Symposium: F*ck war, let’s make art
GSA Exhibitions

Event Type:


Reid Auditorium, Reid Building


17 Feb 2016
14:00 - 17:00



‘Nothing compares to the first time getting shot at’
installation detail, Rachel Lowther. Photo: Alan Dimmick

Symposium: F*ck war, let’s make art

Event info

Symposium: F*ck war, let’s make art 

2-5pm, Wed 17 February

Reid Auditorium, The Glasgow School of Art

Free but ticketed - book place through Eventbrite 

On the occasion of Rachel Lowther’s exhibition ‘Nothing compares to the first time getting shot at’, artists and writers gather together for this symposium to discuss key questions raised by her work and subject matter. Speakers are: Kenny Hunter (Director of Undergraduate Sculpture Programme, Edinburgh College of Art), Dr Jim Harold, Rachel Lowther and Helena Reckitt (Senior Lecturer in Curating, Goldsmiths, University of London). The Symposium is chaired by Professor Ken Neil (Head of Research, The Glasgow School of Art).

For her specially commissioned exhibition artist Rachel Lowther draws on contemporary conflicts and research she was invited to undertake into the GSA Archives and Collections’ World War I holdings. The questions that rose from her process over the year-long project inform the exhibition and the symposium. How can (or even should) art respond to the ongoing act of conflict or war? Is there an artistic responsibility to address the political in art? How can an artist speak about / respond to war? What is the responsibility of the artist in such a process? Is there room for humour when linked to such complex subject matter? How can artwork be made in such a way that does not encroach on others’ suffering? In what ways can a feminist position or experience have bearing upon an artistic practice that engages with the subject of war and the political?  Is a figurative approach or representation of the body in art still relevant? In what ways does figuration deal with the monument or anti-monument?


14:00 – Welcome and intro: Prof Ken Neil
14:10 – In conversation, Helena Reckitt with Rachel Lowther
14:40 – Kenny Hunter

15:00 – Break (tea/coffee outside auditorium)
15:20 – Jim Harold
15:40 – Panel discussion followed by Q&A
16:30 – Ken Neil concludes on day

17:00 – Finish

The symposium is organised by GSA Exhibitions. 'Nothing compares to the first time getting shot at', by Rachel Lowther, is supported by Museums Galleries Scotland and Glasgow City Council. This exhibition runs concurrently with 'From the service of Venus to the worship of Mars', a show curated by Rachel Lowther and GSA Archives & Collections in Reid Ground Floor Corridor (until 28 Feb 2016)