Between 2004-2009, I worked as an intern and assistant curator on international exhibitions and public art commissions. This included projects with Gregor Schneider and Francis Alys, at Artangel, London (intern); The Folk Archive, with Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, at the Barbican, London (curatorial assistant);. The Folkestone Triennial, curated by Andrea Schlieker, with artists Pae White, Christian Boltanski, Tracey Emin, Jeppe Hein, and Ayse Erkmen (assistant curator). I independently curated exhibitions and projects in this period also, in Sarajevo, Guangzhou, and London, the archived details of which are posted on this page.
Etui, Maja Bajevic, 2005, For the Constance Howard Centre in Textiles, Goldsmiths College. Curated by Kim Dhillon and Jessica Wythe.
Etui, Maja Bajevic, Sarajevo, 2005. Photograph: Thierry Bal.
Ice Trade, Bernd Behr, Geoffrey Farmer, Lone Haugaard Madsen, George Henry Longly, Thomas Kratz and Florian Roithmayr, 21 January – 3 March 2007. Chelsea SPACE, London. Curated by Matt Packer and Kim Dhillon.
Ice Trade, installation view (Thomas Kratz, George Henry Longly, Geoffrey Farmer), Chelsea SPACE, London, 2007. Photograph: Matt Packer.
The exhibition title references a 19th-century trade of ice that occurred between Northern Europe, Northern America, and the sub-continent, prior to the development of artificial refrigeration. The history of the ice trade corresponded to a time-specific configuration of environmental and economic processes; several weeks of transit in uninsulated hulls often resulted in quantities of ice being reduced by 50% in mass in the time taken to reach a destination and sales point.
The ice trade also featured in Henry David Thoreau’s back-to-nature, preservationist classic, Walden, where the ice-harvest of Walden Pond alludes to a clash of environmental assets and sufficiencies. Thoreau’s one-man, one-world approach is seemingly inconsolable with the million dollar international ice exports that capitalised on the ponds and lakes of rural Massachussets.
These references and their configurations serve as a loose framework for the exhibition at Chelsea Space, where Ice Trade considers questions of translation and material status at different points of reception.
Some works extend these questions with direct connection to artists of a previous generation, such as Bernd Behr’s Hotel Palindrome (before R.Smithson) (2006), a reconstitution of Robert Smithson’s Hotel Palenque slide-lecture that Smithson first presented to architecture students at the University of Utah in 1972. Similarly, Thomas Kratz’s performance-module, How I Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (2006), reformatted in reference to Joseph Beuys’s seminal performance at Galerie Schmela in Dusseldorf in 1965. Works by George Henry Longly and Florian Roithmayr address the architecture of the exhibition space in formal, volumic terms, while Geoffrey Farmer and Lone Haugaard Madsen articulate the exhibition space for its reposition and performativity of practice.
Bucharest-on-Sea, Adrian Ghenie, 2006, TRACE, Weymouth, UK. Curated by Kim Dhillon and Sian Bonnell.
Adrian Ghenie in his studio.
Following a Visiting Arts curatorial research trip to Romania, Sian Bonnell (Director of TRACE) and I invited artist Adrian Ghenie for a residency in Weymouth, Dorset, where the artist worked and lived in a seaside studio for one month.