Curating as conjuncture: Filipino American contemporary art exhibitions in California 1997-2010

Reyes, Ricardo J.. 2019. Curating as conjuncture: Filipino American contemporary art exhibitions in California 1997-2010. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The return of Philippine participation to the Venice Biennale after a 51-year absence marked an occasion to rethink Filipino American contemporary art, particularly its globalized dimensions and the contemporary art produced in diaspora. This rethink employs the notion of conjuncture as developed by Cultural Studies scholar, Lawrence Grossberg in his work Cultural Studies in the Future Tense. Following Grossberg’s notion of conjuncture as “constituted by, at, and as the articulation of multiple, overlapping, competing, reinforcing, etc., lines of force and transformation, destabilization and (re-) stabilization, with differing temporalities and spatialities, producing a potentially but never actually chaotic assemblage or articulations of contradictions and contestations,” I propose that Filipino American contemporary art occupies two conjunctural formations, one rooted in the curatorial and the other in art history.

In Chapter 1, I examine curating as a conjuncture and articulate how the roles of the curator, the artist, and the audience overlap and compete within the exhibitionary space, and how moments of fragmentation lead to hybrid roles like artist-curator. The exhibitionary space is examined as a conjuncture where these roles (curator, artist, audience) encounter each other to create an ever-changing assemblage of articulations. Art historical accounts of Filipino American contemporary art forms another conjuncture that I analyze in Chapter 2 to provide context for recent events such as the 56th Venice Biennale. I proposed a different way to articulate Filipino and Filipino American art history based on historical events that occurred in the Philippines and the its relations with colonial conquerors, namely Spain and the United States. This timeline provides a new backdrop that enables a re-investigation of certain historical moment and figures, specifically the 1884 Madrid Exposition and the gold medal winner of that year, the painter, Juan Luna.

Interventions in exhibitions making are discussed in Chapter 3 as political strategies that break away from the traditional ways Filipino American contemporary art is seen and understood. Having established exhibitions as conjunctural formations, I discuss the interventions as the next steps, to critique and question the politics enacted in exhibition making and to participate in the political struggle to contest the marginalization and exclusion of Filipino American contemporary art in museums and galleries.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Curating, Filipino, contemporary art, conjuncture, Juan Luna

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)


28 February 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

01 Apr 2019 14:33

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:14


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