Glasgow & St Andrews Events

1st September: Glasgow3rd September: St Andrews

Mackintosh’s Contemporary: the Contemporary, Tradition and History

1st September 2015, Glasgow School of Art


An International symposium with the Leverhulme International Network for Contemporary Studies (LINCS) at the Glasgow School of Art, 1st September 2015 examined three moments of the contemporary on the GSA campus: namely the Mackintosh Art School itself as a ‘contemporary’ rather than ‘modern’ building; the Reid building as a contemporary reworking of the original Mac; and the project for the contemporary rebuilding of the Mackintosh library. The symposium featured talks and events presented by academics, architects, artists, conservationists, filmmakers, historians and musicians.

1) Mackintosh’s Contemporary? And The New Reid building at Glasgow School of Art in its relationship to Mackintosh’s Masterpiece
Chair : Dr Frances Robertson

9.15 Ian Alexander ‘Correspondence’
Architect, Principal of JM Architects, site architects on the new Reid Building at GSA

9.45 Prof. Johnny Rodger ‘The  Cubist Moment as paradigm for the contemporary’
Glasgow School of Art, Professor of Urban Literature

10.15 Brian Park  ‘Is Genius more than surface deep?: The ‘Masterpiece’ under post-fire scrutiny’
Principal of Page and Park Architects, the architects designing the ‘rebuilding’ of the Mackintosh

10.45 Prof. George Cairns ‘Mackintosh and Glasgow School of Art: Contemporary reality and the “not-of-their-time” myth’
Adjunct Professor at QUT Business School, Brisbane, his PhD at GSA produced detailed drawings of the Mackintosh’s school

2) Re-Making Mackintosh – contemporary?
Chair : Alison Stevenson

11.45 Liz Davidson
Building Conservationist, Senior Project Manager of Mackintosh Restoration Project

12.15 Dr Robyne Calvert
Art Historian, Glasgow School of Art, Mackintosh Research Fellow

12.45 Paul Clarke ‘Between the stone and the tree’
Reader in Architecture at the University of Ulster-  Paul Clarke’s drawings of the Mac library were published by Phaidon. He is now working with the Page & Park team to rebuild the Mackintosh Library

3) Architecture & the Beaubourg effect: how the cultural building refocuses the contemporary city
Chair: Prof. Johnny Rodger

3.15 Prof. Charlie Sutherland
Architect, Principal of Sutherland Hussey Architects spoke on his work designing and building  the New City Museum, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

3.30 Dr Hu Lin
Tsinghua Univ. spoke on his work designing and building the New City Museum, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

3.45 Prof. Stephen Davismoon  ‘Spectral aura of the Beaubourg’
Composer, Head of Music and Performance at Salford University. Talk on IRCAM  recording studio (set up by Pierre Boulez) as part of the interdisciplinary ‘contemporary’ at Beaubourg (Prof Davismoon has spent several working residencies at IRCAM), and a site specific performance of specially composed music for the Holl building at GSA

4.15 Prof Lionel Ruffel. ‘Displaying the Contemporary
Contemporary and General Literature at Paris 8 University. He introduced the historical and aesthetic category of the contemporary as a question of display and showed how the transformation of the public spaces of art has played a major role in establishing the contemporary

4.45 Dr Mitchell Miller, ‘A Contemporary style of drawing , the Dialectogram’.
A writer & illustrator, Miller has just completed his PhD at GSA developing a specific type of drawing called the dialectogram which engages a range of social and artistic techniques contemporaneously. He talked about his application of the technique to the Mackintosh building

Mackintosh’s Contemporary Concert: ‘Sounding the Reid’

Featuring music by Kaija Saariaho, Karlheinz Essl and Stephen Davismoon

Performed by Taylor Wilson (Mezzo Soprano) Feargus Hetherington (Violin and Viola) Sophie Askew (Harp) and Stephen Davismoon (Electronics).  With Gary Kinghorn on Technical Direction.

Stations of the Clyde – Prelude (Stephen Davismoon 2014)

Sequitur IX for Mezzo-Soprano and Live Electronics (Karlheinz Essl 2009)

Stations of the Clyde – Interlude I (Stephen Davismoon 2014)

Fall – for Harp and Live Electronics (Kaija Saariaho 1991)

Vent Nocturne – for Viola and Live Electronics (Kaija Saariaho 2006)

Stations of the Clyde – Interlude II (Stephen Davismoon 2014)

Driven Voids for Mezzo-Soprano, Violin, Harp and Live Electronics (Stephen Davismoon World Premiere Performance 2015)

Stations of the Clyde – Coda (Stephen Davismoon 2014)

Event Sponsors: The  Leverhulme Trust, Glasgow School of Art, Mackintosh School of Architecture, Salford University, The Drouth.

The Contemporary and/in Literatures

3rd September 2015, University of St Andrews
Introduction by Margaret-Anne Hutton

9:00 - 10:30: Writing and Selling Books

Maylis de Kerangal. Works include: Naissance d’un pont (2010; Prix Médicis) available in EnglishTangente vers l’est (2012) ; Réparer les vivants (2013) (see review of English translation); A ce stade la nuit (2014)

Ruth Thomas Works include: The Dance Settee and other Stories (2000); Things to Make and Mend (2007); Super Girl (2009); The Home Corner (2013). More about Ruth Thomas

Robert Topping.  Owner of independent bookshop Topping & Company Booksellers

11:00 - 1:00 & 2:00 - 3:30: Presentations by Invited Speakers

Speakers were deliberately not given any brief beyond a 15-20 minute presentation on (a) ‘contemporary’ issue(s) arising in their literary field

Peter Boxall: Professor of English, University of Sussex

Marijeta Bozovic: Assistant Professor of Slavic Language and Literature, Yale University. About Marijeta’s work

Rebecca Braun: Senior Lecturer in German, Lancaster University, and Director of ‘Authors and the World’ project

The Arab Contemporary: War and the Imagery of Muhammad Khudayyir“,
Fabio Caiani
: Lecturer in Arabic, University of St Andrews & Catherine Cobham: Lecturer in Arabic, University of St Andrews

Margaret Hillenbrand: Associate Professor of Modern Chinese; Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford

Margaret-Anne Hutton: Professor of French and Comparative Literature, University of St Andrews, and Director of the Institute for Contemporary and Comparative Literature

Florian Mussgnug: Reader in Italian and Comparative Literature, UCL

Lionel Ruffel: Professeur de littérature générale et comparée

Saeed Talajooy: Lecturer in Persian, University of St Andrews

3:45 - 5:30: The Contemporary: Talking Points

Texts and websites selected by participants were circulated to all in advance for discussion.

Margaret Hillenbrand
: ‘What’s behind China’s growing legions of online readers
Keywords: author; prosumer; obscurity

Peter Boxall
Text: Don deLillo, ‘The Starveling’ in The Angel Esmeralda
Keywords: depletion; screen; late 

Rebecca Braun
Text (video)
: ‘Karen Leeder on the Politics and Practice of Translation
Keywords: prizes; circulation; institutions

Marijeta Bosovic
Poetry on the Front Line: Kirill Medvedev and a New Russian Poetic Avant-Garde
Keywords: avant-garde; author as producer; print and digital text

Margaret-Anne Hutton
Text (video): ‘Katherine Hayles: A Theory of the Total Archive
Keywords: dated; selection; poetry as lies

Catherine Cobham and Fabio Caiani
: Andreas Pflitch, ‘The End of Illusions’, in Arabic Literature. Postmodern Perspectives and Sinan Antoon The Corpse Washer
Keywords: war; exile; hybridity

Saeed Talajooy
Text: ‘Intellectuals as Sacrificial Heroes: A Comparative Study of Bahram Beyzaie and Wole Soyinka
Keywords: intertextuality; contemporary political discourses; reformulation

Lionel Ruffel
: ‘The Economy of Attention
Keywords: attention; fiction; addiction

Florian Mussgnug
Text: ‘Introduction’, Postmodern Impegno
Keywords: activism; realism; genre