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Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

CVAC Events Listing

Saturday 21 October 2017

Caring for Brutalism - Day Conference in Durham

10:15am to 5:15pm, Elvet Riverside (Room 140)

Sponsored by:

Durham University, Centre for Visual Arts & Culture

Durham City Trust & The 20thCentury Society

Open to the public. Free to attend. Register Online Now

This day conference will consider the current question of 20th Century concrete architecture and its conservation. Brutalism was an important aspect of post-WWII architecture, especially in the UK. As these buildings become historic, they face urgent questions of conservation, regeneration or demolition. Although never a popular style, many with a training in architecture regard Brutalist buildings as possessing unique aesthetic merit. Their beauty often relates to medieval architectural forms, drawing on the Gothic in ways comparable to Modernist architecture’s relationship to Classicism. Durham contains medieval architecture of world importance that is valued and protected accordingly. The fate of the most significant 20th Century building on the university estate, however, is uncertain, and the future of Dunelm House is currently part of the national conversation around questions of how and whether to care for concrete buildings. Regeneration is possible, as with The National Theatre in London or Apollo Pavilion, Peterlee. Alternatively, demolition may be justified, as with the “Get Carter” Car Park, Gateshead. This conference brings together leading experts on 20th Century concrete architecture in the UK, to explore issues of aesthetic appreciation, cultural value, and the criteria by which university, civic and national communities decide to conserve architecture.

Full day with visit to Dunelm House

Confirmed Speakers

John Allan (Conservation Architect)

Barnabas Calder (Liverpool University, author of Raw Concrete)

Catherine Croft (Director, 20th Century Society)

Alistair Fair (University of Edinburgh, on post-1945 university architecture)

Elain Harwood (Historic England, author of Space, Hope & Brutalism)

Martin Roberts (Durham, author of Buildings of Durham University)

10.15 Coffee

10.45 Opening Remarks

Establish clear parameters for discussion & questions to address: aim is to understand the historic context for Brutalism in Britain; to understand its aesthetic value, and why this is often contested; to explore conservation issues for concrete structures as they become heritage buildings. The aim of the day is an academic event that promotes informed discussion and understanding about a significant issue in contemporary and historic visual culture, not a polemic or a campaign. The conference is about Brutalism in general, and Dunelm House in particular.

11-12 Brutalism in Britain

Session Chair: Alan Powers

Barnabas Calder ‘The Architecture of Optimism: Dunelm House and High Brutalism’

Elain Harwood ‘The Beginnings of Brutalism and Dunelm House’

12-12.15 Break

12.15-1.15 Conserving Concrete Structures

Session Chair: Douglas Pocock

Catherine Croft ‘Why Save 20th Century Buildings? With a Footnote on Successful Concrete Conservation’

John Allan ‘Case Study: The Conservation of St. Peter’s, Cardross’

1.15-2pm Lunch (delegates make own arrangements)

2-3pm Tour of Dunelm House

3-4pm Brutalism in University Architecture

Session Chair: Adrian Green

Alistair Fair ‘Environments for “Cultivated Men and Women”: British University Architecture, 1945-75’

Martin Roberts ‘Traditionalists and Modernists: Durham University’s Post-War Architects’

4-4.15pm Break

4.15-5.15pm Round Table Discussion Chaired by Ludmilla Jordanova

End.


Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Friday 3 November 2017

The Apparelled Body: Materiality, Transformation and Performativity

9:00am to 4:00pm, Kenworthy Hall, St. Mary's College

Tuesday 21 November 2017

IAS Molecules and Models

Professor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

Tuesday 21 November - 12noon - 6.00pm

Wednesday 22 November - 8.00am - 4.00pm

Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Durham University

Molecules and Models: Seeing Structures

Organised by the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture(CVAC) as part of the Institute of Advanced Study Theme for 2017-18 Structure

Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Wednesday 22 November 2017

IAS Molecules and Models

Professor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

Tuesday 21 November - 12noon - 6.00pm

Wednesday 22 November - 8.00am - 4.00pm

Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Durham University

Molecules and Models: Seeing Structures

Organised by the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture(CVAC) as part of the Institute of Advanced Study Theme for 2017-18 Structure

Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Tuesday 5 December 2017

The Art of Abolition: Telling a Difficult Past in a National Museum - TIMINGS/LOCATION TO BE CONFIRMED

Until 12:00am, Dr Gus Casely-Hayford

The lecture is inspired by work I am currently doing for the National Portrait Gallery in London to develop an exhibition that will tell the story of the abolition of slavery through portraits. When viewed through the aperture of portraiture, the story of the abolition of slavery is a strange, complex, counterintuitive narrative. At its core is the recognition that the status quo needed to be vigorously challenged, of 'the Great and Good' gradually becoming won over to the cause of Abolition in the mid and late 18th century, of the anti-slavery causes gaining popular support, of Bills being repeatedly rejected by the House of Lords, but of an undeniable groundswell of political and popular support building inexorably toward eventual success in the first decades on the 19th century. Yet simultaneously, despite this hard fought and laudable campaign, despite the wide support, it is strangely a time when increasingly intense racist and proto-eugenicist views became widely held and acceptable. Painting is an effective medium for charting this story; portraiture vividly captures the rise of a newly monied slave-trading classes, shows how the influential establishment families invested in and benefited from the trade and then gradually divested as they found their places amongst the abolitionists – but also crucially of how portrait painting played a part in the abolitionist cause, yet was then brutally turned against the victims of the slave trade.

Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Wednesday 11 July 2018

Visual Intersections III

9:00am to 5:00pm, Business School

Thursday 12 July 2018

Visual Intersections III

9:00am to 5:00pm, Business School

Friday 13 July 2018

Visual Intersections III

9:00am to 5:00pm, Business School

Portraiture Conference

5:00pm to 5:00pm, Business School , Porfessor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

Contact cav@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Saturday 14 July 2018

Portraiture Conference

5:00pm to 5:00pm, Business School , Porfessor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

Contact cav@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Sunday 15 July 2018

Portraiture Conference

5:00pm to 5:00pm, Business School , Porfessor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

Contact cav@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.