'Mixed Up, but in a good way…’, an introduction from Marquard Smith, 1/3

‘Mixed Up, but in a good way…’ is a project led by graduate students in Art, Design & Museology at UCL Institute of Education, London, for the International Association for Visual Culture (IAVC).

The project is conceived by a curatorial collective of students who are of mixed heritage, or interested in how mixed heritage might shape their activities as artists, designers, artist-educators, teachers, curators, and museum and gallery professionals.

The students are curious about what happens when mixed-up-ness is a starting point (rather than an added extra) for thinking and doing (know-what and know-how) in art, design, and museology; and thus how it might transform the workings and effects of learning and teaching, making and curating, thinking and doing in schools, universities, museums and galleries, the art world, and beyond.

Put simply, how does being mixed-up (and thinking mixed-up-ness) change our beginnings, the shape of our ideas, what we’re capable of realising?

In our ever more excitable, caustic, polarised, and yet seemingly homogenous global public culture, how might mixed-up-ness lead the activities, the projects, the programming, the exhibitions, the ambitions of these students; and their ways of being and becoming more experimental, demanding, and empathetic as colleagues, professionals, collaborators, as citizens of our global commons, and advocates for social justice?

As the IAVC’s first Curator-in-Residence, this curatorial collective will ‘curate’ the Association’s blog and Instagram account for three months, starting in early February 2019.

In the forthcoming three months, and building on recent conversations, reading groups, and meetings between the students, four ‘chapters’ of the curatorial collective will write and post regular blog posts. These posts will be accompanied by clusters of images that, over time, will assemble to constitute an archive, a resource, a living methodology for thinking (and thinking through) mixed-up-ness:

  • The week of 4th February: Decolonising

  • Monday 25th February: The Translative

  • Monday 18th March: Fugees

  • Monday 8th April: A Rejoinder

These blog posts and images will, we hope, enable ‘Mixed Up, but in a good way…’ as a project to provoke similar curiosity in the IAVC’s members, networks, and communities of practice. It’ll inaugurate further Curator-in-Residence projects in the months and years to come that will also offer insights that can further strengthen the Association’s commitment to fostering communication and exchange amongst individuals and institutions engaged in the critical analysis of and interventions in visual cultures.


Image: Jade Montserrat, ‘“My anger became my motivation”: Baroness Lawrence on Grenfell’, 2018. Photo: Benedict Johnson, 2018

Jade Montserrat

Dec 2018 - May 2019

Part of the following series:

Night Tube Map

Tube Map

For the fifth edition of the pocket Night Tube map commission series, British artist Jade Montserrat, has created a pencil and watercolour work on paper. The work draws on the artist’s long-standing text-based series, examining individual experiences of structural racism in Britain, shaping our understanding and experience of the world we live in.

The map will be accompanied by a poster work titled ‘“My anger became my motivation”: Baroness Lawrence on Grenfell’, displayed in the 270 London Underground stations and a limited edition print, ‘In memory of Sarah Reed’. Both titles directly reference current incidents of exploitation in the UK.

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