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The Archive in Exhibition Making: Material, Concept and Strategy

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This article explores the creative use of the archive as material, concept and strategy in recent curatorial experiments: Harrell Fletcher’s The American War (2005–2007), Jens Hoffmann’s trilogy exhibitions (2008–2010), and Massimiliano Gioni’s 10,000 Lives (2010). Through the unconventional use of curatorial methods that emphasize materiality and spatial interaction, that mix artworks and documents, and include ephemeral and vernacular artifacts, these exhibitions activate rich social, political and theoretical links.
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Keywords: Harrell Fletcher; Jens Hoffmann; Massimiliano Gioni; archives; curatorial methodology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Curator

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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  • The Journal of Curatorial Studies is an international, peer-reviewed publication that explores the cultural functioning of curating and its relation to exhibitions, institutions, audiences, aesthetics and display culture. The journal takes a wide perspective in the inquiry into what constitutes "the curatorial." Curating has evolved considerably from the connoisseurship model of arranging objects to now encompass performative, virtual and interventionist strategies. While curating as a spatialized discourse of art objects remains important, the expanded cultural practice of curating not only produces exhibitions for audiences to view, but also plays a catalytic role in redefining aesthetic experience, framing cultural conditions in institutions and communities, and inquiring into constructions of knowledge and ideology.
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