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Make Your Own Art World symposium, OSR Projects. Photo: Julie McCalden
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Dissatisfied with the art world? Then build your own

Build Your Own Art World was a one-day seminar at OSR Projects in Somerset that considered what it means to be artist-led and if there is an alternative to a global gallery system. For Julie McCalden, it highlighted the need for artists to resist the behaviours the art world encourages them to adopt.

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Edmund Clark, 'In Place of Hate' exhibition, installation view, Ikon Gallery, 2017. Photo: Handover Agency
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The art of incarceration: representation and rehabilitation in UK prisons

With reference to Edmund Clark’s current Ikon Gallery exhibition ‘In Place of Hate’ – the result of three years as artist in residence at the therapeutic prison HMP Grendon – a recent symposium in Birmingham explored the role of art and its use as a rehabilitative tool. After a day of talks and presentations, Carrie Foulkes finds her belief in socially-engaged practice reaffirmed.

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a-n Research
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a-n Research: a focus on education

a-n Research editor Dany Louise highlights content that focuses on education in schools and universities in our growing, free-to-view index of visual arts cultural policy and strategy documents.

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A self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh with a bandaged ear. On display at The Courtauld Institute, London.  Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (
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Artists and mental health: depression is neither romantic nor inevitable

Do the pressures of being an artist, with the precariousness of funding, the demands of unrealistic deadlines and the need to be seen to succeed and deliver consistently, make talking about depression and mental health tantamount to career suicide? Artist and writer Alistair Gentry, who has suffered with depression since a teenager, thinks the answer is ‘Yes’ – but that the issue is too important to keep quiet about.

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Where do we go from here?RedBoard by RCA, artist: Larissa Monterio .Photo: Paul Collinson
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Hull and the 2017 City of Culture legacy: where do local artists go from here?

Writing for a-n News in August 2016, Hull-based artist Paul Collinson called on the City of Culture legacy team to “set foot outside their fortress and talk to those who will be left behind to carry on the good work”. Now, after the city’s high-profile year of cultural activity, he looks back over the year and asks, “Where next?”

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Image courtesy of We Are Not Surprised (
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We are not surprised: open letter on sexual harassment in the art world

In response to recent allegations of sexual harassment within the art world and the resignation of Artforum co-publisher Knight Landesman, an open letter has been published by ‘art world workers’ calling for an end to silence around the issue and a renewed effort by individuals and institutions to deal with what it describes as ‘an environment of acceptance and complicity’. Here, we republish the letter in full.

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Claudia Rankine, 2016 MacArthur Fellow, New York, New York, September 7, 2016. Photo: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC-BY
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Claudia Rankine’s The White Card: life-affirming response to ‘Black Death Spectacle’

To coincide with Soul of a Nation at Tate Modern, US writer Claudia Rankine presented a reading from her new play, which explores racism in the art world and beyond. Sonya Dyer found it a powerful vehicle for exploring the intersections of capitalism, race, empathy and resistance – particularly in light of the Dana Schutz Whitney Biennial controversy and a renewed focus on depictions of the Black body.

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Alistair Gentry wearing an 'artist's costume' for Venice Agendas: The Contract commission. Courtesy: Alistair Gentry
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Working for free: what’s to like?

Artists are often asked to work for free in return for exposure via social media likes and audience praise, so for a recent commission (paid) Alistair Gentry decided to walk around Folkestone dressed in a cliched ‘artist’s costume’ asking other types of worker if they’d do the same. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they weren’t particularly keen.

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Katriona Beales, Are We All Addicts Now?, installation view, Furtherfield Gallery, London. Photo: Pau Ros; Courtesy: the artist and Furtherfield
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Ethics, art and technology: the need for a human-centred approach

At a recent symposium in London, academics, technologists, artists and film makers gathered to discuss the politics and ethics of art technology. Artist and writer Alistair Gentry attended and was struck by the need for a much closer relationship between the tech and ethical tendencies in this ongoing and vitally important debate.

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Protestors outside Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, on 23 October 2016. Photo: Chris Sharratt
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Ugly rumours: why Edinburgh’s Inverleith House has yet to be ‘saved’

When Inverleith House closed to the public last year, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh said it no longer intended to use it as a gallery for contemporary art. Now, as it hosts its first exhibition since the closure, Regius Keeper Simon Milne has said reports of its demise were just a “rumour”. Neil Cooper takes issue with this rewriting of history and cautions that the fight to truly save this renowned Scottish art gallery is far from over.

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1 Shanthi Road, Bangalore, artist residency space. L-R: Maurice Carlin, Clore Fellow; Suresh Jayaram, artist and founder-director 1 Shanthi Road; Jerrel Jackson, Clore Fellow; Archana Prasad, Clore Fellow and founder of Jaaga.  Courtesy: Maurice Carlin
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Platforms for change: what do artists really want from arts organisations?

The UK has the most highly developed arts infrastructure in the world. But, asks 2016-17 Clore Visual Artist Fellow Maurice Carlin in the first of two short provocations, imagine if it all disappeared overnight. Would it make a difference to your career? Would you still make art? And what do we want this infrastructure to do?

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Banu Cennetoğlu, BEINGSAFEISSCARY, 2017, various materials, Friedrichsplatz, Kassel, Documenta 14. Photo: Roman März
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Conserving contemporary art: practice, theory and the Documenta institute

In the midst of a growth in performative and participatory art at international art biennials, Documenta recently confirmed the site of a new permanent institute in Kassel. Inspired by an academic conference on conserving contemporary art, Laura Harris assesses the challenges the institute faces in a climate where the experiential is increasingly taking precedence over the art object.

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