STUDENTS’ BIENNALE 2018 | THE EXPANDED EDUCATION PROGRAMME
ANOTHER STORY: ARTISTS’ MUSEUMS, ALTERNATIVE HISTORIES
BY FEDERICA MARTINI
NEW DELHI | 29 OCTOBER – 02 NOVEMBER 2018
At the Faculty of FIne Arts, Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi
Other Participating College: College of Art Delhi
Another Story: Artists’ Museums, Alternative Histories explored curation as a method of meaning making for students. Building on discussions around selected artists’ museums, it addressed the notion of collection as part of an artistic and curatorial practice. What happens when we consider substituting institutional museum visions with individual artistic and curatorial narratives, obsessions and fictional acts? How may the collecting impulse inscribe in an artistic practice? Setting the tone with Orhan Pamuk’s Modest Manifesto for the Museum – which makes a bid for stories instead of epics, homes instead of monuments and expression instead of representation – the group examined how such museums rephrase the activities of collecting and curating as at once subjective, convivial and sentimental. They explored thinking about such exhibitory structures that situate themselves somewhere between social and personal histories, between high and low culture, between private and collective memory and between nostalgic and impulsive registers.
The students worked with personal objects and timelines, as well as exercises in mapping the neighbourhood, and a visit to Saiyidain Manzil, a home of a distinguished social activist in Jamia Nagar that also doubles up as the office of Muslim Women’s Forum and Khwaja Ahmed Abbas Memorial Trust. The workshop culminated in a display exercise where the participants reflected on the curatorial as a method, and via this act of adopting, parodying and commenting on the museum strategies, began to consider the museum as a site where knowledge is produced, and not merely re-presented.
The workshop was conducted by art historian and curator Federica Martini. She is Dean of Visual Arts at the Ecolecantonale d’art du Valais (ECAV). Previously, she was the Head of the MAPS Master program at ECAV, and a member of the Curatorial Departments of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, MuséeJenischVevey, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts/Lausanne and the Festival des Urbaines. In 2015-16 she was a research fellow at the IstitutoSvizzero di Roma. Together with Patrick de Rham and Elise Lammer she initiated the Museum of Post-Digital Cultures (2012). She has many publications to her credit which include Blackout Magazine: Art Labour and Olivetti poesiaconcreta (2018, with C. Nüssli): My PhD is my art practice. Notes on the Art PhD in Switzerland (2017, with P. Gisler); Vedialla voce: traversare (2016, Traces); Publishing Artistic Research (SARN, 2014, with B. Drabble); Open Source and Artistic Research (SARN, 2014, with B. Drabble); Tourists Like Us: Critical Tourism and Contemporary Art (with V. Mickelkevicius, 2013); Pavilions/Art in Architecture (2013, Bruxelles: La Muette); Just Another Exhibition: Stories and Politics of Biennials (2011, Milan: postmediabooks).