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About the Art Spaces Directory

The Art Spaces Directory is an international guide to the sites where contemporary art and artists are nurtured, interrogated, and sustained. Building on the Museum as Hub model, the 2012 New Museum Triennial, "The Ungovernables," incorporated lengthy consultation with a network of curators, organizations, and artists from around the world, including Museum as Hub partners. Their contributions have inspired the Art Spaces Directory, a resource guide to over 400 independent art spaces from ninety-six countries around the world. The Art Spaces Directory was edited by Eungie Joo, Keith Haring Director of Education and Public Programs, and Ethan Swan, Education Associate.

Director’s Foreword

Independent art spaces are crucial venues to foster communities as well as platforms for younger artists. It is often artists themselves who tenaciously build these spaces to show new art, frequently in a non-commercial setting. As a result, many art spaces are short-term ventures that respond to a need at a particular time and place. In recogni- tion of the spirit and determination of these spaces, which have given crucial exposure to many of the artists included in “The Ungovernables,” this directory highlights over 400 art spaces located in 96 countries around the world. “The Ungovernables” exhibition marks the second iteration of the New Museum’s Triennial and features 34 artists, artist groups and temporary collectives, many of whom have never before exhibited in the US. The Art Spaces Directory also advances the New Museum’s mission to support innovative and entrepreneurial endeavors in contemporary art and will serve as an extraordinary resource for artists, curators, patrons, students and the broader public interested in emerging art practices.

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Eungie Joo, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs, who envisioned and curated “The Ungovernables.” Joo conducted primary research for the Triennial in more than 20 countries over the course of 18 months, visiting hundreds of artists in the process and dozens of independent spaces. In addition, she has directed the Museum as Hub international partnership at the New Museum which had a significant role in shaping the 2012 Triennial and was the inspiration for the Art Spaces Directory.

Since 2006, Museum as Hub has explored new models of curatorial practice and institutional collaboration to support art activities and experimentation; it has also served as an important resource for the public to learn about contemporary art from around the world. Initiated by the New Museum, partners have included: art space pool, Seoul, South Korea; Insa Art Space, Seoul, South Korea; Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt; and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Nether- lands. These crucial partnerships have been pivotal in helping to bring this incisive publication together.

The Art Spaces Directory endeavor would not have been possible without the belief and generosity of our support- ers. We are tremendously grateful for the support of the exhibition’s title sponsor, Joe Fresh, a Canadian fashion brand. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts gave early funding for the Triennial as well as support for the curatorial research and travel so critical for this initiative. Additional support has been provided by the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Fundación Almine y Bernard RuizPicasso para el Arte and the Asian Cultural Council.

We especially want to thank the generous Friends of “The Generational” co-chaired by New Museum Trustees Shelley Fox Aarons, Lonti Ebers and Toby Devan Lewis, whose early support and enthusiasm was significant. We are very grateful to our wonderful Steering Committee Members of the Friends of “The Generational”: The Booth Heritage Foundation Inc.; Ellyn and Saul Dennison; Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg; Susan and Leonard Feinstein; María José Garcés; Carol and Arthur A. Goldberg; Sunny and Brad Goldberg; Lietta and Dakis Joannou; Tina Kim and Jaewoong Chung; Sueyun Locks; Shaun Caley Regen; Lyndley and Samuel Schwab; Eve Steele and Peter Gelles; and Laurie and David Wolfert. Special thanks to our Friends of “The Generational”: Lorenzo Martone, Kathleen O’Grady and Ana Sokoloff.

This book was produced in partnership with ArtAsiaPacific magazine, whose publisher and editor-in-chief, Elaine W. Ng, actively participated in this directory and whose enthusiasm for the project was instrumental. Additional support for this publication is made possible by the J. McSweeney and G. Mills Publications Fund at the New Museum and a grant from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, with the support of the Burger Collection, Hong Kong, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Anna-Maria Rossi and Fabio Rossi, and The Mathur Family. Finally, the New Museum salutes all the contributors and all of the participating artist spaces for creating a book that will no doubt be an eye-opening must-read for everyone invested in contemporary art across the globe.

In 1977, Marcia Tucker founded the New Museum with the hope of creating a flexible institution that could respond to rapid developments in contemporary art. In her memoirs, she described the urgency for a smaller space that could contend with the fervor of emerging art forms: “the bigger museums were ill-equipped to respond quickly to radical or sudden changes in the arts, in part because exhibitions had to be scheduled years ahead of time to allow for securing loans, preparing a catalogue and, most important of all, obtaining funding.” The New Museum was founded as an alternative space in the heyday of alternative art spaces. Thirty-five years later, this urgency is only magnified as the museum has grown and as current events, developments in technology and expanding definitions of artistic practice demand increasingly rapid responses from arts organizations. In spite of many changes in the landscape–and in some cases, because of them–the same need that instigated the founding of the New Museum remains a vital force in contemporary art, and our hope is that this book serves to acknowledge the immense possibilities manifested by independent art spaces.

By Lisa Phillips
Lisa Phillips is the Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum.

Introduction

The Art Spaces Directory is a direct result of and homage to the Museum as Hub initiative and its role in shaping the 2012 New Museum Triennial, “The Ungovernables.” Both a physical site and an expanding network of international art spaces, initiatives and artists, the Museum as Hub investigates the potential of experimentation and exchange through residencies, exhibitions and public programs. Initiated by the New Museum in 2006, founding partners include: art space pool, Seoul, South Korea; Insa Art Space, Seoul, South Korea; Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt; and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Our ongoing relationships with these organizations have inspired us to create this directory as a way to bring together an expanded constellation of independent, non-collecting spaces–a network of sites where issues central to our initiative are being examined rigorously and continuously.

Through their daring, agility and commitment, independent art spaces provide a location for young artists to be nurtured, interrogated and sustained. Initiated by artists, curators and engaged individuals, such spaces respond to local needs and concerns. Often short-lived and overwhelmingly non-commercial in orientation, they are unencum- bered by forces of commerce and legacy, freeing them to take risks and present work that would not be possible elsewhere. In acknowledgment of this support and its crucial role in the development of artists included in “The Ungovernables,” and inspired by the Japan Foundation’s publication Alternatives1, this directory brings together profiles on over 400 art spaces from 96 countries. By focusing on arts organizations with innovative programming, we hope this directory serves as a useful resource for artists, arts professionals, patrons and the public to support future activity in contemporary art.

To gather this information, we distributed a simple, two-page questionnaire by direct invitation and through open calls, which asked spaces to self-present their programming. For this reason, the Art Spaces Directory should not be considered exhaustive. The 12 months that passed during the research and production of this book marked dramatic changes, including revolutions in Egypt, Libya, Syria and Tunisia; destructive earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan; and the emergence of the Occupy movement. As a consequence of these kinds of economic, political and logistical realities, several spaces were not able to submit materials. The resultant documentation of exhibitions, programs, screenings, performance and other forms of presentation is organized into individual profiles. These profiles are divided into three geographical regions, with each region organized alphabetically by country and city. Divided through natural borders–the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Ural Mountains/Indian Ocean–the regions are intentionally broad, creating an opportunity to re-think regionalism, proximity and the possibilities for dialogue.

The entries are contextualized by a series of essays and discussions by an international selection of curators, critics and artists. These contributions assess the determination, consequence and limitations of independent spaces and suggest possibilities for future activity. Examining new curatorial and creative models, the writings also consider larger trajectories of resistance and remind us of the mortality of the alternative. We are grateful to contributors Víctor Albarracín, Reem Fadda and Christine Tohme, Stefan Kalmár, Naiza H. Khan, Catalina Lozano, Elaine W. Ng and tranzit.org for lending their viewpoints and observations to this directory.

Today, vast compilations of information are often relegated to websites and smart-phone applications, which are constantly updated and expanded. For this project, we purposefully chose to publish a reference guide in the form of a book as a document of this moment–a document of the current landscape of independent art spaces in 2012. More than half of the spaces contained within this directory were founded in the past ten years, many to address specific regional or media-based needs. As movements are born or reformed, it is impossible to imagine how many spaces will emerge in the next decade, or which of the included spaces will still exist in 2022. The printed book also creates an opportunity for readers to quickly leap between regions and spaces, discovering resonances and critical differences.

Many colleagues contacted or suggested other organizations for this publication, and a list of Acknowledgments follows this introduction. But several individuals must be mentioned here. Initial research for the directory began in 2010 with the enthusiastic support of Museum as Hub Fellows Helga Just Christoffersen, Alhena Katsof and Erik Pauhrizi. Museum as Hub partner curators Annie Fletcher, Heejin Kim, Tobias Ostrander, Daniela Pérez, Sarah Rifky and William Wells provided critical early support, ideas and contacts. Curatorial Assistant Ryan Inouye actively participated in the conceptualization of this publication and also guided early research. Christopher Green entries. And intern Leire San Martin dedicated her energy to the crucial final hours of production. We thank you all for your significant contribution to this project.

Many thanks to the design team NR2154, who responded to our invitation to compete for the design of the directory and brilliantly envisioned a way to present consistent information without monotony on their first try. We would also like to thank Deputy Director and Director of External Affairs Karen Wong for her confidence in the relevance of this publication, Copy Editor & Publications Coordinator Sarah Stephenson, for her vast editorial and production support and Online Manager Tory Peterschild and Graphic Designer & Production Manager Richard Espinosa for their late night assistance with inline edits to keep us on schedule. The committed work of Associate Director and Director of Institutional Advancement Regan Grusy and her team has been essential to this project.

Finally, this book would not have been possible without the partnership of our co-publisher, ArtAsiaPacific, whose publisher and editor-in-chief, Elaine W. Ng, actively solicited dozens of spaces to participate while enlisting numer- ous colleagues to recommend additional spaces, and whose editor, Hanae Ko, has served as copy editor for the essays as well as each profile entry. We are grateful for the expertise and assistance of ArtAsiaPacific’s entire editorial team, especially Eti Bonn-Muller, Don J. Cohn, Linda Da Cruz, Olivier Krischer, Ashley Lee, HG Masters, William Pym and Kathy Zhang.

On behalf of the New Museum, we extend our sincerest gratitude to all the individuals, from interns to directors, of the participating spaces that provided information for the directory. We know you work with limited staff and resources, and appreciate your assistance in amassing the content for this project. We hope this directory reminds the public of your significant roles in contemporary art production and serves as a testament to our great admiration of your work.

By Eungie Joo and Ethan Swan
Eungie Joo is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at the New Museum, New York, and curator of the 2012 New Museum Triennial, “The Ungovernables.” Ethan Swan is a writer and musician and Education Associate at the New Museum, New York.

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge the following individuals who were instrumental in compiling the Art Spaces Directory:

  • Nadia Al Issa
  • Shaina Anand
  • Max Andrews
  • Jude Anogwih
  • Alessio Antoniolli
  • Minam Apang
  • Mattias Arndt
  • Tarek Atoui
  • Negar Azimi
  • Sonia Becce
  • Serena Bentley
  • Tobias Berger
  • Arianna Bongioanni
  • Rayne Booth
  • Sally Brand
  • Paul Brewer
  • Ringo Bunoan
  • Paul Chan
  • Nikita Choi
  • Doryun Chong
  • Heman Chong
  • Ana Paula Cohen
  • Abraham Cruzvillegas
  • Dessislava Dimova
  • Elvira Dyangani
  • Anthony Elms
  • Jonatan Habib Engqvist
  • Reem Fadda
  • Katrin Fessler
  • Peter Fitzgerald
  • Maja Fowkes
  • Malik Gaines
  • John Gerrad
  • Steffen Håndlykken
  • Christopher Hanrahan
  • Vit Havránek
  • Dóra Hegyi
  • Claire Hsu
  • Sabine Jaroschka
  • Lamia Joreige
  • Mami Kataoka
  • Joseph Keehn II
  • Jeff Kahn
  • Clara Kim
  • Jinjoo Kim
  • Alexandra Koroxenidis
  • Laura Langer
  • Krysztof Latocha
  • Direlia Lazo
  • Jeff Leung
  • Maria Lind
  • Catalina Lozano
  • Mariana Cánepa Luna
  • Christian Mayer
  • Peter Mckay
  • Yael Messer
  • Sohrab Mohebbi
  • Ceci Moss
  • Gabi Ngcobo
  • Pak Sheung Cheun
  • Bona Park
  • Rita Ponce de León
  • Zinenb Sedira
  • Alexandro Segade
  • Luis Silva
  • Tobias Sirtl
  • Ana Sokoloff
  • Sarah Stephenson
  • Grant Stevens
  • Alia Swastika
  • Maria Toniguchi
  • Pilvi Takala
  • Stefan Tarnowski
  • Gemma Tipton
  • Dovile Tumpyté
  • Gabriella Uhl
  • Jelena Vesic
  • Maurizio Vetrugno
  • Hamza Walker
  • Hargue Yang
  • Ala Younis
  • Honza Zamojski

For questions or comments, please contact artspaces@newmuseum.org.

  • 2,162 featured artists
  • 712 Public Programs
  • 441 Exhibitions

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