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Museum as Hub: An Accord is First and Foremost Only a Proposition

Public Programs

Museum as Hub: An Accord is First and Foremost Only a Proposition

April 9 – May 1 2011

“Museum as Hub: The Accords” is a multipart project exploring new forms of curatorial practice and international collaboration. Building on experimentation, critique, and play, the exhibition proposes new terms for agreement and considers whether an “accord” can inspire new methods of communication and production, and perhaps lead to new approaches to exhibition making in the process. “The Accords” aims to address both the challenges and possibilities of working as a “hub,” moving beyond ideas of consensus and shared authorship toward a more flexible platform that supports multiple and simultaneous strands of research, exchange, and presentation.

Two exhibitions conceptually linked in their development will be presented on the fifth floor of the New Museum in addition to simultaneous manifestations initiated by Museum as Hub partners in Cairo, Eindhoven, Mexico City, and Seoul. From February to September 2011, Hub partner institutions present performances in one city that stream to audiences in another; publish texts and post them online; share screenings between institutions; and organize exhibitions that further expand the discussion—exploring new directions in Museum as Hub activity.

The project begins with the exhibition “An accord is first and foremost only a proposition.” Proceeding from the idea that an accord functions as a kind of premise, the exhibition explores how coming together around a set of principles can give form to particular ideas, actions, and events that extend beyond an official agreement. Through the work of Yael Bartana, Dora Garcia, Wael Shawky, and Carey Young, the exhibition addresses the form and logic of agreement and references fictional or historic examples to propose a space for speculation, contestation, and response.

Carey Young presents contracts and statements that utilize legal language to press upon conventional relationships between artist, audience, and institution. Based on previous works exploring surveillance and trust, Dora Garcia’s New Forever (2011) is a work that begins as an agreement with the New Museum that allows her to install a web camera in the gallery and stream activity in the space twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the period of one year. Wael Shawky creates new work that builds upon his Telematch Sadat (2007), a video in which the artist worked with children to enact a version of Anwar El Sadat’s 1981 assassination and burial following his unpopular signing of the Camp David Accords and the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. Yael Bartana considers strategies of images and their making in her presentation of two posters, a coloring book, and other works inspired by her video trilogy, in which the artist imagines a Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. The exhibition is guest curated by Sarah Rifky, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo.

“Museum as Hub: An accord is first and foremost only a proposition” is organized by guest curator Sarah Rifky, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo.