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'Burnout' (20mins) is a spoken word performance as 'Em' who works, guards, and ruminates amongst the empty ruins of a civic gallery in the year 2223. Their waking hours are to patrol this desolate gallery in a crumbling post-climate northern city. This role is in constant limbo, rooted with repetitive hours, speculative thrills, archival whispers, and lucid disassociations that never pass the time. Ignored by unwanted visitors and those of higher-class grades, this is a fleeting call from a future worker about a city that never was and an art sector that is forever gone - in a hazardous loop of heat, memory, and lost collections. This performance was part of the BAN Conference: 'British Art after Britain', guest convened by Dr Marcus Jack in partnership with the Hunterian Art Gallery, Tate and Paul Mellon Centre.


As questions about statehood, democracy and (dis)unity rise anew in the year of a Coronation, British Art after Britain reflects on the influence of regionalisation since the historic moment of the Good Friday Agreement and founding of parliaments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Converging with these pathways of self-determination, a decentralising agenda backed by lottery funds established new galleries and arts centres across the country at the turn of the millennium. As these organisations and their buildings approach their quarter-centenary and with a renewed levelling-up plan incentivising relocation outside of London, this conference calls for a conversation about the changing provisions for art, its histories, and audiences outside of the metropolitan centre and amidst the challenges of economic and ecological permacrisis. Imagining futures beyond endurance, it asks how approaches to exhibition-making, collecting and curatorial work might negotiate, trouble and respond to the changing relations of Britain to its constituent nations and the world beyond.


Supported by the Paul Mellon Centre and Tate, the British Art Network (BAN) promotes curatorial research, practice and theory in the field of British art. Its members include curators, academics, artist-researchers, conservators, producers and programmers at all stages of their professional lives.

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