Leeds 13


John was a member of The Leeds 13 group of artists, formed at The University of Leeds in 1998. Their first and best known project was "Going Places". This work involved staging a holiday to Malaga, which the group claimed to have been on, instead of producing an end of year exhibition. The work caused outrage because the students had seemingly spent over a thousand pounds of University Union money on the holiday, given to them to put on an exhibition. A large amount of media interest ensued whereby the acceptable limits of what might constitute art practice were debated.

The group then revealed that the holiday was a hoax and the money had not been spent. This caused a second wave of media interest, this time centred on the media itself. Left without the provocative issue of lazy students misusing money, the question remained regarding the criteria for identifying what types of activity should be considered art.

"The Degree Show" followed in 1999. This was the final exhibition of the group's BA Fine Art course. After much debate about authorship and plagiarism in a group context, the decision was made to exhibit the work of other artists. The show was held in Leeds and included work by a diverse range of artists: Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Auguste Rodin, Marcel Duchamp, Henry Moore, Babara Hepworth, Georgina Star, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Jo Spence.

Going Places Article

As an art student in the UK, I survived a media frenzy. I was one of thirteen Leeds art students who decided that, instead of staging a conventional end of year show, we would pretend to go on holiday. This is an account of a faked holiday to Spain and how the national media became part of our artwork, entitled Going Places (1998)..Full essay