Call for Papers: Imaginary Exhibitions

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The Henry Moore Institute , 6 November 2013

This symposium is part of our present research project looking at ‘Sculpture and its Exhibition Histories’. Through this project we address how developments in sculpture have impacted upon the spaces of exhibition, how the material conditions of the display of sculpture have played increasingly important roles in the meaning and making of sculpture as an art form, how the modes of presenting sculpture have shifted and how curatorial practice has impacted on the understanding of sculpture, and vice versa.

The formal exhibition, staged indoors in the spaces of the art gallery or museum or outdoors in the sculpture park or urban setting, is key to these histories. This one-day symposium seeks to further complicate this larger history of sculpture and exhibitions by looking at the place of the ‘imaginary exhibition’ within this narrative. The ambitions and registers of such projects vary: they range from the utopian to the tentative, the immaterial to the highly materialised, through to exhibitions that were hampered by logistics or that were inscribed with impossibility from their inception. Instances of these ‘imaginary exhibitions’ are to be found internationally, across ancient, modern and contemporary epochs, in the work of many twentieth-century artists, including Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp, Henry Moore and David Smith, and embedded within curatorial, artistic and textual practices.

We invite proposals for papers that examine:

  • The sculpture exhibition that only exists on paper, for example as a text, painting, drawing or photograph;
  • The sculpture exhibition as a fabricated or fictionalised phenomenon;
  • The sculpture exhibition that only exists in the digital realm;
  • The ‘imaginary exhibition’ in relation to André Malraux’s ‘Musée Imaginaire’;
  • The unrealised or cancelled sculpture exhibition;
  • The role of the studio in imaginary exhibitions;
  • Proposals for imaginary settings for sculpture and invented indoor and outdoor environments for sculpture;
  • The exhibition that exists as (or as part of) the presented art work
  • The miniature sculpture exhibition
  • Sculptures of exhibitions

The deadline for submissions is Monday 1 July.
Please send 250 word abstracts with a short CV to Kirstie Gregory, Research Programme Assistant: kirstie@henry-moore.org.

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