Last week i went to the press view of the Wide Open School that opens on June 11 at the Hayward gallery. I can’t remember having ever laughed so much at a press preview. There was a boxing demo, a public presentation that we, as members of the public, had to make ourselves on behalf of the presenter, and a performance about destruction by Michael Landy that never took place because Health and Safety decided that was a bad idea.
Wide Open School is a month-long experiment that will see the gallery lending its space to classes invented especially by artists. “This is a school for people who like learning but hate to be taught,” explained Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery in his introduction to the press view.
The classes are either hands-on workshops or conversation between the artist and the expert of a discipline that particularly interests the artist at the moment. Sounds like my kind of school, really!
Many of the courses with the super stars are sold out. And so is the one in which you make your own lie-detector but you can still book for the ones i’d personally chose if i could go to all of them:
Bonnie Camplin will be heading a workshop that takes subject of surveillance and considers the politics and metaphysics of the act of looking. The event includes How to make a ‘Subject Access Request’ in order to discover any information that may be held on you by central agencies and How to look glamorous while ‘hiding in plain-sight’.
This is going to be the one i join!
Yinka Shonibare MBE talks with Richard Phillips, Professor of Geography at the University of Sheffield, to explore the history of British sexual behaviour in the colonies and the role of sexuality in power relations during the time of the Empire. Seriously? How can this one not be sold out already?
Final finally, Bob and Roberta Smith made me laugh so much at the press preview, i’m thinking of joining his workshop about interventions and ways of remodelling London’s Public spaces.
Images from the press preview:
All images courtesy The Hayward Gallery.