2013 Symposium

2013 Symposium: programme

2020 publication: From a History of Exhibitions Towards a Future of Exhibition Making

St Paul St Gallery is pleased to present its 2013 Curatorial Symposium 7 – 9 August 2013. The Symposium is divided into two sections. The first will examine exhibition histories from the Asia Pacific region as part of a project initiated by Biljana Ciric From a History of Exhibitions Towards a Future of Exhibition Making through a series of papers and discussions. The second half will be dedicated to roundtable discussions and presentations in response to contemporary curatorial concerns as well as reflecting on the context of the 5th Auckland Triennial, If you were to live here…. The ST PAUL St Gallery 2013 Curatorial Symposium is decidedly local and consciously positioned within the geo political situation of the Asia Pacific.

From a History of Exhibitions Towards a Future of Exhibition Making is a platform of seminars initiated and organised by Biljana Ciric. The platforms propose to revisit the importance of the exhibition, addressing the situation that beyond the art works themselves, the exhibition is a key factor in relating art to its wider social context. The seminars, stretching across New Zealand, Singapore and China (of which the ST PAUL St Gallery 2013 Curatorial Symposium acts as the first one) will look specifically at the history of exhibitions in China, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. This will be done through a series of case studies examining how the exhibition as a form and medium determines our understanding of art practice and how exhibitions as a medium are read and understood in different social and cultural contexts. Addressing this geo-political area might provide new approach to art historical mapping and methodologies as well as provide an anchor for comparative research. This research will address the development of contemporary art exhibitions in the region, its relation to curatorial and artistic engagements in the chosen locality, and the global context of exhibition making practices.

How do we attempt to create a cohesive archive and conversation amongst these disparate but overlapping contexts? The first seminar of the platform, held at St Paul St Gallery will look at case studies of exhibitions that changed the understanding of art making in specific localities or introduced new ways or producing, showing and sharing art practice. There is a desire to focus on what it means to make and historicise exhibitions in the Asia Pacific that does not just return to the conventional centres and models of understanding art history. What are the points and measures of reference without referring back to a fixed and dominant centre?

The second part of the Symposium will look more towards present and future situations of curatorial practice reflecting on current concerns as well as imagining an ideal future. Made up of condensed roundtable discussions with various curators, artists and writers responding to provocations, the discussions aim to extrapolate the various positions around curatorial practice today and how they work in this context.

Acknowledging that a comprehensive archive of exhibitions in any one locality is near impossible, contributors have been invited to take their own subjective interest and positioning as a starting point for the analysis of exhibitions in their chosen region. This project also aims to act as a future archive that will make the general reading of curatorial and art histories more complex, showing the development of exhibitions as closely linked to the wider social context in which they are situated. This also attempts to draw attention to the development of art histories in the Asia Pacific region and discuss concerns in the area. This research will help us understand a historical perspective on exhibitions as well as provide a new reading of our curatorial practices today.