On Saturday 22 February 2014, Afterall and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London presented a half-day symposium reconsidering ‘an Exhibit’ (1957), the pioneering artwork, exhibition and collaborative project of Richard Hamilton, Victor Pasmore and Lawrence Alloway. This event was programmed ahead of an upcoming publication in Afterall’s Exhibition Histories series that will be dedicated to this subject, due to be published in 2015.
Designed on the basis of a modular hanging system, with a kit of suspended Perspex panels configured during the installation process, ‘an Exhibit’ was intended to give visitors the opportunity ‘to generate their own compositions’ as they walked through it. The symposium took place in the context of the show ‘Richard Hamilton at the ICA’, giving participants the opportunity to visit a recreation of ‘an Exhibit’, before gathering to discuss it.
Presentations and debate addressed questions of collective artistic, critical and exhibition-making practice; notions of active spectatorship and audience pariticipation; issues of film, photography, documentation and the archive – and the contemporary resonance of ‘an Exhibit’ in light of these fields. Contributions included:
Part 1 (page 1 of video above)
– Victoria Walsh, Head of the Curating Contemporary Art programme at the Royal College of Art, London: ‘One should always remember Hamilton is an illusionist...’
– Elena Crippa, Curator of Modern and Contemporary British Art, Tate, London: ‘“an Exhibit”: Three Notions of Active Spectatorship Coalesce’
Chaired by Lucy Steeds, Editor of Afterall’s Exhibition Histories research and publishing project and co-Pathway Leader of the MRes Art: Exhibition Studies programme at Central Saint Martins, London
Part 2 (page 2 of video above)
– Sabine Folie, Artistic and Managing Director of the Generali Foundation, Vienna
– Keith Wilson, artist
– Jeremy Millar, artist: ‘an exhibit, among others’
Chaired by Katharine Stout, Head of Programme, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
This event was organised by Afterall in collaboration with the ICA and supported by ‘Research at Work’, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London