The Ugly Edge

17th January 1998
Seminar Room
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

This follows on from the research of sculptor Elizabeth Rosser, one of the first Research Fellows who came to the Henry Moore Institute in 1995. Elizabeth was interested in the failure of contemporary critical disclosures to value a body of sculpture which is abstract, awkward, abundant and sexual. Such sculptures do not conform to a clean late 20th century, Western aesthetic and evoke instead, landscapes, the body viscera and detritus - both natural and man-made. Such sculptures provoke extreme reactions, from pleasure and fascination to disgust, and allegations of ugliness. Not satisfied with 'organic' as a label, and shocked that words such as 'amorphous', or 'formless' should even be considered appropriate, Elizabeth hopes that, through their different backgrounds in psychoanalysis, aesthetics or practice, the conference speakers will represent different positions - love, hate, balanced appraisal - in order to throw light on why these works are so problematic and provocative.

The speakers are:
Phyllida Barlow (sculptor, Slade School of Fine Art)
Mark Cousins (Architectural Association)
Paul Halliday (Photographer, Anthropologist, Goldsmiths College)
Jon Thompson (artist, lecturer and writer)

Elizabeth will start the day with a performance entitled Epiglottis, a 'serio-comic disquisition'.