Beyond the Exhibition: a Transnational and Polyphonic Approach to their Histories from the Cold War to our Time

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Beyond the Exhibition: a Transnational and Polyphonic Approach to their Histories from the Cold War to our Time
9 de septiembre de 2022
Sala de Junta, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

In 1996 Thinking about Exhibitions was published, a pioneering compilation in which exhibitions begin to be considered as an object of analysis and debate. Bruce Ferguson identifies them as a situated intertext, a strategic system of representations, which “must be viewed on the basis of their forms, contents and expressive forces, within the environment and historical conditions in which they are proposed and received” (Ferguson, 1996). Therefore, the poetics and politics of exhibitions are interrelated and interdependent.

The variety of case studies proposed and rescued in this book allows, on the one hand, to highlight the role that periodic exhibitions (biennials or documenta), and museums, have had in the production of art history(s) (Grasskamp 1996;Ward, 1996). On the other, to understand curatorship as a process of critical intervention and space from which to recode the format (Obrist, 2016; O’Neil, 2016). Moreover, exhibitions can destabilize canonical and hegemonic narratives, triggering alternative spaces that question and contest the North-South and center-peripheries schema (Garden/Green 2016). However, a hierarchy still prevails in exhibition studies that has only recently begun to be revised (López, 2017; Spricigo, 2016), questioning the historically imposed role of biennials, exhibitions or cultural institutions and tracing counter-genealogies. Therefore, when analyzing the exhibitions, and their studies, one must ask who speaks to whom, when and from where these approaches take place, and who is represented and in what way.

Taking exhibitions as a starting point, but not limiting itself exclusively to them but extending the study to artistic practices and the participation of critics and art historians, this seminar proposes a polyphonic and multifocal analysis of exhibitions in the Atlantic axis from the Cold War to contemporaneity. On the one hand, the seminar seeks to discuss the potentialities and limitations of exhibitions, understanding them both as a tool to destabilize the Eurocentric narrative and the hegemonic exhibition format, and as a space traversed by geopolitical issues and tensions. On the other hand, it seeks to examine the forms of exchange and transnational cultural encounters, and processes of (trans)formation of intellectual and artistic networks, which made exhibitions multidirectional contact zones. Eventually, the seminar proposes to share and discuss methodological resources and theoretical references of exhibition studies, debating old and new genealogies, and their intersections with political and social contexts from a transnational perspective.

Poster Program

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome and introduction by Olga Fernández López (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

10.15 – 11.45 Vinicius Spricigo (Universidade Federal de São Paulo), Reflexões para uma arqueologia das exposições com referencia à Bienal de São Paulo

11. 45 – 12.00 Break

12.00 – 13.30

Anita Orzes (Universidad de Barcelona / Université Grenoble Alpes), Revolución o utopía? La Bienal Latino-Americana de São Paulo (1978)

Pablo Santa Olalla (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Del conceptualismo al comisariado de exposiciones (y viceversa). Apuntes sobre el intercambio de roles como fenómeno transnacional en el eje sud-atlántico durante los años 70

14.00 – 15.30 Lunch Break

15.30 – 17.30

Abdiel D. Segarra (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Por Puerto Rico y en contra: expectativas y realidades de armar una exposición en un museo nacional en una colonia

Juan José Santos Mateo (Art on Trial), La exposición de la crítica, la crítica de la exposición

Blanca Molina (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), La exposición como práctica coreográfica: discursos y dispositivos

17.30 – 17.45 Break

17.45 – 19.15 Reading Workshop directed by Vinicius Spricigo (Universidade Federal de São Paulo)

19.15 – 19.30 Conclusions

The official languages of the seminar will be Spanish and Portuguese.

This seminar is organized by the International Research Platform MoDe(s) – Modernidad(es) Descentralizada(s), the Research Group DeVisiones. Discursos, genealogías y prácticas en la creación visual contemporánea and the Departamento de Historia y Teoría del Arte of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.  

Direction: Olga Fernández López  (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Anita Orzes (Universidad de Barcelona / Université Grenoble Alpes)

Imagen: X Bienal de São Paulo, Manchete, 1969.