Exhibition Histories: Books and Events

Exhibition Histories Series

The Exhibition Histories books focus on exhibitions of contemporary art since 1955 that have changed the way art is seen and made. Each title in the series addresses a different theme in the history of exhibition making, with specific reference to a particular show or cluster of shows. Each book includes newly commissioned essays and interviews, key texts from the time (such as reviews) and comprehensive visual documentation. The series launched in the autumn of 2010 and the full list of titles to date can be seen here.

Research Events

The books in the Exhibition Histories series are evolving from a dedicated and ongoing research project. The following events are part of this research endeavour:

‘Art’s Exhibition Histories Online’ Symposium, 16 November 2017, at Central Saint Martins

‘Regions of the Contemporary: Transnational Art Festivals and Exhibitions in 1990s Southeast Asia’, 5 and 6 November 2016, at and in collaboration with the University of Melbourne

‘Art and Technology Talk: Catherine Wood’, 20 October 2016, at and in collaboration with Arts Catalyst

‘Art and Technology Talk: Jeremy Millar’, 13 October 2016, at and in collaboration with Arts Catalyst

‘The Turn from the Turns’: ‘Culture in Action’ reading group with Helmut Draxler,
 19 September 2014, organised in collaboration with and hosted by The Showroom, London

‘Apt Art: On the walls, en plein air and beyond the fence - a personal account by Vadim Zakharov’, 23 May 2014, organised in collaboration with TrAIN

‘“Magiciens de la Terre” Reconsidered’ Symposium, 11–13 April 2014, organised in collaboration with Tate Film and presented at Tate Modern, London

‘“an Exhibit”: an Exhibition, an Artwork, a Collaboration’ Symposium, 22 February 2014, organised in collaboration with and hosted by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

‘Artist as Curator: Collaborative Practices’ Symposium, 19 April 2013, organised by the MRes Art: Exhibition Studies programme at Central Saint Martins and hosted by Whitechapel Gallery, London

‘Artist as Curator’ Symposium, 10 November 2012, hosted by Central Saint Martins in collaboration with the MRes Art: Exhibition Studies programme, the ‘Exhibitions: histories, practices’ research group and RAW at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

‘Art and the Social: Exhibitions of Contemporary Art in the 1990s’ Symposium, 30 April 2010, in collaboration with FORMER WEST and hosted by Tate Britain

‘Exhibitions and the World at Large’ Symposium, 3 April 2009, in collaboration with TrAIN and hosted by Tate Britain

‘Conceptual Art and its Exhibitions’ Symposium, 29 May 2008, in collaboration with and hosted by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Exhibition Histories Talks

The ongoing Exhibition Histories Talks programme at the Whitechapel Gallery has presented the following in conversation:

Charles Gaines, with Louis Hartnoll and John Tain, 18 April 2019

David A. Bailey, with Louis Hartnoll, 18 October 2018

Maria Thereza Alves and Don Genaro Amaro Altamirano, with Ana Bilbao, 10 February 2018

Nikita Alekseev and Vadim Zakharov, with Margarita Tupitsyn, 23 September 2017

Bart de Baere, with Charles Esche, 16 March 2017

David Toop, with David Morris, 24 November 2016

Lubaina Himid, with Paul Goodwin, 3 March 2016

Rasha Salti, with Omar Kholeif, 10 December 2015

Hou Hanru, with Lucy Steeds, 21 May 2015

Ivet Ćurlin, with Line Ellegaard, 25 February 2015

Helmut Draxler, with Helena Vilalta, 18 September 2014

Clémentine Deliss, with Elvira Dyangani Ose, 19 June 2014

Jasia Reichardt, with David Morris, 23 January 2014

Ruth Noack, with Pablo Lafuente, 12 December 2013

Guy Brett, with Nayia Yiakoumaki, 19 September 2013

Lucy Lippard, with Lucy Steeds, 11 April 2013

Ute Meta Bauer, with Iwona Blazwick, 24 January 2013

The Exhibition Histories series is the result of a research project initiated by Afterall at Central Saint Martins and currently benefitting from collaboration with the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Through archival study, interviews, symposia and seminars, we have amassed the materials to allow us to select exhibitions for examination and to give shape to the resulting books. The findings, analyses and narratives we propose are by no means exhaustive; rather, we see these as a spur to further research into the exhibition form, and ultimately as a contribution towards a better understanding of contemporary art and its histories.

Image: Sunthorn Meesri, bot bat sommut (role), 1993. Performance at Tha Pae Gate, Chiang Mai as part of the second Chiang Mai Social Installation. Courtesy Uthit Atimana and Gridthiya Gaweewong.