Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain, 1945 to Now | Conference | Tate Britain

27-28 March 2020


Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain, 1945 to Now

Join us for this two-day conference exploring the art of collage, from the post-war period to the present day.

Since the Second World War, collage has provided artists working in Britain with a complex and critical mode of creative practice.

From the fractured aesthetics of brutalism and the borrowed motifs of Pop to the countercultural graphics of punk, the subversive ephemera of feminist collectives, and the layered poetics of self-exile and transnational identity, collage has offered a vital means to repurpose the visual and textual materials of a common culture.

At key moments of socio-political struggle, collage has been mobilised to suggest alternative viewpoints, to dismantle dominant narratives, and to offer searing and satirical forms of critique.

Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain, 1945 to Now locates collage at the vanguard of artistic production. It poses new questions about the materialities and technologies of collage, as well as the methodologies and historiographies through which we encounter it today.

An international array of speakers present fresh perspectives on collage as process and as object, and on its contribution to modern and contemporary visual art in Britain and beyond.



FRIDAY 27 March 2020 at 16.00–18.30

16.00–16.15 Introductory remarks by Mark Hallett and Rosie Ram

16.15–17.15 Panel 1, chaired by Barry Curtis

  • Ben Cranfield: Fragmenting Practices of the Contemporary: The Queer Timeliness of the Collage and the Curatorial
  • Craig Buckley: An Architecture of Clipping: Reyner Banham and the Definition of Collage

17.15–18.15 Keynote by Claire Zimmerman, chaired by Victoria Walsh

SATURDAY 28 March 2020 at 10.00–17.00

10.00–10.10 Introductory remarks

10.10–11.30 Keynote by David Alan Mellor and Thomas Crow, chaired by Elena Crippa

  • Ev’ry Which Way: Kensington Phantasmagorias and Californian Dreamings

11.30–12.00 Coffee break

12.00–13.00 Panel 2, chaired by Andrew Wilson

  • Nicola Simpson: Not this and not that. Cutting a(way) to a Tantric Buddhist Collage in the work of Dom Sylvester Houédard
  • Andrew Hodgson: Xeroxing Surrealism: TRANSFORMAcTION and Collage as Aesthetic Continuity

13.00–14.00 Lunch break

14.00–15.00 Panel 3, chaired by Jo Applin

  • Amy Tobin: ‘I Can’t Swim I Have Nightmares’: Linder and Photomontage 1976–2019
  • Alice Correia: Chila Kumari Burman: Punk Punjabi Protest

15.00–15.30 Tea break

15.30–16.30 Panel 4, chaired by Hammad Nasar

  • Amna Malik: Collage as a Poetics of (Self) Exile? Gavin Jantjes’s A South African Colouring Book (1974-5) and the Black British Arts Movement
  • Allison Thompson: Come Together: Collage Aesthetics in the Work of Sonia Boyce

16.30–16.45 Closing remarks by Elena Crippa



Tate Britain, The Clore Auditorium, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG

Supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art