Photograph of student's relatives; small glass container.Photo (21 x 16 in.) and Urn (3 x 2 x 2 in.) selected by Christopher McDonald

exhibition icon  EXHIBITION

Curated by Olivia Ambo, Enrico Battan, Chelsea Birenberg, Kaitlyn Colborne, Olivia Dion, Erin Kreul, Mari Matsuda, Christopher McDonald, Erik Sullivan, Koharu Yonebayashi

September 13 – October 23, 2021

Commons Gallery, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM), Art Building

Events (free and open to the public)

Wednesday, October 6, 12:30-1:15 p.m., Zoom Talk with Doug Ashford

In this exhibition, the first year graduate students in Department of Art and Art History, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, curated an object that is meaningful to them, after Doug Ashford’s essay, The Exhibition as an Artistic Medium. In 1997, Ashford, a member of the radical art collective Group Material, taught a class at Antioch College in Ohio under the course name The Exhibition as Artistic Medium, which asked students to collectively organize exhibitions.

Group Material was a collaboration of artists that, from 1979 to 1996, produced museum installations and artworks designed for advertising spaces. Attempting to directly confront the false neutrality of dominant museum practices, they adopted the uniforms of curatorial practice and publicity to engage new ideas of what art could be and whom it might be for. By including merchandising artifacts and marginalia, and by representing the politically disenfranchised and the historically isolated, Group Material created new models for the potential role of the museum. In doing so, they helped us understand the radical possibilities that artists present when they actively reorganize institutional traditions.

This exhibition examines our expectations around what defines artwork and value, and attempts to confront the false neutrality of the exhibition space. The class attempts to upend the traditional roles of master and apprentice or teacher and student, and to question who the gallery space might be for and how it wields authority.

This exhibition was organized by Maika Pollack and the ART 670 graduate seminar.


University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Department of Art + Art History and College of Arts, Languages & Letters; supported by the Halekulani Hotel– Hospitality Sponsor for the Arts at UH Mānoa; and anonymous donors.

Hours, admission, parking

Sun. – Thurs. noon – 4:00 p.m.; Viewable from outside the gallery.

Closed Fridays & Saturdays.

Free admission.

Parking fees may apply during weekdays. Parking is free on Sundays.