Maurizio Cattelan, Novecento, 1997. Taxidermied horse, leather saddle, rope, and pulley, 201.2 x 271.3 x 68.6 cm. © Maurizio Cattelan. Photo: Paolo Pellion di Persano, courtesy the artist
Co-organized by Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, and curator of Maurizio Cattelan: All, and Kate Fowle, Executive Director, Independent Curators International (ICI).
Curators from around the world discuss critical issues in their practice today, examining the possible impact of exhibitions and related curatorial activities on cultural and social change. Key questions will be addressed as points of departure for a broader theoretical and practical analysis of the field, through conversation amongst colleagues from various institutions and alternative spaces, as well as those working independently.
Speakers include: Ute Meta Bauer (MIT); Shelley Bernstein (Brooklyn Museum); Suzanne Cotter (Abu Dhabi Project, Guggenheim Museum); Tom Finkelpearl (Queens Museum of Art); Eungie Joo (New Museum); Weng Choy Lee (School of the Art Institute of Chicago); Chus Martinez (dOCUMENTA ); Rodrigo Moura (Inhotim); Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Gallery); Yasmil Raymond (Dia Art Foundation); Ralph Rugoff (Hayward Gallery); Nato Thompson (Creative Time); Christine Tohme (Ashkal Awan); Anton Vidokle (e-flux); and more.
Discussion topics include:
For many curators and artists working today, the exhibition no longer serves as the culminating manifestation of their work. For some, it is merely one step along a trajectory of research and planning. For others it has become an entirely dispensable model. This discussion will focus on alternative modes of curatorial activity and the expanded notion of what constitutes an exhibition.
Authorship and Agency
As the relationship between artist and curator increasingly blurs, the notion of authorship comes to the fore. This discussion will address the question of curatorial agency in an expanded field of production, by looking at the shifting distinctions between facilitation and the creative process. It will also examine the role of the audience in determining content for a time newly dominated by social media.
In a world of global cultural flows, does the art-historical notion of site-specificity (as it developed in the post-Minimalist practices of the 1960s and ‘70s) still resonate, or is it now just a nostalgic attachment to place? This discussion will focus on different modes of “specificity” in use today, including art created in relation to social and political contexts, as well as art adapted to museum architecture, and art situated in an expanded public realm.
Curating as Activism; the Social Responsibility of the Museum
The intersection of global cultural activity (including the building of new museums and emerging biennial models) with the political realities encountered around the world today, raises issues of social responsibility. This discussion will ask whether curatorial practice can have meaningful social or political impact, as well as what the responsibility of the curator and the museum should be to address and/or ameliorate injustice. It will also examine whether art itself can be a transformative force.
With the recent emergence of transnationality as an intellectual framework to rethink the concept of globalization and regional-specific studies, the question arises in both the academy and museum, whether the term applies to actual art production or whether it is merely a discursive model for interpretation. This discussion will ask what it means to curate a transnational exhibition in a world of shifting geo-political, cultural, and social realities.
The program is followed by a reception that includes a viewing of Maurizio Cattelan: All.
Program is subject to change.
Peter B. Lewis Theater
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue (at 88th Street)
New York, NY 10128
For ticketing and information visit guggenheim.org/publicprograms or call 212.423.3587
Ute Meta Bauer is an Associate Professor and the Director of the recently established Program in Art, Culture, and Technology at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, where she served as Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program from 2005-09. From 1996-2006, she held an appointment at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna as a professor of theory and practice of contemporary art. Educated as an artist for more than two decades Bauer has worked as a curator of exhibitions and presentations on contemporary art, film, video, and sound, with a focus on transdisciplinary formats. She was a co-curator of Documenta 11 (2001/2002) in the team of Okwui Enwezor, has been the artistic director of the 3rd Berlin Biennial (2004) and in 2005 curated the Mobile_Transborder Archive for InSite05, Tijuana /San Diego.
Shelley Bernstein is the Chief of Technology at the Brooklyn Museum. Since 2005, she has been working to further the Museum’s community-oriented mission through projects including free public wireless access, and putting the Museum collection online. As the initiator and community manager of the Museum’s initiatives on the social web, she co-created 1stfans: a socially networked museum and organized Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition. In 2010, Bernstein was named one of the “40 Under 40” in Crain’s New York Business, and she’s been featured in the New York Times for her effort to increase the Brooklyn Museum’s online presence and its engagement with visitors through social media.
Suzanne Cotter Curator, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project. A leading scholar on international contemporary art, she has organized monographic and thematic exhibitions on artists such as Monica Bonvicini, Angela Bulloch, Daniel Buren, Cecily Brown, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Trisha Donnelly, Jannis Kounellis, Mike Nelson, Silke Otto-Knapp, Fiona Tan, and Kelley Walker. She also curated Out of Beirut (2006), and co-curated Transmission Interrupted (2009) and the Sharjah Biennial (2011). Cotter has also contributed to art publications including Frieze, Parkett and Artforum. In 2005, she received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Tom Finkelpearl is the Executive Director of the Queens Museum of Art. He’s worked as a curator and program manager at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, Director of the Percent for Art Program at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Executive Director of Program at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His Dialogues in Public Art (2000) is a collection of artist interviews, contemplating the issues of community outreach and public engagement in art outside the walls of a museum. He is currently working on a book entitled The Art of Social Cooperation.
Eungie Joo is Director of Art and Cultural Programs at Instituto Inhotim in Brazil. Formerly, Joo was Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at the New Museum in New York (2007-12), where she spearheaded the Museum as Hub initiative. Before joining the New Museum, Joo was the founding director and curator of the Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles (2003–7). She was the Commissioner for the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd International Venice Biennale in 2009, and organized the 2012 New Museum Triennial. Joo was a recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement in 2006.
Kate Fowle is the Chief Curator at Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, and Director-at-Large of Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York. Prior to this she was the inaugural International Curator at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. From 2002-07 she was the Chair of the MA Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, which she co-founded with Ralph Rugoff. Before moving to the United States in 2001, Fowle was co-director of smith + fowle, a curatorial partnership based in London that developed exhibitions and commissions across the U.K. From 1994-96 Fowle was a curator at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, East Sussex.
Weng Choy Lee lives and works in Singapore. He is an art critic and president of the Singapore Section of the International Association of Art Critics. Formerly the artistic co-director of The Substation arts center, Lee is now director of projects, research, and publications at the Osage Art Foundation. He has lectured on art and cultural studies, convened international conferences, and written widely on contemporary art, and is a consultant lecturer at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Singapore.
Chus Martínez is Chief Curator at El Museo del Barrio, New York. Previously she was dOCUMENTA (13) Head of Department, and Member of Core Agent Group, as well as Associate Curator at MACBA, Barcelona, where she was Chief Curator from 2008-10. From 2005-08 she was Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein, and Artistic Director of Sala Rekalde, Bilbao (2002-05). For the 50th Biennale di Venezia (2005), Martínez curated the National Pavilion of Cyprus, and in 2010 served as a Curatorial Advisor for the 29th Bienal de São Paulo. She lectures regularly and has written numerous catalogue texts and critical essays.
Rodrigo Moura is a curator, editor and art writer. He was Curator at Inhotim (Minas Gerais, Brazil) from 2004, and currently holds the position of Deputy Director of Art and Cultural Programs. He played an important role in the acquisition of works by artists such as Artur Barrio, Ernesto Neto, Iran do Espírito Santo, Jorge Macchi, Marepe and Victor Grippo, among others. In the collection development of Inhotim, he has prioritized the acquisition of works by younger artists, such as Alexandre da Cunha, Allora & Calzadilla, Laura Lima and Marcellvs L. He was formerly Assistant Curator (2001-2003) and Curator (2004-2006) at Museu de Arte da Pampulha, in Belo Horizonte, where he organized solo shows by Damián Ortega, Ernesto Neto, Renata Lucas, José Bento and Fernanda Gomes, among more than 20 solo, site-specific and commissioned exhibitions. He has extensively written on arts and culture for Brazilian newspapers and international art press.
Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zurich, Switzerland) lives and works in London, where he is co-director of exhibitions and programs and director of international projects at the Serpentine Gallery. Before that, he was curator of Museum in Progress, Vienna, from 1993 to 2000 and has been a curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris since 2000. Obrist has curated and co-curated more than 200 solo and group exhibitions and biennials internationally since 1991, including World Soup (1991), Hotel Carlton Palace (1993), do it (1994), Take Me, I’m Yours (1995), Manifesta 1 (1996), Live/Life (1996), Cities on the Move (1997), Nuit Blanche (1998), 1st Berlin Biennial (1998), Laboratorium (1999), Utopia Station (2003), Dakar Biennale (2004), 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005), 1st & 2nd Moscow Biennale (2005 and 2007), Lyon Biennale (2007), and Yokohama Triennial (2008). In 2007, Hans Ulrich co-curated Il Tempo del Postino with Philippe Parreno for the Manchester International Festival, also presented in Basel (2009), organized by Fondation Beyeler Art Basel and Theater Basel. In the same year, the Van Alen Institute awarded him the New York Prize Senior Fellowship for 2007–08. In 2008 he curated Everstill at the Lorca House in Granada. Obrist is contributing editor of Abitare Magazine, Artforum, and Paradis Magazine.
Yasmil Raymond is curator of Dia Art Foundation. Prior to joining Dia, Raymond worked at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis where she organized solo exhibitions with Tomás Saraceno and Tino Sehgal, and the exhibition Abstract Resistance, (February 2010). Her other curatorial projects include, Statements: Joseph Beuys, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Brave New Worlds (co-curator with Doryun Chong), and the award-winning Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love (in collaboration with Philippe Vergne, 2007). In 2004, she received the Monique Beudert Curatorial Award, given by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
Ralph Rugoff is Director of the Hayward Gallery in London. Since his appointment in 2006, he has curated numerous acclaimed exhibitions including, Psycho Buildings: Artists Take On Architecture, The Painting of Modern Life and most recently, Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting. He was previously Director of the California College of the Arts (CCA) Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, and was the founding chair of CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. His publications include monographs on George Condo, Mark Wallinger and Anya Gallacio, as well as Circus American, Scene of the Crime, and At the Threshold of the Visible. In 2005, he won the inaugural Ordway Prize in the category of arts writer and/or curator from the Penny McCall Foundation.
Nancy Spector is Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. A preeminent authority on contemporary visual culture, she has organized exhibitions and written extensively on conceptual photography, Matthew Barney’s Cremaster cycle, and on artists such as Joseph Beuys, Tino Sehgal, and Richard Prince. Her exhibitions and publications include Moving Pictures (2003), Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated) (2004), and theanyspacewhatever (2008). Spector was Adjunct Curator of the 1997 Venice Biennale and co-organizer of the first Berlin Biennial in 1998. In 2007 she was the U.S. Commissioner for the Venice Biennale, where she presented an exhibition of work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Under the auspices of the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, she has initiated special commissions by Andreas Slominski, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Lawrence Weiner. Spector is a recipient of the Peter Norton Family Foundation Curators Award.
Christine Tohme is a Beirut-based cultural organizer, art activist and curator. In 1994, she founded Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for the Plastic Arts, a non-profit organization that initiates and supports contemporary artistic practice. Through her work, she provides a platform for free thought and critical discourse in Lebanon, promotes and develops critical reflection and cultural theory, and fosters regional and international cultural exchange. In 2001, Tohme initiated Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices. In 2006, she received the Prince Claus Award Award, in recognition of her achievements in stimulating local multi-disciplinary art production and art criticism.
Nato Thompson is Chief Curator at Creative Time, New York, as well as a writer and activist. Among his public projects for Creative Time are Tania Bruguera’s Immigrant Movement International, Democracy in America: The National Campaign, and Waiting for Godot, a project by Paul Chan held in New Orleans. His book Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the Age of Cultural Production will be published in October 2012 by Melville House Publishing. Thompson was formerly a curator at MASS MoCA, and he also curated ICI’s Experimental Geography, which traveled to eight venues in North America.
Anton Vidokle is an artist who was born in Moscow and raised in the Lower East Side, NYC. With Julieta Aranda, he organized e-flux video rental, which traveled to numerous institutions across Europe and the United States. As Founding Director of e-flux, he has produced projects such as “Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist,” “Do it,” “Utopia Station” poster project, and organized An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life and Martha Rosler Library. Vidokle initiated research into education as site for artistic practice as co-curator for Manifesta 6, which was canceled. In response to the cancellation, Vidokle set up an independent project in Berlin called Unitednationsplaza—a twelve-month project involving more than a hundred artists, writers, philosophers, and diverse audiences. From 2008-09, the New Museum in New York commissioned Vidokle to organize Night School, a critically acclaimed year-long program of monthly seminars and workshops that used the museum as a site to shape a critically engaged public through art discourse.