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“These things called exhibitions”

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Public Programs

“These things called exhibitions”

April 19 2014

On Saturday April 19, the New Museum will hold a one-day symposium on exhibitions organized by artists, with a particular focus on the exhibition as material, rather than a collection of disparate objects. We will consider a variety of structural mechanisms used by artists to render and organize space, time, and agents in experimental ways, examining occasions where the unique substance of an exhibition has been engaged to allow for an innovative working-through of ideas.
A livestream of the symposium will be available here
Considering the exhibition as material warrants a close look at the mechanisms by which exhibitions cohere or coagulate into distinct objects. The symposium will feature case studies addressing a variety of artist-produced exhibitions, critically examining the methodologies and impetuses various figures have employed when structuring the interrelations between works on display. It will also raise questions about the implications for considering the exhibition as material with respect to the agency of artworks and other cultural artifacts, the experience of lived versus historical time, the conflation of real and simulated spatial order, and importantly, the negotiations of equivalences and differences across disparate kinds of artworks. Alongside these lines of inquiry, discussions will also problematize the recent recognition of artist-curated exhibitions as a typology within the greater history of exhibitions, considering what it means to carve out a distinct space for the artist exhibition-maker, as well as what kinds of exhibition forms are potentially privileged by such histories.

Keynote by Jan Verwoert
The symposium schedule will run as follows:
1:00 PM Introductory remarks
1:15 PM Keynote lecture by Jan Verwoert
Followed by a moderated Q&A
2:15 PM Agents: materializing conversations and representing ourselves
Stephen Prina on his “Monochrome Painting” (1989) and “Galerie Max Hetzler, 1991” (2001)
Monika Szewczyk on Mickalene Thomas’s “Tête-à-Tête” (2012) and Mina Totino’s “Persian Rose, Chartreuse Muse, Vancouver Grey” (2014)
Followed by a moderated Q&A
3:45 PM Exhibitionary space and space as source material
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster on her practice of exhibition-making
Kevin Lotery on Richard Hamilton’s “An Exhibit” (1957)
Followed by a moderated Q&A (15 mins)
5:00 PM The time of the exhibition: lived and historical registers
Juli Carson on Yael Bartana’s Congress for the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, 2012
Alex Kitnick on Noah Purifoy’s “66 Signs of Neon” (1966)
Followed by a moderated Q&A
“These things called exhibitions” was initiated as part of a larger research project curated by Florence Ostende, “The Exhibition Machine,” which considers the pioneering role artists have played in exhibition history. It has also been conceived in relation to the Education Department’s R&D Season on VOICE, as an opportunity to probe the shifts in value of the artist’s voice within the history of exhibitions. At the New Museum, “These things called exhibitions” is organized by Ostende, Adjunct Curator at Dallas Contemporary, and the New Museum’s Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, with Alicia Ritson, Senior Research Fellow. 
The overarching research project of Ostende’s has other incarnations at the Drawing Center, the Artist’s Institute, and CUNY Graduate Center.