16.03.24, 14:00, Meeting Grounds: Essay as Event, A gathering with contributions from Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Ima-Abasi Okon, Brian Dillon and Alex Balgiu, composed by Paul Bailey

The Meeting Grounds series invites investigation, and experimentation, with the visual essay as a verb (essaying), an event (a gathering) and as a social form for collective reasoning.

‘If we stop thinking about the form of the essay as the form of a thing, the form of an object, and reconsider it as the form of an activity or action (as in a dancer’s form, or the form of a golfer’s swing, or the form of a tennis player’s backhand), we can locate a consistent and unbroken line of agreement about the nature and the form of the essay to contemporary essayists and theorists; the essay is kineticism incarnate—the embodiment of perpetual mobility, motion and movement’.
- Paul Heilker, The Essay: Theory and Pedagogy for an Active Form (1996).

For this edition at the Camden Art Centre, we will explore essayistic strategies that bring the temporalities, materialities and opacities of language into view, and consider how they might be put to use across contemporary practices of graphic design, literature, performance and installation. 

Guided by a series of propositions shared by our contributors, guests are invited to join the gathering as participants in a rehearsal for an essay yet-to-come. 

‘It is the essayist’s job to gather up the shards and map them where they are, to find patterns out there or make one … about the disconnections and mysteries’. – Rebecca Solnit, The Best American Essays (2019).

Paul Bailey is affiliated as an artistic researcher to KASK & Conservatorium, the school of arts of HOGENT and howest. Meeting Grounds is financed by the HOGENT Arts Research Fund, with support received from the Centre for Other Worlds (PT), Kunsthal Gent (BE) and the Camden Art Centre (UK). This iteration of the Meeting Grounds identity, developed with Sjoerd Beijers and Seppe-Hazel Laeremans, features oblique and swirling extensions to Garamon(d/t) typeface published by

Camden Art Centre
Arkwright Road
London NW3 6DG