Elena Filipovic

When Exhibitions Become Form

8 January 2016
Migros Museum fuer Gegenwartskunst, Co Organized by the Postgraduate Programme in Curating

The history of art has been constructed as a discipline through the analysis of individual artist and their autonomous objects and images, periodized chronologically and divided stylistically. And while the history of exhibitions has begun to be written alongside the history of art, it has taken longer still to write the history of exhibitions made by artists. Why? Perhaps because our theoretical and historical notions of that thing we call an “exhibition” have been transformed in the 20th century under the influence of artists from Marcel Duchamp to Yves Klein and from Martha Rosler to David Hammons. This lecture looks at a few examples in an attempt to discuss how and when and why the “exhibition”—so long been deemed merely a frame that was irrevocably tied to the mundane pragmatics of administration and supposedly less “pure” and “creative” than an artwork—became an artistic form.

Los Angeles-born Elena Filipovic is the new director of the Kunsthalle Basel, the institution’s eleventh director in its 175-year history and successor to Adam Szymczyk, who has been nominated artistic director of Documenta 14 scheduled for the summer of 2017. Prior to her new position, Filipovic served as senior curator at the WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels. In 2008 she co-curated together with Adam Szymczyk the 5. Berlin Bienual.