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Jo Melvin and Clive Phillpot in conversation at the exhibition Jeff Gibbons: IN Signific Landscapes at Take 5, Norwich

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The article introduces Jeff Gibbons’ painting within the context of a public conversation held during his exhibition IN Signific Landscapes at Take 5, Norwich (29 September–18 October 2014) between Jo Melvin and Clive Phillpot. The term ‘conversation’ was deliberately chosen to indicate the discursive informality of the advertised gallery discussion. The edited transcript below preserves the performative quality of live exchange. Melvin curated the exhibition, which was accompanied by a publication devised for the occasion. This included a pseudonymously authored introduction by Melvin (Leo Manjivan), ‘Signific Landscapes for Jeff Gibbons: A play on authorship, expectation and significance’, and essays by Gustavo Grandal-Montero (senior librarian, special collections manager Chelsea, Camberwell, Wimbledon, University of the Arts, London), ‘Signific Landscapes’, and, by Gibbons, ‘Signing Significantly’. The conversation situates the way in which Gibbons takes his cue from the autodidact philosopher, Victoria, Lady Welby (1837–1912), who coined the term ‘signific’, using it as the starting point for this particular body of work.
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Keywords: Jeff Gibbons; authorship; conversation; landscape genre; signature; signific

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of the Arts London

Publication date: 2016-04-01

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  • Journal of Contemporary Painting responds to the territory and practice of contemporary painting in its broadest sense, viewing painting as a context for discussion, exploring its sphere of history and influence, rather than as a medium specific debate. The JCP combines a thematic approach with an open call, each issue opening up and problematising pressing concerns in contemporary painting.

    As well as contributions to current debates on contemporary art, a particular feature of the Journal of Contemporary Painting is the publication of archival or newly translated texts alongside current responsive articles, based on the premise that contemporary painting cannot be understood without reflecting on its history. Dedication to understanding the nature and forms of painting research has also led to the inclusions of an original visual essay for every edition. Additionally we respond to current exhibitions, books and symposia, nationally and internationally, in our reviews section.

    Our aim is to be responsive to current debates in painting and related art practices, drawing from a wide geographical field and across discipline boundaries to provide a discursive space in which a range of subject specialisms can be brought to bear on the culture of painting. We are particularly interested in writing emerging from practice-based research as well as from academics working in different disciplines.

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