1st Edition

Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum

Edited By Malene Vest Hansen, Kristian Handberg Copyright 2023
    276 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum investigates the art museum as a space where the contemporary is staged – in exhibitions, collecting practices, communication, and policies.

    Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum traces the art museum back to the postwar era. Including contributions by established and emerging art historians, academics and curators, the book proposes that the art museum is engaged in the contemporary in a double sense: it (re)presents contemporary art, while the contemporary condition itself also has a significant impact on art and the museum that houses it. Presenting a diverse range of international cases of exhibitions and curatorial practices, which hail primarily from Europe and Scandinavia, the essays examine the politics of staging “national”, “international”, and “global” framings of modernism, as well as the new public spaces shaped in digital practices and changing political frameworks. The book investigates both the seminal and the unknown exhibitions and institutions that created contemporary art as we know it today.

    Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum provides a historical perspective on the museum of contemporary art. It constitutes a step towards differencing the canon of modernist and contemporary art and a more complex understanding of the politics of curating the contemporary in the art museum, why it will be of interest to academics and students engaged in the study of museums, curating, exhibitions, and art history.

    Introduction: Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum

    Malene Vest Hansen and Kristian Handberg

              Part 1: The Curatorial Now: Performing the Museum

              Malene Vest Hansen and Kristian Handberg

    1. Reform(ulat)ing Infrastructures - Becoming Museum
    2. Beatrice von Bismarck:

    3. Dance, Performance and Social Media in the Postdigital Museum
    4. Claire Bishop

    5. After Institutions
    6. Karen Archey

    7. Munchmuseet on the Move and the role of the Contemporary in the Art Museum
    8. Tominga Hope O’Donnell

    9. Collaborative Curating: Questioning Value Production in the Art Museum through the Project 7 Walks
    10. Signe Meisner Christensen

      Part 2: Politics of Curating the Contemporary-Modern in the Art Museum

      Malene Vest Hansen and Kristian Handberg

    11. NowHere: The Curatorial Contemporary
    12. Malene Vest Hansen:

    13. The Rise and Fall of a Nordic Art Institution
    14. Jonas Ekeberg

    15. Torpedoes and Trees: Staging the Modern Art Collection at the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana
    16. Sebastian Mühl

    17. The Politics of Contemporary Art Museums. Calouste Gulbenkian's Modern Collection in Lisbon
    18. Annette Loeseke:

    19. What’s Happening? Feminism, the Contemporary, and Curating in the Art Museum
    20. Kerry Greaves

    21. Contemporaneity as a Curatorial Approach: Black Models in New York, Paris and Guadeloupe
    22. Nicola Foster:

      Part 3: Mapping Exhibition Histories of the Contemporary

      Malene Vest Hansen and Kristian Handberg

    23. In the Ruins of the Present: Arte Contemporanea at the Galleria Nazionale in Rome, 1944-45
    24. Maria Bremer

    25. Documenta’s Chronopolitics of the Contemporary, or Un/Curating Nazi Continuities in Werner Haftmann’s Historiographic Practice
    26. Nanne Buurman

    27. Moving the Museum towards the Contemporary? Art in Motion (1961) as testing ground for the "new museum" in three versions
    28. Kristian Handberg

    29. MacLeod: Curating Contrasts: Retrieving Solidarity from the Archives
    30. Katarina Wadstein

    31. Escape Attempts or Institutional Transformations? On Moderna Museet’s Information Center Project (1970–73) and the Filialen Experiments (1971-73)
    32. Kim West

    33. "That’s why we call it a model" – Restaging Exhibitions and Participation: Palle Nielsen’s The Model: A Model for a Qualitative Society, 1968/2014

              Laura E. Dudley


    Malene Vest Hansen is Associate Professor in Art History in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, The University of Copenhagen. Contemporary art and critical curatorial and museum studies are her main research areas. Currently, she is PI of the research project Curating the Contemporary: An Exhibition History of the Museum of Modern Art as a new Bildung institution funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research.

    Kristian Handberg is Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, The University of Copenhagen. He was a postdoc at SMK – National Gallery Denmark with the project Curating the Contemporary (2019-2020). He is coordinator of the research group Modernisms and researches exhibition histories of the postwar era and the contemporary musealization of modernism, currently through the research project Exhibiting Across the Iron Curtain.