Person NameSzczelkun; Stefan; Artist; Dr

Stefan Szczelkun is currently retired. He completed a PhD at the Royal College of Art in 2002 on the legitimation of collective sites of cultural production and their value within a democratic culture. The particular focus of this research was Exploding Cinema, an underground film and video showing collective that has been active in South London since 1991.

Stefan is an artist with a particular interest in publishing both in traditional book format and more recently in multimedia and digital video. In the Eighties he organised two groups relating to identity issues. The first was ‘Bigos, artists of Polish origin’ which was a open group which was interested in putting on made-to-measure shows. The second, ‘Working Press, books by and about working class artists’, supported artists to publish offset-litho books under a collective imprint. Working Press published a trilogy about his experience as a working class artist - 'Collaborations' which was raw documentation, 'Class Myths and Culture", a book of polemical essays and 'Conspiracy of Good Taste', a history and theory review which led to academic teaching and research.

In the Seventies Stefan had his three Survival Scrapbooks, Shelter, Food and Energy, published by Unicorn Bookshop (Brighton) and Schocken Books (New York) after an architectural training at Portsmouth Polytechnic. . He then 'dropped out' and lived in a van whilst playing with The Scratch Orchestra - the British version of Fluxus. On returning to London he took new dance and bodywork classes X6 Dance Space in Butlers Wharf and did extensive research into the elements of human ability. Recently published as the Sense-Think-Act mediawiki.

A series of three DVDs concerned with London people-power and the counter culture of the Nineties are in the process of being acquired by the Museum of London. Another collaborative project to be found on was published as a book by Mute in 2012. A large scale activation of the archives of Brixton Artists Collective that ran Brixton Art Gallery 1981 – 1986 was completed in 2011. Activated in partnership with 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, supported by Arts Council and Heritage Lottery grants, the archive was acquired by Tate Archive, London in 2013.

He still occasionally performs and in 2012 he organised two large scale realisations of John Cage’s magnum opus ‘Song Books’ performed by ex-Scratch orchestra people along with a younger generation of experimental artists and musicians.'

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