neil cummings

Exhibition Experiments

Exhibition Experiments (working title) is a collaborative practice-based research project into histories of exhibition.

Students, staff, experts and others at Chelsea College of Arts will together research the idea of exhibition as a bundle of technologies for display and exchange.

Life DrawingThere are an increasing number of academic publications and conferences in curatorial and exhibition history, although the premise of this project is research through practice; we will make things, and make things happen.

The project might construct key exhibitionary moments, for example:

architect Frederick Kiesler’s 1924 L+T System for museum displays, a fragment of El Lissitsky's Abstract Cabinet which was destroyed by the Nazis in 1937. We may also re-enact projects such as op losse schroeven (Stadelijk Museum, 1969) the entrepreneurial Freeze exhibition of 1988, or maybe one of Rirkrit Tiravanija's convivial cooking exhibitions. 

These are mere suggestions - the plan would be to develop an exhibition of key exhibitionary experiments, collectively.

This will unfold through seminars and workshops before the Triangle Gallery ‘exhibitionary’ period, and during the physical construction of the exhibition itself. 

We are working towards

Exhibition: Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Art & Design

When: Monday 21st May – Wednesday 30th May 2012


We will start with

Introductory Seminar 1 and 2  

Room ALG15A at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Millbank, London

Seminar 1. Preparation 2 - 4, 16th November 2011 

Chapter 1. of Brian O’Doherty’s Inside the White Cube

Introduction to Basu & McDonald’s anthology Exhibition Experiments

Seminar 2. Preparation 2 - 4, 23rd November 2011 

What would you consider to be an example of an experimental exhibition?

If you were to reconstruct this example, how would you do so, and why?

You could choose to find out more about the examples cited in the project description or make another suggestion.

There are several copies of Mary Staniszewski’s The Power of Display at the Chelsea College of Art Library – and this is a good starting point.

If you browse the Curating shelves at the Library, you will also find plenty of books that address exhibition history, whether by looking at the work of individual curators (e.g. Harald Szeemann) or by drawing it into different critical contexts and debates.

In the Journals section of the Library, there is also Manifesta Journal – if you look through back issues you might find something........... for example No 7 has an essay on Seth Siegelaub, No9 an essay (by Staniszewski) on Exit Art, and No.10 has a text on Eastside Projects. 

Thereafter, research seminars and workshops  

From 18th January to 7th March 2012 (inclusive).  Every Tuesday, 14-16h, Room E101, Chelsea College of Art & Design

Neil Cummings and Isobel Whitelegg


Exhibition Experiments evolved into prospectus, read the press release or see the time-lapse document of prospectus, thanks to Blanca Regina


Related events include Live Tracing, also Parade, or read about publicness, #TransActing's currencies or jigs.


51.4902, -0.1283

Triangle Space
Chelsea College of Art and Design
16 John Islip Street
United Kingdom

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