Christel Vesters

Theme: Curating Public Knowledge

A Thought Never Unfolds in One Straight Line: On the Exhibition as Alternative Thinking Space

In recent years our understanding of exhibitions has shifted: from being static, temporary constellations of art objects to become performative sites where the works become agents, interacting amongst themselves, with their audiences and with the various contexts that present themselves. Within this framework the idea of the curatorial, understood as both a research-based praxis and a mode of knowledge production, has become a theoretical point of reference. But how do exhibitions enact or evoke alternative modes of thinking? When do the immersive and discursive in an exhibition meet and merge into an active site for thinking based in both seeing and reading? 

Christel Vesters is a curator, writer and researcher based in Amsterdam. She holds an MA in Art History from the University of Amsterdam. Her PhD research centers on the idea of the exhibition as a space for alternative modes of thinking, investigating their subversive agency vis-à-vis dominant ideas about knowledge production. She was the 2014 Mondriaan Fund Curator-in-Residence at CCS Bard, New York. Currently, she writes for international art publications and curates exhibitions.