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Navigating Through Space

Interdisciplinary Expeditions: Navigating Through Space, Place and Time” is a 7-day interdisciplinary research exchange project that aims to explore the concepts of space, place and time through both practice and research.

Space, Place, and Time Reading Groups

Interdisciplinary Critical Excursions: Continued Navigation Through Space, Place, and Time

Friday 24 February | Questioning the White Cube, Tate Modern Turbine Hall

In her most recent press release, the curator of the 57th Venice Biennale, Christine Macel writes: “In a world full of conflicts and jolts, in which humanism is being seriously jeopardized, art is the most precious part of the human being. It is the ideal place for reflection, individual expression, freedom and fundamental questions. It is a ‘yes’ to life, although sometimes a ‘but’ lies behind.”[1]

‘Yes’, ‘but’, is it? How attainable are these proposed notions of the “ideal”, of freedom and self-expression? What lies behind them?

This critical excursion will address the institutional politics of the contemporary white cube. It will invite participants to physically situate themselves in the architectures of a contemporary art museum – the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall - and form a discussion based on selected readings and Phillippe Parreno’s site-specific artwork ‘Anywhen’; an exhibition commissioned and sponsored by car manufacturer Hyundai.

The group will be encouraged to consider how the economic and socio-political landscape has been dictating and shaping contemporary art institutions and its programming across the west. As proposed by Hal Foster, galleries and museums have become mega-stores – cultural sites of consumption, in which “experience economy” is now actively endorsed. These once autonomous ascetically designed sites of aesthetic contemplation have now become grounds for hyper-mediated spectacles. How does this impact the idea of gallery sites existing as the “ideal place for reflection?”

Whilst drawing from Brian O’Doherty’s Inside The White Cube, Pierre Bourdieu and Darbel’s The Love of Art, and Elena Filipovic, The Global White Cube, the group will be invited to reflect on the responsibilities and pressures that these white cubes have to face, and question their position in relation to the socio-political crisis today. Can art galleries and museums still be perceived as “timeless, hermetic, and always the same despite its location or context”, as external sites or fixed “non-places”, as Elena Filipovic has suggested? If not, under what new regimes and forms of control do these institutions operate? What purpose are they supposed to serve: art or entertainment? More importantly, who are their attending subjects?

Please register using the form below. Travel costs will be reimbursed


Name *
Travel costs will be reimbursed