Soundings was a three day event that took place during the opening week of the 54th Venice Biennale. Bringing together artists from different disciplines and included a series of discussions, artworks and readings.


As part of a programme of events, we are delighted to present an exhibition of work by two artists that have shown regularly in Venice. William Furlong’s Passage of Time, a sound piece made in Venice, uses voices heard and overheard, ambient street sounds recorded by the artist, and short snatches of footsteps from the soundtrack of the iconic film Don’t Look Now.  The intention of this piece is to evoke the actuality of Venice from the middle distance.   Terry Smith will be showing his new work Naming the dead, a hand-made book containing a series of evocative prints from his recent project The Foundling.   By inviting the visitor to write the name of someone they knew and wish to remember, Smith places the work firmly on the boundary between art and life.

Wednesday 1 June Breakfast from 9.30 – 10am, Discussions from 10 – 11.30


“We may make comments that are not purely historical…”Carey Young Cautionary Statement 2007
Some, arguably the most radical and incisive art criticism, has been made by artists. Ubiquitous ‘critical practice’ and the inter-textual and performative role of the contemporary artist as critic and curator raise core issues, intellectual and ethical for both practice and criticism. Do we now need, as Christopher Townsend argues (Art Monthly 343) ‘the acute historian rather than the imaginative artist’?

Thursday 2 June Breakfast from 9.30 – 10am, Discussions from 10 – 11.30


This year sees the prospect of new national pavilions for non-Western countries with economies strong enough to pay the rent: India, China, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, the UAE and Bahrain.  With the Louvre and Guggenheim earning income by syndicating their collections, what is the role of culture and what is its place in the emergence of national identity and structures of power.

Friday 3 June Breakfast from 9.30 – 10am, Discussions from 10 – 11.30


This discussion will investigate cultural differences between art education systems around the world and aims to explore the question: ‘Is art education idiosyncratic and culturally contingent or does it incubate a more international style that we see exhibited at events like the Venice Biennale?’

Friday 3 June 5pm


To conclude the three day project there will be a series of readings by Maria Morganti (Italy), a performance by Holly Slingsby (UK) Lawrence Carroll (US) and text by Adonis Flores (Cuba), Mel Gooding (UK), and Marianela Orozco (Cuba).