critical design – what if?

I am in Manhattan at Bard Graduate Center, celebrating its twentieth anniversary, its explorations of decorative arts, design history and material culture in research, pedagogy, exhibition and curatorial practice [Link]. Like any good celebration we’re looking forward as well as back. This morning was about imagining the future of museum and gallery exhibition. This afternoon was…

heritage futures – a design paradigm

Last May I delivered the Reinwardt Memorial Lecture at Amsterdam School of the Arts – [Link] This week it was published as an illustrated booklet – Let me tell you about Hadrian’s Wall: Heritage, Performance, Design The 2012 Reinwardt Lecture. Amsterdam School of Arts, 2013 Background: phases in the growth of the heritage industry this…

Martin Bernal

Martin Bernal died on June 9 in Ithaca NY – Martin Bernal obituary – The Guardian He was controversial, unnecessarily. His basic idea was that Classicists in the nineteenth century distorted the history of Greek antiquity by denying the rich and intense connections among the people and cultures of the eastern Mediterranean, favoring instead an…

political engagement, contemporary art, archaeology

Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art has just closed at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [Link] [Link] The topic of the exhibition – contemporary art in six “far-flung” cities not typically defined as traditional centers of the art world: Beirut, Cali, Cluj-Napoca, Ho Chi Minh City, San Francisco, Tangier. Ostensibly this is…

Alan Bennett’s satire – the National Trust and heritage

I am hearing a lot about Alan Bennett’s new play “People”, currently running at the National Theatre in London [Link] The setting is where he grew up – south Yorkshire UK, in a run down country house facing an uncertain future. What are it’s upper crust owners going to do to make ends meet? Sell…