Exhibitions and the World at Large – London Symposium 3 April 2009

Exhibitions and the World at Large – London Symposium 3 April 2009

Central Saint Martins

March 24, 2009
Exhibitions and the World at Large – London Symposium 3 April 2009
‘Exhibitions and the World at Large’

Friday 3 April 2009, 9.30 – 18.00



This symposium will investigate the radical shifts that took place in the geography and configuration of contemporary art around 1989, a pivotal year for both art and politics. These shifts expanded perspectives on contemporary art, creating new forms of cultural exchange and raising a new set of ethical and political issues. With an impact that can still be felt today, the criteria for the selection and exhibition of art were questioned and the preeminence of Western art centres was challenged.

Three exhibitions that took place in 1989 will serve as exemplary case studies for tracking these changes, and simultaneously allow for a detailed examination of the role of the exhibition form in this process. ‘Magiciens de la Terre’ at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, ‘The Other Story’ at the Hayward Gallery, London, and the ‘Tercera Bienal de La Habana’ will be explored in papers by Thomas Boutoux, Sonya Boyce, Jean Fisher, Sarat Maharaj,Cuauhtémoc Medina and Gerardo Mosquera. The symposium will be chaired by Oriana Baddeley and Charles Esche.

‘Exhibitions and the World at Large’ is organised by Afterall and TrAIN in collaboration with Tate Britain. It is part of a large-scale research and publication project titled Exhibition Histories, which Afterall is developing in association with the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. This project will offer a critical analysis of contemporary exhibition making and examine the ways in which exhibitions have affected how art is produced and received. It will result in a series of books dedicated to selected exhibitions since 1955, reproducing archive material and installation photographs, and assessing the exhibitions’ methodologies and influence through newly commissioned essays and additional reprinted texts. The initial titles of the series to be published in 2010 will be:
Lucy Lippard’s ‘c.7,500′. Main essay by Cornelia Butler
‘Op Losse Schroeven’ and ‘When Attitudes Become Form’. Main essay by Christian Rattemeyer
‘Magiciens de la Terre’. Essays by Cuauhtémoc Medina and other authors
‘Tercera Bienal de La Habana ’89’. Main essay by Rachel Weiss

This symposium follows one dedicated to the exhibitions of Conceptual art, which took place at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in May 2008, with papers by Lucy Lippard, Rachel Weiss, Charles Harrison and Pawel Polit.

‘Exhibitions and the World at Large’ is supported by the University of the Arts London and the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni.

Booking recommended
Price includes drinks
For tickets book online

or call +44 (0)20 7887 8888

Afterall is a research and publishing organisation based at Central St Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London.


TrAIN, or the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation is a forum for historical, theoretical and practice-based research in architecture, art, communication, craft and design based at the University of the Arts London.


Image above:
Neil Dawson, Globe 1989, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. © The artist. Photograph: Bill Nichol

For more information go to: http://www.afterall.org

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Central Saint Martins
March 24, 2009

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