Grant, Curator of Fertile Ground; and Hammad Nasar, co-curator of British Art Show 9.

Held on the occasion of British Art Show 9 in Aberdeen, this event forms part of Kathrin Böhm’s work for the exhibition, which questions how art and culture both depend on and shape the economy we live in. The panel will discuss diverse economies, local culture, the dominance of oil and art’s possible contribution to systemic change.

The panel members will speak about the context of Aberdeen, bringing a wide range of perspectives that connect curatorial, political, activist and organisational knowledge. The conversation will cover:

  • How do important local economies underpin and shape local culture?
  • Where and how can a new practice of acknowledging complicity take place, whilst also shifting away from extractive and destructive economies?
  • Can the concept of interdependence offer a practical and theoretical approach?
  • How can new approaches create lasting support systems?

British Art Show 9 is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition presented in collaboration with the cities of Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth, and is curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar.

In partnership with:

About the speakers

  • Kathrin Böhm is a London-based artist, currently participating in British Art Show 9. Working internationally, her practice focuses on the collective re-production of public space; economy as public realm; and the everyday as a starting point for culture.

    In 2020 Böhm stopped starting new projects and is currently composting what she has produced at The Showroom London, in order to make fertiliser for evolving long-term infrastructures Company Drinks; The Centre for Plausible Economies; and the Rural School of Economics together with Myvillages,  which include partnerships with the Scottish Sculpture Workshop; the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; and ruangrupa’s ruruHaus in Kassel, Germany. 

  • Rachel Grant is a freelance curator based in Aberdeen in the North East of Scotland and operates through Fertile Ground, a critical platform for her practice. Fertile Ground develops curatorial projects that take a context-specific and interdisciplinary approach. The primary focus is on new commissions of work and projects often take place outside of arts spaces.

    From 2019 to 2020 Rachel was Shadow Curator for the Curatorial Fellowship alongside curator Naoko Mabon, supported by Peacock Visual Arts. Recent projects include Paradigms, an exhibition of work by emerging artists in Aberdeen and Plymouth. Recent work includes the public programme Where do we go from here? supported by Look Again (2021), CRUDE an exhibition and public programme exploring complex relationships to crude oil (2021), Imagining St Fittick’s (2021), Speculative Fiction: Practicing Collectively (2020) and States of Living: Architecture, Objects, Body (2020).

  • Hammad Nasar is a London-based curator, researcher and strategic advisor. He is co-curator (with Irene Aristizábal) of British Art Show 9 and is Lead Curator at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum for Coventry’s City of Culture programme, where his responsibilities include curating the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition. He is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, where he co-leads (with Sarah Victoria Turner) the London, Asia project. He is also Principal Research Fellow at the Decolonising Arts Institute, UAL where he is developing the ‘Curating Nation’ research project.

    He was the inaugural Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London (2018–19); Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2012–16); and, co-founded (with Anita Dawood) the pioneering hybrid arts organisation, Green Cardamom, London (2004–12). Previously he worked in financial services (KPMG and ANZ), management consulting (Booz Allen Hamilton), and was Chief Marketing Officer of the Swiss investment analytics company, Brainpower.

    Known for collaborative, research-driven and exhibition-led inquiry, he has curated numerous exhibitions internationally, including: Structures of Meaning | Architectures of Perception (2018–19) as guest curator for Abu Dhabi Art; Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition (2018–19) at Manchester Art Gallery; Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play – the UAE’s national pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); 15 Invitations for 15 Years (2015–16) at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (2005–13) at multiple locations in Pakistan, the UAE, UK and US.

  • Sam Trotman is a producer with eighteen years of experience supporting artists and communities develop collective methods for creating social and environmental change. She is the Director of Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and prior to this she set up and ran the Education Department at Artsadmin, London (2007–2017).

    International collaboration has been central to her work for many years. Most recently Sam has been part of a European research and development project exploring fairer governance models for the arts where she co-developed Governance of the Possible.

    Sam volunteers for a number of organisations including; Fierce, an international festival of queer performance in Birmingham, where she was co-chair of the board from 2014 to 2019; on the steering group for Counterflows festival in Glasgow from 2019 onwards; at her local school parent council; and as part of numerous social justice movements over the past fifteen years. She is currently on maternity leave from SSW following the birth of her second child.