Artist-in-residence to use Essex social science research as inspiration for new work

  • Date

    Wed 20 Mar 19

London based artist, Alicja Rogalska, is to be the first artist-in-residence at our Faculty of Social Sciences.

Alicja will spend her residency producing a film project that responds to and reflects the world-leading research undertaken in the Faculty.

The residency will be funded by Arts Council England and is a collaboration between the Faculty, Focal Point Gallery, based at The Forum in Southend-on-Sea, and Art Exchange based at our Colchester campus.

"It's hard not to be excited by this imaginative and bold experimental initiative."
Professor Jason Glynos  department of government

Professor Jason Glynos from our Department of Government is the lead academic on the project. He said: “It is hard not to be excited by this imaginative and bold experimental initiative.

“Research staff in the Faculty of Social Sciences have long produced work that is widely acknowledged to be world-leading, generating new perspectives that help us better understand social, economic, and political issues linked to sexuality, race, migration and refugees, inequality and poverty, technology, ideology, and so on.

“These perspectives often open up new ways to imagine, analyse, and tackle things differently.

“To bring an artist’s sensibility and creativity into contact with this work provides a unique opportunity to explore, in a distinctive way, the contribution Essex research makes to speculative and critical thinking.”

Throughout her residency Alicja will be given exclusive access to the Faculty’s archive and its academics. The six months will culminate in an exhibition at Art Exchange, screenings at Big Screen Southend, and an extensive public programme of talks, art workshops and school visits.

Alicja’s practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses research and production with a focus on social structures and the political subtext of daily life.

She has been widely exhibited and participated in residencies internationally, including Paradise Air in Matsudo/Tokyo, MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, IASPIS in Stockholm, MeetFactory in Prague, National University of Colombia in Bogota and TATE Britain in London.

She attended the Home Workspace programme at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut and has received grants from Arts Council England, Instytut Adama Mickiewicza and the European Cultural Foundation, in addition to artist bursaries from Artsadmin and a-n.

"This is a truly fantastic opportunity for me as an artist whose work and research engages with social and political issues and draws on social sciences...." 
Alicja Rogalska artist-in-residence

Speaking about the residency, Alicja said: "This is a truly fantastic and unique opportunity for me as an artist whose work and research engages with social and political issues and draws a lot on social sciences and my background in cultural studies.

“I'm hoping to specifically address what ideas for alternative, desirable futures are being discussed and researched at the moment, especially given the current crisis of political imaginary in wider society."

The residency forms part of Radical ESSEX, a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. The project is led by Focal Point Gallery, working with partners across the county, and has received national coverage in The Guardian and the New Statesman – most recently with the Radical ESSEX publication which features a chapter on the founding and architecture of our University.

Follow Alicja on Instagram @Alicja_rogalska