Programme: Art - PhD/MPhil

Start date: September 2017

Mode of study: Full time

Research title: Close Encounters: The Development of the Artist Interview

Jennifer Thatcher is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate, researching the history of the artist interview. Since her MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1997-8), she has gained 20 years' experience working in the art world, as an art critic, lecturer and public programmes curator. She is a regular contributor to Art Monthly and ARTnews magazines. She has also written for ArtReview, MAP, Mute, PLUK, Modern PaintersFlash Art and Blueprint.

She curated the adult public programme for the last two editions of the Folkestone Triennial; the public programme for the 2016 Whitstable Biennale; and was Director of Talks at the ICA, London (2003-10). A selection of her interviews was recently published in Art Monthly's anthology Talking Art 2. She is a member of the international art critics' association AICA. ​

​Jennifer teaches regularly at Sotheby's Institute of Art, London, and at the University for the Creative Arts. She has been a visiting lecturer at Tate Modern (a course on Art and Decadence, 2006), Goldsmiths College of Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design, Kingston University, Anglia Ruskin University and City University.​

My research examines the changing status of the artist interview in Europe and the US, beginning with the first BBC radio broadcasts in the 1920s, followed by early television interviews and the rise of artist-led interview magazines and projects. The study challenges the supposed neutrality of interviews as documentary material, acknowledging their performative aspect and their editing according to the priorities of interviewer and artist. I track the relationship of the artist interview to innovations in recording and broadcast technology, different publishing forums, and the growing public for art by living artists. Themes include: the challenges of capturing speech and gesture; evolving biographical approaches to public figures; and power relations in interview situations.​