ABSTRACT

Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum investigates the art museum as a space where the contemporary is staged – in exhibitions, collecting practices, communication, and policies.

Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum traces the art museum back to the postwar era. Including contributions by established and emerging art historians, academics and curators, the book proposes that the art museum is engaged in the contemporary in a double sense: it (re)presents contemporary art, while the contemporary condition itself also has a significant impact on art and the museum that houses it. Presenting a diverse range of international cases of exhibitions and curatorial practices, which hail primarily from Europe and Scandinavia, the essays examine the politics of staging "national", "international", and "global" framings of modernism, as well as the new public spaces shaped in digital practices and changing political frameworks. The book investigates both the seminal and the unknown exhibitions and institutions that created contemporary art as we know it today.

Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum provides a historical perspective on the museum of contemporary art. It constitutes a step towards differencing the canon of modernist and contemporary art and a more complex understanding of the politics of curating the contemporary in the art museum, why it will be of interest to academics and students engaged in the study of museums, curating, exhibitions, and art history.

Introduction: Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum; Part 1: The Curatorial Now: Performing the Museum; 1. Reform(ulat)ing Infrastructures - Becoming Museum; 2. Dance, Performance and Social Media in the Postdigital Museum; 3. After Institutions; 4. Munchmuseet on the Move and the role of the Contemporary in the Art Museum; 5. Collaborative Curating: Questioning Value Production in the Art Museum through the Project 7 Walks; Part 2: Politics of Curating the Contemporary-Modern in the Art Museum; 6. NowHere: The Curatorial Contemporary; 7. The Rise and Fall of a Nordic Art Institution; 8. Torpedoes and Trees: Staging the Modern Art Collection at the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; 9. The Politics of Contemporary Art Museums. Calouste Gulbenkian's Modern Collection in Lisbon; 10. What’s Happening? Feminism, the Contemporary, and Curating in the Art Museum; 11. Contemporaneity as a Curatorial Approach: Black Models in New York, Paris and Guadeloupe; Part 3: Mapping Exhibition Histories of the Contemporary; 12. In the Ruins of the Present: Arte Contemporanea at the Galleria Nazionale in Rome, 1944-45; 13. Documenta’s Chronopolitics of the Contemporary, or Un/Curating Nazi Continuities in Werner Haftmann’s Historiographic Practice; 14. Moving the Museum towards the Contemporary? Art in Motion (1961) as testing ground for the "new museum" in three versions; 15. MacLeod: Curating Contrasts: Retrieving Solidarity from the Archives; 16. Escape Attempts or Institutional Transformations? On Moderna Museet’s Information Center Project (1970–73) and the Filialen Experiments (1971-73); 17. "That’s why we call it a model" – Restaging Exhibitions and Participation: Palle Nielsen’s The Model: A Model for a Qualitative Society, 1968/2014