AUTO//FICTION: Symposium

Charan Singh, Sharon Young, Sally O’Reilly, Marita Fraser

Organised and chaired by PhD candidates Marita Fraser and Sharon Young and supported by the Speaking of Her Research Network and SoAH Research. Presented alongside the exhibition AUTO//FICTION.
9 July 2019 | 9am – 5pm
RCA Battersea, Dyson Building

In recent times speaking in the first person, or the merging of author and protagonist, has had a resurgence, both in academic discourse (Palmer, Cattle) and literature (Kraus, Nelson, Smith). In art practice, literature and academia there appears to be a re-emergence of methods that challenge traditional forms of narration and argumentation. There is now a revitalised discourse around questions such as: What is the place of fiction in academic writing? What theoretical frameworks does auto-fictional writing offer and/or restrict? How can autobiography transcend the personal? Is the ‘I’ gendered? This research symposium will explore and reflect on this movement and its uses within arts research.

Keynote presentation
Sally O’Reilly writes for performance, page and video, interleaving academic research and technical knowledges with the comic, the fantastical and the psycho-social. 
Besides contributing to several art magazines and numerous exhibition catalogues, she has written the novel Crude (Eros Press, 2016), the libretto for the opera The Virtues of Things (Royal Opera, Aldeburgh Music, Opera North, 2015), a monograph on Mark Wallinger (Tate Publishing, 2015) and The Body in Contemporary Art (Thames & Hudson, 2009). 
She was writer in residence at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (2010–11) and at Modern Art Oxford (2016); producer and co-writer of The Last of the Red Wine, a radio sitcom set in the art world (ICA, London, 2011), and co-editor of Implicasphere (2003–8), an interdisciplinary broadsheet.

Keynote presentation
Beatrice Gibson(b.1978, U.K) lives and works in London. Recent solo screenings and exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, London (2019) Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2015) Statements, Art Basel, (2015) Beatrice Gibson, Laura Bartlett Gallery, (2014). Gibson’s films have screened at numerous experimental film venues and film festivals nationally and internationally including The Rotterdam International Film Festival; Experimenta, The London Film Festival. Gibson has twice won the Rotterdam International Film Festival Tiger Award for short film. In 2013 she was shortlisted for the 2013–15 Max Mara Art Prize for Women and in 2015 won the 17th Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel.

Keynote presentation
Tanya Augsburg is an interdisciplinary feminist performance scholar, art writer, and curator who can be occasionally persuaded to perform. She teaches at San Francisco State University, where she is Professor of Humanities.
Her research interests include contemporary feminist art and performance, art writing, feminism, and interdisciplinarity. Her 2019 survey chapter, “Ars Eroticas of Their Own Making: Explicit Sexual Imagery in American Feminist Art,” appears in The Blackwell Companion to Feminist Art edited by Maria Elena Buszek and Hilary Robinson. Her book chapter, “Performing, Again after Bob” is forthcoming in Rated RX: Sheree Rose with and after Bob Flanagan edited by Yetta Howard from Ohio University Press. Her latest book project Feminist Ars Erotica examines how multiple aesthetic strategies and themes prevalent in feminist art and performance have proposed new understandings of eroticism since the late 1960s. For that project she was a finalist in 2018 for a Warhol Foundation Arts Writers grant. Most recently, she served as lead curator for F213, a feminist protest art exhibition that took place in 2019 at Arc Gallery in San Francisco.

Presentations and Performances by
Adjoa Armah, Esme Boggis, Federica Bueti, Juliette Blightman, Sharon Young, Marita Fraser, Niklas Lichti, Ralph Pritchard, Charan Singh and Tom Smith