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"Call for Papers: Spaces of Art An international conference on institutional / post-institutional curatorial and related practices in contemporary art"
2008-12-25 until 2009-02-02
Sydney, NS, AU

Spaces of Art - An international conference on institutional / post-institutional curatorial and related practices in contemporary art. Convenors: Reuben Keehan and Blair French. In April 2009 Artspace will bring together key figures in current debates on institutional / post-institutional practices in contemporary art from Asia, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand in a two and half day conference at Artspace and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. 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, the 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, the 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 the 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.

Participants include: EMMA BUGDEN (Director, Artspace, Auckland); CLAIRE DOHERTY (Curator and Senior Research Fellow, Situations Program, University of West England, Bristol); ANTHONY GARDNER (Independent Writer, Melbourne); HEEJIN KIM (Curator, International Projects, Insa Art Space, Seoul); LEE WENG CHOY (Co-artistic Director, Substation, Singapore); MARIA LIND (Director, Graduate Program, Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, Bard College, New York); SIMON MAIDMENT (Director, Satellite, Melbourne); HANNAH MATHEWS (Independent Curator, Melbourne); 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 [KKH] in Stockholm); LAURA PRESTON (Assistant Curator, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington); AARON SEETO (Artist, Director Gallery 4A, Sydney); and SIMON SHEIKH (Berlin-based critic, curator; Assistant Professor of Art Theory and a Coordinator of the Critical Studies Program, Malmö Art Academy in Sweden). More to be confirmed.

Full conference details and registration forms available from Artspace and online at www.artspace.org.au from late February 2009.

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.

For further information and guidelines contact Rueben Keehan at ruebenk@artspace.org.au.

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