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Getty Research Institute: “Unfinished, Fraying: Processes of Exhibition Making”

April 27, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Curators Lynne Cooke and Thomas J. Lax discuss the lives of museum exhibitions beyond museum walls. Most think that the work of a museum curator involves conceptualizing, researching, and then completing an exhibition before moving on to the next one. In reality, exhibitions continue to take on new shapes even after they have closed. At their best, exhibitions proliferate beyond museums, never really coming to an end. As exhibitions morph and evolve, they prompt revision and generate further connections and ventures. From this perpetual unraveling and reweaving, something akin to a net emerges. Animated by concerns that currently inform their work, Cooke and Lax talk about curatorial practices through this expanded framework.
Lynne Cooke is senior curator for Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Among the exhibitions she has curated are Rosemarie Trockel: Cosmos, Outliers and American Vanguard Art, and most recently, Maneuver, which addresses the intersection of woven forms, industrial fabrication and handcraft. She has also written widely on contemporary art.
Thomas J. Lax is curator of Media and Performance at MoMA where he is currently preparing the exhibition Just Above Midtown: 1974 to the Present with Linda Goode Bryant. He has also worked on a major rehang of the museum’s collection and organized Unfinished Conversations centered around John Akomfrah’s video portrait of the cultural theorist Stuart Hall. Lax is on the board of Danspace Project and the Jerome Foundation, and on the advisory committees of Contemporary And, the Laundromat Project, Participant Inc., and Recess Assembly. He teaches at Wesleyan University’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance.
The Beyond the Borders, Beyond the Boundaries lecture series brings together speakers whose work expands art historical scholarship beyond the intellectual and geographic constraints that have traditionally defined it. Presented by the Director’s Office at Getty Research Institute, the series’ topics range from depictions of race in 18th-century painting to participatory art about undocumented migration, provoking new ways of thinking about how practices of inclusion and exclusion have shaped the field.
The conversation will be recorded and available on Getty Research Institute’s YouTube channel following the event.
Image: Lines, Zoe Leonard, 2020. Courtesy the artist, Galerie Capitain, Cologne and Hauser & Wirth, New York