Sculpture & Performance

24th March 2010 - 26th March 2010
Henry Moore Institute & Tate Liverpool

Brian Catling

Photo: Paddy Summerfield

This three-day conference explored the complex relationship between sculpture and performance over the last century and into the present. Much research has been carried out on performance and live art more generally in recent decades, but this conference re-examined the subject through our understandings of sculpture today.

Many topics were brought up for discussion: why sculptors turn to performance and performers to sculpture - why one needs the other - and how this relationship is often either a constructive or destructive one.

We are familiar with the idea - much circulated in the 1960s - that live performance offered a critical rejection of sculpture, contesting the values of figurative representation and commemoration, but there is a much richer terrain of dialogue and exchange to be considered both before and after this influential decade.

Indeed the expansion of what sculpture has come to mean today is partially indebted to the impact of 'performance art'. This conference aimed to reflect this, looking at the longer histories of their inter-connections.


Wednesday 24 March, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2-7.30pm


John Welchman, University of California, San Diego
Space and Time, Between: Fronts of Sculpture and Performance in the work of Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley

Malgorzata Lisiewicz, University of Gdansk
Fathers' and Daughters' Acting Bodies: Tony Smith and Kiki Smith

Aura Satz, London Consortium
Sculptural Fits

Pil and Galia Kollectiv, University of Kent
Can Objects Perform?: Agency and Thingliness in Contemporary Sculpture and Installation

Bertrand Clavez, University of Lyon
Ben Patterson's 'Drip Music':  Notes on an assemblage sculpture


Thursday 25 March, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 9.30am-7pm


Irene Gerogianni, University of Thessaloniki
Putting the 'form' in Performance: the case of Theodoros the Sculptor

Maxa Zoller, Lecturer in Moving Image Art, London
KwieKulik's Open Form Film 'Activities on Moses': Polish Expanded Cinema?

Erin Aldana, University of California, San Diego
The Urban Interventions of 3Nos3: artistic action against monumental public sculpture in São Paolo

Dan Watt, Loughborough University
Let the Artists Die like Dogs!: Performing Objects against the World's Museum

Katalin T. Nagy, Eszterházy Károly College
Public Sculpture and Performance in contemporary Hungary

Monty Paret, University of Utah
Oskar Schlemmer's Grotesque Body: Sculpture and Performance at the Bauhaus

Gary Stevens, Slade School of Art
Playing a Part

Stephanie Rosenthal, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
Choreography and Installation: The Judson Dance Theatre and Contemporary Practices

Jenn Joy, New York University
Promiscuous Objects: Choreography as Sculptural Practice


Friday 26 March, Tate Liverpool, 12-6.30pm


Heike Roms, Aberystwyth University
Enquiring into the properties of sculpture: Tom Hudson's performance pedagogy in the 1960s

Pierre Saurisse, Sotheby's Institute of Art
Carving Space: Gilbert & George's 'The Singing Sculpture'

Hayley Newman, Chelsea School of Art
The Performance Years (Sculpture)

Mel Brimfield, Artist, London
This is Performance Art: Performed Sculpture and Dance


The conference will include live artistic performances and a tour of Tate Liverpool's current Performing Sculpture exhibition. The cost for the full 3 day event will be £45, or £15 to attend a single day (concessions half-price).  To book a place for this conference, please contact Kirstie Gregory,, seating is limited.

Further information