Tate St Ives Conference

Global Communities: Curating Modern Art Today

© Tate

Symposium exploring modernism in today’s art museums and galleries

This event looks at the role modernism plays within today’s art museums and galleries. It asks can, how and why should such institutions challenge and repurpose established modernist histories and what this means for the future of art museums and galleries.

International curator Katya García-Antón, Director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway and editor of Sovereign Words: Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism (2018) is the speaker for the Friday evening talk, exploring urgent questions surrounding the role of museums of modern art today in relation to ideas around indigenous art.

Artist Lubaina Himid – the winner of the 2017 Turner Prize, Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire, current artist-in-residence at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, and who most recently curated the Invisible Narratives exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance – will speak as part of the symposium on Saturday in conversation with artist Evan Ifekoya. Himid’s participation is supported in kind by the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust.

The Saturday symposium will also feature a fascinating range of doctoral and early career curators, artists and art historians. Convening sessions that explore ideas around diaspora, migration, indigenous art and curatorial practices in relation to modernism are early career curators Biung Ismahasan and Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf.

Biung Ismahasan is a Bunun Nation (one of the sixteen Nations of Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples) independent curator, artist and researcher. He is working on his practice-based PhD in Curating at the Centre for Curatorial Studies, School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex and the Institute of Ethnology, Taiwan Academy of Sciences (Academia Sinica), Taipei.

Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf is a curator, film producer and programmer of contemporary art with a focus on performance, audio and moving image in non-gallery contexts. Her MA dissertation in the department of Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art investigated the formation of artistic counter-publics of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora in post-war Britain.


Download the programme PDF [2.03 MB]


Film for Friday

Free with admission

A series of short films exploring questions of modernism, indigeneity, ecology and decolonisation, with an accompanying discussion by the symposium’s co-convenors.



Katya García-Antón explores indigenous art, curation and criticism in relation to curating modernism.




Combined ticket for Friday (including Keynote Talk & admission) and Saturday symposium: £20 / £15 concessions (includes lunch on Saturday)

Alongside artists Lubaina Himid and Evan Ifekoya, the day includes contributions by Liisa-Rávná Finbog (PhD researcher, University of Oslo), Jonty Lees (artist and curator, Pool School Gallery, Cornwall), Vera Mey (PhD researcher, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), Naomi Polonsky (curator and art writer, New Hall Art Collection, Cambridge), Mercedes Vicente (curator, writer and researcher) and Franziska Wilmsen (PhD researcher, Loughborough University), with morning and afternoon sessions chaired by Biung Ismahasan and Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf.
Lunch is provided.

The symposium is followed by an optional trip to see Invisible Narratives, with an introduction to the exhibition by Lubaina Himid, at Newlyn Art Gallery (transport will be provided).

Tate St Ives

Porthmeor Beach
St Ives
Cornwall TR26 1TG
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26–27 April 2019