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The University of Southampton
Critical Practices Research Group

Itinerant Objects at Tate Exchange

Itinerant Objects , part of Winchester School of Art’s Associate programme with Tate Exchange , ran from 5 – 7 April 2019. It operated as an experiment, an exchange, a chance to inhabit the floor of Tate Exchange with a constellation of objects, machines, apparatus, speculative processes and performances as an unprecedented opportunity for collusions. Participants of all ages were able to re-make and exchange: material was manipulated; objects were created; ideas and images were set on migratory paths, creating dialogues with their digital counterparts.

In responding to Tate’s theme this year of 'movement', asking how objects move (and move us), Itinerant Objects sought to question how both ideas and objects travel across borders (geographical, material, conceptual, cultural) and how they transform through different encounters and positions. In their transformations and exchange objects become new things, take on new meanings, and create new situations. Historically we have traded objects upon the Silk Road, which moved goods on mass, but also gave rise to many individual stories across the world. These routes and stories are today re-envisaged on a large scale with China’s One Belt One Road initiative, but they are also re-considered and re-ordered through countless micro- exchanges and through creative practices.

Taking a similar approach to our 2018 programme Building an Art Biennale , drawing on the experience of a range of arts-based research, Itinerant Objects offered a series of activities led by artists, academics, and students, including talks and a daily tea ceremony. Working collaboratively with digital and manual crafting and drawing, with fashion and textiles, and with a radically open form of curation, we encouraged everyone to test, manipulate and assemble constellations of objects across the whole of the Tate Exchange floor, sharing ideas about the stuff that makes up our lives.

SLIP in practice


A specially devised collaborative artwork for Itinerant Objects

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Our partners

Trinity Winchester is a Winchester-based charity that addresses the effects of homelessness and vulnerability through specialist practical and emotional support, and proactive prevention, empowering positive change. They help people who are vulnerable to the effects of homelessness, addiction, physical and mental ill health, poverty, social isolation and domestic abuse. Trinity’s Art Group was setup by Alistair Eales in 2001. It offers three art sessions a week: a Women’s Service art session, an Arty IT session and a drop-in art session. The group members and Winchester School of Art’sstaff and students have collaborated on a series of preparatory creative workshops for Itinerant Objects.

Southwest University , in Chongqing (China), is a member of the ‘Double First University’ and ‘211 Project’, receiving support for their development and construction from the Central Government of China. The university covers a broad range of academic disciplines including philosophy, economics, law, pedagogics, literature, history, science, engineering, agriculture and management, as well as key departments for fashion, textile and fine arts.

Tate Exchange is based on the fifth floor of the Blavatnik Building at Tate Modern (London). It is described as a ‘place for all to play, create, reflect and question what art can mean to our everyday’. Working with over 60 Associates from the UK and internationally, it offers a platform for all involved to explore how art and society meet. ‘Exchange’ is central to what Tate Exchange offers, with the Associates representing a wide range of interests, skills and audiences and includearts and culture organisations, charities, universities, healthcare trusts and community groups working within and beyond the arts.


Itinerant Objects was devised and presented by Reem Alasadi, Jane Birkin, Andrew Carnie, Daniel Cid, Ian Dawson and Sunil Manghani at Winchester School of Art and Paul Reilly and Andrew Merion Jones in Archaeology, University of Southampton, along with Alistair Eales at Trinity Winchester. The project is in collaboration with postgraduate researchersat Winchester School of Art, Ana Čavić (with Renée O’Drobinak, aka Ladies of the Press*), Panagiotis Ferentinos, Eria Nsubuga, Noriko Suzuki-Bosco, and Lucy Woollett, along with Fashion, Textiles and Fine Art students, including The Bad Poets. Also with support from fellow academics Feng Jie at Southwest University, China and Zhang Rui, College of Culture of Art, Chengdu University of Information Technology, China.

Itinerant Objects was supported by Southwest University, China, and University of Southampton Confucius Institute. It is a research-led project of the Critical Practice Research Group at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.

Winchester School of Art at Tate Exchange
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