Category: Curatorial

Martin Beck
An Organized System of Instructions

Edited by James Voorhies
Contributions by Martin Beck, Keller Easterling, James Goggin, Alex Kitnick, James Voorhies

Martin Beck’s exhibition “Program” at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts comprised a sequence of interventions, installations, events, and displays that drew on the exhibition histories and academic pursuits of the famed 1963 Le Corbusier building at Harvard University. The sequence of explorative strategies—each node of which Beck considered an “episode”—lent particular attention to the founding aspirations of the Carpenter Center, which sought to cultivate its position as simultaneously an iconic modernist building, school, and exhibition venue. Beck performed and critically reflected on the kinds of activity an institution uses to build, organize, and engage with its audiences, and, in the case of the Carpenter Center, how it performed a kind of exhibition of education in both its pedagogical framework and its public outreach. From its physical infrastructure to its communication strategies, from its foundational curricular principles to visitor tallies, from building usage to welcome rituals, “Program,” which transpired over two years, examined institutional behaviors that collectively form institutional identity and integrate audiences into a cohesive program of public address.

This book, An Organized System of Instructions, is both a document of “Program” and an extension of the exhibition, which ran from October 24, 2014, to October 2016.

Copublished with Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Design by James Goggin, Practise

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These are the tools of the present : Beirut Cairo
Mai Abu ElDahab, November Paynter, Marnie Slater (Eds.)

Contributions by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Haig Aivazian, Mounira Al Solh, Doa Aly, Andeel, Mirene Arsanios, Malak Helmy, Iman Issa, Mahmoud Khaled, Maurice Louca, Jasmina Metwaly, Joe Namy, Nile Sunset Annex, November Paynter, Roy Samaha, Sharif Sehnaoui, Rania Stephan, Christophe Wavelet, Lauren Wetmore

This publication comprises a series of interviews with contemporary artists, musicians, and writers who are in dialogue with Beirut and Cairo. While not purporting to be an overview of the art scenes in these cities, this book begins to draw a picture of how artists think about what it means to be active in the contexts of these cities. It offers insight into the circumstances that structured these artists’ stories, and the often accidental influences that have shaped how their practices have developed.

These are the tools of the present is published on the occasion of Meeting Points 8, “Both Sides of the Curtain.” Meeting Points is an international multidisciplinary contemporary arts event that takes the Arab world as a starting point to pose questions about art. Meeting Points tries to imagine and interrogate models for the production and presentation of contemporary art, developed through curatorial research in the Arab world.

Copublished with Mophradat
Design by Julie Peeters

 

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I Can’t Work Like This
A Reader on Recent Boycotts and Contemporary Art

Edited by Joanna Warsza; with associate editors Ágnes Básthy, Anna Ten, Georgia Stellin, Judith Waldmann, Katharina Brandl, Lianne Mol, Mirela Baciak, Petra Belc, Renata Cervetto, Sarah Werkmeister, Ulrike Jordan, Ursula Guttmann, Vanda Sárai

Contributions by Corina L. Apostol, Julieta Aranda, Burak Arikan, Dave Beech, Boris Buden, Brad Butler & Karen Mirza, Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Tony Chakar, Chto Delat?, Ekaterina Degot, Galit Eilat, Charles Esche, Lara Fresko, Maria Galindo, Erdem Gündüz, Thomas Hirschhorn, Clara Ianni, Alevtina Kakhidze, Matthew Kiem, Kasper König, Vasif Kortun, Maria Kulikovska, Pablo Lafuente, Ana Lira, Vesna Madžoski, Angela Mitropoulos, Ahmet Öğüt, Andrea Phillips, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Christoph Schäfer, Gregory Sholette, Jonas Staal, Hito Steyerl, Chen Tamir, Nato Thompson, Gabrielle de Vietri, Dmitry Vilensky, Joanna Warsza, Tirdad Zolghadr

In recent years, artists and curators have often been confronted with the political dilemma of engagement or disengagement. The ideological, economic, or ethically objectionable circumstances of certain biennials and art exhibitions have raised the question of whether to continue and, if so, under what circumstances, with what consequences, and to what ends? From 2013 to 2015, biennials in Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Sydney, and São Paulo demonstrated that curating and art production can’t just carry on as if nothing had happened.

This reader is the result of Joanna Warsza’s course at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. It examines four recent cases of boycotts, presenting their political, ideological, and economic contexts, timelines, statements, as well as interviews with parties involved. It reflects on how certain biennials became the place where the power of art is renegotiated and why one simply “can’t work like this.”

Copublished with Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts
Design by Krzysztof Pyda

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Beyond Objecthood : The Exhibition as a Critical Form since 1968
by James Voorhies

In 1968, Robert Smithson reacted to Michael Fried’s influential essay “Art and Objecthood” with a series of works called non-sites. While Fried described the spectator’s connection with a work of art as a momentary visual engagement, Smithson’s non-sites asked spectators to do something more: to take time looking, walking, seeing, reading, and thinking about the combination of objects, images, and texts installed in a gallery. In Beyond Objecthood, James Voorhies traces a genealogy of spectatorship through the rise of the exhibition as a critical form — and artistic medium. Artists like Smithson, Group Material, and Michael Asher sought to reconfigure and expand the exhibition and the museum into something more active, open, and democratic, by inviting spectators into new and unexpected encounters with works of art and institutions. This practice was sharply critical of the ingrained characteristics long associated with art institutions and conventional exhibition-making; and yet, Voorhies finds, over time the critique has been diluted by efforts of the very institutions that now gravitate to the “participatory.” Beyond Objecthood focuses on innovative figures, artworks, and institutions that pioneered the exhibition as a critical form, tracing its evolution through the activities of curator Harald Szeemann, relational art, and New Institutionalism. Voorhies examines recent artistic and curatorial work by Liam Gillick, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Holler, Maria Lind, Apolonija Sustersic, and others, at such institutions as Documenta, e-flux, Manifesta, and Office for Contemporary Art Norway, and he considers the continued potential of the exhibition as a critical form in a time when the differences between art and entertainment increasingly blur.

James Voorhies is a curator and art historian of modern and contemporary art. He is Dean of Fine Arts and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

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