Alistair Hudson

Art Beyond Art and the possibility of the Post-Exhibitionary

11 November 2022


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In this talk Alistair Hudson will describe his recent attempts to bend the idea of the art museum away from the established methodologies and operating systems of the art world, away from the representation and towards operational, as an active agent in the socio-political field.
For the last 175 years the exhibition has been the principal delivery vehicle for art, or at least our current understanding of what art is. For the other 40000 years or so of human history, art has been manifested through other social forms, networks and frameworks.
If the advent of this exhibitionary era was marked by the Great Exhibitions of the 19th Century, complicit with imperial power, industrial scale economies, mercantile capitalism, markets and the spectator economy, how can we evolve the museum in way that makes sense for a world moving beyond the constructs of western modernity?

Alistair Hudson has been appointed the next Artistic-Scientific Chairman of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM) Karlsruhe, Germany. Alistair will take up the role on 1 April 2023, taking over from Professor Peter Weibel, who has headed ZKM since 1999.
Alistair Hudson was appointed Director of the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery in February 2018 and will leave that post in January 2023. Prior to his move to Manchester Alistair was Director of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art where his vision was based on the concept of the Useful Museum. In the preceding ten years he was Deputy Director of Grizedale Arts which gained critical acclaim for its radical approaches to working with artists and communities, based on the idea that art should be useful and not just an object of contemplation.
Alistair is co-director of the Asociación de Arte Útil with Tania Bruguera – an expansive international project and online archive that forms part of the Uses of Art programmes with the L’internationale confederation.