I have been invited to work with Olivia Plender on a book that brings together newly commissioned texts, edited conversations, existing texts and excerpts, as well as her own reflections and comments on her wide-ranging practice and previously published writings by her and about her work by others.
The book follows the exhibition ‘Olivia Plender: Rise Early, Be Industrious’, which had three iterations in the UK in 2012/2013: at MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, the Arnolfini in Bristol, and the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. A fourth exhibition – ‘Society is a Workshop’ at The Banff Centre (2013) – provides an additional point of reference.
Plender’s research-based practice focuses on educational models, including games, world fairs, television and the Internet, exploring how attitudes towards education have evolved over time. She also questions how official historical narratives are constructed, looking at the hierarchies behind the ‘voice of authority’ that is traditionally produced by educational institutions within the public sphere, such as the museum, the academy, the national library and the media.
Contributors to the book include Lars Bang Larsen, Tirdad Zolghadr and Maeve Connelly.
Due early 2016.