Curating Commissioning Producing


Offer & Exchange: Sites of Negotiation in Contemporary Art


Offer & Exchange: Sites of Negotiation in Contemporary Art curated by Daniel McClean and Lisa Rosendahl is a new series of site-specific commissions exploring the use of rules, instructions, contracts and performance in the contexts of contemporary art and the law. The project brings together individually commissioned art works appearing across a variety of exhibition sites over the next eighteen months, culminating in a publication which documents and contextualises the commissions (to be published by Ridinghouse, London in 2009).

Artists using legal contracts as artistic frameworks - including Carey Young, Santiago Sierra, Stefan Brüggemann with Robert Barry, Goldin+Senneby and Superflex - have been invited to respond to one of the following key categories of 'site' where art is made visible by being exhibited, publicized, sold or collected:

i. the commercial gallery
ii. the corporate collection
iii. the art magazine
iv. the public institution
v. the private collection
vi. the auction house
vii. the art fair

In this context, 'site' is approached as a set of relations governing processes of negotiation. Engaging with the legacies of Conceptual art and Institutional Critique, each resulting commission reflects upon the specific aesthetic, social, economic and legal relations that govern the production and dissemination of art in these different sites of mediation.

The commissions use contracts and the specificity of legal language to express boundaries and construct frameworks for action, as well as to emphasize the existence of conflict, negotiation and value exchange within artistic production and consumption. In different ways, each commission articulates and appropriates the relationships between artist, artwork, viewer and exhibition site as a way of exploring the structures that condition them.

The project brings together a variety of exhibition sites with historically different functions in relation to the production and consumption of art within one conceptual framework as a way of engaging with the increasing dissolution of the boundaries between public and private and between commercial and 'not for profit' structures, in the contemporary art landscape.

Daniel McClean is a curator and practising lawyer specialising in art law, media and intellectual property law at Withers LLP (London and New York). Lisa Rosendahl is a curator and writer, and the Director of the Baltic Art Center - a production and residence centre for Nordic and international artists in Visby, Sweden.

ELECTRA is a UK-based contemporary art agency specialising in curating, commissioning and producing ambitious cross-disciplinary projects by artists working across sound, moving image, performance and the visual arts. ELECTRA is funded by Arts Council England.

Fiction on Auction Tour
Curator Interview

Related Links
Stefan Brüggemann - SHIFT
Santiago Sierra - DEATH COUNTER