Even The Dead Rise Up
15h00 – 16h30

This talk will examine Francis McKee’s evolution of his curatorial approach, looking at how events, organisational structures and changing curatorial contexts impact on the personal development of a practice. The role of research in his curatorial and creative development will also be considered, spanning hi interests in the history of medicine, history of science, open source ideology, spiritualism and protest.

The event forms part of SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts & Culture, South Africa and the British Council.
RSVP is absolutely essential as seating is limited! Email

About Francis McKee

Curator Francis McKee is the director of the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (CCA), and a research fellow at The Glasgow School of Art. His research interests include the exploration of open source theory as a potential economic model within the arts, the role of the archive in contemporary art, and modes of curatorial practice.

When McKee became director of the CCA in Glasgow in 2006, he restructured the organisation and the use of the building, experimenting with the use of open source as both a management tool and a curatorial approach to sharing usage of the buildings resources. This has proven successful within the context of the CCA and it is being studied by other organisations seeking an alternative economic model in a climate of recession.

In 2011, McKee was lead researcher in an AHRC funded project entitled ‘The Glasgow Miracle: Materials for Alternative Histories’. This project centered on the process of archiving forty years material from the Third Eye Centre and the CCA. Through this work it should be possible to trace a timeline through a vital period in Glasgow cultural development, relating the archival material to the wider development of the arts and the arts infrastructure in the city. For McKee, this also provides case studies in curatorial developments over that time frame that can be viewed with a much wider international perspective. Equally, it demands an examination of the role of the archive in an artistic community and a consideration of the role of the archive in contemporary art practice.

In 2005 he created the first Glasgow International biennial and curated three iterations of it. He has curated a number of exhibitions including This Peaceful War, The Jumex Collection for the first Glasgow International in 2005; Zenomap (together with Kay Pallister), the presentation of new work from Scotland for the Venice Biennale in 2003; and he was one of the curators invited to contribute to the Lyon Biennale 2007. Previously, Francis worked as a historian of medicine for the Wellcome Trust and as Head of Programme at CCA.

For the past fifteen years he has written extensively on the work of artists such as Christine Borland, Willie Docherty, Ross Sinclair, Douglas Gordon, Matthew Barney, Simon Starling, Catherine Yass, Joao Penalva, Kathy Prendergast and Pipilotti Rist. A recent collection of essays has been published and he was one of seven writers to collaborate on a sci-fi novel entitled Philip. He is currently completing  a book on spiritualism and protest for Book Works in London. Selections of his writing are also available on his website:


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