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/ecm diskurs 42: When Art Becomes ­Public: Exhibiting as a Form of Escape


Freitag, 22. November 2019, 19:00 Uhr
Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien
Vordere Zollamtsstraße 7, Flux 2, 1030 Wien

Performative Lecture und Buchpräsentation von Paul O’Neill, Kurator, Theoretiker, PUBLICS, Helsinki
Moderation: Nora Sternfeld, /ecm Leitungsteam, ­­documenta-Professorin Kassel und Luisa Ziaja, /ecm Leitungsteam, Kuratorin Belvedere 21

Curating After the Global: Roadmaps for the Present
Eds. Paul O'Neill, Simon Sheikh, Lucy Steeds, Mick Wilson
MIT Press, Cambridge 2019

Through this performative lecture, Paul O’Neill will reflect upon his curatorial practice, collective exhibition-making and the public as a constructed readymade. Taking a recent exhibition project We are the Center for Curatorial Studies, Hessel Museum, 2016-17 as its starting point, this lecture reflects upon curatorial studies and extends a conception of the curatorial to account for multiple public sites of contact, assemblages and gathering of diverse bodies and subjects as well as their discursive connections. In doing so, it opens up a concept of the formation of the ‘exhibition’ itself as a form of publicness, and as a mode of public research action in its own process of becoming.

O’Neill will further explore how different points of contact are made possible when exhibiting becomes a form of escape for the artwork as much as for the viewer. Here, O’Neill identifies escape and publicness as key concepts for the curatorial which defines itself as an act of release – from something, somewhere, someone – accompanied by the wish to be transformed. Escape implicates language itself as being complicit with our need to be able to, at least, imagine ourselves elsewhere, in the futures sense. How can a language of exhibitions, therefore enable us to think attentively about escape as a curatorial form of ‘exhibiting’, and as a space of transformation for art?