8th Garage International Conference. Utopias of (Non)Knowledge: The Museum as a Research Hub

8th Garage International Conference. Utopias of (Non)Knowledge: The Museum as a Research Hub

On September 24 and 25, 2021, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and The Garage Journal will hold the 8th Garage International Conference, entitled Utopias of (Non)Knowledge: The Museum as a Research Hub. The conference will take place at Garage, Moscow.


Jacques Rancière connects the notion of knowledge with that of ignorance: a person who knows must be aware that they do not know. Rancière’s theory of an “ignorant teacher” problematizes the hierarchical regime of the one-way transfer of knowledge from teacher to student. By criticizing the neoliberal production and commodification of knowledge in this way, he reminds us that the purpose of democracy is to attain equality, and in particular the equality of knowledge. What he offers instead can be described as a modernist model of a “knowledge utopia,” where all citizens are equal and therefore equally involved in practices of (not) knowing.


The model suggested by Rancière allows us to reconsider the role that museums play in the creation, transfer, and preservation of knowledge. In the second half of the twentieth century, museums faced the need to review the foundations of their activity. As a result of this transformative process, they became increasingly focused on research activities: the practices of creating and distributing (non)knowledge. While research has informed museum practices since the emergence of museums, in recent years museums have begun organizing collaborative projects with researchers, including from governmental and business institutions and scientific laboratories, as well as with independent artists and others. These interactions allow us to speak of special—horizontal—modes of knowledge production and exchange that create a new understanding of the museum as a hub.


Four aspects of practices of (not) knowing in the museum will be discussed at the conference: the Objects of Research, the Methods of Research, the Space of Research and the Researcher.


Free admission with advance registration.

The discussion will be broadcast on YouTube.





Garage Auditorium

September 24, Friday






Introduction from Anton Belov, director of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art


Section 1: The Objects of Research



Introduction from conference curator Katerina Suverina (The Garage Journal, Moscow)



Tahani Nadim (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Museum für Naturkunde, Germany). Data Natures: Research in Collection Digitization



Yana Klichuk (Education and Mediation Program of the European Biennial Manifesta, Netherlands) and Joana Monbaron (University of Coimbra, Portugal). Invisible Archives at Manifesta 13 as Action Research 



Danae Tapia (Willem de Kooning Academie, Netherlands). Autopoiesis Today: Juxtaposing The Scientist, The Artist, and The Philosopher



Clémentine Deliss (KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Germany). Counter-Conduct in the Museum, or the Practice of Academic Iconoclasm



Open discussion of presentations

Participants: Katerina Suverina, Tahani Nadim, Yana Klichuk, Joana Monbaron, Danae Tapia, Clémentine Deliss





Section 2: The Methods of Research



Introduction from conference curator Andrei Zavadski (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany; The Garage Journal, Moscow) 



Annette Loeseke (New York University Berlin, Germany). Curatorial Activism: Collaborative Research as Decolonizing Practice at Berlin's Museum Treptow



Anastasia Tarasova (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow). More Than Just a Catalog: The Hidden Resources of a Museum Database



Pauline J. Yao (M+ Museum, Hong Kong). On Dynamic Ground: Museum and Collection Building in Hong Kong 



Sela Kodjo Adjei (National Film and Television Institute, Ghana). Nkyinkyim Installation as ‘Alternate History’: New Frontiers of Museology in Ghana and Beyond



Open discussion of presentations

Participants: Andrei Zavadski, Annette Loeseke, Anastasia Tarasova, Pauline J. Yao, Sela Kodjo Adjei


Garage Auditorium

September 25, Saturday



Opening reception


Section 3. The Space of Research



Introduction from conference curator Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds, United Kingdom; The Garage Journal, Moscow)



Discussion with Karen Sarkisov (V-A-C Foundation and GES-2, Moscow), Katya Inozemtseva (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow) and Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds, United Kingdom; The Garage Journal, Moscow). Thinking with Art: The Theory and Practice of Research in the Museum



Duygu Dogan Taupitz (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey) and Aslıhan Şenel (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey). (Non)Frame: A Research Tool For An Experimental Exhibition Space 



Cristina Moraru (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, Romania). Museums—From a Disciplinary Model of Knowledge Production to a Sensible Regime of Disseminating Confused Knowledge



Open discussion of presentations

Participants: Vlad Strukov, Duygu Dogan Taupit, Aslıhan Şenel, Cristina Moraru, Karen Sarkisov, Katya Inozemtseva





Section 4: The Researcher



Introduction from conference curator Sasha Obukhova (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow)



Margarita Kuleva (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg). To a New Theory of the Field of Art Through Field Practice: Why Do Museums Need the Sociology of Art?



Lyudmila Luchkova (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow), Vadim Kimmelman (University of Bergen, Norway) and Valeria Vinogradova (University of East Anglia, United Kingdom). The Role of the Contemporary Museum in Initiating Research within the Deaf Community: From Visitor to Informant



Nadia Cannata (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), Maia Wellington Gahtan (Kent State University, USA) and Margaret J.-M. Sönmez (Middle East Technical University, Turkey). Eurotales and the Diffuseum 



Performative lecture by eeefff group (Moscow, Minsk)



Open discussion of presentations



Abstracts of the papers in PDF.