5 October — 8 October 2009

The retreat Economics of the Art System took an in depth look at the art market, exploring the financial and cultural economies that drive the industry. From commercial galleries, collectors and art fairs, to the influence of auction houses the retreat questioned the value of art as commodity and the commercial influences on artists' practices, as well as considering survival tactics for artists, curators and gallerists.

Escalator Retreat 2

Ten artists and curators based in the eastern region were invited to come on the retreat following a selection process. They were: Liz Ballard, Annabel Dover, Laura Earley (Firstsite Gallery), Julie Freeman, Alistair Gentry, Helen Judge, David Kefford, Annabelle Shelton, Elaine Tribley and Martha Winter.

The retreat was curated by MA lecturer Kit Hammonds and the programme included: Olof Olsson (Danish artist); Sarah Thornton (art correspondent and author of Seven Days in the Art World); Francis Outred (Director of Post War and Contemporary Art, Christies); Neil Cummings (artist and lecturer at Chelsea College of Art); Renaud Proch (Director The Project, New York) and Pablo Leon de la Barra (artist curator).

The retreat was documented by artists Daniel Wilkinson and Ludovica Gioscia. The new college-based Year 1 students on the MA programme attended one day of the retreat as an introduction to Escalator and then went on to curate the next retreat.