Marks in a field / Plus marks in a field

Two slide shows presented simultaneously as a single seminar idea. 

Marks in a field is a slide presentation about my arts-based activities in the 1980s and 1990s at the Pitt Rivers and other museums. Much of what happened was related to the notion of an 'expanded field', a widely employed approach theorised by the art critic Rosalind Krauss in her influential essay Sculpture in the Expanded Field (1979). On this basis I began to reject gallery exhibiting and, as a result, marked out a pedagogically charged 'field' situated between art schools and museums. This presentation recreates the slide talk I developed to do this. In doing so I will be recalling the narratives that conveyed what happened here in Oxford to arts schools and collection-holding institutions in Sweden, Finland, Hong Kong and Brazil.

In contrast, Plus marks in a field is a slide sequence that documents the annotated text I am reading aloud as I recreate my talk. The additional slides make visible corrections and variant wordings that would otherwise go unregistered. The idea comes from Rodney Dennis‘s book about reworked manuscripts in the archives of Harvard's Houghton library. Here we 'see' poems in which graphic interventions (an author's crossing out, underlining, or bracketing of their own words) were meant to be interpreted but not actually voiced when read aloud. This insertion of drawn marks into the writing/reading process is the means by which, as a retired professor of fine art who routinely attends the VMMA seminars, I reconsider the art school talk I once used to encourage other artists to engage with the museum sector.

Pitt Rivers Museum Research Seminar in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology, Michaelmas 2022



Online on Teams using this link 

Fridays, 12pm-1.30pm (Weeks 1-8)

Convened by Elizabeth Hallam and Chihab El Khachab