Uncaptioned image.
Uncaptioned image.

The Jean Fisher Archive Reading Group - Session 2

13 July 2022, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Nine Elms

Part 2 of a series of reading groups led by Michelle Williams Gamaker, working through articles and objects from the archive of the late Jean Fisher (1942–2016).

Together with guest speakers, the sessions bring materials from the archive into conversation with artworks, videos, sounds and objects taking questions written by hand in the margins of Fisher’s notes as starting points.

Fisher was a critic and writer whose work often explored colonial legacies and sites of conflict including Ireland, Native America, the Black Atlantic and Palestine. She championed artists including Francis Alÿs, Sonia Boyce, Willie Doherty, Jimmie Durham, Edgar Heap of Birds, Susan Hiller, Tina Keane, Gabriel Orozco, Anne Tallentire and Steve McQueen. She taught widely including at Middlesex University, Byam Shaw and the Royal College of Art. Fisher had a long-standing and productive working relationship with Matt’s Gallery and our director Robin Klassnik, often writing on artists that were shown here and sometimes penning press releases for the gallery.

To join: Spaces are limited. To apply for a place please send a sentence or two (written or recorded) explaining your interest in the project to info@mattsgallery.org by 5pm on Monday 4 July.

Session 2, Boxes number 2 and 3 The Only Good One is a Dead One

Wednesday 13 July 2022, 18:30–20:30

Guest speaker Willie Doherty

Main readings (to be sent to participants):

From Box 3:

· Jean Fisher Fragments of an Anxious Landscape 
(Notes on a tour of Derry in 1989, annotated with Fisher’s reflections)

From Box 2:

· Exhibition catalogue: Willie Doherty: The Only Good One is a Dead One, catalogue essay by Jean Fisher, 1996

To share at Session 1:

· Context document: Module Outline: Semester 1: 1997/1998, Imaging the Other: Visual Representation and Cultural Difference, History and Theory of Visual Culture, Middlesex University.
A breakdown of Jean’s Middlesex Semester 1 lectures from the 1997/98 series (History & Theory of Visual Culture)

· Slides: Anne Tallentire and work-seth/tallentire

· Moving image: Anne Tallentire THE GAP OF TWO BIRDS (1990)

Optional additional reading:

· Reflections on Willie Doherty’s Work, accessible online at: https://www.jeanfisher.com/reflections-on-willie-dohertys-work/


Since the mid-1980s Derry-based artist Willie Doherty has focused his attention on the conflict in Northern Ireland, and specifically on the border zone in and around Derry. The Irish landscape is a constant subject of the work, for The Only Good One is a Dead One, Jean Fisher was guest curator of the show which was co-produced for The Edmonton Art Gallery and Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon.