Hester Reeve: YMEDACA

Drawing for Ymedaca, 2012. Courtesy the artist Image 1 of 6
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The Game Plan, 2014 Image 2 of 6
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The Game Plan, 2014 Image 3 of 6
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The Game Plan, 2014 Image 4 of 6
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Hester Reeve at The Art Party Conference, November 2013. Photo Damon Waldock Image 5 of 6
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Hester Reeve, I Never Intended to Teach, I Only Meant to Lead The Revolution, 2013 courtesy the artist Image 6 of 6
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28.06.14 - 07.09.14
YSP Centre, NAEA & open air
Hester Reeve is a performance artist who works with live art actions, philosophy, dialogues, drawing and photography. Reeve was visiting artist at YSP from January 2013 and was inspired by the collections of the National Arts Education Archive as well as the landscape of the Bretton Estate. The resultant project, YMEDACA, is a re-mapping of YSP as a contemporary translation of the very first university, Plato’s ‘Academos’, established in ancient Greece.

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The artist’s concerns are documented in two exhibitions – the Temple of the Muses in the NAEA and The Game Plan in the Upper Space.

Visit the official YMEDACA website here

The Game Plan
Upper Space

Reeve questions what wisdom means today and celebrates everyday passions by collaborating with interest groups, formed by individuals dedicated to activities that enrich their own lives, rather than with experts or philosophers. The groups Reeve has collaborated with are Cantabile Choral Group; Hand Tools Users United; The Magick Lounge Club; The Royal British Legion; Wakefield Pagan Moot; West Yorkshire Astronomy Society and Yorkshire Sun Society. 

The Game Plan
features a series of photographs that disturb the familiar image of YSP’s grounds, showing sculptures by night and reconfiguring the kind of human activities that usually occur on the grounds. The sculptures become elements of some strange mystical operation alongside the artist herself and YMEDACA’s 'guardian' figures, positioned as if in discussion – just as ancient portrayals of Plato’s Academos show robed figures in small groups of discussion in a garden. Each photograph represents one group’s interest through an object, which the other 'guardians' are examining. The link back to Plato is signalled in each photograph, through each group activity being visually represented by a platonic solid – a mathematical object believed to make up all matter in the universe.

Temple of the Muses
NAEA (Saturday–Tuesday / 11.00–15.00)

Temple of the Muses, (translated from the Greek word mouseîon describing a building devoted to learning) celebrates material from the NAEA collections, researched by Reeve during her residency at the Park, as well as paying homage to the inspiration provided by Plato’s thought. The central exhibit of Temple of the Muses – and taking pride of place, where a monument to a god would be found in an ancient Greek temple – is the book collection of artist and art teacher Philip Rawson (1924-1995), which was pivotal in the development of YMEDACA.

Visitors are encouraged to follow a marker in the landscape, a drawing of Plato’s hand to find the NAEA.

Event: 30 August 2014
YMEDACA is also the name for Reeve’s experimental open-air academy which, on 30 August 2014, will offer visitors a unique chance to experience creative activities inspired by Platonic questions such as ‘how can education bring joy to the soul?’. Visitors can join a series of events from dawn until dusk, known as ‘liberational manoeuvres’, devised by a selected group ‘guardian’ – a title established by Plato for those who possess true knowledge and wisdom. 

YMEDACA is the result of collaboration in 2010 between the Live Art Development Agency and YSP, conceived by artist Joshua Soafar. The project is funded by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.

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