The fourth issue of Field Notes is a part of a combined and distributed effort towards formulating a multivalent answer to the answer of how we remember exhibitions, and by extension, what knowledge is gained through the process.
Exhibitions are where artworks meet their publics. In the context of Asia, with the general absence of systematic public collections and few academic art history departments, exhibitions are more than just sites of display and interaction. Exhibitions—and the curatorial strategies shaping them, institutional demands driving them, and art writing accompanying them—have become the primary sites of art historical construction.
The last decade has seen a surge in the business of remembering past exhibitions. We have seen different modes of restaging exhibitions; greater variety and frequency of colloquia, symposia, and conferences addressing exhibition history; a growing body of literature from anthologies to periodicals; burgeoning efforts at unearthing archives around landmark exhibitions; and new academic departments and electives in this emergent field. This fascination for exhibition histories / exhibition studies can also be viewed as a young profession (exhibition making) trying to give shape to its intellectual form at a time when the formerly formidable edifice of art history is struggling to keep pace with, in Irit Rogoff’s memorable phrasing, the “undisciplined” field of contemporary art…
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