Unit A, Holbeck New Mills, Braithwaite Street, Leeds, LS11 9XE, 26 March 2017

European Unision | Ruth Spencer Jolly

European Unison’ will be a performance intervention staged at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds on Sunday 26th March 2017 at 6pm, conceived by the emerging artist Ruth Spencer Jolly. 28 pianists gather to represent the members of the European Union and play out the history of the EU from its birth to Brexit. The piece acts as a eulogy to the rich cultural exchange and peacekeeping cooperation we have turned our backs on. The ensemble of pianos demonstrates that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.

Ruth Spencer Jolly is an emerging artist from Birmingham. She recently graduated from the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford and is currently Artist in Residence at St George’s School, Ascot. She has been noted as ‘one to watch’, profiled on Radio 3 Young Artists’ Day in 2015 and has featured in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibitions this year. She specialises in an interdisciplinary practice called ‘Musart’ which lies in the grey zone between the visual arts and music.


  • Thu 22 March 2018

    PERFORM NOW!  The Potentials of a Living Archive.

    Organised by

    Block Universe x Goldsmiths, University of London

    To coincide with the launch of the fourth edition of Block Universe, London’s leading International Performance Art Festival; this panel discussion will bring together a number of contributors across disciplines to discuss past and current dynamics of performance art in the UK, and providing a platform to consider the historical significance of the ephemeral nature of performance art, through the lens and personal accounts of artists, critics, curators and academics.

    The participants include the subversive 1980s performance group The Neo Naturists; Ellen Van Schuylenburch, one of the founding members of Michael Clark Company, Jane Pritchard, curator of dance for the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Lois Keidan, director of the London-based Live Art Development Agency – LADA, as well as artists Evan Ifekoya & Victoria Sin, who are both contributing to this year’s edition of the Block Universe.

    Together we will explore ideas of an active, living archive, one that takes into account the ability of performance to sustain itself and live on through the body rather than the record, thus re-positioning the body as the centre for knowledge in place of the archive. Can we take the inherent choreographic vocabulary in dance as an example? How can performance as memory exist?

    The talk will be moderated by Louise O’Kelly, founder Block Universe and hosted by Astrid Schmetterling, Senior Lecturer in Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, followed by an informal drinks reception to be held at the Student Union Bar.

  • Thu 5 April 2018

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Work, ‘Fictional Encounters’

    The forthcoming event in the What We Talk About ... series of public discussions will explore the use of language as a medium within contemporary art and curatorial practices. Invited speakers will consider the “liminality” of language, focusing on the potential slide into fiction, misunderstanding and failure that a particular use of language in exhibition making and archival practice can facilitate. Speakers include Director of Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Alistair Robertson, curator and writer George Vasey and Amsterdam based curator, writer and semiotician Sara Giannini.