Restaging Origin, Restaging Difference: Restaging Harald Szeemann's Work

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Abstract

The most common form of restaging is that of the retrospective exhibition, for it can be used to provide a platform for the museum to reaffirm the original exhibition and in turn reaffirm itself as host. For Harald Szeemann, the role of the curator was that of a mediator who, through the exhibition, should attempt to halt the above-mentioned closed-circuit of affirmations by questioning existing boundaries and canons. His own work, however, has been repeatedly restaged in recent years. This article focuses on two restagings: the Prada Foundation’s When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013 (2013) and the Getty Research Institute’s Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions (2018). I argue that restaged exhibitions can take two different forms: they can be focused on revising traditional canons and hierarchies, or they can serve to reaffirm the exhibition and the hosting institution. The two forms are interdependent, however, and most restagings contain a mixture of the two.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-258
JournalJournal of Curatorial Studies
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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