Six lunchtime lectures were scheduled to accompany the exhibition. They included talks by all of the contributing artists and the exhibition's curator, Jason E. Bowman, as well as a lecture by a psychologist on the role of selective memory within the field of illusion and visual trickery.
We also organised two high-profile evening lectures on the Venice Biennale itself, which were generously supported by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Edinburgh. They featured María de Corral, Director of the 51st Venice Biennale, and Enzo di Martino, a leading Italian journalist and art critic.
The Venetian focus of this exhibition gave us an opportunity to highlight parts of the national art collection other than contemporary art. We therefore arranged a complementary series of lunchtime lectures, including talks on Turner’s Venetian watercolours and on Consul Smith, a key point of contact between British patrons and Venetian artists in the eighteenth century.
Scottish Contemporary Art History Course (January-February 2006)
Working in partnership with Edinburgh College of Art (eca), the Galleries organised a special six-week course exploring Scottish contemporary art. It was led by lecturers from eca and Glasgow School of Art, together with a practising artist and a critic. Topics ranged from ‘Postmodernism and Scottish Art (1980-1995)’ and ‘Art Writing in Scotland’, to ‘Scottish Independent Arts Organisations’ and ‘Recent Art Practices in Scotland (1995 to present day)’.