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Please note that this event has been cancelled.

Can art resist fascism? In the face of political adversity and the complexities of the digital age, award-winning writer and critic Olivia Laing responds to ideas of creativity, life, intimacy and estrangement, as it relates to Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition Rebuilding the Future.

Laing’s response draws on several of her books, including Crudo, a real-time novel about the apocalyptic summer of 2017, and The Lonely City, an exploration of loneliness that features David Wojnarowicz, an artist important to both Laing and Tillmans.

The evening includes a specially commissioned piece responding to recent photographs by Tillmans, readings and a conversation that explores the intersections between the artistic, the personal and the political in both Laing’s and Tillmans’ work. Moderated by David Crowley, Head of Visual Culture, NCAD.


About Speakers

Olivia Laing is a widely acclaimed writer and critic. She’s the author of several works of non-fiction, most recently The Lonely City, an investigation into loneliness by way of visual art, including the work of Hopper and Warhol. It was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and has been translated into 15 languages. Laing writes on art and culture for many publications, including the Guardian, Frieze and the New York Times. Her most recent book is Crudo, a real-time novel about Trump and Brexit, anxiety and love. It has been shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize. In 2018 Laing was awarded the Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction. See more details here.

David Crowley is a professor in the School of Visual Culture at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. He has a specialist interest in the art and design histories of Eastern Europe under communist rule. He is the author of various books including National Style and Nation-State. Design in Poland (1992), Warsaw (2003) and editor – with Susan Reid – of three edited volumes: Socialism and Style. Material Culture in Post-war Eastern Europe (2000); Socialist Spaces. Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc (2003); and Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc (2010). He writes regularly for the art and design press. Crowley also curates exhibitions including Cold War Modern at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008–9; The Power of Fantasy. Modern and Contemporary Art from Poland at BOZAR, Brussels, 2011; Sounding the Body Electric. Experimental Art and Music in Eastern Europe at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2012 and Calvert 22, London in 2013; Notes from the Underground. Alternative Art and Music in Eastern Europe, 1968-1993 at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2016 and Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, 2018. Papers and articles can be found at faktografia.com. See more details here


About the Artist

Wolfgang Tillmans (b. Remscheid, Germany,1968) lives and works in Berlin and London. He graduated from Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design in 1992. He has won numerous awards including the Turner Prize, UK (2000), the Cultural award of the German Society for Photography (2009), the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, Sweden (2015) and the Goslar Kaiserring Award, Germany (2018). From 2009-2014 he was an Artists Trustee on the Board of Tate, London. From 2003 to 2009 he was Professor for Interdisciplinary Art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. In 2006 he opened Between Bridges, a not-for-profit exhibition space in London that now operates in Berlin.

Recent major solo exhibitions have been held at Musée d’Art Contemporain et Multimédias, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Circle Art Gallery and GoDown Arts Centre Nairob, Kenya, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa (2018); Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland, Tate Modern, London (2017); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2016); The National Museum of Modern Art, Osaka, Japan and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf, Germany and Les Rencontres d’Arles, France and Museo de Arte de Lima (2013); Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2012); Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2011) and Serpentine Gallery, London (2010).

His work has been included in significant survey exhibitions including the 5th Biennale of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece (2015), Manifesta 10, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2014), Fundamentals, the 14th International Architecture Biennale directed by Rem Koolhaas, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2014), Berlin Biennale, Germany (2014, 1998), the British Art Show 5 and 7, UK (2000, 2010); the 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2009) and the 51st and 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy (2005, 2009).