Reconstruction of the 1953 exhibition 'Parallel of Life and Art' by members of the Independent Group at the ICA and Pierre Leguillon's 'Placement'
Kim Levin 'Downtown Announcements, 1975-1991' and 'Notes 2 1995-2004', invitation cards and annotated press releases. Mark Sladen, director of exhibitions at ICA standing to the left
Hans Haacke, 'Photographic Notes: Documenta 2' 1959
Joelle Tuerlinckx, 'Drawing Inventory-Drawing Center New York 2006' chosen extracts for Retracing Exhibitions, 2009
curated by Kari Conte and Florence Ostende
Retracing Exhibitions addresses the difficulty of experiencing by-gone exhibitions in the present. As the primary, yet, ephemeral medium through which art is made public exhibitions form our understanding of art and its institutions. Despite the plethora of shows that have been produced, there is insufficient exhibition literature and pictorial archives to document them. Retracing Exhibitions assesses how we think about both temporary and permanent exhibitions in retrospect, in order to preserve what they realise for the future.
This exhibition juxtaposes a reconstructed fragment of the 1953 Institute of Contemporary Arts London exhibition Parallel of Life and Art, an exhibition by The Independent Group including Nigel Henderson, Ronald Jenkins, Eduardo Paolozzi and Alison and Peter Smithson, which featured blown-up photographic images arranged in a non-hierarchal order from the fields of anthropology, biology, technology and art. Through contemporary artworks and a past exhibition, this project looks at the capacity of the viewer to recollect exhibitions from historic, experiential, and intellectual positions.
Artists and contributors: Benoit Broisat, Hans Haacke, Pierre Leguillon, Kim Levin, Sarah Pierce, Kirsten Pieroth, Joelle Tuerlinckx, the interview archives of Hans Ulrich Obrist and a reconstruction of the 1953 Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) exhibition Parallel of Life and Art