Panel: “Revisiting The Late Capitalist Museum”
In 1990, Rosalind Krauss published her seminal essay on museums of contemporary art, arguing that the increased scale of museum architecture led the viewer’s attention to focus on a sublime experience of space itself, rather than to the works of art displayed within it. To what extent have Krauss’s arguments been fulfilled in the last twenty years? And have compelling alternatives to her diagnosis arisen in its wake?
Panelists include: Bruce Altshuler, Manuel Borja-Villel, and Beatriz Colomina. Chaired by Johanna Burton.
Bruce Altshuler is Director of the Museum Studies program at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at New York University. He is the author of The Avant-Garde in Exhibition: New Art in the 20th Century (1994), and Isamu Noguchi (1994); editor of Collecting the New: Museums and Contemporary Art (2005); and co-editor of Isamu Noguchi: Essays and Conversations (1994). In 2010, Altshuler was awarded the Dedalus Foundation Senior Fellowship to support research on Volume 2 of his book Salon to Biennial: Exhibitions that Made Art History (Phaidon Press). The first volume, covering 1863–1959, was identified as one of the outstanding art books of 2008 by the art critics of theNew York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday Times (London), and the Economist.
Manuel Borja-Villel has been the Director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía since January 2008, where he has led the reorganization of the permanent collection. From 1998–2008, Borja-Villel was director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). Among the exhibitions he programmed at the MACBA were shows dedicated to Vito Acconci, El Lissitzky, Öyvind Fahlström, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Robert Frank, David Goldblatt, Luís Gordillo, Raymond Hains, Richard Hamilton, William Kentridge, Perejaume, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gerhard Richter, Martha Rosler,and Antoni Tàpies, among others. Borja-Villel was also a member of the Consulting Committee of Documenta 12 (2007), and the chair of the jury for the 52nd Venice Biennial (2007).
Beatriz Colomina is an architectural historian and theorist who has written extensively on questions of architecture and media. Her books include Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (1994), which was awarded the 1995 International Book Award by the American Institute of Architects; Sexuality and Space (1992), which was awarded the 1993 International Book Award by the American Institute of Architects; and Architectureproduction (1988). Colomina is Professor of Architecture and Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University.
Johanna Burton is the director of The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College Masters program. Prior to holding this position, she was Associate Director and Senior Faculty Member at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program. Her writing has appeared in publications including Artforum,October, and Texte Zur Kunst.
Dialogue: Sources of the Contemporary Museum
Carlos Basualdo and Pamela M. Lee in conversation
When did the sources of curatorial activity that we consider to be “contemporary” emerge, and where?
Carlos Basualdo is the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Curator at MAXXI, Rome. He was the lead organizer of “Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens,”whichrepresented the United States at the 2007 Venice Biennale, where it was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. He was formerly Chief Curator of Exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts(2000–02), and has written extensively for scholarly journals and arts publications.
Pamela M. Lee is an art historian who specialises in the art, theory, and criticism of late modernism with a historical focus on the 1960s and 1970s. A recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the Getty Institute, Lee’s publications include Object to Be Destroyed: The Work of Gordon Matta-Clark (2000), Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s (2004), and most recently Art History Since the Sixties: Theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in the Visual Arts (2011). She is Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.
The Artist’s Perspective
Dara Birnbaum and Ute Meta Bauer in conversation
Dara Birnbaum is an artist who lives and works in New York. A retrospective exhibition of her work was organized by S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium in 2009 and then traveled to Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal in 2010. In conjunction with the retrospective, a major monograph on Birnbaum’s work, The Dark Matter of Media Light, was published. Her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Reina Sofia, Madrid; MACBA, Barcelona; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Modern Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, amongst others. This year, Birnbaum was awarded a Creative Artist Residency at the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Ute Meta Bauer is Associate Professor and Director of the Visual Arts Program at MIT. Raised in Germany and educated in visual communication and stage design, she has curated exhibitions on contemporary art, film, and video, focusing on transdisciplinary formats. She is a founding editor/publisher of the art periodicals META 1—4 (1992–94), case (2001–02), and Verksted #1–6 (2003–06).
Roundtable: Contemporanizing History / Historicizing the Contemporary
Recent attempts to define contemporary art (and contemporaneity) as an era distinct from the modern and the postmodern have all revolved around the question of our relationship to history. How do we periodize the contemporary? Does the distinction between modern and contemporary art hold up in a global context? How has a changed relationship to history, and an awareness of art’s new geographies, been made apparent in recent museum practice?
Panelists include: Okwui Enwezor, Annie Fletcher, Massimiliano Gioni, and Terry Smith. Chaired by Claire Bishop.
Okwui Enwezor is the newly appointed director of the Haus der Kunst, Munich. His work is engaged in postcolonial studies and African contemporary art and their relationships to acts of political resistance. Enwezor has written for many publications, including Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, of which he is a founding editor. He has served on numerous advisory boards, juries, and curatorial teams, and is the current Artistic Director of Meeting Points 6. Enwezor has served artistic director of the 2nd Johannesburg Biennial (1998), Documenta 11 (2002), the Bienial Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla (2006), and the 7th Gwangju Biennial (2008). He was Dean of Academic Affairs at San Francisco Art Institute (2005–09).
Massimiliano Gioni is the Associate Directorand Director of Exhibitionsof the New Museum in New York and the artistic director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan. He recently curated “10.000 Lives,”the 8th Gwangju Biennial. At the New Museum, Gioni has curated the solo exhibitions of Paul Chan, Urs Fischer, and Lynda Benglis. He was also one of the curators of “The Generational: Younger Than Jesus,”the first New Museum Triennial. And in 2008 he curated the group show “After Nature.”In 2006 Gionicurated the 4th Berlin Biennale with Maurizio Cattelan and Ali Subotnick, and co-curated Manifesta 5 in 2004 in San Sebastian (Spain). At the Trussardi Foundation he has organized various solo shows and public art projects with, among others, Pawe? Althamer, Tacita Dean, Fischli and Weiss, Paul McCarthy, Paola Pivi, Anri Sala, and Tino Sehgal.
Terry Smith is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. His major research interests include global contemporary art; the histories of multiple modernities and modernisms; the history and theory of contemporaneity; and the historiography of art history and art criticism. Among Smith’s most recent publications is What is Contemporary Art? (2009), a book that examines and categorizes multiple definitions of the contemporary in art.
Annie Fletcher is curator of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and a freelance curator and critic. She co-curated their exhibition “Be(com)ing Dutch in the age of Global Democracy”(2006) and “If I Can’t Dance I Don't Want to be Part of Your Revolution”(2005). From 2005–06, she managed the Curatorial Training Programme at De Appel in Amsterdam. Fletcher’s work lends insight into the potentials of curatorial practice and loaded meanings behind art mediation and presentation. At the Van Abbemuseum, she is an active partner the Museum as Hub intiative wtih art space pool, Museo Tamayo, Museo Experimental El Eco, the New Museum, and the Townhouse Gallery.
Claire Bishop is Associate Professor of Art History, at the CUNY Graduate Center and a scholar of contemporary art. Her dissertation was published as Installation Art: A Critical History, and she has also published anedited volume, Participation. She is the author of theessays“Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics” (October, 2004) and “The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents” (Artforum, 2006).
Friday, March 11, 2011 | 10:00 AM