Thinking Contemporary Art; Curating Contemporaneity: A Talk by Terry Smith

BC Binning Memorial Lecture Series. 5 to 9pm.

What are the main concerns of artists today? What are the major currents within contemporary art practice?  Which patterns occur on global scales, and how do these interconnect with local placemaking?  How has art practice changed the nature of contemporary curating?   Traditional, modern, and contemporary curatorial modes coexist awkwardly, both inside and outside artworlds.  How are curators responding to the challenges of curating within contemporary difference yet with a view to planetary connectivity?

Since 2000, US-based, Australian art historian Terry Smith has argued that artists, architects, curators and art theorists have been responding to the nature of contemporary reality in terms of its definitive quality, its differential contemporaneity. He will discuss the key ideas underlying his widely read and often controversial books, including What is Contemporary Art? (University of Chicago Press, 2009), Contemporary Art: World Currents (Laurence King and Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2011), and Thinking Contemporary Curating (Independent Curators International, New York, 2012).

TERRY SMITH, FAHA, CIHA, is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and Distinguished Visiting Professor, National Institute for Experimental Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. He is the 2010 winner of the Mather Award for art criticism conferred by the College Art Association (USA), and the 2010 Australia Council Visual Arts Laureate (Government of Australia). During 2001-2002 he was a Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, and in 2007-8 the GlaxoSmithKlein Senior Fellow at the National Humanities Research Centre, Raleigh-Durham. From 1994-2001 he was Power Professor of Contemporary Art and Director of the Power Institute, Foundation for Art and Visual Culture, University of Sydney. He was a member of the Art & Language group (New York) and a founder of Union Media Services (Sydney). He is the author of a number of books, notably Making the Modern: Industry, Art and Design in America (University of Chicago Press, 1993; inaugural Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Book Prize 2009); Transformations in Australian Art, volume 1, The Nineteenth Century: Landscape, Colony and Nation, volume 2, The Twentieth Century: Modernism and Aboriginality (Craftsman House, Sydney, 2002); The Architecture of Aftermath (University of Chicago Press, 2006), What is Contemporary Art? (University of Chicago Press, 2009), Contemporary Art: World Currents (Laurence King and Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2011), and Thinking Contemporary Curating (Independent Curators International, New York, 2012). He is editor of many others including In Visible Touch: Modernism and Masculinity (Power Publications and the University of Chicago Press, 1997), First People, Second Chance: The Humanities and Aboriginal Australia (Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1999), Impossible Presence: Surface and Screen in the Photogenic Era (Power Publications and the University of Chicago Press, 2001), with Paul Patton, Jacques Derrida, Deconstruction Engaged: The Sydney Seminars (Power Publications, 2001, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2005), Contemporary Art + Philanthropy (University of NSW Press, 2007), and Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, postmodernity and contemporaneity (with Nancy Condee and Okwui Enwezor, Duke University Press, 2008). A foundation Board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, he is currently a Board member of the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.

See www.terryesmith.net/web/