Monday, March 2, 2015

Keynote Address by Dr. Sarah Thornton

Keynote Speaker

Credibility & Confidence: Behind the Scenes with Artists Today
In conversation with Dr. Sarah Thornton

Friday, March 27
10:00 - 11:30 AM, Auditorium 190
Free Admission with registration:
OCAD University, 100 McCaul

OCAD University is pleased to welcome Dr. Sarah Thornton as the Keynote speaker for the 2015 CADN Graduate Conference.

Thornton is the author of 33 Artists in 3 Acts, published in English last autumn and forthcoming in six translations, as well as Seven Days in the Art World, an international bestseller available in sixteen languages. She is joined in conversation by Francisco-Fernando Granados, a Toronto-based artist, writer, and educator working in performance, drawing, and multidisciplinary critical practices.

In her new book, Thornton asks some of the world’s most influential artists (including Jeff Koons, Ai Weiwei, Cindy Sherman, Maurizio Cattelan, and Andrea Fraser) the question: “What is an artist?” A writer, ethnographer, and sociologist of art, Thornton delivers a hilarious and dazzlingly candid look at a world where the artist persona is often as famous as the work. She implicitly asks how and why myths and mystification feed the intrigue of the artist as act. Researched over five years as Thornton travelled the globe getting to know hundreds of artists, 33 Artists in 3 Acts tells the stories she amassed after spending time with the final 33 in their studios and homes, seeing how their messes and methods, artistic practices and lifestyles combined. Speaking about her experiences researching and writing the book, Thornton will share what it was like to have unprecedented access to these artists, and how they altered her understanding of what artists are, or could be.

On March 27-28, the Multiple Li(v)es of Art/ists &... Conference presents research by artists and scholars that investigates the active destabilization of binaries and the permeability of disciplinary boundaries. Providing opportunities to leverage productive energies and direct forms of critique through discussion about practices and perceptions, the conference engages the need for contradiction in how art and artists are presented and appreciated in the world, and supports fresh methods that (re)ask important questions.

More information on Dr. Sarah Thornton: A Canadian who studied in Britain on a Commonwealth Scholarship, Thornton holds a BA in Art History and a PhD in Sociology. Drawing from Howard Becker and Pierre Bourdieu, her PhD was published as Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital. In addition to writing her three books, she has been the chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist and has contributed to many publications, television programs and radio broadcasts. Thornton now lives and writes in San Francisco. Web: Instagram: @eyesthornton

More information on Francisco-Fernando Granados: As an artist and curator Granados has presented his work in galleries, museums, theatres, artist-run centres, and other sites internationally and across Canada. His writing has been published in magazines and art journals including FUSE, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and Canadian Theatre Review. He is a member of the 7a*11d International Performance Festival Collective and currently teaches courses in contemporary art theory and practice at OCADU and University of Toronto Scarborough. Web:

More information on Multiple Li(v)es of Art/ists &... Conference
Twitter: @CADNConference 
Facebook: OCADU Art Histories Graduate Conference

Image: Dr. Sarah Thornton. Photo by Margo Mortiz.

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