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TC McCormack

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

Summary

I am an artist, curator and researcher. My central preoccupation has always been how we navigate the space between the legacy of modernism and the reach of contemporaneous media.

I make work that explores the aesthetics of cultural memory and considers various phenomena of resistance space. My research involves searching through archives and collections for imagery and speculative contexts, in the social sphere, architecture, film history, sculpture, technology, museology and urban planning.

My work is primarily based in film and installation, yet also spans collage, photography and text. This cross disciplinary approach enables me to inhabit a number of artistic strategies. Though the intentions attributed to each of these media are quite separate, I always consider their potential to connect and translate.

My curatorial-led research offers a space to form connections and engage in rewarding collaborations with artists and arts institutions. I maintain a productive misunderstanding with the notion of curating, not because it is an extension of my practice led research, rather I recognise it is a creative counter force, that challenges me and my practice.

I have exhibited widely internationally and the UK, my work is often commissioned by arts institutions and galleries.

  • About

    I am an artist and curator based in London, my central preoccupation has always been how we navigate the space between the legacy of modernism and the reach of contemporaneous media. I make work that explores the aesthetics of cultural memory and considers the phenomena of resistance space. My research involves searching through archives and collections for imagery and speculative contexts, in the social sphere, architecture, film history, pattern design, museology and urban planning.

    My curatorial led research offers a space to form connections and engage in rewarding collaborations with artists and arts institutions. I have a productive misunderstanding with the notion of curating, not because it is an extension of my practice led research, rather I recognise it is a creative counter force, that challenges my practice.

    I have curated exhibitions in a variety of galleries and arts institutions across Europe, including Viborg Kunsthal, Denmark. Nationalmuseum, Berlin. Kunstraum, Linz, KH7, Aarhus, Denmark. Spor Klübü, Berlin, Spinach, London, Atelier Salzamt, Linz and The Centre for Creative Collaboration, London. I am an associate of RP, a curatorial group based in Berlin, RP’s remit is to generate dialogue and experimentation. 

    I recently co-curated a group exhibition; AS MUCH ABOUT FORGETTING… at Viborg Kunsthal, Denmark. Presenting work by ten artists; featuring installation, sculpture, print, film and performance. The exhibition includes a symposium, a programme of talks, performances, screenings and workshops. This project is co-curated with Jette Gejl (artist, curator & academic at Department of History, Aarhus University, Denmark) and Michelle Atherton (artist and academic at Sheffield Institute of Arts). My artwork was also featured within this exhibition.

    I have exhibited widely internationally and the UK, my work is often commissioned by arts institutions and galleries. I have had films screened at the ICA, London, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Goethe Institute, New York, Platform, Istanbul, FACT, Liverpool, Centre of Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Kunstnernes Hus, Olso, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Purescreen, Manchester and S1 Artspace, Sheffield. 

    www.tcmccormack.co.uk
    www.instagram.com/tcmccormack/

  • Teaching

    Department of Art and Design

    Science, Technology and Arts

    Fine Art

    Fine Art – BA, MA & MFA

    I run the Art Contexts module on MA/MFA Fine Art, Art & its Publics module on MFA Fine Art 

  • Research

    • Art and Design Research Centre
    • Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute

    • Art and Design Research Centre
    • Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute

    A central investigation within my research led art practice has been established through a series of predominantly lens-based works, which have led to a curatorial investigation.

    Art led research outputs:

    Waiting for the Moderns (single channel film)
    in: Not for You, LoBe, Berlin 2011

    The Immense Ventriloquism No.001 (single channel film)
    in: The Absolute Outside, at Spor Klübü, Berlin. 2015

    O-Mine (2016) HD video diptych installation
    in: A Ragged Gesture, at Kunstraum, Linz. 2016

    The Immense Ventriloquism No.003 (installation featuring projected video animation, sculpture & prints) at Nationalmuseum, Berlin. 2017

    Play it as it Lays (installation; projected animation, artefacts & sculpture)
    We didn’t look after it, it fell apart (monitor based video diptych & a large print)
    in: As Much About Forgetting, Viborg Kunsthal, Denmark. 2018

    AS MUCH ABOUT FORGETTING...
    Curated by TC McCormack, Michelle Atherton & Jette Gejl

    Contemporary art is absorbed by the past like never before. Historical references abound,ranging from aesthetic quotes from art history to formal experiments, performative re-enactment to the unfolding, and reinterpreting of various cultural-historical archivalphenomena. Underpinning this curatorial approach is an appreciation of the historical as being informed by complex material and cultural rituals that are open to dispute and displacement through contemporary art. The artists offer moments, turns and dis-associations to you, our public, whom we recognise as being fully rooted, as we are, in a wealth of specific cultural positions fundamental in the formation of our histories.

    In total the exhibition includes a multiplicity of forms including large-scale backlit vinyl prints, installations, sculptures, video, performances as well as artworks that invite the audience for participation and co-creation. Key rooms will change over the course of the exhibition, alterations governed by the evolution of specific artworks and a highly performative workshop programme, in collaboration with external partners including the Viborg

    Artists featured: Laura White (UK), David Toop (UK), Michael Schultze (D), John Russell (UK), Lea Torp Nielsen (Dk /UK), Sophus Ejler Jepsen (Dk), Laura Eggleton & David Steens (UK), Jette Gejl (Dk), Michelle Atherton (UK) and TC McCormack (UK)

    Link: viborgkunsthal.viborg.dk/UDSTILLINGER/2018/As-much-about-forgetting

    Play it as it lays.
    Installation featuring a collection of statues, artefacts, sculpture and contemporary materials, HD digital video projection and audio.
    Presented in the group exhibition: As Much About Forgetting, at Viborg Kunsthal

    Play it as it lays, is an assemblage platform structure, within a time-based installation which features a sequence of projected animated pattern-motifs.
    The assemblage is made up of a collection of artefacts, statues, sculpture and other contemporary materials (including products), this collection has been specifically compiled to be presented at Viborg Kunsthal, including the large statues borrowed from VK’s archive.
    The installation featured audio, a spoken text, featuring multiple voices.

    The time-based immersive installation: Play it as it lays is conceived as an excavation site, a staging to reassess our public and private collections of various categorisations.

    We didn’t look after it, it fell apart.
    Monitor diptych HD video (looped) and large print (back lit)
    Presented in the group exhibition: As Much About Forgetting, at Viborg Kunsthal

    This work features a large print (backlit freestanding) and two monitors, one of which is draped a translucent fabric print. Both monitors display animated sequences that negated a filmic narrative form, rather they present a more spatial animated language. The monitors positioning within the gallery space reflects their function as activating objects or animated forms.

    The Immense Ventriloquism No.003
    at NationalMuseum, Berlin. 2017
    Film diptych, an installation featured sculptures by eight artists: Matthew Burbidge, Ingo Gerken, Sonia Burbidge, Marie von Heyl, Wolf von Kries, Lea Torp Nielsen, Michael Schultze & Oliver Zwink.

    The term Ventriloquism speaks to the immediacy of difference, and of activating the other. With this project I am deliberately dissolving the boundaries between video and sculpture, materiality and immateriality, by foregrounding the temporal as much as spatial conditions of sculpture, and valuing the digital surface with equal regard.

    This work explores some of the contradictions inherent in the legacy of modernism, featuring structures that bely their historical frame or resist our temporal trajectory; to materials that seem to exist in and out of time, or contemporaneously. These ideas inform the project’s visual language; from a divergent fragmentation of surfaces, or dissembling patterns, to an ungraspable slippage of content. Also informing the film’s material configuration; evident in the collaging process within the animations, in the editing structure and within the assemblage fabrication.

    Foregrounding the spatial qualities of projected animation with the temporal conditions of sculpture, enables this work to move away from more conventional narrative structures (in earlier time-based work) to explore a more immersive and intimate environment.

    The Immense Ventriloquism No.001
    featured in: The Absolute Outside, Spor Klübü, Berlin. 2015

    This film series is developing in response to a question, a question that began as a material configuration (a sculptural enquiry) and later translated into text based language.

    The question that this film explores is; What if the truth is a material configuration?
If it’s true that a material configuration can be formulated, categorized or consumed in countless ways, does understanding this reality bring us any closer to recognizing truth; material or otherwise? There are two integral materials, the first is text; which is formed into phrases, as sequences, forming chapters. The second material is the still image; mostly appearing in fragments, as sequences, forming photographic chapters. Each phrase is embedded into a still image, no moving imagery is seen.

    O-Mine  
    HD Video diptych - featured in: A Ragged Gesture, Kunstraum, Linz. 2016

    This film is a kind of visual poem; a particular rhythmic structure is achieved through the cadence of the textual phrasing and the variety and measure of the image sequences. This speculative pairing of framing devices … sees this film move between conflicting dialogues, on a journey to consider the nature of truth. This dichotomy affords a particular form of triangulation with the viewer; seen through two filters, two frames, two ungraspable projections.
    O-Mine references architectural and design forms, industrial topography, it juxtaposes the slipperiness of virtual space with the material conditions of resistance space. The time-based structure within the dual films is deliberately fragmented and disrupted, a periodic shifting occurs between the screens, producing a sequence of ragged gestures.

    Waiting for the Moderns
    featured in: Not For You, LoBe, Berlin. 2011
     
    This film explores the material and socio-political conditions of resistance space. In featuring objects from the mid-century period of Modernist design, the ideologies and aesthetics of that age are summoned up. By reconstructing and transforming them, their history can be extended and indeed reinterpreted, while their original intentions and meaning can be called into question. 

    If a condition of our material relations is to invest objects (designed) with significance and great value, then what becomes of this investment where an individual is confronted by an excessive surplus, to a degree that overwhelms? Massing as a structural devise, can be transformative, but can the sovereignty of a thing survive these conditions, and where then does that individual’s desires rest? 


    Curatorial led research outputs:

    As Much About Forgetting
    Viborg Kunsthal, Denmark, 2018
    Exhibition features: Laura White, David Toop, Michael Schultze, Lea Torp Nielsen, Sophus Ejler Jepsen, Laura Eggleton & David Steens, and presenting Jette Gejl, Michelle Atherton & TC McCormack. Co-curated with Michelle Atherton & Jette Gejl. Viborg Kunsthal, Denmark. 2018

    The Immense Ventriloquism (No.003)
    Nationalmuseum, Berlin. 2017
    Exhibition featured: Matthew Burbidge, Ingo Gerken, Sonia Burbidge, Marie von Heyl, Wolf von Kries, Lea Torp Nielsen, Michael Schultze & Oliver Zwink.

    The Absolute Outside
    Spor Klübü, Berlin. 2015 
Exhibition featured: Richard Sides, Matthew Noel-Todd, Marie von Heyl, Oliver Zwink & TC McCormack

    Always doing Something, with Somebody, Somewhere
    Atelier Salzampt, Linz, Austria. 2015
Exhibition featured Michelle Atherton, Jim Howieson, Sarah Botha, Dale Holmes and Del Hoyle
    Co-curated with Michelle Atherton

    The Man Who Was Wednesday
    Spinach, London. 2013
    Exhibition featured Marie von Heyl and Cerlin Karunaratne

    Domino Office/Riot Augmentation
    Spinach, London, 2013
    Exhibition featured Dale Holmes,


    Object Abuse
    This research project was made in collaboration with Martin Gent

    OA‘s function was to invite a multidisciplinary engagement: as a forum, a curatorial framework, and an archival space. It was set up to provide a platform for people to discuss, provoke, and question the very nature and orientation of objects. The aim was to readdress the unquestioned drives of our collective pursuits, to turn the tables on the object-subject dynamic.
    The symposium: Object Abuse: who’s looking at who? took place in London at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in 2012. This event was the catalyst for the research and the project, it set in motion the framework for an active network, that included researchers from the fields of Museology – Dr Fiona Candlin, Visual Culture - Dr Robert J. Wallis, Product design – Prof. Dale Russell, Animist studies – Graham Harvey, Sculpture – Elizabeth Wright, Literature – Gabriel Gbadamosi, and visual arts - Richard Layzell
    www.objectabuse.com - came into existence to facilitate and extend these discussions, to offer a space to view visual and textual material, and become a visible archival space. The website also presents visual interpretations of the term Object Abuse, images were submitted through invitation and commission. The symposium was supported by ADRC, at SIA (Sheffield Institute of Arts) and RHU (Royal Holloway University). The website was supported by the ADRC, at SIA. www.objectabuse.com

    The absolute outside
    featured the film:
    The Immense Ventriloquism (2015)
    Second in the series; Waiting for the Moderns – film series

    Object Abuse

    OA‘s function is to invite a multidisciplinary engagement: as a forum, a curatorial framework, and an archival space. It has been set up to provide a platform for people to discuss, provoke, and question the very nature and orientation of objects. The aim is to readdress the unquestioned drives of our collective pursuits, to turn the tables on the object-subject dynamic.

    A symposium Object Abuse: who’s looking at who? took place in London on 23 2012 at the Centre for Creative Collaboration. This event was the catalyst for our investigation, as it set in motion the framework for an active network, that included researchers from the fields of Museology – Dr Fiona Candlin, Visual Culture - Dr Robert J. Wallis, Product design – Prof. Dale Russell, Animist studies – Graham Harvey, Sculpture – Elizabeth Wright, Literature – Gabriel Gbadamosi, and Visual arts - Richard Layzell

    www.objectabuse.com has been created to facilitate a discussion,to offer a curatorial framework, and to be a visible archival space. The website is a space to display visual interpretations of the term Object Abuse. Images have been offered through invitation and commission. The site has been supported by the ADRC.

    OA - Open Exhibition was an invitation for artists to submit work to be exhibited in London. This open invitation featured one hundred and sixty-six artists from thirty-five countries. The show included paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, collage and text works.

    The Man Who Was Wednesday - opened in February 2013. This curated two person exhibition featured the prints by Marie von Heyl and sculptures by Cerlin Karunaratne.

    Dale Holmes became our resident artist, over the summer of 2013. Holmes' residency resulted in his augmenting the existing architecture and design of the Spinach space with a constructed series of screens. The title of this work was Domino Office/Riot Augmentation.

    This investigation’s relevance is reflected in recent developments in philosophy and shifts in our socio-cultural landscape, and is finding expression in the visual arts. This questioning of our human-centric perspective is reflected through current ideas found in the works of Bruno Latour, Quentin Meillassoux, Graham Harman, Anselm Franke and others.

    The above series of exhibitions were hosted by Spinach, Islington, London.
    Object abuse has been developed in collaboration with Martin Gent and assisted by Rebecca Stewart and Andrew Welland.

    Dumb Fixity: Who’s looking at who?
    Research project and a Publication

    If we may agree that there is another unheard language, beyond the ring of our ears, may we begin to say what ‘is being said’, what we ‘are not hearing’? This forces us to look deeper, to search for patterns, to learn how to recognise the forces at play. What do these forces look like: the push and pull of matter, material’s resistance or attraction, active or passive agencies, phobic pushes and fetishistic pulls? Are these forces capable of forming a vocabulary?

    The research has acquired a particular methodology of orientation, an extensive study for establishing the true relational proximities of objects in a ‘specified site’. This form of address is quantitative, involving a significant contribution from many perceptive participants; the process offers a means to map a non-subjective actuality (fixity), an associative and relative system of significance that challenges conventional interpretations of materiality.

    This practice is primarily a series of art works and a visual archive, including: The Listening Project, The agency of objects, and a book entited Dumb Fixity: The Impossible Question. These works can be viewed independently of the orientation methodology, while remaining faithful to translation.

    Not for You
    a two person exhibition. LoBe, Berlin

  • Publications

    A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA

    Tegel: Speculations and Propositions.
    ISBN 978-3-941644-59-5
    Publisher: The Green Box, Berlin. 2013
    http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7349

    Brutalist Speculations and Flights of Fancy
    Publisher Site Gallery. 2011
    ISBN 9781899926183
    http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4652

  • Other activities

    External examiner for Fine Art, (BA Hons), at Middlesex University, London 

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Research topics for postgraduate supervision include or have included;
    Time and the hand-made in a digital age; re-turn, re-cycle, re-produce
    Abstract Realism: non-anthropocentric strategies for constructing non-relational artworks
    Models and metaphors in art and healthcare

    Diana Taylor’s supervision is in partnership with The William Morris Gallery, London.

    I supervised the doctoral work of the PhD student Dale Holmes, entitled; Recalcitrant Abstraction, which was submitted successfully in 2013.

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