I have curated the Collecting as Practice Public Programme at Delfina Foundation. My programme considers the growing role of collections as spaces for the production, reception and preservation of contemporary art practices. Exploring the potential for collections to re-invent and create cultural histories and public knowledge, the programme seeks to address both the artistic drives behind the impetus to accumulate and rearrange materials and the social potentials for collections in the broadest sense.
Through discussion with artists-in-residence and international collectors, it explores collections as living sites of accumulated knowledge with the potential for critical and active engagement in the development of cultural identity, revisionist histories, and new narratives. This expanded notion understands collections as always embedded and operating in specific social, political, economic, artistic and personal contexts and asks how artists and collectors alike intervene and activate them.
As such, moving beyond a focus on the examination and accumulation of individual art works, the Collecting as Practice Public Programme wishes to energise conversations around artistic and radical collecting methodologies in relation to intimacy and economics, communal ownership, cultural memory and education. In doing so, we hope to unpack how artists and collectors alike are redefining the critical discourses of collecting in a global context.
Events at Delfina Foundation, curated and moderated by Rose Lejeune.
Exploring the relationships that are formed between collectors and artists, Pedro Barbosa and Deyson Gilbert discuss their shared interest in ephemera – posters, artists’ books and vinyl albums – by conceptual artists in the 1960s and 70s that form a substantial part of the Moreas-Barbosa Collection.
Taking this collaboration as a starting point, and emphasising the potential of collecting as a site of encounter which privileges the creation of social relations between people, rather than the production and display of objects, the event will explore modes of exchange and interaction and discuss how the intimate relations might point to new understandings of the connection between art collection, production and distribution.
The social value of private initiatives and museums
Collectors-in-residence Sean Lu and Luba Michailova are founders of Sifang Art Museum (China) and IZOLYATSIA (Ukraine) respectively, two private initiatives set within very different geo-political contexts but with overlapping aims of invigorating and supporting cultural scenes for local communities. This conversation seeks to explore the public responsibilities of private initiatives and address the ways in which local cultural histories and social needs can be acknowledged alongside national and international artistic communities. The panel will ask how artists, curators and private collectors collaborate in bringing trans-national critical thinking, pedagogy and exchange around visual art into the public domain in meaningful ways.
Who Really Owns It? Thinking through ownership of contemporary art and cultural heritage
This discussion explores a radical notion of collecting that challenges conventional notions of individual ownership. Taking its departure point from research conducted by curator-in-residence Özge Ersoy, as well as recent examples of the destruction of historical artifacts, the discussion considers how social histories become embedded in the material objects of art works. With reference to key artistic, archaeological and architectural practices, the participants will interrogate how it is possible to redefine our understanding of ownership to include concepts of immaterial presence, social knowledge and the communal.
Collecting, Intimacy and the Domestic at Art Brussels emphasises the potential of collecting as a site of intimate encounter between artists, and collectors with Pedro Barbosa, Aaron Cezar, Alain Servais and Dorith Galuz, moderated by Rose Lejeune.
Private Collection / Public Audiences at art-mote carlo explores the ways in which private collectors, operating at many different scales, develop and support cultural and artistic communities in different contexts around the world with Pedro Barbosa, Aaron Cezar, and Luba Michailova, moderated by Rose Lejeune.