We invite participants for a workshop exploring the practice, potential and value of working with and caring for the histories, archives, and memories of contemporary art institutions.
An ‘institutional memory’ formed by archives, recollections, and wider collective knowledge has particular importance for art institutions whose longevity, identity, value and stake in history is not secured by a permanent collection. Across Britain, non-collecting institutions including 198; Arnolfini; Bluecoat; Chisenhale; CCA; Ikon and Modern Art Oxford have engaged with their pasts to recover marginalised histories, commission new work, confront connections to regimes of power and violence, engage publics, generate new institutional narratives, and reflect on their present day practices.
Why Look Back? will allow collective consideration of innovations, limitations and further debates that arise through practices of reflection, retrospection, and re-activation. By bringing together participants working within art institutions and those engaging with institutional memory through research and curatorial, educational and artistic practices, it aims to foster a diverse network that is collectively invested in exploring the value of institutional memory through longer-term work. Questions we are interested in addressing include:
Convened by: Isobel Whitelegg (Art Museum & Gallery Studies, University of Leicester) and Ben Cranfield (Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art).
For more details, and to register your interest in participating in this free workshop please complete the short online form linked below
Image: Boundary Encounters, Modern Art Oxford. Courtesy Ben Westoby and MAO