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How to Occupy Retreat: dOCUMENTA (13) from Kassel to Banff

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This article examines the aesthetico-political preoccupations and linkages between dOCUMENTA (13)’s four positions (‘on stage’ in Kassel, ‘under siege’ in Kabul/Bamiyan, ‘in a state of hope’ in Alexandria/Cairo, and ‘on retreat’ in Banff). Complemented by personal vignettes, the discussion moves between the conditional positions and the impact of the Occupy Movement as well as the contiguous notions of retreat and residency. It concludes by considering dOCUMENTA (13)’s proposition of occupying, or taking up residency in spaces as well as in objects and images, and investigating the possibility for art’s direct political engagement.
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Keywords: Banff International Curatorial Institute; Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev; Occupy Movement; curating and pedagogy; curatorial residencies; dOCUMENTA (13); eco-feminism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Concordia University

Publication date: June 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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