joi, 26 februarie 2009

Conf: Museums and Civil Society

Martin Kippenberger
Museum of Modern Art Syros, 1993-97
Sign: Christopher Wool
Courtesy: Estate Martin Kippenberger

Museums and Civil Society
The Role of Artists, Institutions
and Politics Now!


Date: February 12, 2-7p.m.

Location: the New Museum,
Sky Lounge, 235 Bowery,
New York, NY 10002

Within the framework of the exhibition 'The Artist as Troublemaker –
the Museum and Civil Society' at the Austrian Cultural Forum NYC
(December 7th, 2008 – March 28th, 2009), the Kunsthaus Graz / LM
Joanneum organizes in co-operation with the New Museum and the
Austrian Cultural Forum a symposium on scenarios of recent and future
museum practice and theory. Curators, artists and scholars will
discuss urgent and fundamental issues, regarding the functioning of
museums in a world of crisis.

Undoubtedly, we are facing fundamental changes in the art- and museum
world. After a period of unprecedented growth, the new realities,
triggered by immense economic transformations, appear on the horizon.
Art has evolved over the years from modernism's avant-garde to a
highly popular phenomenon in a visual culture that easily absorbs
critical and dissident views within its institutional structure. A
wide range of institutions underwent changes and redefinitions that
matched many of the developments in the media- and art markets. Within
the framework and under the term "museum" we are continuously
witnessing striking developments that oscillate between the
commercialisation and the creation of new, so far unknown public
spaces, as well as the emergence of a whole range of often
contradictory formats, from "sheer entertainment" to "academic

All of this is built upon rather marginally reflected notions of the
various museums' statuses, between the American donor-based "private"
model and the European public situation, driven by "cultural
politics". What options are available for museums in a situation of
drastically changing parameters of institutional realities? How do we
want our institutional practice to look in the next years to come? How
will the museum as a part of civil society act in the near and further
future? What consequences it might have for the artistic practice?

The symposium concentrates on the most urgent issues, generated by
this situation. It investigates the role of "cultural politics" in the
functioning of museums and it collects reflections on various
positions in the US and Europe as well as globally under the auspices
of drastic financial and economic changes. It considers critical
artistic approaches and their presence in the museum perceived as a
location of contradictions. Is the museum still able to go beyond
borders of disciplines and to create connecting platforms for various
fields of knowledge? How can a museum nowadays be perceived as an
educational vehicle versus the general public, the schools,
universities and a professional field? What is the future of the
museum within educational politics? Last but not least, the symposium
investigates the museum's role as a dispositif to create new forms and
qualities of public space. Are there any innovative models able to
generate new definitions and developments of new for ms and dynamics
of the open public space?

Panel I: the artist and his/her critical position towards museum practice

Ann Temkin (curator, MOMA, NYC), Laura Hoptman (curator, the New
Museum, NYC), Elisabeth Fiedler (curator, LM Joanneum, Graz), Martin
Prinzhorn (professor, art critic, Vienna), Michael Clegg (artist,

Moderated by Peter Pakesch (artistic director, Kunsthaus Graz/LM Joanneum)

Panel II: the museum education and the development of the public

Maria Lind (director, CCS, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson NY),
Eugenie Joo (director of education and public programmes, the New
Museum, NYC), Marco de Michelis (professor, Columbia University, NYC),
Dieter Bogner (the New Museum's board member, museum consultant,

Moderated by Katrin Bucher-Trantow (curator Kunsthaus Graz/LM Joanneum

Panel III: the museum's future perspectives

Lisa Phillips (director, the New Museum, NYC), Peter Pakesch (artistic
director, Kunsthaus Graz/LM Joanneum), Donald Preziosi (professor,
UCLA), Claire Farago (professor, University of Colorado Boulder),
Diana Thater (artist, LA)

Moderated by Adam Budak (curator, Kunsthaus Graz/LM Joanneum)


Kunsthaus Graz / LM Joanneum
The New Museum, NYC
Austrian Cultural Forum NYC

With the support of the departement for culture at the regional
governement of Styria

marți, 17 februarie 2009

CfP: Invisible History of Exhibitions

21-22 May 2009, Budapest project


"Invisible History of Exhibitions", a symposium organized (HU) aims at the formation of shared knowledge and discourse on Eastern European art exhibitions from the 1960s until now.The framework of this project is a long-term international collaboration, "art always has its consequences", that focuses on invisible, alternative histories through exhibition history, artists' texts, archives, and conceptual design, which have had restricted international visibility and accessibility so far and thus are often missing from the canonized narratives of contemporary art.

The symposium investigates the history and the current interpretations of the exhibition, as the dominant format of contemporary art production and presentation. "History" in this context is interpreted as a group of constructed narratives based on events that constitute shifts in
the notions of art (art history) and the modes of its presentation (exhibition history). In Eastern Europe progressive art events between 1945 and 1989 could often only happen in the "second
publicity", so they are embedded in the historical conditions of the public sphere. While in western countries mainstream art institution hosted curatorial group exhibitions that constitute the landmarks in the history of exhibitions, in Eastern Europe paradigmatic events
often happened in private flats and off-site spaces outside of official art institutions. Consequently, a different methodology must be introduced to be able to include Eastern-European events in the international discourse of exhibition history.

The symposium presents historical and contemporary case studies describing paradigmatic art events that significantly affected our understanding of exhibitions. Examples of Eastern-European art practices are suggested to be related to such topics of the international theoretical and curatorial discourse as:

* the spatial and temporal nature of the exhibition
* the ephemeral qualities and methodologies of reconstruction and documentation
* the role of the location from site-specificity to institutional critique
* authorship and artistic-, curatorial-, visitor positions
* exhibition as a historical, ideological, or political construction in relation to the transformations of the public sphere
* the collective/unifying concept and representation of Eastern-European art

Together with the symposium we intend to launch an Eastern-European online database of exhibitions. The first items in the database will be the references of the speakers at the conference and in the future the archive will grow by the submissions of other invited and
voluntary contributors.

The language of the symposium is English. Speakers are invited by the organizers and selected from the applications submitted to call below. The papers of the symposium will be published on 


If you are interested in participating in the symposium with a paper please submit a 200 word abstract.

Please send your proposal to  until 15 MARCH 2009.

concept: Dora Hegyi, Zsuzsa Laszlo, Emese Suvecz

Supported by the EU's Culture 2007 Program.
tranzit is a contemporary art initiative supported by Erste Bank Group