History of Art and Architecture

Jessica Gogan Colloquium


Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Reconfiguring the public: art, pedagogy & participation in contemporary art institutions: The Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jessica Gogan, PhD Candidate, History of Art & Architecture, University of Pittsburgh

Anthropologist James Clifford has described museums as “contact zones.” Contemporary museum scholars Corinne Katz and Ivan Karp use terms such as “tactical museologies” to emphasize museums as collections of practices rather than objects. The analogy to military maneouvres and geographic frontiers is striking: it suggests the culturally potent role the museum can play both within its walls and out in communities. In this talk I will explore the contemporary art institution as a cultural instigator, organizer, stage, and vantage point, where today’s complexities can be both performed and critiqued, via a discussion of historic and contemporary projects at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Domingos de Criação [Creation Sundays] was a series of participatory art happenings held at the height of Brazil’s military repression in 1971 engaging many now well-known Brazilian artists, such as Cildo Meireles and Carlos Vergara. The Experimental Nucleus of Education and Art is a collective of artists, educators and cultural producers active at the museum since 2010. These projects will be explored within the context of emerging practices at the nexus of socially engaged art, curatorship and education and the recently named “educational turn” in art and curatorship, referring to the interest in models of education as a framework, such as artists forming self-organized schools or discursive formats such as seminars, no longer as peripheral features, but as the artistic and curatorial concept itself.

Photo: Artist in Communities: Anita Sobar, Procura-se uma utopia (Find yourself a utopia), Experimental Nucleus of Education & Art, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, 2011.