Heart of Darkness

Hernández Velázquez, Y. M.. 2020. 'Heart of Darkness'. In: The Papers of the Exhibition. International Symposium on Curating. Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, Spain 21 – 22 October 2020. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

The exhibition Heart of Darkness opened at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 2004, the same year the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) was set up and growing numbers of people began to attempt the crossing from continental Africa to the Canary Islands. The curatorial intent was to highlight the legacy of colonialism a hundred years after the publication of Joseph Conrad’s novel. Despite the fact that the exhibition had already been shown without incident at the Palau de la Virreina in Barcelona and that it was one of the most expensive and technically complex exhibitions CAAM had ever held, it was abruptly closed ahead of schedule, remaining open to the public for a mere 29 days.

In this session, Yaiza Hernández Velázquez, who was then a curator at CAAM and produced the show, revisits this event making use of her (bad) memory, official archives, digital debris and private conversations. Through this exercise, she will attempt, among other things, to ask where the limits of an exhibition lie, what writing an exhibition’s history can mean and from where it is possible to do so.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)


Exhibition Histories, Exhibition Studies

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


21 October 2020Completed

Event Location:

Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, Spain

Date range:

21 – 22 October 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

26 Oct 2020 10:06

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2020 10:06



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