Paul O´Neill / Exhibitions as Readymades, Attentiveness and Escape


Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

date: February 22, 2017 at 5 pm
venue: Café Berlinka, SNG, Námestie Ľudovíta Štúra 4, Bratislava

A collaboration project between and Studio IN (Department of Intermedia and Multimedia, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava) in the context of the Open Studio program.

The lecture will be conducted in English.

Through this performative lecture, Paul O’Neill will reflect upon his curatorial practice, collective exhibition-making and the public as a constructed readymade. Taking his recent multi-year exhibition project We are the Center for Curatorial Studies, Hessel Museum, 2016-18 as its starting point, this lecture reflects upon curatorial studies and extends a conception of the curatorial to account for multiple sites of contact, assemblages and gathering of diverse bodies and subjects as well as their discursive connections. In doing so, it opens up a concept of the formation of the ‘exhibition’ itself as a potential mode of research action in its own process of becoming.

O’Neill will further explore how different points of contact are made possible when exhibiting becomes a form of escape for the artwork as much as for the viewer. Here, O’Neill identifies escape as a key concept for the curatorial which defines itself as an act of release – from something, somewhere, someone – accompanied by the wish to be transformed. Escape implicates language itself as being complicit with our need to be able to, at least, imagine ourselves elsewhere. How can a language of exhibitions, therefore enable us to think attentively about escape as a curatorial form?

Dr. Paul O’Neill is a curator, artist, writer and educator based in New York. He is Director of the Graduate Program at the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS), Bard College in New York. Paul has co-curated more than sixty curatorial projects across the world including: We are the (Epi)center, P! Gallery, New York, 2016; How Institutions Think, A Symposium at LUMA Foundation, Arles, (2016);Open Fold, Series of public art projects, Lockleaze, Bristol (2014-17); The 4th Moscow Curatorial Summer School, (2015); The Curatorial Timeshare, Enclave, London (2013-14); Our Day Will Come, with Latitudes 53, Edmonton (2014-15); Last Day, Cartel, London (2014); Our Day Will Come, Part of Iteration: Again, Hobart, Tasmania (2011); We are Grammar, Pratt Institute, Manhattan Gallery, New York (2011); Coalesce: happenstance, SMART, Amsterdam (2009); Making Do, The Lab, Dublin (2007); General Idea: Selected Retrospective, Project Art Center, Dublin (2006); Tonight, Studio Voltaire, London, (2004); Are We There Yet? Glassbox, Paris (2000) and Passports, Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art, Warsaw (1998).

Paul’s writing has been published in many books, catalogues, journals and magazines and he is a regular contributor to Art Monthly. He is reviews editor for Art and the Public Sphere Journal and is the series co-editor of Afterall’s Exhibition Histories Series. He is on the editorial board The Journal of Curatorial Studies and FIELD – A Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism. He is editor of the curatorial anthology, Curating Subjects (2007), and co-editor of Curating and the Educational Turn  (2010), and Curating Research (2014) both with Mick Wilson, and co-published by de Appel and Open Editions (Amsterdam and London). He is an author of Locating the Producers: Durational Approaches to Public Art (Amsterdam, Valiz, 2011), edited with Claire Doherty and author of the critically acclaimed book The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s), (Cambridge, MASS., The MIT Press, 2012). His most recent book, The Curatorial Conundrum… co-edited with Mick Wilson and Lucy Steeds was published with MIT Press in 2016. He is currently working on the book Durational Aesthetics: Time and Contemporary Art (2017) and curating the two-year exhibition project: We are the Center for Curatorial Studies for the Hessel Museum, Bard College (2016-18).

ERSTE Foundation is the main partner of tranzit.

Project Open studio is supported by Ministry of education Slovak republic in program KEGA (no.005VŠVU-4/2016)

This project has been supported using public funds provided by Slovak Arts Council.

The project has been also supported by the Grant Scheme of Bratislava Self-Governing Region.