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Professor Sarah Perks

Professor of Visual Art
Artistic Associate, HOME

Professor Sarah Perks

Sarah Perks is an international curator, writer, producer & broadcaster who works across contemporary visual art, artist film and literature to create major exhibitions, books and films that challenge the dominant narratives of our time. Sarah weaves together creative direction, contemporary curation, commissioning, producing and programming, creative writing and academia to move across traditional terrains of history of art and curation, visual and cultural studies, and film and media studies, expanding the possibilities of each with both audiences and artists.

Through HOME Publishing, she has commissioned, co-edited and contributed to over twelve books since 2015, alternative exhibition guides which blend artists’ and short fiction commissioned internationally from writers including Douglas Coupland, Heather Phillipson, Adam O’Riordan and Jackie Kay. Sarah’s recent short stories include The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things (2015), Fannie & Zora (2016) and Three Stories (2017), and she is currently completing her first novel adapted from a short piece in AL and AL’s Incidents of Travel in the Multiverse (Hayward Publishing).

Sarah Perks set up the internationally acclaimed project HOME Artist Film (previously Cornerhouse Artist Film) which includes a commitment to theatrical distribution of new artist features, and co-created Feature Expanded in 2014, an innovative Creative Europe funded training programme for visual artists making their first feature film. Sarah recently executive produced Edith Walks (Andrew Kötting, 2017), Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary winner Island of the Hungry Ghosts (Gabrielle Brady, 2018) and co-produced Ceremony (Phil Collins, 2018) currently showing at Cooper Gallery (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee) and Rotterdam International Film Festival.

She has curated over 30 major exhibitions and produced new commissions with artists including Sophia Al-Maria, Rosa Barba, Judith Barry, Phil Collins, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Stanya Kahn, Lauren Halsey, Louis Henderson, Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho, Rachel Maclean, Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler, Clifford Owens, James Richards, Rashid Rana, Yoshua Okon, and David Shrigley. Recent group exhibitions include The Return of Memory exploring post-Soviet ‘New East’ (with Subkultura publication), La Movida responding to 40 years since the first elections in Spain (with new fiction publication Dark Habits), Imitation of Life: Race and Melodrama in the 21st Century (including new publication Fear Eats the Soul) and The heart is deceitful above all things (including new publication Transactions of Desire), the last two with regular collaborator Dr Omar Kholeif (Sharjah Biennial 2019).

Forthcoming in Autumn 2019 is a major publication with Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art / Yale University Press on artist moving image in Britain co-edited with Erika Balsom and Lucy Reynolds, and just released is the publication of her digital project with filmmaker Declan Clarke, One Day The Sadness will End. Sarah co-edited two special editions of Film International on both Hong Kong cinema and film noir involving a range of artists, filmmakers and writers and contributed to publications including Electronic Superhighway (Whitechapel Gallery, 2016). Sarah has led over 50 post-screening Q&As with many leading filmmakers and artists including Yael Bartana, Chris Morris, Lynne Ramsey and Steve McQueen. Sarah was one of Creative Review’s Creative Leaders 50 in 2017, a British Council Creative Entrepreneur finalist for Visual Arts in 2009 and is on advisory and charity boards including Islington Mill Salford, Northern Docs and Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway. She is chair of Asia Triennial Manchester, a Manchester School of Art initiated project and currently External Examiner at The Education University of Hong Kong

Research

Sarah Perks is a member of the Asian Cultures Research Group.

A selection of recent research outputs.

Exhibitions

Daniels, C. Perks, S., 2015. Inside Out, K11 Arts Foundation, Wuhan, China, 26th March - 31st May 2015.

Performances

Daniels, C. Perks, S., 2015. 'EIGHT (Opening of British Consulate in Wuhan, China; commissioned by British Council, HOME and Brighter Sound)', K11 Arts Foundation and VOX Livehouse, Wuhan, China, 24th and 26th March 2015.