Big Ideas in Art and Culture Lecture Series

Preuzmimo Benčić (Take Back Benčić), 2014, film, 57:15. Directed/produced by Althea Thauberger. Photo by Milica Czerny Urban.

Big Ideas is an ongoing lecture series that was founded in 2010 with our co-presenters, the Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area (CAFKA), an international biennial exhibition of art projects in the public spaces of the region of Kitchener.

This lecture series offers in-depth presentations by experienced artists who are working in the public sphere. We have hosted Canadian and international speakers whose practices exemplify some of the most forward-thinking, deep engagements in public spaces and communities.  More…

Those who attend Big Ideas are dedicated, curious, educated, culturally-minded people from Kitchener, Waterloo, and Guelph. The audience is diverse, ranging from students to artists to retirees: folks who wish to be challenged to think differently about how art fits into contemporary existence and connects to public life. Each year, we hold four lectures, typically in the spring and fall.

Previous speakers include Rebecca Belmore, Spencer Finch, Pablo Helguera, Steve Lambert, Mary Mattingly, Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell, Rick Lowe, Ivan Morrison, Postcommodity, Pedro Reyes, Matthew Stadler, Reece Terris, Althea Thauberger, Bik Van der Pol, and Krzysztof Wodiczko.

Conversation in all its forms—such as debates, panel discussions, interviews, and lectures—is a fundamental to Musagetes’ work. It is stitched into our organizational fabric: the earliest imaginings of our work were dreamed up in and inspired by deep discussion.

Big Ideas is a platform for artists to engage curious audiences; typically this takes the form of a lecture, but sometimes the events include musical or performative elements. From a historical overview of their creative arc to an intervention into the lecture format itself, each artist makes their lecture their own. This series explores various formats of live presentation and offers intimate insight into the practices of artists who might not typically visit this region.