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The Penzance Convention
Penzance Convention

The Penzance Convention is a three-day international interdisciplinary meeting of artists, curators, writers, scientists, historians, philosophers and experts from other fields. It builds on the legacy of The Falmouth Convention, held in May 2010, and again opens with daylong field trips led by artists and experts from other fields, followed by conference presentations and debates. It draws on histories specific to the far West of Cornwall, bringing in parallel narratives from other parts of the world and focusing on relationships with place.

The Convention reflects on the theme of extraction, taking as its starting point the social and environmental legacies of Cornwall’s extractive industries—mining, fishing and farming in particular. It takes extraction as a metaphor for the creative process, reflecting on the processes by which artists draw meaning from history and site.

Social historian Iain Boal will give the keynote, comparing Cornwall and the northern California littoral as zones of extraction.

In the range of field trips offered to delegates, experts from Camborne School of Mines will guide visits to ancient and contemporary mine workings and reveal the scientific processes of extraction practised in contemporary mining technology. Artist Hadrian Pigott will investigate the invisible ‘emanations and extractions’ associated with the granite batholith that underlies the South West Peninsula.  Nick Howell, of the Pilchard Factory in Newlyn, will lead a field trip looking at the contemporary fishing industry in Cornwall and FIELDCLUB will unfold a story of land use and food production past and present, examining the balance between extraction and input that is at the heart of the agricultural process. Artist Billy Wynter will lead a coast-to-coast walk from Gurnard’s Head to Penzance in company with local historian Jon Brookes, and Andrew Lanyon will extract creativity in a one-day workshop.

Conference speakers include artists Miroslaw Balka, John Gerrard, Lucy Gunning and Nils Norman, Allen Buckley, author of The Story of Mining in Cornwall, Esther Leslie of Birkbeck College, University of London, author of Synthetic Worlds, Shaun Lewin of the University of Plymouth, philosopher Robin Mackay, editor of the journal Collapse, Kasia Redzisz, Assistant Curator at Tate Modern, Andrea Schlieker, curator of the Folkestone Triennial, 2008 and 2011, Dr Robin Shail of Camborne School of Mines, and Sally Tallant, Artistic Director of  the Liverpool Biennial.

Framing The Penzance Convention and deepening exploration of the theme, The Exchange gallery in Penzance presents a programme of international projected image work, starting with films by Harun Farocki and StefanosTsivopoulos that relate to the mining histories of Potosí, Bolivia and Cartagena, Spain respectively. Following this, guest curators José Roca from Colombia and Daniel Muzyczuk and Agnieszka Pindera from Poland respond to the theme of extraction with two screening programmes: Exploration, Extraction and Market and Sugar in the Air.  Running parallel with these programmes Awen Productions’ Tre Project presents archive film material relating to mining, fishing and farming in Cornwall.

Drawing on the tradition of artists cinema and of low cost alternative art spaces, artist Abigail Reynolds has designed a transformation of The Exchange to present the Extraction: Projection exhibition and to accommodate The Penzance Convention.

The Penzance Convention has been initiated by independent curator Teresa Gleadowe, convenor of the event with artist Hadrian Pigott, in partnership with Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, Penzance. It is funded by Arts Council England South West, Outset Contemporary Art and LUMA Foundation, with additional support and help-in-kind from a range of supporters.

www.thepenzanceconvention.com
Tickets: thepenzanceconvention.eventbrite.co.uk

The Exchange, Princes Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2NL
T +44 (0)1736 363715
Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm
www.newlynartgallery.co.uk

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April 20, 2012