AICA-UK Annual Lecture 2024: Manuel Borja-Villel, ‘Cartographies for After the End: Toward a Situated Curatorial Practice’

29 February 2024, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

University College, London, Room G12
1-19 Torrington Pl, London WC1E 7HB
Free entry but booking required through Eventbrite:
Please note the lecture will be followed by drinks.

In his presentation Borja-Villel discusses the need to develop alternative and ‘situated’ forms of curatorial practice and institutional organisation.

‘It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism’, is a quote attributed to both Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Žižek and was made popular by Mark Fisher. For centuries, a linear and static idea of time and space has shaped Western thought, dictating not only the rhythm and the term of history but also our agency over it. This has resulted in the commonly held belief that there is no alternative because it cannot be thought of.

However, an epistemological change has taken place over the last decade, and the axes on which the system has been based since the 16th century have begun to show signs of exhaustion. Consequently, far from the immobilising neoliberal vision, alternative forms that question previous conceptions of space and time are unfolding across the globe.

Spanish art historian and curator Manuel Borja-Villel was Director at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid until 2023, and most recently co-curated the 35th São Paulo Biennial Choreographies of the Impossible. During his tenure at the Reina Sofía he carried out a radical remodelling of its collection and created Museo en Red, a network of organisations, collectives, and institutions that question the idea of museum and expand its boundaries. Prior to this, Borja-Villel was Director at MACBA in Barcelona and at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies. As an institutional leader, he has developed an extensive body of work that marked a turning point in contemporary curatorial practice, resignifying narratives and exhibition devices and reimaging their role in the governance of the institution. Borja-Villel is the recipient of the 2024 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence from CCS Bard.

A recording of the lecture can be found here.

This event was held in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL, and is kindly supported by the Office of Cultural and Scientific Affairs, Embassy of Spain in London.

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