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Blair French

Blair French completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and Art History at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, NZ) in 1988, a Masters in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Sydney in 1995 and a PhD in the Department of Art History & Theory at the University of Sydney in 2003.

French has worked in Art Galleries and Museums in New Zealand and the United Kingdom and since arriving in Sydney from New Zealand in 1995 has developed a dual career as a writer/curator in the field of contemporary art and photography. He was Program Manager and for a short period Acting Director at Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney (1996 – 1999) and Associate Director at Performance Space, Sydney (2002 – 2005). He is currently Executive Director of Artspace Visual Arts Centre, Sydney; and is curatorial convener for the 6th (2010/11) and 7th (2013) editions of SCAPE: Christchurch Biennial of Art in Public Space.

A selection of his essays were published in book form as 'Out of Time: Essays Between Photography and Art' (2006), and a further book on Australian photo-based contemporary art –'Twelve Australian Photo Artists' – co-authored with Daniel Palmer was published by Piper Press, Sydney in 2009. Blair contributed the major essay to the book accompanying Shaun Gladwell’s project for the Australian Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. French has edited a range of publications, including recent monographic publications in association with Artspace projects by Shaun Gladwell, André Stitt, Rose Nolan, Michael Goldberg, Bruce Barber and Paul Saint as well as the major 1999 book 'Photo Files: An Australian Photography Reader' (published by Power Publications and the Australian Centre for Photography). French co-founded and acts as co-managing editor of the periodical 'Column', published by Artspace.

French has lectured in New Zealand Art History at the University of Waikato, NZ; in Art History and Theory at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales; and in Visual Communications at the University of Western Sydney. He frequently acts as an examiner for postgraduate degrees.

Period of activity 
from 1988
Other works 

Blair French, ‘Jayce Salloum’, Column 6, 2010
Blair French, ‘The Curvature of the Earth’, in Linda Michael, ed., Shaun Gladwell: MADDESTMAXIMVS, Schwartz Publishing, Melbourne, 2009
Blair French, ‘Tom Nicholson: Following the Event’, Art and Australia 47.1 (2009)
Blair French, ‘EVENT: Recalling the Cinematic’, Column 3, 2009
Blair French, ‘Tony Schwensen: Love It Or Love It’, Art and Australia 46.2, 2008
Blair French, ed., Shaun Gladwell: Videowork, Artspace, Sydney, 2007
Blair French, Out of Time: Essays Between Art and Photography, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide, 2006)
Blair French, ‘Turning Australasian (I Think We Are)’, in Magda Kardasz and Simon Rees, eds, Hide Tide: Currents in Contemporary Art from Australia and New Zealand, Zacheta National Gallery of Art and Contemporary Art Centre, Warsaw and Vilnius, 2006
Blair French, ed., Interlace: New Work in Video by Shaun Gladwell, Emil Goh and Kate Murphy, Performance Space, Sydney, 2004

Other events 

Exhibitions as Curator / Managing Curator

Nothing Like Performance (Artspace, 2011)
Fiona McGregor: Water Series (Artspace, 2011)
Mischa Kuball: Platon’s Mirror
(Artspace, 2011, in association with ZKM Karlsruhe)
Ho Tzu Nyen: EARTH
(Artspace, 2011, in association with Sydney Festival and with live sound performances by Oren Ambarchi)
Jayce Salloum
(Artspace, 2010)
Debra Petrovitch
(Artspace, 2009)
Shaun Gladwell: Videowork (Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Pinnacles Regional Gallery, Townsville, Albury Library and Museum, all 2008; Gosford Art Gallery & Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery, both 2009, toured in association with Museums & Galleries NSW)
Shaun Gladwell: In a Station of the Metro
(Artspace, 2007 & Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide [CACSA], 2008)
Where Angels Tread
(CACSA, 2006)
Derek Kreckler Downstairs
(Performance Space, Sydney, 2005) 
Judith Wright: Video Work
(Performance Space, 2005)
Who’s Afraid of the Avant-Garde?
(Four-part Installation & Performance Series, Performance Space, 2005)
Travelling Light: Collaborative Projects by Pacific Artists
(Performance Space & Museum of Sydney, 2004) 
FATWHITESTRAIGHTBALDGUY: Tony Schwensen Videoperformance Work 1999 – 2005
(Performance Space, 2005) (with Adam Geczy) 
The Way Things Are
(GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney, 2003, with Patrick Pound) 

Convened Symposia

The Video Condition of Art, Performance Space, Sydney, June 2004
Video + Art =…?
, Performance Space, Sydney, May 2003