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Sharon Kivland

Dr Sharon Kivland

Reader in Fine Art


I am an artist, writer, and editor. My work considers what is put at stake by art, politics, and psychoanalysis.

  • About

    I am an artist and writer working in London and France. I have exhibited widely in and North America. Publications include A Case of Hysteria, Book Works, London, 1999, a work that led to many other books. Filigrane Editions, France, published a small book on my work Le bonheur des femmes, which began in the perfume departments of the grands magasins of Paris, where I retreated after walking the streets in pursuit of Marx and Freud, in the shadow of Lacan. It is a practice of refinement, enacted in archives, libraries, the arcades, and in the intersection of public political action and private subjectivity. I follow Sigmund Freud on holiday; to date I have dreamt of Rome, been melancholy in Trieste, had a disturbance of memory in Athens, forgot a proper name, and walked in the mountains, which can be traced in Freud on Holiday. Volume I. Freud Dreams of Rome (Information as material 2006), Freud on Holiday. Volume II. A Disturbance of Memory (Information as material, York, with Cube art editions, Athens, 2007), Freud on Holiday.Volume III. The Forgetting of a Proper Name (Cube art editions, 2011), and Freud on Holiday Volume IV 

    These are accompanied by a series of four appendices: Freud’s Dining, Freud’s Weather, Freud’s Hotels, Freud’s Shopping (Information as material, 2011–12). I forgot my shoes on the steps of the Freud Museum, London, thought of witty and amusing remarks too late on the stairs of the Freud Museum, Vienna, and pictured the bouquets Freud did not receive; these events are recounted in L'esprit d'escalier, An Agent of the Estate (Information as material, 2007 and 2008), and Afterwards (with Forbes Morlock, Warwick Arts Centre, 2009. Recent works follow revolutionary movements in France (moments of communal luxury), taking up fashion and fashioning (the shaping of bodies) and education. Reading and politics are evoked and feminised, draped in silk or satin, befurred, charmed and charming. Exhibitions include: Crazy about their bodies / Folles de leur corps (CGP, London, 2104); Natürliche Formen – Von Frauen, Füchsen und Lesern (Dieselkraftwerkmuseum, Cottbus, 2015); and The Natural Forms, Part II: The Readers. The Foxes. The Tracts. Some Coquetteries (Kunstverein-Tiergarten Berlin, 2015-16).

    Art practice and theory, Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, desire and the unconscious, Marxism, French revolutionary politics, continental philosophy, feminism, embodiment and irony

  • Teaching

    Department of Art and Design

    Science, Technology and Arts

    Fine Art

    Convenor of the Transmission lecture series

    Art Contexts: Writing Art

  • Research

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

    Recent works follow revolutionary movements in France (moments of communal luxury), taking up fashion and fashioning (the shaping of bodies) and education, and include rewritings of Marx's footnotes to Capital, Emile Zola's novel Nana, and the seminars of Jacques Lacan, refigured as love letters to SK. Sharon Kivland is also currently working on a fifth volume of Freud on Holiday.

    The press MA BIBLIOTHÈQUE was established by artist and writer Sharon Kivland in 2013. She writes, as her manifesto: ‘The editor invites authors she considers to be good readers. She agrees with Nabokov that a good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader, is a re-reader. She knows her writers and they know her, even when they have not yet met. They have read each other, or believe themselves to have done so. They are flirtatious, ruffling pages. She likes those who do not hesitate to buy the books she publishes, but under certain circumstances will make excuses for those who do not. She promises to do her best. The best is reading.’  The press produces three series: The Good Reader, signed and numbered limited editions whose authors take up an aspect of reading/re-reading; The Constellations, novellas or book-length essays, again with the implication of reading or revisiting texts; and a more diverse collection that ranges from experimental poetry, film criticism, conceptual writing, artists’ projects, and anthologies (one in print, another forthcoming). The press seeks to make unexpected juxtapositions, to explore new and existing forms of conceptual writing and art writing, to provide alternative modes of research on contemporary culture in relation to reading strategies. Solidarity and collective engagement is of importance, as is locating and dislocating textual/literary forms  and introducing new authors or new fields of enquiry to new audiences. It is a platform for works that do not fit neatly into any category, and whose authors find it difficult to publish as a result.


    Vicissitudes, histories and destinies of psychoanalysis

    Mon Fils

    A Wind Of Revolution

    Reproductions I & III

    Reading As Art

    Freud On Holiday

    The Natural Forms 

    Die Holzdiebe

    Entreprise de seduction

    Folles de leur corps / Crazy about their bodies

    Le Modèle

    Armel-Beaufils. Le regard des femmes

    The Fabric of Felicity

    La beauté révélée

  • Publications

  • Other activities

    Sharon Kivland has been an external examiner for many courses, including currently BA Fine Art, Manchester Metropolitan University,   MA Fine Art, University of Lincoln, MFA Art and Duncan of Jordonstone. She has examined PhDs and an MPhil, in diverse subjects, at the Royal College of Art, University of Leeds, Goldsmiths College University of LondonL, University of Coventry, London Metropolitan University, University of Kent, University of Reading.

  • Postgraduate supervision

    • 'Reiterative Drawing as Translation: Making, Resistance, and the Negotiated Encounter’
    • 'The reclamation of patient narrative: Interrogating patient experience of genetic conditions through film
    • 'Working through Fragments: Fictionalising the Archive'
    • 'Drawing out Language: Destabilisation of Narrative Sense through Conceptual Writing'
    • 'Mallarmé and the embodied gesture: In the expanded field of painting'
    • 'The uncanny in film, art and neuroscience.’ 
    • ‘Visualising unspoken narratives: interrogating meaning through reflexive art practice’
    • ‘Heritage as Process: Reconstructing the Historical Child’s Voice through Art Practice’
    • ‘Truth is Structured Like a Fiction: Memoir and the Expanded Screenplay’
    • ‘Streetwalker: the flȃneuse and the electronic flȃneur’ (Heritage Consortium, Leeds Beckett University)
    • ‘Consumed by the Imagination’ (Royal College of Art, London)
    • ‘Not Playing With Words: Writing As Criticism As Writing As Art’
    • ‘Divination as a Methodology for Experimental Reading’
    • “Listening for echoes: Afterwardsness as a model for artistic practice’ (University of the Arts London)

    • 'A Study of the Relationship between Art Practice and Citizenship'
    • 'Make Me Yours: The Psychodynamics of Seduction Through Works of Art'
    • 'Poetics of the Interface – Creating Works of Art that Engage in Self-Reflection'
    • 'In Search of Space: Exploring the Dynamic Relation of Person and Place'
    • 'The reclamation of patient narrative: Interrogating patient experience of genetic conditions through film’
    • ‘Consumed by the Imagination’ (Royal College of Art, London)
    • Completed so move down?

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