Dr. Rob La Frenais – Guest Lecture

We have the pleasure of having contemporary art curator Dr. Rob La Frenais as our guest speaker in the upcoming colloquium session which will be on the 5th of November. Rob will be introducing some of the projects that he has worked on, and talk about the nitty gritty production side of things. The venue is as usual, on the 6/F, in the Future Cinema, and will begin at 5:00pm.

Rob La Frenais Poster


Dr Rob La Frenais has been a contemporary art curator for 26 years, working internationally and creatively with artists entirely on original commissions. He believes in being directly engaged with the artist’s working process as far as possible, while actively widening the context within which the artist can work.

He has worked closely with artists such as James Turrell, Marina Abramovic, Isaac Julien, Cornelia Parker, Mona Hatoum, Stelarc, Steve Kurtz, Aleksandra Mir, Ashok Sukumaran, Marko Pelijhan and Tomas Saraceno as well as many other established and emerging artists, working for European Cities of Culture in Glasgow and Madrid, directing the Belluard-Bollwerk Festival in Switzerland and curating a major programme ‘The Incident’, featuring James Turrell and others, for the ICA in London in 1996.

For the last 16 years he has been based at The Arts Catalyst, a UK Arts Council National Portfolio organisation in London, where, along with director Nicola Triscott he has developed an ambitious artistic programme and built up an unparalleled creative team which has been responsible for some of the most innovative exhibitions and events, based on interactions between art and science, in the world. He has recently given keynote lectures and chaired panels at the Museum of Image and Sound, Sao Paulo, Tate Britain, Centre Pompidou, Metz, The Exploratorium, San Francisco, Sabanci University Istanbul, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Laboratoria Al Almeda Mexico City, Edinburgh University, Nottingham Contemporary, ISEA 20111 and 2012. As well as producing site-based works, The Arts Catalyst collaborates with institutions such as the European Space Agency, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, Tate Britain and the Roundhouse. His most recent exhibition with the Arts Catalyst, Republic of the Moon opened this year in Liverpool and is now touring internationally. He was given an honorary Doctorate by Dartington College of Art in 2005 and in 2006 completed a practice- based Phd at Brunel University on issues around curating.

Before become a curator in 1987 he founded and edited the influential contemporary cultural journal Performance Magazine in 1979, editing and writing criticism internationally during the eighties. He spent most of the seventies as an artist carrying a Sony portapak, editing with early video technology and working in community contexts with the group Action Space. As well as showing his work in The Video Show at the Serpentine he also showed at De Appel in Amsterdam and the Akademie De Kunste in Berlin. He shot the first use of police riot shields in the UK during the eviction of Huntley Street, later used in early pop videos by the group Crass.

He was also the first curator ever to experience zero gravity, with a group of artists, at Star City in Moscow in 1999 and went on, with the Arts Catalyst to enable around 50 artists (and scientists) to work in an environment previously only experienced by astronauts and space scientists.



So yes! Come! And if you would like to learn more about Rob or The Arts Catalyst, check out his page on their webspace here!

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