In March 2011, the doctoral program in art history at the CUNY Graduate Center, Independent Curators International, and the New Museum in New York, co-presented The Now Museum: Contemporary Art, Curating Histories, Alternative Models. The conference “aimed to tackle key questions around the museum as an institutional entity and contemporary art as an art historical category. Particular attention was paid to the construction of historical narratives (or their abandonment) through collection displays, the role of research in relation to contemporary art, the alternative models that are already having an impact, and their relationship to more traditional museum infrastructures.”
Though difficult to find, the event link is a useful resource with A/V documentation of the event. Buried within the conference’s online schedule are videos of almost every speaker, so we’ve been enjoying sifting through it to discover a few interesting conversations. All videos are on the event page for download, but we decided to focus on the panel from March 12: Extending Infrastructures, Part I: Platforms & Networks. In addition to the new ways institutions are thinking about collecting and recording histories, this panel focuses on the evolution of institutions that enable collaborations, produce discourse, and extend exhibition models in the creation of institutional structures.
We’re most interested in the brief lecture by Anthony Huberman who will be coming to Toronto to give a lecture at The Power Plant in the winter of 2013. Here Huberman reveals the inner workings behind his relatively new curatorial initiative with Hunter College in NYC, The Artist’s Institute. Questioning the role of gallery spaces associated with universities he proposes how such spaces should function differently than museums. With this initiative Huberman tries to “put thinking and showing on equal footing.” Certainly in dialogue with the current and evolving platform of TPW R&D, Huberman’s hope is to cultivate a “a community of researchers who have the time and place to pursue speculative questions.”
Image credit: Still from Anthony Huberman’s lecture, March 12, 2011, as part of the conference The Now Museum: Contemporary Art, Curating Histories, Alternative Models