Setting the Table
Organised by Jason E. Bowman


12 – 15 April 2018

Setting the Table: Organised by Jason E. Bowman

Thursday 12 April (from 13.00) until Sunday 15 April (at 15.00)

Script-in-hand reading of Aristophanes’ PEACE, for invited audience: Saturday 14 April at 19.00.

Setting the Table is a four-day congregation of organisers from arts, education and community-oriented projects. Its purpose is to engage with forms of exhibition-making by experimenting with organisational relations between people, things and situations. It departs from a trans-historical perspective on utopian welfare systems, artist-organisation and community formation to interrogate the pathologisation of the ‘evils’ that such ideas and state initiatives sought to eradicate: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease.

Governance, sovereignty, self-organisation – and how to reimagine the role of exhibitions in reanimating communities of learning via creative actions – will be discussed whilst sat on artist Francis Cape’s Bancs d’Utopie, reconstructions of benches from European intentional communities. A group portrait by Edith Simon documents the first committee meeting she attended as a member of the Artists International Association. The emitting of an emergency evacuation whistle, originally distributed by Lehman Brothers but now incorporating pawned gold, clashes with a sexuality class missive by Homocult, and coinage designed for a leper colony with the tolling of the recently rediscovered school bell from the Burston Strike School. An owl puppet from the educational Cannon Hill Puppet Theatre accompanies Keith Henderson’s illustration Co-Education.

Dressed in outfits, made from Vera Mukhina’s pattern for an everyday school uniform, those assembled will rehearse Aristophanes’ Peace, a satire on ending war by creating solidarity and ceasing corrupt profiteering. Props include a basket made by Sheila Walton based on those represented in the paintings of Homer Winslow of the Cullercoats artists’ colony.

For further information on participating or to request to invite list for Saturday 14 April please contact Katie Hickman 

Supported by the Valand Academy of the Arts, University of Gothenburg and the Swedish Research Council. Dramaturgical support by Professor Andrea Phillips, Baltic Professor at Northumbria University.

Image credit: Francis Cape’s Bancs d’Utopie, 2015. Detail installation view of Findhorn bench in foreground at FRAC Besançon, France.