in conversation

May 20th, 2013 | Posted by david kefford in art | art education | discussion | event | gallery | research | venue - (Comments Off)

I will be in conversation with Judith Alder at the next Blue Monkey networking event on

Wednesday 29 May, 6 – 8pm

and offering 1-2-1 sessions with artists:

From the Towner website:

Introducing… David Kefford

We are pleased to welcome Cambridge-based artist, David Kefford, who will talk about his arts practice and projects he’s involved with including the artist run organisation, Aid & Abet which he co-founded in 2009. David is also a member of Market Project and a Trustee of Block 336, an artist run space in Brixton. He is currently a visiting lecturer at University of Hertfordshire.

Refreshments will be available (contributions welcome) or feel free to bring a bottle.

All welcome. FREE to Blue Monkey Network members; non-members £8.

We are pleased to offer artists the opportunity of a 1-2-1 session with David Kefford
to discuss aspects of their practice on Wednesday 29 / Thursday 30 May. Each
session will last around 45 minutes. To apply for a 1-2-1 please email
with the following information:
200 words about your work and what aspect of your practice you’d like to
discuss with David
a short cv (no more than 2 pages)
a link to your website if you have one

1-2-1s are FREE to Network members; £10 for non-members.
To book please e-mail:

Sluice 2012, 22-24 October

October 18th, 2012 | Posted by admin in art | books | event | exhibition | gallery | notice | slideshow - (Comments Off)

Exhibition of works for sale in a silent, blind and anonymous auction; these have been donated by over fifty artists (including Market Project’s Annabel Dover and Alistair Gentry) to contribute to the return of the artist-led and artist-centred Sluice Art Fair in 2013. Alistair was on Sluice Art Fair’s discussion panel in 2011, with his Market Project hat on. Our David’s Aid & Abet is also involved, as is our former guest Cathy Lomax’s Transition Gallery.

See the work Monday 22 October- Wednesday 24 October, 12-6 daily. Then come to the book launch and reception at Hanmi Gallery, 30 Maple Street, London W1T 6HA from 6-9pm on Wednesday 24th to see who has been lucky enough to walk away with the work they bid for.

PS: Hanmi has a sister gallery in Seoul, which is in fact Gangnam Style.


A gallery director has begun setting fire to the art works in his museum, one by one. He’s holding them to ransom in order to protest arts cuts, destructive austerity and the sheer incompetence and waste of Italian cultural policy, e.g. the disastrous MAXXI mega-gallery in Rome, which essentially had to be nationalised and bailed out by taxpayer, after millions of Euros went astray.

I also like his comment “I didn’t want to create an IKEA museum, with always the same 200 artists from the big galleries…”


Cut Out the Middle Man

July 25th, 2012 | Posted by david kefford in art | discussion | event | gallery | research - (Comments Off)

Aid & Abet are about to launch their new Summer programme with a focus on: ‘Collaboration’ – to explore ideas around creative relationships, community building, knowledge sharing and peer exchange.

It kicks off this Thursday 26th from midday when the newly formed Associates ‘Take Over’ the space forming an open platform for diverse activities with a series of informal participatory events over the next two weekends – Thurs 26th July – Sat 4th August

On Thursday 2nd August 2012, Rosalind Davis, artist and co-founder of, has been invited to lead a discussion on the current rise of artist led activity across the UK and its potential to impact on the subscribed art world system.  With a focus on How artists can effect change in the current arts system through self initiated projects.  This is a FREE event with no Booking required.

Drinks 6.30.  Discussion starts 7pm – 8pm

More info here


The ephemeral museum

July 23rd, 2012 | Posted by admin in art | discussion | exhibition | gallery | press - (Comments Off)

Ostensibly a review of the new Tate Modern Tanks for exhibiting live and time-based art, Laura Cumming also makes some interesting observations about some of the implications and questions that arise from it. Of course we’ve covered this subject previously in posts on this site and at our public Collecting the Uncollectable discussion last year.

Thanks to one of our ever-growing digital scrapheap of tip offs about horrifying art world practices- seriously, we are collating all of these and someday we’re going to publish the ultimate directory of art world wrong ‘uns- I am not at all proud and indeed somewhat disgusted to introduce the SUPER-CONNECTED, GLOSSY-MAGAZINE-HAUNTING, RELENTLESSLY SELF-PUBLICISING, CAPS LOCK-LOVING SAMIR CERIC AND ZOE KNIGHT, AND THEIR DEBUT CONTEMPORARY:

I know we should play the ball and not the player, hate the sin and love the sinner, hate the game and not the playa, etc… but seriously, what the hell? This picture- and the fact that it’s one of the first things you see on their site, a site that’s supposed to be about developing the careers of artists, and the fact there’s pages and pages of other images of them and their press clippings here- certainly tells me a lot about them.

But instead of speculating about the creative possibilities of shop dummy wigs, plastic surgery, Photoshop and still choosing all your own clothes even though you’re red/green colourblind, or even asking “Debut Contemporary what?“, let’s hear from the “TOP TASTEMAKERS” themselves. Note that the blaring, almost unreadable ALL CAPS FORMAT, clumsy English and grammatical errors are in the original text:


I wonder which one of them is the wolf, and which is the badger?


Interesting talk happening at the Whitney in NY this weekend…

“Inventing alternative forms of exchange for a fair economy is one of the most crucial creative challenges of our time. The current global economic models and monetary policy are intimating the collapse of the system itself, prompting a new understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of economic theory. The artists on the panel present distinct solutions to alter the way society shares wealth, exchanging resources, goods, and skills through visionary means of trade. In so doing, they propose revolutionary projects for social justice, countering the logic of profit and willful exploitation of instability and inequality.

The panel addresses the deep rooted problems with the conventions and tools of international finance such as the Special Purpose Vehicles, High-Frequency Trading, and even the Bretton Woods system, which has influenced the daily reality of the global population. The artists reject such nonsensical rules and strive to fix the system with new strategies of innovation and subversion, beyond the notions of debt, capital, and even money.

The panelists share their visions by discussing new local and digital currencies, barter schemes, fair finance instruments, and timeshare groups they have been involved in creating. An open debate with the audience follows the presentations. In this lively event, the audience gets involved in brainstorming, imagining, and finding solutions for a large-scale implementation of the models proposed by the artists.

Speakers include Paolo Cirio, Mary Jeys, Jessie Reilly, Gregory Sholette, and Caroline Woolard.

Opportunity shocks

June 7th, 2012 | Posted by admin in gallery - (7 Comments)

Spotted by a Market Project member, a good example of bad practice: an “Open” exhibition in which artists pay £10 to submit their work for consideration, then they pay another £25 if they’re accepted. If you get chosen but fail to pay up promptly, you’ll be deselected.  No artist who wants to be taken seriously should get involved in these kinds of shady practices. Whether it’s on the taking money side or the giving money side, it marks you as a total amateur. Admittedly the sums of money involved are not as large as some we have seen, but the principles behind it are still all wrong:

  • The organisers are not clear about what the money is for and what the artists are buying. They just vaguely say they are covering costs. What they are undertaking to do is also not clear. We presume they will hang or install the work, but they don’t say where or how, or how many artists are likely to be in the exhibition.
  • It is not clear who (if anyone) will see the work, or how (and if) they will go about publicising it.
  • They explicitly deny all duty of care for any art that comes into their possession.
  • There is no explanation of who these people are, what their history is, why anyone should trust them (and pay them) to curate an exhibition, broker sales, etc. Where is their CV and their track record, apart from other similar shows in the same place?
  • As always, it is not obvious what an artist would really gain from being in this exhibition. The organisers clearly gain £10 per entrant and up to £35 per participant.

Unfortunately this is only one example of many that constantly stream through the arts opportunity listings every week- perhaps it’s time for the organisers of these lists to be a bit more principled and discriminating, especially when these listing services and organisations have paying memberships themselves. (more…)


May 21st, 2012 | Posted by Annabel in exhibition | gallery - (Comments Off)


April 20th, 2012 | Posted by david kefford in art | event | exhibition | gallery | venue - (Comments Off)

It was the opening of Repair last night at Aid & Abet where I am showing new sculptures, alongside CJ Mahony, some of which feature in the new Market Project publication.

The exhibition is open Thurs, Fri and Sat from 12-7pm and runs until 5th May