Wide Open School

How do you fancy recreating a cultural gathering from the Six Dynasties era in China? Or learning about Method Acting with Gillian Wearing? Perhaps exploring LGBT homemaking with designer Fritz Haeg might be more up your street?

Bob and Roberta Smith I'm in Charge (sign for Hayward Gallery in 2010)
Bob and Roberta Smith I’m in Charge (sign for Hayward Gallery in 2010)

For a month this summer London’s Hayward Gallery on the Southbank will be transformed into a Wide Open School- an extensive programme of events, talks and workshops led by a cast  of more than 80 different artists and designers from over 40 different countries.

Part of the centre’s Festival of the World programme, organised to run concurrently to the Olympics, Wide Open School aims to serve as a forum in which where artists choose a subject they are passionately interested in and lead seminars, workshops, collaborative projects, lectures and performances.

Mark Leckey
Mark Leckey

Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery, says, ‘Wide Open School provides a platform for people to engage directly with artists from all over the world, and to actively participate in courses whose subjects are often off the radar of conventional institutions.

‘This is a school fuelled by the imaginations of an extraordinary group of artists and ultimately it offers a chance not only to engage with the things that artists are passionately interested in, but also to learn about different ways of thinking, questioning and working.’

Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre.

Source: Copyright Morley von Sternberg

Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre.

One of the many highlights looks set to be the Fritz Haeg Sundown Schoolhouse of queer Home Economics – a series relating to GLBT homemaking, inspired by the program of ‘home economics’ developed in the 19th century to educate young women in domestic duties.

Elsewhere physicist-turned-artist Tobias Putrih will be running a two-day course entitled Disappearing as Design Strategy, examining ‘the techniques and philosophical resonances of camouflage.’, according to the Hayward.

Michael Landy drawing

Another rather interesting course will be held by Mark Allen, in his make-your-own-lie-detector workshop. Allen is founder and director of the Los Angeles-based Machine Project organisation and space drawing together designers, makers, architects, artists, scientists, programmers, plant enthusiasts, poets, and gaming nerds, apparently. Watch out, Jeremy Kyle.

Tracey Emin

Source: photo Alexander Newton

Tracey Emin

Another artist merging creativity and science is photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. His class will see him in conversation with Peter Tšršk, Professor in Optics at Imperial College London. The pair will be drawing on examples from the artist’s work, to look at the technical workings of photography at a scientific level.



Wide Open School runs from 11 June – 11 July at The Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road,
 London
 SE1. For more information visit http://www.wideopenschool.com

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