SPACES OF ART | Institutional / post-institutional curatorial and related practices in contemporary art

SPACES OF ART |  Institutional / post-institutional curatorial and related practices in contemporary art
| Friday 17 – Saturday 18 April
Location | Artspace, Ground Floor





Spaces of Art engages questions crucial to the future of art institutions and their relationship to contemporary practice in the 21st century, with particular reference to curatorial and artistic strategies in Australia and the Asia- Pacific.


Within recent curatorial debates, the term ‘new institutionalism’ has described a tendency toward the incorporation of the principles of institutional critique into institutional practice. Particularly visible in Europe, new institutionalism has its origins of the shift of key independent curators into directorial roles in the late 1990s, but also in the perceived need for galleries and museums to provide a more sympathetic platform for the increasingly participatory, process- based and self-reflexive practices of contemporary art. With its emphasis on transience, open-endedness and social experiment, and its placement of discursive activities such as education and publishing on equal footing with the more conventional exhibition function of galleries, new institutionalism draws as much from the working methods of artist- run initiatives as it does from social and cultural theory.


The past few years have seen this tendency widely discussed and just as widely critiqued, resulting in emergent discourses that might be characterised as ‘post-institutional’. Rather than simply rehearsing these accounts of new institutionalism, however, Spaces of Art will instead seek to use it as the platform from which a series of questions about current institutional practices may be asked at three overlapping levels — globally, regionally and locally — with a specific focus on their potential to inform artistic and curatorial strategies in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.


The final list of participants is as follows.


Day One: THE ‘ART OF ENGAGEMENT’ TEAM (University of Western Sydney); DAVE HULLFISH BAILEY and DAVID PESTORIUS (Artist, Los Angeles and Art Historian, Curator and Gallerist, Brisbane); ALEX BAKER (Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne); ANTHONY GARDNER (Independent Writer, London); HEEJIN KIM (Curator, International Projects, Insa Art Space, Seoul); LEE WENG CHOY (Critic, Co-artistic Director, Substation, Singapore); ISABELL LOREY (Guest Professor for Gender Studies and Political Theory, Vienna University, Vienna) and NINA MÖNTMANN (Hamburg-based independent curator; Professor and Head of Department of Art Theory and the History of Ideas at the Royal University College of Fine Arts, Stockholm).


Day Two: EMMA BUGDEN (Director, Artspace, Auckland); DAVID CROSS (Artist, Associate Professor, Massey University, Wellington); LY DARAVUTH (Artist, Director, Reyum Institute, Cambodia); ADE DARMAWAN (Artist, Director, Ruangrupa, Jakarta); SIMON MAIDMENT (Director, Satellite, Melbourne); HANNAH MATHEWS (Independent Curator, Melbourne); LAURA PRESTON (Assistant Curator, Adam Art Gallery, University of Victoria, Wellington); GERALD RAUNIG (Vienna-based philosopher and art theorist, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies); AARON SEETO (Artist, Director, Gallery 4A, Sydney) and JASMIN STEPHENS (Curator/Exhibitions Manager, Fremantle Arts Centre).


The conference will comprise a mix of formal presentations and discussion panels within three session groupings— ‘Institutional Critique or Institutionalised Criticism?’, ‘Spaces and Sites: Australia and New Zealand’ and ‘Alternatives in Asia: History, Context, Current Practices and Critiques.’


Spaces of Art is presented by Artspace Visual Arts Centre in association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (NSW Chapter). This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its Arts Funding and Advisory body.