Rob on an ‘Indian Basic’ bike, giving rides to people as part of a ‘Time Banking’ performance during the ‘Future of Transportation’ event at Srishti, Bangalore, India, last month. See more here
Dr Rob La Frenais is an independent contemporary art curator, working internationally and creatively with artists entirely on original commissions. He believes in being directly engaged with the artist’s working process as far as possible, while actively widening the context within which the artist can work. His last project before being a guest professor at Srishti Institute, Bangalore (see above) in November 2015 with artist Tomás Saraceno, with the University of Texas at El Paso, can be seen here
He has worked closely with artists such as James Turrell, Marina Abramovic, Isaac Julien, Cornelia Parker, Mona Hatoum, Stelarc, Orlan, Steve Kurtz, Aleksandra Mir, Ashok Sukumaran, Critical Art Ensemble, Marko Pelijhan and Tomas Saraceno as well as many other established and emerging artists, working for European Cities of Culture in Glasgow and Madrid, directing the Belluard-Bollwerk Festival in Switzerland and curating a major programme ‘The Incident’, featuring James Turrell and others, for the ICA in London in 1996.
For the last 17 years he was based at The Arts Catalyst, a UK Arts Council National Portfolio organisation in London, where, along with director Nicola Triscott he developed an ambitious artistic programme and built up an unparalleled creative team which has been responsible for some of the most innovative exhibitions and events, based on interactions between art and science, in the world. His most recent exhibition with the Arts Catalyst, Republic of the Moon opened last year on London’s South Bank and aspects of this are now touring internationally. As well as producing site-based works, The Arts Catalyst collaborates with institutions such as the European Space Agency, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, Tate Britain and the Roundhouse and many other galleries and institutions.
Building the Republic of the Moon on London’s South Bank in 2014
Before becoming a curator in 1987 he founded and edited the influential contemporary cultural journal Performance Magazine in 1979, editing and writing criticism internationally during the eighties. He is currently developing an exhibition and about Performance Magazine.
He was also the first curator ever to experience zero gravity, with a group of artists, at Star City in Moscow in 1999 and went on, with the Arts Catalyst to enable around 50 artists (and scientists) to work in an environment previously only experienced by astronauts and space scientists.
He is a visiting fellow of Bournemouth University, visiting curator at the Maison Des Arts Georges Pompidou, Cajarc, France and visiting curator at FACT Liverpool.