Johanna Burton is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum. Her talk will explore tendencies in current exhibition-making that privilege revisionist or alternative historical narratives. In large-scale biennials, thematic museum shows, as well as galleries and independent spaces, artworks are being constellated in new ways, producing “atmospheres” between objects and viewers, and placing into question individual objects’ previous denotations. Such a shift can be discussed via theories of affect, and gives rise to questions relating to new modes of liberatory meaning-making, as well as the dangers of cultural amnesia.
An art historian, critic, and curator, Burton has contributed articles and reviews to numerous journals, books, and catalogues, and has curated or co-curated exhibitions including Sherrie Levine: Mayhem at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2011 (with Elisabeth Sussman); Take It Or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2014 (with Anne Ellegood); and, at the New Museum, XFR STN (2013); Wynne Greenwood: Kelly (2015); Cheryl Donegan: Scenes + Commercials (2016), and Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room (2016); among other projects.
Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology, 2014. Installation view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photography by Brian Forrest