Lecturer, Critical & Contextual Studies
In the last few years my research has been focused on ex-Yugoslavia, in particular Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. I lived both in Skopje and in Sarajevo between 2011-14, before starting at Gray’s, and wrote extensively on contemporary art in both countries, in addition to curating shows in Cetinje, Sarajevo, Skopje, and Zagreb.
My main interests are in transition, the effects of neo liberalism, Communist and post-communist cultures, and the politics and dynamics of contemporary art and artists in these spaces. The research grows out of a long-standing interest in the relationship between ideas of nationhood, identity, and creative practice.
My book, Critical Art in Contemporary Macedonia, has recently been published in Skopje and adds to a growing bibliography of books and essays on contemporary art. In the year ahead, 2016-17, I will curate two exhibitions at Summerhall in Edinburgh, publish two new e-books on contemporary Bosnian artists, and am co-chair of a strand of the Association of Art Historians’ annual conference in Loughborough, focusing on Radical Politics, Counter-Culture and Political Transformation in the Western Balkans since 1968. I will also curate an exhibition of contemporary Macedonian video art here at Gray’s in November- the first of its kind anywhere in the UK.
This relationship between political dissent, protest and contemporary art is one that will underpin my work as it unfolds in the next few years. Moreover, I am developing new interests in sound and sound art and have been working with David Blyth on the development of Gray’s Radio.
JON’S MAIN INTERESTS & EXPERTISE
Visual Culture & Political Nationalism in the UK, the former Yugoslavia, and the former Soviet Union
Contemporary Art in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Contemporary Art in Macedonia
Ecosystems of Contemporary Art
Contemporary Scottish Art and Politics
Modern Scottish Art and Politics (1885-1979)
“Censoring Contemporary Art in Macedonia” in Riann Coulter and Roisin Kennedy, Censorship in Copntemporary Art, I.B.Tauris, London, 2017 (forthcoming)
Critical Art in Contemporary Macedonia, mala galerija, Skopje, 2016. ISBN: 978-608-65987-0-9
“Grit in the Mechanism of History: The Paintings of Radenko Milak” in Leon Krempel (ed.), Radenko Milak 365, Kunsthalle Darmstadt / Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter Koenig, Cologne, 2014. ISBN 978-3-86335-641-5
Archipelago: New Work by David Blyth, Alan Grieve and Derrick Guild, Meadows Gallery, Summerhall, Edinburgh, Janaury 2017 (forthcoming)
I also curated exhbitions of work by Gray’s students in Skopje (Menada, February 2015; Paratissima Art Fair, June 2015) and Vienna (Gallery AU, February 2016).
RESEARCH GRANTS / AWARDS
Travelling Scholarship, Royal Society of Edinburgh, for four months travel in South-Eastern Europe (Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina), July-December 2011; £2k
RESEARCH STUDENTS SUPERVISED
In my previous job (Head of History & Theory of Art, DJCAD, Dundee, 2004-11) I supervised two Ph.D research students to completion, in the areas of Estonian Art and National Identity, and a Ph.D by practice in Feminist Theory & Drawing Practice.
CAN SUPERVISE / INTERESTED IN SUPERVISING THE FOLLOWING AREAS
Contemporary Art & Politics; Contemporary Art in South-East Europe; Scottish Art- Modernism; Scottish Art- Contemporary Art & Politics; British Art; Modernism 1900-39; British Art; Modernism 1939-76; Strategies of Curating and Curatorship.