“Looking Back: 1993” with Claire Bishop

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
ICI Curatorial Hub
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013

1993 saw crucial developments and realignments in the realm of art and politics, in the U.S. and internationally. In a chapter of her latest book Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of SpectatorshipClaire Bishop, art historian and author, considered the impact of political and economic shifts on art and artists post-1989, and examined curatorial projects such as Project Unité, Sonsbeek 93, and Culture in Action, which all took place in 1993.

This conversation with Renaud Proch will focus on these and other projects and practices, which redefined the role of art in society in ways that still resonate today; it will offer the historical and international perspectives to better understand this emblematic year.

I have mapped out the history of significant attempts to rethink the role of the artist and the work of art in relationship to society in various forms of participatory art from Europe, Russia and South America. Significantly, these have clustered around two moments of revolutionary upheaval: 1917 (in which artistic production was brought into line with Bolshevik collectivism), and 1968 (in which artistic production lent its weight to a critique of authority, oppression and alienation). The third moment, I would like to posit, is 1989.
—Excerpt from Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship by Claire Bishop

This is the inaugural event of “Looking Back: 1993,” a series of conversations investigating the major exhibitions and art practices that defined 1993.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with Claire Bishop in the subject field.

January 23, 2013


Claire Bishop

Claire Bishop is a Professor of Art History at the CUNY Graduate Center. Bishop is an internationally acknowledged scholar of contemporary art. Her dissertation was published as Installation Art: A Critical History and quickly became an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the subject. Her edited volume, Participation (MIT Press, 2006), is also highly regarded in the field. She is the author of two influential essays—“Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics” (October, 2004) and “The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents” (Artforum, 2006). Both have been translated and reprinted a number of times. Bishop curated the exhibition Double Agent (2008) at the London ICA, and is working on a book about socially-engaged art and spectatorship.
She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Essex.

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