Posted on July 10, 2012
BIENNIALS AND INFRASTRUCTURAL SHIFT – PART I & II
By Terry Smith
This is a two-part series about the mega-exhibition; the second part will run in AAP 80 (Sept/Oct). Smith’s article is drawn from a chapter of Thinking Contemporary Curating, to be published by Independent Curators International (ICI) in September.
The most visible elements of the infrastructure in which art is presented to its various publics today are sites of exhibition, which can be imagined along a spectrum, ranging from the more traditional (in the sense of longest running) to the most recent, and from those thoroughly invested in landmark locations to those that presume mobility and transience. At one end are institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York: a mother-ship among mega-museums that—like its few peer institutions, such as the British Museum, London, and the Louvre, Paris—has recently included contemporary art, and appointed a specialist curator of a new department of “Modern and Contemporary Art.”...