Collecting the Emerging (2015)
Collaboration with Zabludowicz Collection
22 & 23 May 2015

150 years of collecting work by artists at the start of their career. 

With ever increasing interest in and opportunities for artists in the early stages of their careers, UCL Art Museum teamed up with Zabludowicz Collection to examine issues around collecting new and experimental art. Over this two-day symposium academics, curators, collectors and artists came together to interrogate the term 'emerging' - how is it used and by whom in relation to contemporary art? What is the term's wider historical context? Discussions covered economic and aesthetic value in the emerging art market; explored emerging practice and its relationship to historical narratives, archives and taxonomies; and considered how the current enthusiasm for collecting contemporary art impacts on practices that are still at a formative stage.

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This symposium accompanied Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years, an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Zabludowicz Collection which included significant and rarely seen works by over 30 leading artists, and Re-Launch, a show that marked the reopening of UCL’s Art Museum’s main space after a programme of improvements supported by a DCMS/Wolfson award. This presented a selection of existing, newly commissioned and site specific artworks in collaboration with Slade artists created in response to the collections and the theme of re-launch. 

The programme was organised by Dr Nina Pearlman, Dr Martine Rouleau and Jenny Pistella from UCL and Kelly Large from Zabludowicz Collection.

Programme and speakers

The symposium took place at UCL on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May 2015, with an exhibition preview and live performance by artist Laura Buckley at Zabludowicz Collection.

Speakers included:

Edward Allington (artist, writer, and professor of fine art at the Slade), Louisa Buck (independent critic / contemporary art correspondent The Art Newspaper), Leah Capaldi (artist), JJ Charlesworth (independent critic / Associate Editor, ArtReview), Dr Ben Cranfield (Curatorial Theory and History, Royal College of Art), Matthew Darbyshire (artist), Ellen Mara De Wachter (independent curator / writer), Attilia Fattori Franchini (independent curator / Co-Founder Open Times – Digital Art Commissions), Chris Hammond (Director, MOT International and lecturer MFA Curating, Goldsmiths College), Vincent Honoré (currently Artistic Director Montpellier Contemporain (MOCO), at the time Director at David Roberts Art Foundation), Kelly Large (Curating Contemporay Art, Royal College of Art, at the time Public Programme Curator, Zabludowicz Collection), Maitreyi Maheshwari (Programme Director, Zabludowicz Collection), Coline Milliard (independent writer), Kirsty Ogg (Director, Bloomberg New Contemporaries), Dr Nina Pearlman (Head of UCL Art Collections), Niru Ratnam (Director START Art Fair / Director Prudential Eye Programme), Dr Martine Rouleau (Programme Manager, UCL Culture), Sarah Thelwall (Creative and Cultural Industries Strategist), Dr Timotheus Vermeulen (Assistant Professor, Cultural Theory, Radboud University / Co-Founding Editor Notes on Metamodernism), Jenny Pistella (at the time Learning and Access Officer, UCL Art Museum).


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