Achim Borchardt-Hume + Kaja Silverman In Conversation
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Face to Face: A Conversation between Achim Borchardt-Hume and Kaja Silverman on Exhibition
"Exhibitions must be experiential. It has something to do with encountering the work in space, face to face, and the uniqueness of that encounter. I think it’s the most basic element, but also the one most easily forgotten, and that is to my mind the reason for making an exhibition, because otherwise you could just make books." - Achim Borchardt-Hume (Interview With Achim Borchardt-Hume with Didem Yazici in RES Art World / World Art No.5, March 2010)
"The exhibition is a medium" sounded like a provocation when it was proposed by the curators of Documenta 12 in 2008. Revisited today, it registers a new scholarly interest in the exhibition as form. In the past few years there have been calls to reorient the history of art around the history of exhibitions. At the same time, history has become a significant preoccupation of contemporary art, which often seeks to correlate moments of historical crisis to the crisis of a particular medium such as painting or photography. Do these shifts require us to revisit, or even reinvent the role of the curator, as many voices in the art world now insist? How do such demands challenge received notions of exhibition practice? Are there other important conditions (institutional, economic, or otherwise) that now shape the way exhibitions now function discursively? Under these conditions, what can curators do to ensure that exhibitions remain vital spaces of historical and political encounter? In this conversation, Borchart-Hume and Silverman will address some of the most vexing and compelling questions in exhibition making today. Along the way they will touch on the personal, practical, and political dimensions of contemporary curating across a variety of different sites and institutional contexts.
Achim Borchardt-Hume joined Tate Modern as Head of Exhibitions in November 2012. His currrent projects include a Turbine Hall commission with Richard Tuttle and a major Kazimir Malevich retrospective.
Chief Curator of the Whitechapel Gallery from 2009-2012, Borchardt-Hume curated exhibitions and projects by Zarina Bhimji, Mel Bochner, Giuseppe Penone, Walid Raad and Wilhelm Sasnal. Previously, Borchardt-Hume was a curator of modern and contemporary art at Tate Modern from 2005-2009 where he curated several major exhibitions including Rothko: The Late Series (2008), Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World (2006), and Doris Salcedo: Shibboleth for the Turbine Hall.
Prior to this, Borchardt-Hume also held the position of exhibition organizer at the Serpentine Gallery where he co-curated the first UK exhibition of Stan Douglas and of Head of the Barbican Art Gallery. In 2012, Borchardt-Hume organized Gerhard Richter's first exhibition in Lebanon at the Beirut Art Center. He also contributed to Gerhard Richter: Panorama, the catalog accompanying the artist's retrospective at Tate Modern in 2011.
German-born Borchardt-Hume holds a Ph.D in Art History and Theory from Essex University on art and politics in Fascist Italy.
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