The Exhibition as Medium:
Political and Aesthetic Debates through Contemporary Exhibitions
Paz Guevara, curator and researcher at Haus der Kulturen der Welt- HKW in Berlin, will present and discuss on the political and aesthetic debates that emerged in exhibitions, from Cold War cases until recent exhibitions. The discussion will begin by introducing the participants to an analysis and reflection on the medium of the exhibition, pursuing the question: what does the exhibition perform? By looking at a series of exhibitions, from the first São Paulo Biennial in 1951 or Documenta I in 1955 until latest exhibitions such as Past Disquiet, Parapolitics or the program at the Museo del Barro in Paraguay, the analysis will focus on the heterogeneous ‘actors’ of the exhibition format: types of display, architectural elements, classification systems, categories of exhibits, as well as the discursive networks and the audience. Ultimately, the discussion on the aesthetic and political debates shaped in exhibitions will lead us to a broader reflection and provoking questions: How do exhibitions create or undo categories, narratives and periodizations, and set worldviews in motion? And, can exhibitions inscribe, negotiate or transform art histories?
Paz Guevara is a curator, researcher and author based in Berlin. Currently, she is collaborating in the long-term project Kanon-Fragen at Haus der Kulturen der Welt - HKW in Berlin, Germany. In this context, she has been co-curator of the exhibition Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War (2017-2018, with Anselm Franke, Nida Ghouse and Antonia Majaca), and researcher of the exhibition Past Disquiet: Narratives and Ghosts from the International Art Exhibition for Palestine, 1978, in which she contributed with research on Latin American artists and museums involved in the solidarity movement. Guevara has been co-curator of the Latin American Pavilion at the 55th and 54th Venice Biennial (2013 and 2011), the Montevideo Biennial in Uruguay (2013), the Curitiba Biennial in Brazil (2011), In Other Words: The Black Market of Translations - Negotiating Contemporary Cultures at NGBK in Berlin (2012), (and co-editor of the homonymous book with guest authors: Sarat Maharaj and Beatriz Sarlo) and “Comunidad Ficticia”, en Matucana 100, Santiago (2009), among others. She has conducted several workshops and seminars on curating and art history, among others, in the Berlin Biennale, the Heidelberg University, the IED Instituto Europe di Design in Venice and the ZK/U - Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik in Berlin.
(Image credit: UKS #7 MINIBAR. Photos by Jan Khür )
Kunstakademiet i Trondheim
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)