What kinds of instructions do artists leave behind? These range from guidelines for installing artworks and exhibitions, to detailed directions on how audiences should encounter materials. This conversation brings together journalist and editor Yu Hsiaohwei and curator Riksa Afiaty to discuss how researchers, curators, and editors work with artists’ instructions as documents, artworks, and tools to deepen as well as challenge our understanding of artistic practice and exhibition making.
Yu Hsiaohwei introduces the monograph Big Tail Elephant: Build and Resist (2023), co-edited with Hou Hanru, which archives the temporary interventions conducted by the artist collective in Guangzhou’s urban spaces from 1991 to 1996. Yu focuses on artists’ manuscripts and drawings as instructions, and reflects on the process of translating and building an archive around these documents.
Riksa Afiaty discusses the personal archive of the artist Moelyono (b. 1957), known for his socially engaged work in rural areas in Indonesia. Highlighting proposals, maps, photographs, and sketches that are now part of the Indonesian Visual Art Archive, Afiaty proposes these archival materials as instructions that reflect the artist’s intentions and address site-specific concerns.
This talk is part of Inter-Archives Conversations and is organised in conjunction with “mould the wing to match the photograph,” currently on view at AAA’s library. This exhibition draws on the archive of Mrinalini Mukherjee, one of the most prominent sculptors in India, and stages an encounter between Pari (1986), the artist’s monumental hemp fibre sculpture, and archival materials showing detailed installation instructions and extensive photographic documentation.
The event is free and open to public with registration.
Riksa Afiaty is Head of Program at the Indonesian Visual Art Archive. She has been involved in exhibition making and programming in Jakarta, Maastricht, Ljubljana, Brussels, and Gwangju.
Yu Hsiaohwei is a journalist, translator, and editor born in Taiwan and based in France. She is interested in artists of the Chinese diaspora, biennial-type events, and the institutionalisation of contemporary art. She has collaborated with art institutions such as Walker Art Center, Guggenheim Museum, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Power Station of Art, Red Brick Art Museum, and Times Art Center Berlin.
This talk is moderated by Samira Bose, Curator at Asia Art Archive in India.
“mould the wing to match the photograph” is generously supported by Mimi Brown & Alp Erçil, and Virginia & Wellington Yee. The Mrinalini Mukherjee Archive was made possible with the support of the Mrinalini Mukherjee Foundation and Godrej Seeds and Genetics Ltd. We would like to extend our gratitude to the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, for loaning us Pari (1986) for this exhibition.