Research Forum Visiting Curator Seminar


Why Are [Large Thematic] Exhibitions Necessary? Positions and 'Non-Positions' in Contemporary Curatorship

Thursday, 5 June 2014

16.00 - 18.00, Research Forum South Room

Huge male figure with powdered wig, yellow waistcoat and mauve breeches leans forward, hand on cane
John Bock (born Gribbohm, Schleswig Holstein, 1965),Der Fischgrätenmelkstand kippt ins Höhlengleichnis Refugium, 2008, video still. Shown in The Beauty of Distance. Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, the 17th Biennale of Sydney, 2010. Courtesy the artist

Speaker(s): David Elliott (Artistic Director of 4th Moscow International Biennale of Young Artists; Chairman of Triangle Arts Network/ Gasworks, London; Chairman of MOMENTUM, Berlin)

Ticket/entry details: Open to postgraduate students and teaching staff

Organised by: Professor Caroline Arscott

In this seminar curator David Elliott will address issues faced in contemporary curatorship and examine questions such as: What is the relationship between the public sphere and the art market and how do curators negotiate this? Who sets agendas for art exhibitions? The public or the curator? Why are there so few coherent thematic exhibitions of Contemporary Art?









David Elliott
is a curator and writer who has directed contemporary art museums and related institutions in Oxford, Stockholm, Tokyo, Istanbul, Sydney and Kiev. He is currently Artistic Director of A Time for Dreams, the IV International Biennale of Young Art, to open in Moscow in June 2014, co-curator of PANDAMONIUM: New Media Art from Shanghai (on show in Berlin at present), and associate curator of the Hors Piste Film Festival in Tokyo. He is also working on two travelling exhibitions for the UK and USA and on a book Art and Trousers: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art to be published in 2015.

He was President of CIMAM (the International Committee of ICOM for museums of modern and contemporary art) from 1998 to 2004, and is currently President of the Board of Triangle Art Network/Gasworks in London, Chairman of MOMENTUM in Berlin, a member of the Asia Advisory Board of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and a Visiting Professor in Curatorship at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. 

A specialist in Soviet and Russian avant-garde, as well as in modern and contemporary Asian art, he has published widely in these fields as well as on many other aspects of contemporary art. In 2008-10 he was Artistic Director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney and in 2011-12 directed the inaugural International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Kiev, Ukraine.  He has also advised the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charitable Trust on the development of the Central Police Station heritage site into a centre for contemporary art.



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