Other Stories at the Leeds University Art Collection
“In 2011 I was asked by the University of Leeds Art Collection to (re)view their collection from an LGBT viewpoint. Unlike many other minority groups the LGBT community produces a paucity of unique material culture. There are few ‘gay objects’. In light of this, the role of the oral history archive becomes pressing.
Using the Brighton Ourstory oral history archive as a starting point, new objects were created which mediated between the personal narratives in the archive and the Leeds art collection.
The oral history archive– whilst certainly not unedited or unselected – provides us with a more rounded, representative portrayal of lives and loves than we can often find through objects alone. By using these contradictory histories, and utilising them to reinterpret the pictures from the collection, I aimed to reposition the University’s artworks away from curatorial conventions and certainties and instead within the worlds of emotion, subjectivity and identity.”
Matt Smith is an artist and curator. In 2015/16 he was Artist in Residence at the V&A. Solo exhibitions include Queering the Museum at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2010-11) and Other Stories at the University of Leeds (2012). From 2010 until 2015 he co-directed Unravelled Arts.
He holds an AHRC-funded, practice-based PhD in Queer Craft at the University of Brighton where he lectures and is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester’s Department of Museum Studies.
He talks regularly about his practice (Tate Modern, 2012, Valand Academy Gothenberg, 2012, KHIB Bergen, 2012, Konstfack Stockhom, 2015).
Matt will be speaking on day 2 of the conference