Tate Modern Course

What’s left behind? Tracing presence and absence from the studio to the city Led by Judith Brocklehurst

Jacques Mahé de la Villeglé, ‘Jazzmen’ 1961
Jacques Mahé de la Villeglé, Jazzmen 1961. Tate. © Jacques Mahé de la Villeglé

How do different places make us move, feel and behave? Through a series of activities and discussions in the Making Traces gallery and a city walk, we examine the evidence left behind by our movements: art works, paths, maps, photographs, as a way to explore personal, political and social interactions. Together we question whether we can we change places by the way behave in them and how we represent them. Over five weeks we examine the relationship between the privacy of personal home or studio and the social public realm of the gallery or city.

This course is for people interested in exploring personal responses to space and developing a deeper understanding of how behaviours, attitudes and perceptions are shaped by the environments we inhabit. 

Judith Brocklehurst is an artist in the final year of a practice based PhD at the Institute of Education, researching dominated urban spaces through social media photography. 


Week 1: 19 October

We begin with an introduction to the course outline and some of the reading and artists we will encounter. Using techniques from psychogeography and thinking from philosopher Jacques Derrida we walk the Making Traces display  – placing the gallery in a wider context and building traces and layers of affect on your own personal map.

Week 2: 26 October

This session takes the work of artist Rebecca Horn as a starting point to think about the extension of the body within place. Together we unpick the differences of making work in public/private spaces or for public/private audiences and we reveal the unwritten rules of the gallery space creating our own gallery labels and signs.

Week 3: 2 November

Thinking of the city as our playground we delve into the work of Gordon Matta-Clark. Creating structures to view Matta-Clark’s work we ask: How can we create meaningful interventions within public space? Within the studio we also produce and assemble collage and photographic work that will be used on the walk next week.

Week 4: 9 November

This session will take place offsite where we use the discussions and material produced in the previous sessions to critically re-think the city, exploring how our urban experience is constructed, how behaviours are shaped and where we find safety or discomfort.  Through the act of group walking and projecting our constructed material we create playful interventions within the cityscape which form points for further conversation.

Week 5: 16 November

What’s left behind? In this final session we re-map the Making Traces display to annotate how the traces of the activities of the last few weeks have changed the way we feel about the art works, the gallery and the city.

Tate Modern

Clore Hub

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit


19 October – 16 November 2015 at 18.45–20.45