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Ian Russell

Curator, David Winton Bell Gallery
Phone: (401) 863-3163
Email: ian_russell@brown.edu

Biography

Ian Russell is an independent curator, researcher and creative mediator working between Europe and the United States. With a background in archaeology, heritage and contemporary art, he works with artists to creatively activate heritage and public spaces through contemporary and collaborative arts practice. He is also interested in the application of new media in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors. To date he has held major research fellowships in Ireland and the United States ranging in focus from material culture studies to contemporary art to digital humanities initiatives. More information on his work and projects can be found on his website: http://www.ianaldenrussell.com.

LIFE AND INTERESTS

Born in Richmond, Virginia and educated in Dublin, Ireland, I completed my undergraduate degree at Trinity College Dublin in Archaeology and Ancient History. I continued at Trinity to undertake a PhD studying the power of the past in contemporary socio-political discourses and, all the while, worked as a contemporary art installer at the Douglas Hyde Gallery.

While I interrogated the role of cultural objects in Irish psycho-social discourse, I received a practical crash course in contemporary art theory and practice with some of the world's most renowned contemporary artists. As I shared my misgivings about the reductive and authoritarian role of museums, archaeologists and curators, artists (whose work I was installing) introduced me to Duchamp and the Dadaists and the Surrealists. I became fascinated with how modern art could produce decisive criticism of essentialist and positivist interpretations of objects/images, while over the 20th century archaeology and anthropology seemed to have developed a disciplinary structure immune to these critiques. Simply put, while art became subjective, conceptual and post-object, social sciences became increasingly object-oriented, Cartesian and positivist.

Both art and archaeology deal in things, relationality, process and mediation, and through my PhD, I examined the roots of the schism between these once kindred interests. I studied both the shared history in the predisciplinary work of early antiquarians and the impact of technological progress on the development of distinct disciplines with distinct intellectual agendas and trajectories.

Since 2006, I have worked as a curator and a researcher. I have been fortunate to work in a number of scenarios from galleries to museums to sculpture parks to site-specific and site-responsive projects in Ireland, UK and the United States. Broadly interested in the creative mediation and recalibration of contemporary temporal and social relations through the activation of historical contexts and deposits, I strive to open 'heritage' spaces or spaces with perceived 'stopped time' to artistic activation and intervention.

NOTABLE CURATORIAL PROJECTS

2011
Dennis McNulty @ Brown University

2010
Nigel Rolfe @ Sculpture in the Parklands as part of EU Transformations - http://www.transformactions.eu

2010
Roadscore @ Brown University - http://www.iarchitectures.com/roadscore.html

2010
Theoretical Archaeology Group 2010 Arts Program - http://proteus.brown.edu/tag2010/8095

2009
Clanbrassil Street 'Zines by Sean Lynch -

2009
The Home Project by Ursula Rani Sarma - http://www.iarchitectures.com/thehomeproject.html

2009
One & Other - http://ianontheplinth.blogspot.com/

2009
Camera Obscura with National College of Art & Design - http://www.cameraobscura.ie

2008
Abhar agus Meon Exhibition Series - http://www.amexhibition.com

2008
The You That Is In It @ Irish Museum of Modern Art - http://www.amexhibition.com/exhibitions.html

2008
Chronoscope with the Green On Red Gallery - http://www.amexhibition.com/chrono.html

2008
Glass House Stone @ UCD - http://www.amexhibition.com/glasshousestone.html

2006-present
IRAC - http://www.iarchitectures.com/irac.html

DEGREES

PhD - Trinity College Dublin (2006) - History, Applied Psychoanalysis and Intellectual History
B.A. - Trinity College Dublin (2002) - Archaeology and Ancient History

AWARDS

Fellowships:
2009
Postdoctoral Fellow, John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies, University College Dublin

2008-2009
Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Archaeology, University College Dublin

2008
Postdoctoral Fellow, Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College Dublin

2007-2008
NEH Keough Fellow, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame

2007
Digital Image Project, Trinity College Dublin

Honors and Awards:

2004-2005 Government of Ireland Broad Curriculum Studentship
2002-2004 Trinity College Dublin Postgraduate Studentship
2002 Award for Excellence, National Student Media Awards, Ireland
2001 News Photographer of the Year, National Student Media Awards, Ireland

AFFILIATIONS

Center for Heritage and Society, UMass Amherst - Associate Fellow
Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College Dublin - Associate Fellow
Metamedia Lab, Stanford University
European Association of Archaeologists
World Archaeological Congress
Association of Social Anthropologists

FUNDED RESEARCH

2010-2011
Grant from the Office of International Affairs, Brown University
For: The International Graduate Colloquium 'The Archive and the Ephemeral' organised with Hollis Mickey

2010-2011
Grant from the Creative Arts Council, Brown University
For: Artist residency and public sculptur commisison for artist Dennis McNulty

2010-2011

Grant from the Creative Arts Council, Brown University
For: 'The Archive and the Ephemeral' conversations with artists Corin Hewitt, Miriam Ghani and Chitra Ganesh with Rebecca Schneider and Hollis Mickey

2010-2011

Grant from the Center for Digital Scholarship, Brown University
For: 'Dynamic Representations' - a project to develop a new digital application for manipulating and mediating digital image collections

2010
Grant from Offaly County Council via the Heritage Council of Ireland
For: 'West Offaly Heritage: New media, new audiences' with John Nicholas Brown Center, Brown University

2010
Grant from Culture Ireland
For: 'Roadscore' by Fiona Hallinan at the John Nicholas Brown Center, Brown University

2008
Commissions Grant from the Arts Council of Ireland
For: 'The You That Is In It' by Fiona Hallinan at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

2008
Grant from University College Dublin Seed Funding Programme
For: Sixth World Archaeological Congress Fringe & Ábhar agus Meon: Materials and Mentalities

2008
Grant from University of Notre Dame Office of Research
For: Ábhar agus Meon: Materials and Mentalities

2008
Grant from Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame
For: Ábhar agus Meon: Materials and Mentalities

2008
Grant from Foras na Gaeilge
For: Sixth World Archaeological Congress Fringe & Ábhar agus Meon: Materials and Mentalities

2006-2007
Grant from Trinity College Research Capacity Building Scheme
For: Digital Image Project

2006-2007
Grant from Trinity College Provost's Fund for the Visual Arts
For: 'Reflexive Representations' Exhibitions

CURRICULUM VITAE

Download a pdf of Ian’s CV here.