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200 × 150 mm
296 pages
117 illustrations, 12 in colour
14 May 2018
Art since the 80s

When Artists Curate Contemporary Art and the Exhibition as Medium Alison Green

An increasing proportion of exhibitions are curated by artists rather than professional curators. In this ground-breaking book Alison Green provides the first critical history of visual artists curating exhibitions. The artist emerges as someone who carries a special responsibility for critiquing art’s institutions, brings considerable creativity to the craft of making exhibitions and, through experimentation, has changed the way exhibitions are understood to be authored and experienced. But the book also establishes a curious ubiquity to the artist-curated exhibition. Rather than being exceptional or rare, artists curate all the time and in all kinds of places: in galleries and in museums, in studios, in borrowed spaces such as shopfronts or industrial buildings, in front rooms and front windows, in zoos or concert halls, on streets and in nature. Seen from the perspective of artists, showing is a part of making art. Once this idea is understood, the history of art starts to look very different.

With extensive explorations of well-known artists such as Daniel Buren, Goshka Macuga, Thomas Hirschhorn, Rosemarie Trockel, Hito Steyerl, Andy Warhol and Félix González-Torres, this book will change the way readers think about and look at exhibitions.

EXTRACT: to read the introduction from the book please click here.

‘Considering the growing interest in curatorial theory in recent years, When Artists Curate is a timely publication that neatly summarizes and expands upon a rapidly developing body of literature . . . Green strategically positions a wide variety of contemporary art within challenging theoretical frames, but her work is well researched and offers an ambitious perspective on the intersections of art making and exhibiting. This book would be useful for academic libraries supporting communities with particular interest in contemporary art, curatorial theory, museum studies, relational aesthetics, and institutional critique.’ – ARLIS/NA Reviews

‘Art historian, critic and curator Alison Green takes a closer look at the growing appetite for shows curated by artists, moving exhibition-making away from the management of collections and into the realm of artistic medium.’ – Crafts Magazine

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Alison Green is an art historian, critic and curator and Course Leader of MA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, London.

Introduction: When Artists Curate
1 A Brief History of Artists Curating Before the 1980s
2 Experimenting with and without Curators
3 Museums and Not-Museums
4 Authoring
5 Habitus
6 Open Works
7 Displays of Criticality
Conclusion: The Exhibition as Medium

Select Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements