School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Paul Becker

Lecturer in Fine Art


My work exists in the interactions, opacities and crossovers between literature/fiction, film, painting (in its widest sense) and collaboration. I am interested in the unfettered movement writing can allow between and beyond traditional canons, specialisms, disciplines and individual practices. Most recently a great deal of my work has been concerned, often obliquely, with the ecstatic, with rapture and more formally, with a kind of Ekphrasis i.e. artworks that describe or contain artworks.

In an ongoing work, The Kink in the Arc, begun last year on a residency at M_HKA, Antwerp, many of these ways of working and thinking come together via the idea of the novel as a generous, limitless, reflexive space. The Kink in the Arc is essentially collaborative/collective, utilising the descriptions of artworks by some of the most interesting contemporary artists, writers, makers, curators etc. working today across all disciplines. These real and imaginary descriptions (a painting, a video, a sculpture, a performance etc. etc.) are then sited within the context of the novel to form the central part of its fictional environment.

Teaching is an integral part of my practice and an important part of what I see as my role as an educator is to facilitate students in feeling that artworks do not always need to exist in relation to traditional canons or that in order to 'function' artworks need to generate cogent meaning. I strongly support the notion that artwork in any form can contain, disseminate, propagate and generate opacity, garbled thinking, mystery, speculation, doubt, nunace, criticality, unfamiliarity and failure, alongside curiosity, in the maker as well as the viewer.





2016 Written Dancing, Basic Mountain, Edinburgh

2015 New Paintings, Drop City, Newcastle

2012 The Cat, Carpeted, Le Salon Brussels, curated by FormContent

2008 Noble Prince of the Royal Mysteries. Vane, Newcastle

2005 Fontanelle. Transition, London



2017 M_HKA, Antwerp

2016 Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath, Scotland

2014 AIR Antwerpen Artists in Residence. Antwerp

Writer in Residence, Experimentica Live Art Festival Chapter, Cardiff

2011 Henry Moore Institute Research Fellowship, Leeds UK

2010 AIR Antwerpen Artists in Residence. Antwerp

2010 PEN Writers Residency, Antwerp



2017 Arts Council Grants for The Arts

2016 Arts Council Grants for the Arts: Drop City

Newcastle University School Strategic Research Fund Award

2015 Arts Council Grants for the Arts: Drop City

2014 NICAP Award: Drop City



2018 Commissioned Text Legsicon Laure Prouvost, Bookworks, London & MHKA, Antwerp (co-contributors: Lawrence Weiner, Catherine Millet, Emily Wardill, Elisabeth Price)

2017 Screening CONGREGATION (with Johannes Maier & Caroline Achaintre) Video. 6:23. Screened for Emplacing at Close Up Cinema by UEL Moving Image Research Centre curated by Sharone Lifschitz.

Exhibition Online publication & Performance The Kink in the Arc, performed collective novel, The Lodgers, M_HKA, Antwerp

Exhibition Paul Cezanne Painted Mount Snowden From This Spot, The Studio, Llandudno

Exhibition & Performance Choreography, ARCADE, London (Review MOUSSE Magazine, July, 2017)

Commissioned Text Book, don’t tell me what to do! With Beatriz Olabarrieta, Parallel Oaxaca, Mexico

2016 Publication The Mean of Men (with Adam Phillips) published by CIRCA Projects ISBN 978-09931687-4-1

Live Radio Broadcast The Mean of Men, Resonance FM (1 million listeners)

Publication Choreography/Coreografia, Juan de la Cosa, Mexico City ISBN 978-0-9935229-1-8

2015 Exhibition & Performance The Decorator & the Thief, Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland (Review NARC Magazine January, 2015)

Symposium The Imaginary Archive, Whitechapel Gallery, London

Publication Futuristic Mist: Markus Kartstiess ISBN-13: 978-0860831044

2014 Publication Its Moving From I to It, FormContent, London ISBN 978-0-9559029-9-4

Publication & Performance Continue Without Losing Consciousness, DCA, Dundee (Review STV Dundee Joe Birchenall, July 2014)

Performance TARR: Fiction By Artists, Baltic, Newcastle (with Audrey Reynolds, Jennifer Higgie)

Exhibition Corridor Plateau, curated by Markus Karstiess, Autocenter, Berlin & The Northern Charter, Newcastle

Commissioning Editor Cadavere Quotidiano: an anthology of artist writings (with Ed Atkins, Becky Beasley, Katrina Palmer, Michael Dean, Tim Etchells)

2013 Publication Essays on Sculpture #68: My Life by Anton Lesseman. Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. ISBN 978-1-905462-42-1

Performance The Walser Cycle. (with Tess Denman-Cleaver & Nadia Hebson) Baltic, Newcastle

Video We Are Sculptors in Reverse (with Johannes Maier) Video. 10 mins

Video Im A Man Of My Own Making, She Says (with Johannes Maier) Video. 8mins

Performance & Exhibition Space Release. CIRCA Projects, Newcastle.

Performance Mordern Tower Reading (with Heather Phillipson), Mordern Tower, Newcastle

Exhibition & Publication Seigneur, accorde à l'esprit un crédit à la production. Curated by Axelle Stiefel, CIRCUIT, Lausanne

2012 Live TV Broadcast Auto Italia Live: Double Dip Concession, ICA London

Performance He Complained That Nothing Interested Him Anymore & She Said Perhaps We Could Try Reacting To Silence in a More Interesting Way (with Johannes Maier, Laure Provost, Ben Rivers & Christian Jankowski) Tête, Berlin

Essay: Leon Spilliaert, Turps Banana Magazine

Performance Sincerely, how am I talking? Hollybush Gardens, London

Commissioned Text & Performance A New Path (with Alex Frost) Public art walking tour of Glasgow Gorbals

Performance As Rivers (with Francesco Pedraglio & Andy Holden) Cubitt, London

Online Publication Dead Bee, Stung, FormContent London

Performance Pool curated by Will Holder for Garden Marathon, Serpentine Gallery. London

Publication False Testimony: Collected Writings. Published by Lenz Books. ISBN 13: 9780956476036

Exhibition SV10. Studio Voltaire, London (selected by Jennifer Higgie & Rebecca Warren)




2017 We Were Having an Argument About Kenneth KochsOne Train May Hide Another (with Toby Christian, Rose OGallivan & Mily Thompson) curated by Paul Becker, Nadia Hebson & George Vasey. Kingsgate Project Space, London

2016 Choreography, ARCADE, London (with Nadia Hebson, Francesco Pedraglio, Eleanor Wright, Daniela Cascella, Jennifer Hodgson, Natasha Soobramanien, Chris Fite-Wassilak, Sophie Macpherson)

2012 Apropos the Kissing of a Hand (with Holly Antrum, Becky Beasley, Billy Childish, Robert Ellis, Catrin Huber, Sophie Macpherson, Jeremy Millar, Arnaud Moinet, Francesco Pedraglio, Roman Signer, Sylvia Vögel). Vane, Newcastle

Festival Robert Walser Newcastle (various venues) Collective project involving: performance, music, workshops, readings, exhibition & publication.

2007 Mutineer. Kunsthalle M8, Berlin (with: Joel Croxon, Nadia Hebson, Paul Housley, Merlin James, Gary McDonald, Peter McDonald, Eddie Weldon & Lynette Yiadom-Boakye).



2016 Congregation 6:17 mins Written, produced & directed by Paul Becker & Johannes Maier

2014 LA DEBACLE 13mins. Written, produced & directed by Paul Becker & Francesco Pedraglio

We Are Sculptures in Reverse 8 mins. Written, produced & directed by Paul Becker & Johannes Maier

2013 I Am a Man of My Own Making, She Says. He Pauses. Now, Tie on the Rocket...  10mins. Written, produced & directed by Paul Becker & Johannes Maier



1997/99 Slade School of Fine Art, (M.F.A. Lond.)

1986/89 Kingston Polytechnic, (BA Hons.)

1984/86 Grimsby School of Art (Foundation


The Henry Moore Institute Archive of Sculptors' Papers in Leeds







Undergraduate Teaching

I teach across all years and programmes in the department.

Postgraduate Teaching

I am the primary PhD Supervisor for Cecilia Stenbom