October 25, 2021

"Exhibition Histories": publication, exhibition and program


[1] Art and its Worlds: Exhibitions, Institutions and Art Becoming Public, 2021. Courtesy of Afterall in association with Asia Art Archive, the Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg. [2] Poster: Afterall Exhibition Histories and its Worlds. Design: Andrew Brash for Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum.

We are pleased to announce the publication of Art and its Worlds: Exhibitions, Institutions and Art Becoming Public, an anthology that marks the first decade and future directions of Afterall’s "Exhibition Histories" series. This coincides with the opening of Afterall Exhibition Histories and its Worlds, an exhibition initiated by Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing, focusing on the "Exhibition Histories" publications series to date. The publication and exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of events (see below).

Art and its Worlds offers a possible history of art since 1989 told through the moments when art becomes public. It is guided by three questions: What is the global for art and exhibition-making, or why has it been what it has? How have agents including artists and curators experimented with different forms of exhibition? And how do these exhibitionary moments connect to longer-term and institutional trajectories? Key texts previously published in Afterall journal appear alongside newly commissioned essays, artist contributions, conversations and translations, exploring exhibition as a material, embodied and political practice.

With contributions from over 35 writers and artists: Genaro Amaro Altamirano and Ana Bilbao, Brook Andrew and Anthony Gardner, Adjoa Armah, Zdenka Badovinac, Khairani Barokka, María Berríos, Eddie Chambers, Bo Choy, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Ekaterina Degot, Clémentine Deliss, Ntone Edjabe, Elena Filipovic, Khwezi Gule, Yaiza Hernández Velázquez, Geeta Kapur and Natasha Ginwala, Pablo Lafuente, Miguel A. López, Lee-Ann Martin, Naeem Mohaiemen, Adeena Mey, Serubiri Moses, Mujeres Creando, Luiza Proença, Francesca Recchia, Tonika Sealy Thompson and Stefano Harney, John Tain, David Teh, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Steven ten Thije, Võ Hồng Chương-Đài and Xie Congyang; and introduced by Bo Choy, Charles Esche, David Morris and Lucy Steeds.

The publication of Art and its Worlds marks a new partnership between Afterall "Exhibition Histories" and the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg, who join our longstanding partners Asia Art Archive, in Hong Kong, and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Other recent titles in the series include Uncooperative Contemporaries: Art Exhibitions in Shanghai in 2000 and FESTAC ’77: The 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, a co-publication with Chimurenga.

Afterall Exhibition Histories and its Worlds, now open at the Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing (16 October 2021–27 February 2022) is the ninth episode of 'Inside-Out Art Practice'.

Upcoming programme
October 26: Art and its Worlds joint book launch with PARSE journal, University of Gothenburg (online)
November 4–6: Reshaping the Field: Arts of the African Diasporas on Display, conference organised by Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (online)
November 30: Afterall Exhibition Histories and its Worlds, exhibition and launch event hosted by Afterall and Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing (on-site & online)
December 16–19: book launch organised by Asia Art Archive at Booked Art Book Fair (on-site)

A further programme of events to accompany the release of Art and Its Worlds is forthcoming. Please subscribe to the Afterall newsletter to learn more as details are confirmed.

Digital platform and education
The Art Becoming Public digital platform is launched together with the release of Art and its Worlds, with an ongoing ambition to share texts and research materials related to exhibition histories inquiries. Four research areas are indicated on the platform, which explores situations that productively challenge and refine our understandings of "art", "exhibition" and "history", mindful of what these terms might mean for the present.

The "Exhibition Histories" series is developed in conjunction with the two-year research masters' programme, MRes Art: Exhibition Studies at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. It is led by course co-leaders David Morris and Helena Vilalta, alongside course faculty, and joined by Afterall colleagues such as Lucy Steeds and Charles Esche and a wide network of international contributors. Applications for 2022/23 entry will open from December 2021; apply early to avoid disappointment.

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