The ONION DISCUSSIONS are a series of discussions that seek to peel back ideas within art and culture for a deeper look. Often taking the form of panel discussions or roundtables, the Onion Discussions brings together artists, writers, curators and other producers to consider pertinent issues in contemporary visual, spatial and material culture in an experimental format and in a cross-disciplinary context.


Onion 3 (Autumn 2013)

CONSIDERING PERFORMANCE – a series of panel discussions considering the intersection between performance and aspects of cultural and artistic production.

The ONION DISCUSSIONS this year considers how performance relates to different areas of artistic production. The series starts with a consideration of skill and its presentation within processes of making work. Then we consider the performativity of loss, remembrance and subjectivity. The performance of architecture and space in the city forms the the third discussion before the final panel considers the operation of voice in performance. The CONSIDERING PERFORMANCE Onion Discussions brings together artists, musicians, academics and writers to peel back our understanding of the intersection of performance and culture.

Onion 2 (2012)

The discussions return in 2012 as the Onion series 2 in the form of 10 panel discussions dealing with topics from ‘the Object’ to ‘Heterotopia’ to ‘Regurgitation’. The panels comprise 3-4 speakers who will each present on the panel topic for 10 mins. This is followed by a discussion and Q&A from the floor.

These topics arise from students’ work and discourses. The discussions aim to tease out a thread of concerns within fine art and sculpture.

Onion 2 is organised by Elizabeth Porter, Miriam Austin and Jack Tan.

Onion 1 (2011)

RCA Sculpture held a series of critical discussions between 2 March and 6 April 2011 around the idea of ‘professional practice’. Each topic was peeled back to reveal a Trojan-horseful of critical issues that affect how artists understand, present, develop and promote their work.

The discussions went beyond the practical considerations of how to write a press release, how we network, how to do an artist’s talk or residency, and how to apply for funding. They penetrated deeper layers of artistic and critical analysis:

  • what is the interstice between people and in conversations,
  • how do we give voice,
  • what is the visual and material quality of teaching,
  • what socio-political spheres frame artists’ work,
  • how does object translate to word or image, and
  • what happens to site and space when residency becomes dwelling.
  • Now that the series is over, this blog will continue to be maintained around the issues of Interstice, Voice, Teaching,
  • Socio-Political Spheres, Translation and Dwelling.

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