Nought to Sixty

An Introduction

Mark Sladen

4 May 2008
Nought to Sixty is an ambitious, fast-moving programme of exhibitions and events.

Nought to Sixty is an ambitious, fast-moving programme of exhibitions and events that - over the course of six months - is presenting solo projects by sixty emerging British- and Irish-based artists. This wide-ranging programme is being held at the ICA from spring until autumn 2008, over which period there will be new events staged every week, building up a multi-faceted portrait of the contemporary art scene in Britain and Ireland.

The artists in Nought to Sixty are drawn from a thriving art scene that stretches across Britain and Ireland, but which is especially concentrated in cities such as London, Glasgow and Dublin. Most of the participating artists are under thirty-five, and few of them have had significant commercial exposure. The project draws instead on a network of artist-run initiatives and brings this energy into the ICA, emphasising the ICA's founding role as a club which fosters exchange between artists - and between artists and the public.

All of the artists and artist groups in Nought to Sixty are presenting solo projects, and hence the programme avoids the group show format into which emerging artists are so often placed - and instead gives participants a more autonomous space. The core of the programme takes the form of exhibitions in the ICA's Upper Galleries, but the season also includes events in the ICA Theatre, Cinemas and Nash and Brandon Rooms as well in the building's public areas.

Exhibitions will last a week, and are being marked by special opening and closing viewings every Monday evening from 7 to 10pm. Monday evenings are also being used for performances, screenings and talks, as well as for other events featuring Nought to Sixty artists and guests. The special exhibition viewings on Mondays are free and open to all; the other events are also free, although booking for these is required.

The Nought to Sixty programme is being announced monthly, and publicised through the monthly magazine as well as on the ICA's website. As well as details of each month's programme, the magazine and website will also carry further comment and information, including extended essays and a gazetteer of artist-run projects and resources. The ICA wants to encourage debate about the range of forces that make up a healthy art scene, and to this end the events programme includes a series of monthly salon discussions.

Nought to Sixty is being organised by Mark Sladen and Richard Birkett of the ICA, with the help of a wide range of collaborators. The programme is supported by the Scottish Arts Council, Culture Ireland and The Henry Moore Foundation. Additional partners are Afterall, Art Review and LUX. Nought to Sixty is a major part of a range of events designed to mark the ICA's 60th anniversary, a season which climaxes with a 6oth anniversary exhibition and auction in September-October 2008.

Mark Sladen
Director of exhibitions, ICA

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