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Around the Table with Liza Fior and the Vacuum Cleaner (James Leadbitter)

On celebrating ‘madness’

Series: Lunchtime Lecture
Date: Wednesday 21 November 2018
Time: 13:00
Venue: AA Restaurant

How can negativity associated with mental health issues be channelled into new forms of creativity - turning a problem into a productive situation? This lecture will investigate the logic and structure of the ‘mad’ in relation to creative practice, not as a way to romanticise mental illness and the ‘artistic genius’ but more as a way to understand alternative methods to exist and cope.


Working across forms including performance, installation and film, the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter) addresses challenging and taboo issues such as consumerism and mental health. From one man shows to large scale participatory actions, his approach is both subtle and extreme, but always candid, provocative and playful. the vacuum cleaner’s work has been exhibited throughout the UK, recent major commissions include Wellcome Collection, Broadmoor Hospital and FACT. International commissions include Festspiele /Gessnerallee (Zurich) and Vooruit/Dr Guislain Hospital Museum (Ghent). His films have been commissioned by BBC4 and Channel 4. He was a Tate Modern/Britain Artist in Residence 2016/17 and is an Artsadmin Artist. 


Liza Fior was born in London where she continues to practice as founding partner of muf architecture/art. The work of the practice has been internationally recognised, including the only UK winners of the European Prize for Public Space for projects that have mainly been focused in East London but not exclusively so. Their work in London includes the Olympic Fringe suite of projects from Hackney Wick to Whitechapel, Barking Town Square and Making Space in Dalston. The interest of the studio is to make shared public spaces for more than one (fragile) thing at a time.


Image: The Vacuum Cleaner and Hannah Hull's Madlove - Designer Asylum, 2016, Design by Christian and Koslowski. Image credit - Wellcome



All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.


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