In Conversation: Bryony Gillard and Irene Aristizábal

Bryony Gillard discusses I dreamed I called you on the telephone her commission for Jerwood Solo Presentations 2021 with Irene Aristizábal, Head of Curatorial and Public Practice at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and co-curator of British Art Show 9.

I dreamed I called you on the telephone is a new moving-image work which considers loss, illness and time under late capitalism. Bringing together extracts from poetry, first-person accounts and the artist’s own writing, it ruminates on the intensely singular experience of sickness and grief when living in a world that keeps on moving around you.

About the artist’s guest

Irene Aristizábal is the Head of Curatorial and Public Practice at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, where she has recently curated Judy Chicago’s first major survey in the UK and Abel Rodríguez first solo exhibition. She is co-curator (with Hammad Nasar) of British Art Show 9 (2021–23), the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK, organised every five years by Hayward Gallery Touring. BAS9 will travel to Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth.

Prior to BALTIC, Irene worked as Head of Exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary (2013–19), where she curated exhibitions and commissioned projects by Lis Rhodes, Pia Camil, Steffani Jemison, Otobong Nkanga, Simon Starling, Michael Beutler, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Sun Ra, Rana Hamadeh, Danai Anesiadou, Danh Võ, Carol Rama and Asco. Recent group exhibitions include Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender Resistance (2018–19), States of America: Photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era (2017), and Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas (2015). She was curator at the FRAC Nord Pas de Calais, Dunkirk in 2010–11, and was the recipient of the H+F Curatorial Grant (2010). Prior to that she co-directed the not-for-profit space Bétonsalon in Paris (2005–6). She has also curated exhibitions at the Fundació Miró, Barcelona; Maison Rouge, Paris; Form Content, London and the Museum of Health Sciences, Bogotá.

Irene is a member of the Advisory Board of La Galerie, Contemporary Art Centre in Noisy-le-Sec, France.

About the artist

Bryony Gillard works across writing, workshops, performance, video and exhibition-making to reflect upon events, creatures and ideas that refuse to be categorised. In her work she creates a space for genealogies of intersectional feminist practice that are elusive, messy and thoroughly entangled in contemporary concerns.

Bryony is an artist, curator and educator based in Bristol. She graduated with an MFA from the Dutch Art Institute, School for Art Praxis in 2015. Her work was included in the Tate touring exhibition Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings (2018) and she was awarded the 2019 Royal Albert Memorial Museum artist commission to create Unctuous Between Fingers which has also been shown at The Holden Gallery, Manchester; Cinema Maison, BB15, Linz; TBA21 Academy, Venice; and Arnolfini, Bristol (2019-20). Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: A new commission with University of Bristol’s Postgraduate Research Department and Brigstow Institute (forthcoming, 2021); Slippery Bodies, FLATLAND projects, Hastings (2019); Bau-bo-bad performance, De Pimlico Projects, London (2019); and A cap, like water, transparent, fluid yet with definite body, Peninsula Arts, Plymouth and Turf Projects, Croydon (2017-18). She is an associate lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire and facilitates creative workshops for adults and young people. bryonygillard.co.uk