The Tableau Project is a series of events culminating in a 2 day conference at Tate Modern in 2011 that broadly addresses questions about the structuring of pictorial representation and forms. Keynote presentations from Philip Armstrong, Fulvia Carnevale, Jean François Chevrier and Michael Fried will take place on the 1st day of the Tate conference followed by a 2nd day of research papers, in preparation for this, there will be 2 research symposia. In addition there will be a 3 day seminar given by Jean François Chevrier. Where possible there will be general access to these events. The project is organised by Mick Finch and Jane Lee, The School of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. For all enquiries and to subscribe to the mailing list for updates about each event contact Mick Finch.



Saturday 27 November 2010.
Research Symposium 1, 10am - 4pm at CSM, The Viewing Theatre, 109 – 111 Charing Cross Road

presentations by:


Catrina Cojanu (RCA) Painting as Gaze: On the Revelatory Force of the Arabesque

Adi Efal (University of Cologne) – The two faces of the figure: plastic and philological

Cedric Loire (Lille University) – title tbc

Bettina Reiber (CSM) – Theorising Painting: Modernism, Hegel, Heidegger



Monday 9 May , Tuesday 10 May , Wednesday 11 May 2011. Seminar: Tableau and Composition.

Jean François Chevrier

(École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris).
at CSM Charing Cross Road,
see appendix1 for details.



Saturday May 21 2011. Research Symposium 2, 10am - 4pm at CSM (details to be confirmed).

presentations by:


Moyra Derby (Unversity of the Creative Arts) – Depth as Breadth in Rotation


Francis Gaube (Louvain-La-Neuve University) – Thickness and Surface: towards a painterly space


Atsuhide Ito (CSM) The Aesthetics of Deviance – photographic fragments in contemporary painting


Andrea Medjesi Jones (Anglia Ruskin University) A Shock to Thought – conditions of the emerging image

Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October 2011. Tableau / Dispositif / Apparatus, Tate Modern, The Starr Auditorium.
A two day
conference in collaboration with Central Saint Martins, Paint Club and the London Consortium.


Friday 28 October 2011 Keynote papers by:

Philip Armstrong
Fulvia Carnevale
Jean François Chevrier
Michael Fried

other participants to be confirmed

Saturday 29 October 2011 Presentation of research papers, details to be confirmed. see appendix 2 for details.


Project organisers: Mick Finch and Jane Lee, The School of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Contact : Mick Finch.



Appendix 1

Jean François Chevrier tableau/composition seminars.

Seminar 1. A session that discusses the idea of tableau form in terms of questions of composition.

Seminar 2. A session entitled methodology exploring the underlying logic of the seminars in terms of ‘empirical method’. This session will include references to literature and thus there is the possibility to invite literature students, especially those who have a competence in French.

Seminar 3. A session that is a discussion about, and in front, of student work.

The seminar cycle will take place over 3 days in the following configuration:

Monday 9 May 2011

morning: seminar 1, part 1 afternoon: seminar 2, part 1

Tuesday 10 May 2011

morning: seminar 1, part 2 afternoon: seminar 3, part 1

Wednesday 11 May 2011

morning: seminar 2, part 2 afternoon: seminar 3, part 2

Appendix 2 Conference details

Tableau / Dispositif / Apparatus

Tate Modern presents a two day conference in collaboration with Central Saint Martins UAL and the London Consortium

Starr Auditorium, Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October 2011

The word tableau does not seamlessly translate into painting as witnessed in its central use in Michael Fried’s recent book Why Photography Matters as Art Never Before (2008). In recent years, it has taken its place in a series of discourses that address questions of artistic practice (and particularly pictorial practice), the status of the art object and questions of spectatorship. The centrality of tableau to recent discussions about photographic artistic practice is preceded by its presence in France in discussions around painting that represented an early example of a formulation of an expanded field in this medium. Jean-François Chevrier has alluded to the return of tableau as a term and its possible implications in an essay, “The Adventures of the Picture Form in the History of Photography” (1989):

The restitution of the tableau form (to which the art of the 1960s and 1970s, it will be recalled, was largely opposed) has the primary aim of restoring the distance to the object-image necessary for the confrontational experience, but implies no nostalgia for painting and no specifically “reactionary” impulse. The frontality of the picture hung on or affixed to the wall and its autonomy as an object are not sufficient as finalities. It is not a matter of elevating the photographic image to the place and rank of painting. It is about using the tableau form to reactivate a thinking based on fragments, openness and contradiction, not the utopia of a comprehensive systematic order.

This idea of tableau as ‘image-object’ is central to Michael Fried’s recent book in which he explores a structural relationship between painting and photography as associated pictorial forms. The concepts of apparatus (mostly associated with Althusser) and dispositif (associated with Foucault and Agamben) bear many structural similarities to these emerging formulations of the tableau where questions of ideology and signification are at work. The increasing use of all three terms in critical visual art practices is the basis for this conference. The first day of the conference will be for keynote presentations, the second day for research papers in response to a call for papers. Mick Finch, UAL