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Exhibition Histories

Art and its Worlds: Exhibitions, Institutions and Art Becoming Public

This anthology in the Exhibition Histories series explores some of the myriad worlds conjured by art and the telling of their histories.

Introduction by Charles Esche, Lucy Steeds, David Morris. Contributors: Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Miguel A. López, Eddie Chambers, Francesca Recchia, Pablo Lafuente, Philippe Pirotte, Ntone Edjabe, Clémentine Deliss, Khwezi Gule, Charles Gaines, David Teh, Ekaterina Degot, Ana Teixeira Pinto, María Berríos & Mujeres Creando.

ISBN (paperback)


Table of contents

Introduction: Exhibition Histories Through the Shared Art of Memory

I. Making Art Global?

Introduction: Making Art Global?

  • How to Eat a Forest – Ntone Edjabe
  • In our language the word for the sea means the ‘spirit that returns’– Adjoa Armah
  • How Do We Know What Latin American Conceptualism Looks Like? – Miguel A. López
  • NIRIN WURRUNMARRA – Brook Andrew and Anthony Gardner
  • Anger and Reconciliation: A Very Brief History of Exhibiting Contemporary Indigenous Art in Canada – Lee-Ann Martin
  • Art and the Foreigner’s Gaze: A Report on Contemporary Arab Representations – Pablo Lafuente
  • On the Curatorial in India: Geeta Kapur in conversation with Natasha Ginwala
  • Aftermaths?: dOCUMENTA (13) in Kabul – Francesca Recchia
  • In Real Life – A Reflection on the ‘Online Exhibition’ – Adeena Mey and David Morris
  • ‘Cities on the Move’ in Public Space: A Journey Through the Archive
  • Potosí Principle: Following the Devil’s Tail – Luiza Proença
  • Amo la montaña / I Love the Mountain – Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui

II. Artist/Curator/Other?

Introduction: Artist/Curator/Other?

  • David Hammons, Untitled (Knobkerry), 1994 – Elena Filipovic
  • Brothers in Arms: Laboratoire AGIT’art and Tenq in Dakar in the 1990s – Clémentine Deliss
  • Center for Historical Reenactments: Is the Tale Chasing its Own Tail? – Khwezi Gule
  • Counter-Imaginaries: ‘Women Artists on the Move’, ‘Second to None’ and ‘Like A Virgin…’– Serubiri Moses
  • Womanifesto – Bo Choy
  • Fragmented Sites of Actions: Three Art Events in China’s Hinterland, 1992–94 – Xie Congyang
  • On the Subject of Object-act-ivities: 1989 in Hong Kong – John Tain
  • Who Cares a Lot? ruangrupa as Curatorship – David Teh
  • The Joy of Meta: On the Museum of American Art – Steven ten Thije
  • The Artist as Director: ‘Artist Organisations International’ and its Contradictions – Ekaterina Degot

III. Institutional Histories?

Introduction: Institutional Histories?

  • Who Needs ‘Exhibition Studies’? – Yaiza Hernández Velázquez
  • The Art of Gentrification: The Lisbon Version – Ana Teixeira Pinto
  • ‘Public’ and ‘Access’: Genealogies of Theft, Community, Violence and Pedagogies – Khairani Barokka
  • Museo Comunitario del Valle de Xico: A Community’s Trench of Struggle – Genaro Amaro Altamirano in conversation with Ana Bilbao
  • ‘Struggle as Culture’: The Museum of Solidarity – María Berríos
  • La creatividad es un instrumento de lucha y el cambio social un hecho creativo (Creativity Is an Instrument of Struggle, and Social Change a Creative Act) – Mujeres Creando
  • VIVA ExCon: Itinerant Indeterminacy ̨– Võ Hông Chu’o’ng-Đài
  • What was Chobi Mela and what happens next? – Naeem Mohaiemen
  • Iniva: Everything Crash – Eddie Chambers
  • My Post-Catastrophic Glossary – Zdenka Badovinac
  • Ground Provisions– Tonika Sealy Thompson and Stefano Harney


Picture and text credits



Art and its Worlds: Exhibitions, Institutions and Art Becoming Public

With contributions by: Genaro Amaro Altamirano and Ana Bilbao, Brook Andrew and Anthony Gardner, Adjoa Armah, Zdenka Badovinac, Khairani Barokka, María Berríos, Eddie Chambers, Bo Choy, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Ekaterina Degot, Clémentine Deliss, Ntone Edjabe, Elena Filipovic, Khwezi Gule, Yaiza Hernández Velázquez, Geeta Kapur and Natasha Ginwala, Pablo Lafuente, Miguel A. López, Lee-Ann Martin, Naeem Mohaiemen, Adeena Mey, Serubiri Moses, Mujeres Creando, Luiza Proença, Francesca Recchia, Tonika Sealy Thompson and Stefano Harney, John Tain, David Teh, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Steven ten Thije, Võ Hồng Chương-Đài and Xie Congyang; and introduced by Bo Choy, Charles Esche, David Morris and Lucy Steeds.

Art and its Worlds offers a possible history of art since 1989 told through the moments when art becomes public. The anthology addresses some of the myriad worlds conjured by art and the telling of their histories. It is guided by three questions: What is the ‘global’ for art and exhibition-making, or why has it been what it has? How have agents including artists and curators experimented with different forms of exhibition? And how do these exhibitionary moments connect to longer-term and institutional trajectories? Key texts previously published in Afterall journal appear alongside newly commissioned essays, artist contributions, conversations and translations, exploring exhibition as a material, embodied and political practice, while inviting a new location for past art and bringing it into the present for what is to come.


Art and its Worlds is published in partnership with Asia Art Archive, based in Hong Kong; the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New York; and the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg. Distributed by Koenig Books and ARTBOOK | D.A.P.


The title is available to purchase here.