Guest Work Agency is also a curatorial practice, producing and advising on exhibitions, talks and texts at the intersection of art, curating and the law.
New Eelam: Christopher Kulendran Thomas in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann, 2016 - ongoing
New Eelam – developed by Christopher Kulendran Thomas in collaboration with curator Annika Kuhlmann and initially introduced at the 9th Berlin Biennale and 11th Gwangju Biennale – is a long-term artwork in the form of a startup. It brings together specialists from the fields of technology, real estate, law, art, architecture, finance and design to develop a new form of distributed housing. It originates from contemporary art’s role in prototyping new lifestyle formats and new forms of labour as part of the global processes by which cities around the world are reshaped. New Eelam is based on re-engineering some of these structural operations of art and some of the property relations at the very heart of the present economic system - through collective access rather than individual ownership.
New Eelam's exhibitions feature ‘experience suites’ and display home installations, merging strategies of interior design and of high-concept retail environments to create an imaginative space in which to think through the future of the home, as well as art’s role in shaping cities and new forms of work.
Collection+: Christian Thompson at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney 23 October – 12 December 2015
Collection+: Christian Thompson, is the fifth iteration of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) Collection+ series. The series is conceived as a hybrid project with a specific cross-pollinating purpose. Some 800 works in The Gene & Brian Sherman Collection are scrutinised and assessed by invited curators working in partnership with SCAF’s curatorial team. Each curator selects a single artist from the collection and researches collections nationally and internationally in order to identify significant related works by the same artist.
Collection+: Christian Thompson, curated by Alana Kushnir, explores what it truly means to own or possess something, the extinction and rediscovery of indigenous languages and the appropriation of indigenous Australian material culture. Works have been borrowed from major public institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), and from a range of national private collections.
An accompanying catalogue was published, with an introduction by Dr Gene Sherman AM, a catalogue essay by Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler, and a conversation between Christian Thompson and Alana Kushnir.
Tabularium, Slopes, Melbourne, 21 August – 13 September 2014
There is little evidence which attests to the existence in ancient and medieval times of an impulse to concentrate certain types of information by different creators in a single physical place. One of the few exceptions to this is indicated by the survival of the Tabularium, a building which was constructed in around 78 BCE to house official legal documents of the ancient Roman State. In the so-called Information Age, archives have again become less physically concentrated, as information is gathered and preserved using data centres which are geographically dispersed. Yet despite the liberal aura which surrounds this mode of distribution, the cultivation of some cultural narratives and the disregard of others continues. Does this mean that the Tabularium still exists, albeit in a virtual form?
Featuring works by Eloise Bonneviot, Ry David Bradley, Heman Chong and Anthony Marcellini, Rachel De Joode, Lawrence Lek, Katja Novitskova, Tom Penney and Jon Rafman in the gallery space and online at slopesprojects.org. An exhibition trailer created by Lawrence Lek was released and is accessible from lawrencelek.com.
The exhibition also featured the first iteration of the Tabularium Archive, an ongoing project by Alana Kushnir which collects and preserves publications by artists, curators and writers that have an online ethos but which are not available in digital form. An updated Google Doc inventory of the Tabularium Archive is accessible from slopesprojects.org.
An exhibition essay written by Alana Kushnir, Returning to the Tabularium: An Exhibition and Archive in Pursuit of Chronological Time, was published online in Mnemoscape Magazine, Issue 1: The Anarchival Impulse, visit mnemoscape.wordpress.com.
Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument, ICA, London, presented in partnership with the Mayor of London, 5 December 2012 – 20 January 2013
Since 1999, the ‘empty’ Northwest plinth in Trafalgar Square, London has been home to some of the world’s best contemporary art. This exhibition brought together a wide range of historical material including a display of commissioned maquettes made by some of the most celebrated artists working today.
The Fourth Plinth brings out the art critic in everyone. This exhibition traces the myriad responses to the commissions through media clippings, public comments, and archive material. Visitors were invited to explore the development of the Fourth Plinth programme from its inception to its current status as a world class art commission.
Artists exhibited included: Chris Burden, Allora & Calzadilla, Sokari Douglas Camp, Jeremy Deller, Elmgreen & Dragset, Tracey Emin, Katharina Fritsch, Brian Griffiths, Hew Locke, Stefan Gec, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas, Mariele Neudecker, Marc Quinn, Thomas Schütte, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Bob & Roberta Smith, Mark Wallinger, Rachel Whiteread and Bill Woodrow.
Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument curatorial team included Alana Kushnir, Elsa Coustou, Lucia Garavaglia and Elizabeth Warren. Supported by MFA Curating, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Artists’ Film Club: Walking Sideways, ICA, London, 19 January 2013
In response to the exhibition Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument, this Artists’ Film Club presented a selection of moving image works which delve into the social dimensions of architectural monuments. These monuments and their surrounding environments are more than a physical space; they generate individual and collective memories. The works reference the longevity of some built structures and the impermanence of others, exploring how histories are inextricably bound to geography and the synthesis of time.
The screening featured works by Ludovica Carbotta, Shaun Gladwell, Leopold Kessler, Benjamin Orlow, Deborah Ligorio, David Maljkovic, and Emile Zile.
The Walking Sideways curatorial team included Alana Kushnir, Elsa Coustou, Lucia Garavaglia and Elizabeth Warren. Supported by MFA Curating, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Paraproduction, Boetzelaer|Nispen, Amsterdam, 6 October – 2 December 2012
Paraproduction featured a concentration of London-based artists who exploit the curatorial strategies of exhibition, circulation and distribution. The materials they use are the programmatic, networked and branded processes that typically accompany the production of contemporary art. By operating through these modes of practice, they replace the romantic myth of the artist as a maker of art with the actuality of the artist as a format for art.
Artists exhibited included: Benedict Drew, Ed Fornieles, LuckyPDF, Hannah Perry and Christopher Kulendran Thomas.
An accompanying catalogue was published, edited and introduced by Alana Kushnir with contributions by Jesse Darling, John Hill, Ben Vickers, Matthew Drage and Christopher Kulendran Thomas.