Curating After the Global

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Following on from How Institutions Think (2017), and The Curatorial Conundrum, What to Study? What to Research? What to Practice? (2016), I will shortly start work on Curating after the Global. Following a conference at the Luma Foundation in Arles in September 2017, the book aims to address curating with respect to questions of locality, geopolitical change, the reassertion of nation states, and violent diminishing of citizen and denizen rights across the globe.

It has become commonplace to talk of a globalised art world, with specific circulations of discourses, commodities, and individuals, and even to speak of contemporary art as a driver of globalisation. This universalisation of what art is, or can be, is often presumed to be claimed at the cost of local traditions and any sense of locality and embeddedness. But what exactly does it mean to be global, or to be local in the context of artistic, curatorial, and theoretical knowledge and practice?

The book will approach these questions in four sections, which include diagnoses of current conjuctures, exhibition histories, institutional repositioning and roadmaps for the future. The editors are Paul O’Neill, Simon Sheikh, Lucy Steeds and Mick Wilson. Among the contributors are: Marwa Arsanios, Athena Athanasiou, María Berríos and Jakob Jakobsen, Ntone Edjabe and David Morris, Liam Gillick, Alison Greene, Prem Krishnamurthy & Emily Smith, Emmanuelle Lainé, Nkule Mabaso, Qalander Bux Memon, Morad Montazami, Paul-Emmanuel Odin, Vijay Prashad, Kristin Ross, Grace Samboh, Sumesh Sharma, Joshua Simon, Hajnalka Somogyi and Françoise Vergès. The book will be designed by Julia and is due out in 2019, published by The MIT Press.

Valérie Mannaerts: An Exhibition – Another Exhibition


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An Exhibition – Another Exhibition is the first monograph of the work of Belgian artist Valérie Mannaerts. The book captures two solo exhibitions that took place in 2010 – ‘Blood Flow’ at Extra City Kunsthal Antwerpen, and ‘Diamond Dancer’ at de Appel arts centre. Amsterdam.
Dynamically collaging across mediums – from paint to bronze, papier-mâché to concrete – Mannaerts playfully arranges sculptural elements to create spatial installations, which could be considered to be stage sets without stages. As scales oscillate and we are continuously wrong-footed as to the materiality, the works exist in a space of deliberate ambiguity, sitting on the threshold between object and image. The monograph includes an essay by Anselm Franke, a conversation between the artist and Ann Demeester, and images and illustrations of the two exhibitions.

Co-published with de Appel arts centre and Extra City Kunsthal Antwerpen, distributed via Sternberg Press, designed by Saskia Gevaert.

I did the translations from Dutch into English for this book. Not being familiar with the artist’s works thus far, it gave me an excellent insight into her practice.

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The Shadowfiles #1 and #2

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Initiated and published by de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam, The Shadowfiles  is a journal that focuses on events behind the scenes, or activities with little public visibility. The first, bilingual Dutch–English, issue came out in October 2010 (time flies!) and was in some ways a response to the effects of the financial crash and the (renewed) pressure on publicly funded institutions to somehow relate to the market, and become less reliant on government support. It took as its starting point the project ‘Take the Money and Run’, an auction organised by de Appel, in collaboration with Witte de With, to raise funds for the refurbishment of the building de Appel was then due to move to. De Appel’s considerations, doubts and objections against such activities are exposed and the phenomenon of auctions is explored in a wider framework. Issue # 1 comprises contributions by Maria Barnas, Jan de Clerq, Ann Demeester, Nell Donkers, Edna van Duyn, Xander Karskens, Lars Bang Larsen, Martha Rosler and David Thomas.

Issue # 2, published in 2012, focused on notions of metamorphosis and carnival and comprises contributions from Anne Demeester, Esther Peeren, Edna van Duyn, Annemarie de Wildt, Daniël Rovers, Koen Brams, Sally O’Reilly, Isla Leaver-Yap and Piet Meeuse. Although the topic seems different, there is a link between the two in that this issue explores notions of turning things inside out and upside down as a response to and a method of engaging with changing circumstances and positions.

For both issues I did the copy-editing and proofing, but also translated the Dutch contributions into English and did some of the English into Dutch conversions.