“Art has the power to unite and transform,” says Cherie Federico, Director of Aesthetica. “It takes us to new places and introduces us to new cultures; most importantly, it reminds us of our humanity. We see creativity as a form of expression and a way to convene, discuss and make sense of the present, at this critical juncture in history.” The Future Now Symposium embodies this ethos – bringing together award-winning artists for talks that explore, discover and engage with themes from our rapidly changing world. This year, featured speakers include Ingrid Pollard, Cornelia Parker and Yuri Suzuki, alongside representatives from Barbican, Hayward Gallery, Arts Council England and many more.
On Thursday 23 March, Turner Prize-nominee Ingrid Pollard will speak about her career – how she has broken new ground and forged pathways for younger generations. Elsewhere, Marshmallow Laser Feast take a deep dive into the world of multi-sensory experiences, whilst Heather Agyepong examines creativity, mental health and wellbeing. Pioneering duo Aziz + Cucher teach audiences about “post-photography”, and a cutting-edge panel unpicks the complex world of art, NFTs and the metaverse.
Day two, Friday 24 March, opens with insights from Stuart Semple, who answers the question: what does it mean to be a painter in the 21st century? Later, Ori Gersht, who is best known for destroying painstakingly recreated versions of classical paintings on camera, will speak about his fascinating practice. Yuri Suzuki bridges the boundaries between sound design and installation, whilst Friday’s panel offers advice on funding from New Contemporaries, Arts Council England and Jerwood. Finally, Future Now rounds off the day with Cornelia Parker RA OBE – one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists.
Aesthetica’s symposium is a key event in the UK art calendar, encompassing an array of inspiring talks, networking events and essential portfolio review opportunities for artists. The 2023 edition asks: how do curators make decisions? How does an idea develop into a fully realised exhibition? How can you ensure artistic success? In a world where attention spans have been reduced to three seconds, how do you captivate audiences? Key institutions, galleries and artists come together to invigorate minds and invite discussions around the most pressing topics from the creative sector. Plus, the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition opens at York Art Gallery, showcasing work by 20 trailblazing contemporary names.
1. Anna Devís and Daniel Rueda.
2. Ingrid Pollard, Self Evident, 1992, 9 colour light boxes, each 50.8 x 50.8 cm and 8 silver gelatin prints, each 84.1 x 118.8 cm. Courtesy of the artist.