Of(f) Our Times: The Aftermath of the Ephemeral and other Curatorial Anachronics
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A two-part public seminar organized by Rike Frank and Beatrice von Bismarck with lectures, presentationsand discussions critically reflecting on the concept of “exhibition history”, featuring contributions by artists, writers, curators and art historians.In a series of lectures, presentations, screenings and discussions Of(f) Our Times: The Aftermath of the Ephemeral and other Curatorial Anachronicscritically reflects on the concept of “exhibition history”. It starts from an understanding of exhibiting as a practice connected to broader social, economic and political developments while constituting a medium that generates situational and non-situational forms of knowledge. In this light, “exhibition history” has to go beyond techniques of historical analysis and revision. Instead Of(f) Our Times is interested in an understanding that runs counter to the current canonization and academization of the historical writing on and referencing of exhibitions. It aims to approach the debates on ‘re-‘, historiography and historicity from a perspective that acknowledges and demonstrates the specific qualities of the exhibition as a medium and its reverberations in and entanglement with other narrative forms (such as writing, film, performance …) and cultural memories. In dialogue with artists, curators, and writers the conference thus sets out to explore modes and methods of curatorial relating, through which the actualization is rather done “with” exhibitions than “about” exhibitions. The seminar aims to address questions such as: How do historical exhibitions participate in contemporary cultural discourses? How can ‘exhibition history’ as a methodology open up into the present and future? What are the underlying concepts of history, historiography, and historicity? And how do they relate to concepts of actualization, presence, presentism and future? How (and why) can a historical exhibition get actualized? What role do the material qualities of an exhibition play in relation to the discursive ones? And what are the characteristics (and short-comings) of the research and writings on "exhibition history" so far?
Project report, conference program and abstracts The project is funded by Oslo National Academy of the Arts