• Dissenting Exhibitions by Artists (1968-1998). Reframing Marxist Exhibition Legacy.

Fernández López, Olga, 2011, Thesis, Dissenting Exhibitions by Artists (1968-1998). Reframing Marxist Exhibition Legacy. PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

The goal of this thesis is to look at the critical and dissenting value of exhibitions through the examination of four cases studies, based on six exhibitions taking place between 1968 and 1998 in Latin and North America. The exhibitions belong to the history of modern and contemporary exhibitions and curating, a field of research and study that has only started to be written about in the last two decades. This investigation contributes to it, in its creation of new genealogies by connecting previously overlooked antecedents, or by proposing new relations within established lineages, at the intersection of a specific
historiography; to address exhibitions, a tradition of artists acting as curators and an emerging history of curating.

The examined exhibitions were put together by artists or artist collectives and were placed in a liminal position between artistic and curatorial practice. All the cases presented a distinct proposal in relation to art and social change, a fact that connects them, in their aims and modus operandi, to a Marxist and neo-Marxist critical and transformative legacy. The cases address the following connections: exhibition as political site (Tucumán Arde,
1968); exhibition as social space (The People’s Choice (Arroz con Mango), 1981); exhibition as encounter (Rooms with a view, We the People, Art/Artifact, 1987-88); and exhibition as an exchange situation (El Museo de la Calle, 1998-2001).

Key to their analysis is the concept of dissensus, as put forward by Jacques Rancière. Within this theoretical framework, these exhibitions put into practice particular cases of dissensus in a given distribution of the sensible. All of them tried to deal with their thematic concerns by performing them as a praxis. They dissent with the way in which reality was formatted in their historical moment and challenge the exhibition medium itself opening new ways of doing and making in the exhibition field. Therefore, in this thesis the dissenting value of exhibitions is closely related to its main features as a medium, namely their temporality, heterogeneity and flexibility, which contribute to their potential for creative analysis and propositioning. In the case of these exhibitions, this capability is brought into play for institutional interrogation, for offering alternative cultural narratives and also for inspiring new imaginary realms.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design > W990 Creative Arts and Design not elsewhere classified
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 13:46
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:44
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1346
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