CAP1 ESW Residency

A few weeks ago it was the turn of CAP1 to take up residence at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Although an annual event for 7 years this was only our 3rd year in the new Bill Scott Sculpture Centre as part of our formal partnership with ESW. Since the new premises opened in June 2012 ESW and the college have had a formal partnership which has ESW designated as an Edinburgh College Employability Centre. The partnership allows students to undertake their Introduction to Sculpture course in a purpose built professional studio & workshop environment for the research, development and production of sculptural practice.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As well as the formal sculptural practice developed during the residency a number of Professional Practice events took place including wood workshop induction and a talk by ESW Curator of Research Dan Brown who spoke to the residency participants about the facilities, history & philosophy of ESW as well as the education, exhibition and residency programmes. Other events included a studio visit with studio holder Kate Ive and a talk by RSA/ESW International Residency winner Norbert Delman whose exhibition Sweat / Suffer / Success was open in the gallery space. All the talks took place in the new multi function research space at ESW which is flexile enough to have round table talks and discussions as well as presentations. Having access to the space and resources meant we were able to have our annual Moving Image event curated by #exCAPer and regular guest lecturer Benjamin Fallon which was held over two evenings at ESW.

Next May we will return to ESW with CAP2 for their Diploma Exhibition by which time the second phase of the multi £million capital project ‘Creative Laboratories’ will have been open for 6 months and we are looking forward to spending a week working and exhibiting in the new spaces.

Click on the links below to see  blog posts by CAP1 ESW Residents:

Szabolcs Fricska:

Yulia Vitten:

Magdealen Gunkowska:

Elena Cheltsova:

Freya Taylor:

To the reader.

New exhibition curated by CAP guest lecturer Benjamin Fallon opens at IMPAKT Festival in Utrecht.



To the reader is a new exhibition curated by #CAPetc guest lecturer and ex-student Benjamin Fallon. Forming part of the 2013 IMPAKT Festival the exhibition deals with issues around capital and the lack of cohesive responses since the crisis that emerged in 2008.  IMPAKT is a major European media art festival, which has taken place annually in Utrect, Netherlands since 1988. Each year IMPAKT deals with a single theme, which is examined through various media, including an extensive film programme, talks, events and exhibition. The theme of this year’s festival is CAPITALISM CATCH-22 posing the question of how to solve the dilemma, which exists between capitalisms place as the dominant and seemingly most workable economic system and its failures and the apparent inevitability of it being a dead end.

The work in the show understands the limits of a moral critique that suggests that capital should just act nicely. Curator Benjamin Fallon points out that asking an inhuman system that is fundamentally interested in its own progress and growth, to behave in the interest of humans, is ultimately futile.”

To The Reader emerges from the understanding that capitalism is, first and foremost, a social relation that defines our behaviour. The exhibition is grounded in our current historical period. The basis for capitalism as a mode of organization has never been weaker, but paradoxically has seen almost no credible articulations of dissent. Perhaps there have been some fairly weak moral pleas for it to behave more pleasantly, and vague ideas that a return to Fordism and Keynesianism might be a good idea.

The exhibition itself is a tightly packed constellation of existing, newly commissioned and extended works, thinking through some of the contradictions we find ourselves entangled within. Whilst some of the information and ideas dealt with are necessarily complex, the exhibition will maintains a level of humour, understanding the importance for a certain lightness of touch when dealing with complexity.

The exhibition includes works by: Daniel Andújar; Bureau d’études; Liam Gillick; Goldin+Senneby; Hiwa K; Mierle Laderman Ukeles; Learning Site; Huw Lemmey and Ben Vickers; The Bureau of Melodramatic Research; Capital Drawing Group (Andrew Cooper, Enda Deburka, Dean Kenning, and John Russell); Paul Sullivan; and Marika Troili.

Opening on Friday 18 October from 17.00 to 20.00 hrs at BAK, with a performance by The Bureau of Melodramatic Research titled Lovegold – Contemporary Alchemy at 18.30 hrs.

On Saturday 2 November 2013 at 15.00 hrs, Fallon and participating artists will introduce the project through a guided tour.

The Impakt Festival takes place from 30 October to 3 November 2013 at various locations throughout Utrecht. For more information on the Impakt Festival exhibition To The Reader, please visit


Benjamin Fallon is an independent curator, writer and designer currently based in Brussels. Since leaving the HND Public Art (now Contemporary Art Practice) at Edinburgh College Granton (formally Edinburgh’s Telford College) he has participated in Curatorlab, Konstfack Stockholm 2012/13, served as co-director of Embassy Gallery between 2008 and 2010 and prior to this he worked in various capacities at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and ONEZERO. Benjamin is visiting lecturer at both Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh College.

Recent projects include You are just in the middle of the beginning various locations around Stockholm, 2013-ongoing; The Exhibition and its Histories the University of Edinburgh, 2013; Banal Inferno CCA Glasgow, 2010; Hello World Embassy Gallery, 2010; Warehouse of Horrors +44 141/ Studio Warehouse, Glasgow, 2009.

Benjamin is instigator of the working group Let’s get together and call ourselves an institute. researching the possibilities for new forms of institutional practice.

AH 18-10-13

Modern Edinburgh Film School & HND Contemporary Art Practice Link up

Guest blogger Alex Hetherington presents: Modern Edinburgh Film School

Alex Hetherington Modern 1    Alex Hetherington Modern 5    Alex Hetherington Modern 3    Alex Hetherington Modern 4

Images Courtesy of Alex Hetherington: Modern Edinburgh Film School

Modern Edinburgh Film School – a temporary participatory film school, combining themes of the sculptural screen, film and poetry, narrative and space, event as image, and acoustics and noise as form – is curated by the visual artist Alex Hetherington in association with Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

It acts as a kind of prism, reflecting, connected and transparent surfaces – where one thing can be seen through another – on the activities, functions and architecture of the Sculpture Workshop’s

new building and outward to contexts, processes and activities externally, as satellite disparate engagements. It is informed by propositions and practices by a range of national and international artists demonstrating concerns between improvisational, meticulous and sensitively drawn associations in poetry, film, moving image, space and sculpture. It hopes to work as a season of projects, appearing and disappearing, being seen discreetly, at spaces and venues across the city in 2013.

Its propositions, which are elusive and allusive include a series of essays, of indicators of historical and contemporary activity, a slight curriculum: Edgar Schmitz, Anne Colvin, AA Bronson, Tom Marioni, Trisha Donnelly, Samantha Donnelly, Rachel Harrison, Martin Kippenberger, Harry Everett Smith, Marcel Broodthaers & Aurélien Froment and traits found in contributors, influencers and cameos such as Stephen Sutcliffe, Anthony Schrag, Anne Colvin, Lyndsay Mann, Hazel France, Sarah Forrest, Ute Aurand, Sarah Neely, Lauren Gault, Debi Banerjee, Benjamin Fallon, Zoë Fothergill,  Raydale Dower, and others.

The project, meanwhile is informed by the free school, and alternative learning approaches, inhabiting an arc of combined themes of the sculptural screen, film and poetry, narrative and space, event as image, and acoustics and noise as form. Education here becomes an obstacle, articulating thoughts on commitment, graduation, qualification and drifting attention, and the possibilities of promiscuous coincidences, synchronicity.  Meanwhile it contains two considerations of time, Modern and School, and the meanings of those in abrasion to a city with faint film vocabularies, traditions, establishment and authority and museums. In turn it contains thoughts on exhibitions, fictions and contrivances: outputs, alongside the essays are, transparent letter texts on black glass (solid film credits), zines and print, and a series of events and talks: Green Screen, Group Show, A Party for Young Artists, Edinburgh Homosexual, The Hand that Holds The Desert Down, A Library.

From the outset the School sought practitioners from different stages of their careers, including students in formal education, as well as those working at a professional level in contemporary art. After an open discussion on the work, and its ambitions, at Contemporary Art Practice at Edinburgh College and an open call, that followed  the conventions of applying for work in that professional setting: 4 images, statement and moving image samples,  two practitioners were identified to become part of the project, to attend works, and respond finally with a time-based submission for a portmanteau film for a screening at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s appearance at the Edinburgh Art Festival in August 2013.

All the applicants in this process responded to different aspects of the shaping of Modern Edinburgh Film School, some revealing questions on the political status of such an undertaking, others looking at the subject of the poetic and the sublime, how literature and words give potent expression to filmmaking, how the digital might inform the sculptural.

The two successful candidates are Shareen Sorour and Kaitlyn Walker-Stewart whose applications both alluded to the symmetries, echoes and architectures of film, poetry and sculpture, while containing experimental and diverse approaches to the screen, the performative, time, the object, surface and representation. While still very early stage visual art practitioners their portfolios contain intriguing enquiries.

Shareen Sarour- Inside - Outside     Kaitlyn Walker-Stewart

Sharren Sarour: Outside: Inside; Still from Video.                 Kaitlyn Walker-Stewart: Barriers; Still from video

Modern Edinburgh Film School commences 15 March with a screening at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and a group show, Green Screen, co-curated with Embassy, followed there by performances and talks during March, and later a discussion on this collaboration at Edinburgh College of Art.

I would like to thank Alan Holligan, Jennie Temple and Colette Woods at Edinburgh College for their continued generous support of my practice in general and the work to be carried out for Modern Edinburgh Film School in particular.

Alex Hetherington, Edinburgh, February 2013.

Lectures and Chats with Benjamin Fallon: By Claire Briegel & Kirsty Leonard

CAP students have had the chance to spend a day with Benjamin Fallon who led us on an excellent curatorial tour of artist moving image work from very early movements to contemporary interventions in digital time-based practice. The first half of the day provided an excellent overview (could have lasted a week if we had had Ben with us for long enough) of video work, situated in its historical and cultural context. We watched snippets of a wide range of video from the anxiety-inducing repetition and conceptual minimalism of Bruce Nauman’s Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square to the sensual aesthetics of Pipilotti Rist’s work and Bill Viola’s ‘high definition’ video interventions, exploring juxtaposed celebratory / dystopian visions of past / future realities.

The second half of the day led us towards a set of video works influenced by Ben’s curatorial practice featuring work responding to network culture and digital interaction, exploring ways in which the contemporary artist re-appropriates new spaces of culture brought about by the virtual and digital world, regaining agency with which to speak about the new subjectivities emerging within it. More information available here:

This latter part of the day also included works by CAP’s very own Alan Holligan from Ben’s curatorial project The Warehouse of Horrors:

We caught up with Ben after the lectures to have a wee chat with him about his (career) so far, his curatorial practice, and what he’s up to at the moment:

So, how did it all start for you?

How did it all start?  Well, at Telford College – yes I came here!  Well, I mean I suppose I left school at 16, failed my highers.  I ended up doing art as default because… I’m lazy.  And then, I gradually realised that I was properly interested in it, so I did what was the equivalent of prep and then the HND Public Art.  It took three years instead of two.

Was that just the time it took then?

Well no – I failed in my second year! (laughs)

But Public Art wasn’t a particularly inspiring course was it, from what Alan said…?

No – it’s very, very different now to how it was then – now the course has been re-written, Contemporary Art Practice allows for a lot more development.

Yes, we’re lucky to have such energetic and engaged lecturers… and you didn’t go to art school after?

No.  I applied a number of times after Telford.  I think for two years I applied and then I got to the point where I was active in the Sculpture Workshop and other places and I realised I didn’t necessarily need to go to art school, so I didn’t apply that year and the years progressed and I just went oh well, that’s not happening.

That’s sort of encouraging.  You know that you feel maybe you didn’t really miss out on anything, and that you can make your own way – especially with looming fee rises etc.

No I mean I think, obviously it’s quite nice to go to art school.  A lot of my friends were there – I got the nice side without the bad side!

So was there something that sparked your career?  

Um…Career is quite a grand word for it.  Yeah, um, I don’t know I guess it’s just an interest.  I mean, like I said I failed the second year of the HND because I just didn’t care at the time, I wasn’t interested. But I readjusted.  I thought: ok now I need to do this properly.  I became interested in the theoretical side a lot more.  It was just because of an interest in that which led me to organise shows myself and then –

So you did your first shows independently?  Did you apply for funding…?

Oh, it’s only very recently that I’ve had funding for anything.  It’s always come out of my own pocket.   But working with, you know, young local artists and art students, which… is cheap.  It’s not something that pays a lot of money but…

So your first curatorial project… how did you initiate it?

Um, well I guess it was kind of working with a group of people who I knew about the arts…  Yeah so it was just about finding people around me and I was very fortunate in that I was living in a house that had a spare room: gut that out, paint it white and you have a gallery.  I think that, we could look back at it at that time and there was an emerging active artist-led scene in Edinburgh up to that point but it was never that visible. The Collective was there but it had been institutionalised years ago so I guess all that sparked me off a bit.

There are a lot more artist-led happenings now in Edinburgh aren’t here…

Yeah – there seems to be more and more, which can only be a good thing.

We were wondering about Alan: we want to know what influence he had on you…

Me and Alan didn’t get on for a long time because I wasn’t that committed for a while, but now we’re very good friends! Yeah it was kind of in my final year here that we found that we had lots of the same interests and yeah I think he’s very useful… in a grumpy way.

He’s very um, non-committal you don’t get a straight answer, it’s good…

Yeah it’s good because he makes you do the work – makes you answer your own question effectively.

Yeah, he’s good at that… I like to think of him as like a philosopher’s touchstone or something… So what are you doing at the moment?

At the moment I’m working on a project which is a non- public based, theoretical project.  There are seven of us who are meeting once a month for the next six month to discuss institutional practice within Scotland which is, which sounds like a dry topic but…  It’s through people who have worked within institutions of differing levels and we’ve tried to bring the group on one plane.  So that’s the main one.  I might be on another exhibition but there’s not really space for it.  This is the big thing that you come up against.  You get a certain position within the contemporary art world but that doesn’t necessarily equate to being able to do anything.  I think that maybe it’s specific to Scotland.  My friends in Europe have a bit more opportunity to get things going.  I think Scotland is a very artist-centred country which is good, in a sense, but –

Do you think it’s more difficult to self-organise here?

Yeah, like actually getting a space to do a show, getting funding together, as a curatorial project, rather than as an artist.  It’s still not easy to be an artist but there’s a lot more opportunity.  If you look at exhibitions across Edinburgh, you know, it’s always generally solo exhibitions.  You don’t see very many group exhibitions… I’m interested in doing group exhibitions, and pulling in wider ideas.

That’s interesting… this might be a bit of an annoying question but, we were wondering what you feel the ‘contemporary artist’ needs to be doing just now?

I think that… That’s a very difficult question.  I think if you want to go down one route and do the commercial artist thing you need to be chatty or produce work that looks like every other work you see.  Um…  I don’t like the question because it makes it seems like there is such a thing as the correct artist- which I don’t think there is.

That’s a good answer.  Why do you do what you do?

Um…  God knows!  I think because probably I’m curious.  I think of art as a source of knowledge production, rather than entertainment or any other conceived views of art.  And I think it’s about building my own knowledge and trying to share that knowledge and work with things that interest me.

(another equally difficult question we had noted down, but…) What about the role of a curator?

Well for me it’s about knowledge production and… just trying to work things through.  Yeah…well  I don’t like the idea of a job.  At a recent show I did I was described as an early career curator; I hate the idea of a career because it comes with the idea of a hierarchy and climbing the ladder and I’m not interested in that.  I want to be doing what I’m doing.  I understand the pragmatics that I have to earn some money at some point but at the moment I’m doing that through web design.

That seems like quite an interesting point: making artwork, curating and doing something quite different to that on the side to make money, so as not to have to give up part of your practice to do that.  Whereas if you were trying to make your living as an artist through funding or commissions or in the arts in general…

You have to do a commercial kind of thing.  Most of the artists I know just take up a job and don’t even think about trying to sell their work I do know a few people who sell work, but…


Any regrets?

 Um… Oh, am I going to say the really trite thing?  I probably am, yeah.  Not really, no, because you learn from everything you do, and I try not to think back and regret things because, you know, it got me somewhere.

 That’s good to know. Thanks Ben, and thanks for a very interesting day!

 Ben Fallon, Kirsty Leonard and Claire Briegel

For more information on some of the artists mentioned above see links below:

Bruce Nauman:

Pipilotti Rist:

Bill Viola: |

As well as a wealth of artist video and sound work here: