Rob working on ‘Exoplanet Lot’ Summer 2016

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.

From 1997 for 17 years he was based at The Arts Catalyst where he developed an ambitious artistic programme and was responsible for some of the most innovative art and science exhibitions and events in the world. His last major exhibition with The Arts Catalyst, Republic of the Moon, happened in 2013-14 at FACT and London’s South Bank. Since leaving The Arts Catalyst he has curated several major projects and his recent work can be seen in Current Projects above.


Tania Candiani’s sound sculpture for listening – Exoplanet Lot 2016. Photo Yohann Gozard.

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 a contemporary project and website about Performance Magazine with Live Art Development Agency.

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.

Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2015

Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2015

In White Sands Desert launching Thomas Saraceno’s ‘Aerocene’, the first human solar baloon.

His recent exhibitions as an independent curator (2014-16) include: Aerosolar/Space Without Rockets and ‘Aerocene’ by Tomas Saraceno at the Rubin Center, University of Texas at El Paso and White Sands Desert, New Mexico, When the Future was About Fracking, Centrespace at Dundee Contemporary Arts, and Exoplanet Lot, Maison Des Arts Georges Pompidou, France and sites thoughout the Lot Valley, SW France.

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. He runs the 3-year Future of Transportation project at Srishti Institute, Bangalore. He is a regular writer for Art Monthly, UK.


HeHe’s ‘Centipede’ running on the railway line between Cahors and Cajarc in ‘Exoplanet Lot’ 2016.

His next exhibition ‘No Such Thing As Gravity, a major survey exhibition at FACT Liverpool opens on November 10 2016 with a ‘Day of Collisions’. See News top right for details


Still from ‘Time You Need’ by Sarah Sparkes who is making a new work for ‘No Such Thing as Gravity’