Partisan Social Club. 'On being together: memberships, collectives and unions'

Andy Hewitt, Mel Jordan (Producer)

Research output: Non-Textual OutputExhibition


Partisan Social Club: Art-Study-Action represents a body of artworks that are presented in exhibition projects in art galleries and an art biennial. A series of methods for study, collaboration and production were developed to produce participatory artworks and events.The Partisan Social Club use membership, shared study, tagging and publishing together as techniques for social art practice. Through membership we enable the coming together of those with shared interests, creating a temporary institutional framework to debate political issues, leading to the production of creative outputs. Shared study supports skilling, develops ideas and confidence and provides knowledge on agreed topics. ‘Tagging’, allows members to work together to design and produce their own public events. These ‘tagged events’ call forth new participants who become members. Thus, membership of the Partisan Social Club expands with each collaborative event.

The workshops for the project 'On Being Together' set out to introduce partisanship and politics, with a seminar On Membership by Professor Jonathan White and then a series of three practical workshops: How to Change the World, How to Write a Slogan and Embody a Text, (Hewitt and Jordan) and Collective Working Towards the Production of Built Structures, (Griffiths, Hewitt and Jordan). We invited artist Frank Wasseur to run a workshop entitled ‘How to Design a Workshop’. The ‘tagging’ idea developed as members wanted to design and host their own events, in total there were 10 workshops. We were able to support two artists to undertake an auto-ethnography and anthropologist Dr. Gabriela Nicolescu carried out an ethnography.

The aim was to create a new group, a new set of members that worked together on practically transforming the outside spaces of the gallery whilst doing so, reflect upon their understanding of community, membership, collective action and local citizenship. We asked members to respond to studying and working with the site and to make embodied structures and text props. We received 18 responses from local residents, local artists, art students, architecture students and a performing arts student.

We produced three posters and ran three days of study and practice workshops and two days for final production. We provided materials and equipment for days three, four and five which were spent producing collective artworks together. At the end of the week we presented the outcomes to the wider public, via an exhibition-like event. Members collectively programmed events over the period of the exhibition, which included: ‘How to design a workshop’ with Frank Wasseur, ‘Drawing slogans @half term’, The Big Draw, Allan Struthers, Sadie Edington and Simon Tyszko. ‘Collaborative or collective: the politics of the artist group’ Andy Hewitt and Mel Jordan. ‘Subverting the pop song: hijacking popular music for opinion formation’, Toby Tobais and Tim Cape. Closing event: Richard Galpin on the Charterists and growing lettuce in Lambeth and Partisan Bingo, by Liz Murray, Alison Gill and Ron Harley (Unison Regional Manager)

On being together: memberships, collectives and unions, was commissioned by Beaconsfield Art Gallery (BGV), London and funded by the Arts Council of England £5,000. The project took place at BGV from 13 September 2018 – 5 December 2018.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2018
EventOn being together: memberships, collectives and unions - Beaconsfield Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sept 20185 Dec 2018


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