Mercedes Kemp to deliver seminar at Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies

Mercedes Kemp, Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator of Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Fine Art, will co-deliver a seminar at London School of Economics and Political Science, hosted by the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies.

Titled ‘A Death in Zamora: The murder of Amparo Barayón and the Francoist treatment of women’, the seminar is a case study of a notorious example of the Francoist persecution of women during the Spanish Civil War. Three experts will discuss what happened to innocent civilians during the Spanish conflict through the investigation into the fate of Amparo Barayón carried out by his son, Ramón Sender-Barayón.

‘One of the least-known aspects of the repression against civilians carried out by the supporters of the military coup of 17-18 July 1936 in Spain is the scale of their systematic persecution of women. Murder, torture and rape were generalised punishments for the gender liberation embraced by most liberal and left-wing women during the Republican period. An extreme example of the repression of women was the fate of Amparo Barayón, the wife of the novelist Ramón J. Sender. Immediately after the coup, Sender had sent Amparo and their two children to her home city of Zamora where he believed they would be safe. There she was imprisoned along with her seven-month-old daughter, Andrea, after protesting about the murder of her brother Antonio (two of her brothers would be extradjudicially killed). She was mistreated and then extrajudicially executed on 11 October 1936. Her ‘crime’ included being a modern, independent woman who had escaped the stultifying bigotry of Zamora, and had children with a man to whom she was married only in a civil ceremony. The seminar will discuss the story of Amparo and also of the Barayóns as an extended and diasporic family, from 1936 to the present, in order to understand the unfinished business of that long-ago process of repression: both Amparo’s children were raised by a foster family in the USA and scarcely knew of their mother’s fate, until as adults they determined to find out.’

Mercedes Kemp is a Course Coordinator of BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth University, a writer, and Director of Community and Research for WildWorks Theatre Company. She was born in Zamora and grew up in Andalucía. For the past forty years she has lived in Cornwall. She travels with WildWorks, establishing links with communities and developing text for site specific theatre. Her method involves a kind of eclectic ethnographic research into a variety of sources: archives, libraries, cemeteries, bus stops, town gossips, old photographs, conversations and, above all, a close observation of the process of memory and its effect on the value that people place on their environments. Mercedes is also grandniece of Ramón J.Sender and Amparo Barayón and has collaborated with her cousin, Ramón Sender Barayón, in the publication of both editions of ‘Muerte en Zamora’, Ramón’s account of his search for the memory of his mother.

Thursday 18 October 2018, 6pm – Cañada Blanch Seminar

Speakers: Mercedes Kemp (Falmouth University) and Helen Graham (Royal Holloway)
Chair: Prof. Paul Preston
Place: LSE, Portugal Street, Cowdray House, 1st floor, Seminar room 1.11

http://www.lse.ac.uk/canada-blanch/events/2018-10-18/death-in-zamora

 

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Fine Art Senior Lecturer Mercedes Kemp on 100:UnEarth by WildWorks

BA(Hons) Fine Art Senior Lecturer, Mercedes Kemp, is also Community and Research Director of international site-specific theatre company WildWorks. Here she talks about the company’s current production, at the Lost Gardens of Heligan – outdoor promenade performance 100:UnEarth – for which she is Lead Artist, Writer and Researcher…The acclaimed production is on until 22 July 2018, tickets from Hall For Cornwall

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‘100:UnEarth tells the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. A tragic love story. Orpheus returns to his beloved wife Eurydice. On the day they are reunited she is killed in a tragic accident. Orpheus cannot accept her death and embarks on an audacious quest to pluck her out of the Underworld. Our telling of the story is set in the vast grounds of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, and is told in a grand scale.

In 100:UnEarth, WildWorks have set the myth against the background of the First World War and the catastrophic losses it produced. The war has ended. The men are coming home. Many are damaged, broken. They return to the families they left behind. Their women have learned to survive alone, to be self-reliant, work the land, feed themselves and their children. Nothing will ever be the same…

As we journey through the Underworld we encounter the souls of those who lost their lives in the Great War, but also of those who died in more recent conflicts. Hades, the great Lord of Death continues to reap his harvest.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan give us the perfect metaphor. A place where growth and decay co-exist. A place full of promise. A place that teaches us a valuable lesson. Death is inevitable. Gardens die out in the winter, but they return back to life in the spring. And love goes on, endlessly regenerating itself.

This multi-disciplinary promenade production uses every art form: stage design, installation, performance, music, soundscape, video projection. And its connections to Falmouth University are strong: students from AMATA have done an amazing job, alongside 200 community volunteers and a team of sixty professionals. Production Designer Myrddin Wannell and Community Projects and Underworld Designer Ellie Williams are both BA(Hons) Fine Art alumni and were my students twelve years ago. Undergraduates and graduates from the School of Film and Television have been capturing our every move. Associate Lecturer in Dance and Choreography, Emily Dobson, has given performers all their moves.

I am immensely proud to have led this project to completion. Catch it if you can. Until July 22nd at the Lost Gardens of Heligan‘.

100: UnEarth is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and The Lost Gardens of Heligan

“Last night, some magic in the mist. 100: UnEarth a beautiful immersive experience, A love story inspired by Orpheus and Eurydice. See this if you can.” Falmouth University Chancellor Dawn French on Twitter

Fine Art students reflect on the Future Now Symposium

Second year BA(Hons) Fine Art students, Isaac Aldridge and Unn Devik joined their Senior Lecturers Mercedes Kemp and Lucy Willow at a two-day conference – Future Now – at York St John University. Isaac and Unn, whose attendance was partially funded by Falmouth School of Art, share their experience of the symposium:

‘Cherie Federico, the Co- Publisher, Editor and Director of Aesthetica opened the symposium with a soft, reinforcing message, reminding us of uncertain times with the unprecedented rate of technological intervention with the effects and questions that it brings to us in the present time. Federico mentioned the way technology can sway culture and enforce propaganda; we can see this through the brain washing of young people through the manipulation of religious intentions to commit acts of terror and political gain, but ultimately through art we are able to consider the events of the world; even though it’s shifting at a cataclysmic speed, we have some power of influence. It is a self-reflection on the 21st Century life and what it means.’ Isaac Aldridge

‘Future Now Symposium invited us to celebrate the shortlisted artists for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2017, and for the occasion arranged a vast series of lectures by professionals from the art world. Speakers came from Glasgow School of Art, Welcome Trust, ArtAngel, Arts Council, Visual Art South West, Icon Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery and many more. Themes of the Symposium included; the arrival of the digital age and how it affects the art world as we know it and, diversity in the art world and how to make it a more inclusive and culturally diverse scene on all levels.  There were also sessions about funding and art prizes, relevant platforms when launching a career as a practicing artist.’

I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity by the university to attend the Future Now Symposium. All in all I feel more informed about the current situation of the Art World. Although it is a highly competitive and commercially driven world, it is full of opportunities.  Hopefully, too, it is on its way to becoming a truly diverse place.  An Art World utopia is a place where the Art World is not commercially driven and takes pride in nurturing and sustaining talent from across the globe – regardless of background.  I think only then we can talk about making art for art´s sake – that is to imitate different realities of existence.  We are far from this utopia– but I believe going to symposiums and other events like Future Now is a great way of getting to know yourself and what you find to be valuable and worthwhile – thus creating your own idea of a utopia.’ Unn Devik

HOW TO SWIM Exhibit B: Treading Water

HOW TO SWIM – a series of six contemporary art events in different spaces across Manchester’s Victoria Baths site.

Over the six events artists will react to the site, installing sculptures, paintings and video as well as performing live movement and spoken word pieces, holding workshops and giving talks.

Exhibit B: Treading Water is the second event of the series, and includes work by recent BA(Hons) Fine Art graduates Tanya Cruz and Jess Russell, and Mercedes Kemp, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art.

These events are organised and curated by recent Falmouth Fine Art graduates Polly Maxwell and Lulu Richards aka WHATCHAMACALLIT collective.

http://www.whatchamacallitcollective.com/the-collective.html

The events take place at the historic Victoria Baths in Manchester a listed Edwardian swimming pool and Turkish Baths complex.

Cafe Morte – The Tears of Things – exhibition and events

This weekend sees the opening of Cafe Morte’s The Tears of Things at the Exchange Gallery, Penzance

A growing collection of broken objects, to initiate conversation around the emotional value and attachment we have to something that is broken in our lives. The collection will form the beginning of a growing body of research relating to death and loss. The show includes work from current Falmouth BA(Hons) Fine Art students, alumni, and lecturers, as well as other established writers and artists. As well as work artists from the UK, the exhibition features submissions from artists from Cyprus, Tunisia, USA, Poland and Spain.

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CAFE MORTE: THE TEARS OF THINGS | 11Feb – 18 March 2017 | THE EXCHANGE – PENZANCE

OPENING EVENT FRIDAY 10TH FEBRUARY, 7pm – 9pm, ENGINE ROOM: EXCHANGE GALLERY PENZANCE  Join us for an evening of performance, video, objects, narrative and stories generated by Café Morte to celebrate the life of a broken object.

EVENT: SATURDAY 11TH 10.00 – 4.00 BROKEN WRITING OPEN INVITATION  Members of the public are invited to participate by bringing a broken object to the gallery to be documented photographically and to write a short piece of text that will be added to the collection. The collection will form an online museum of broken objects reflecting the power that these objects still hold.

Two BA(Hons) Fine Art alumni, Polly Maxwell and Lulu Richards Cottell will be returning to install and help curate the show, and as part of their visit will also be talking to current Fine Art students about their experiences since graduating last year.

Café Morte is a research group led by Falmouth Fine Art Senior Lecturers Mercedes Kemp and Lucy Willow, involving undergraduate and postgraduate students from Falmouth University, along with other artists and curators. Its central focus is to create projects that enable audiences to discuss the rich and varied themes of death found in art and literature. This is an adaption of the recently popular model of the ‘Death Café’, which has arisen worldwide as a meeting place in which to discuss death over a cup of tea.

Café Morte provides Falmouth students with the opportunity to research and make work around a focused theme. It enhances their research capability and enables them to experience the setting up and curating of a show, work collaboratively, experience working directly with audiences and networking with established artists. Each year, Café Morte welcomes a number of new students, and continues working with alumni.

The group started three years ago, working with BA(Hons) Fine Art students at Falmouth to develop research and ideas. The second year culminated in an exhibition at the university, curated by students and showing student work alongside that of established artists. The exhibition coincided with a Symposium by Moth, a research group concerning death and design run by colleagues in Graphic Design.

The Tears of Things exhibition follows a public testing of the project at The Exchange last December.

The Tears of Things Exhibition

CAFE MORTE

www.cafemorte.com

Cafe Morte looks at the way in which visual culture represents death and dying, mourning and grieving through art, dreams, desires, imagery and poetry.

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THE TEARS OF THINGS

The Tears of Things is a growing collection of broken objects initially exhibited as part of Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange Christmas makers market on 10th and 11th December 2016 in Penzance.  Installing the broken collection alongside a market of beautifully made and crafted objects created a strange juxtaposition between the old, discarded and broken object and the desire for something new. The stall was set up to generate conversation and dialogue around the emotional value and attachment we have to something that is broken in our lives. All the objects collected for The Tears of Things, have lost their original integrity in some way.

Members of the public were invited to contribute to the stall by bringing in a broken object and piece of text. The collection grew over the course of the weekend becoming similar to an antiques road show of broken objects often with no material value.

The collection forms the beginning of a growing body of research relating to mortality and what the broken object signifies. The project will  continue in partnership with the Exchange Gallery in Penzance in February 2017, extending the collection  to reach a wide range of community groups in various settings.

CAFE MORTE is a research group led by Mercedes Kemp and Lucy Willow, undergraduate and postgraduate students from Falmouth University, curators and artists. Its central focus is to create projects enabling audiences to discuss the rich and varied themes of death found in art and literature. We have adopted the model of the recently popular Death Cafes, which have arisen worldwide as a meeting place in which to discuss death over a cup of tea.

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Senior Lecturer Mercedes Kemp in Tunisian Biennale

The 5th Edition of Dream City will take place from 4-8 November 2015 in the Medina of Tunis.

This Multidisciplinary Biennale of Contemporary Art in Public Space has become a key event of the Tunisian art scene.

Participating artists include Falmouth BA(Hons) Fine Art Senior Lecturer Mercedes Kemp, Associate Director of Wildworks.

https://www.facebook.com/Dream-City-Tunis-70991923781/

Dream City