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Melanie Pocock

MA work

As a curator, I am particularly interested in art and exhibition-making as sites of production and exchange.


I see the role of the curator as an interlocutor between art and its diverse publics. In order to fulfil that role, it is vital that curators understand how art translates and functions outside the gallery space. Issues of language, institutionalisation and financial instability are wide-reaching and integral to the production, dissemination and understanding of contemporary art.


From my background in historical studies, I developed an interest in the relationship between art, power and material culture. These concerns continue to inform my research; my MA dissertation looks at the terms and conditions of encounters between ‘the West’ and the Chinese avant-garde in the 1980s.


At Modern Art Oxford, I have learned about the agency of arts organisations within local, as well as international, settings. The gallery’s emphasis on new commissions means that its unique architecture becomes as much a part of the work as the art itself. Creating discursive environments around exhibitions has become a feature of my work there, in which art and its models of engagement regularly merge.


Host organisation: Modern Art, Oxford


Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2012

  • As a curator, I am particularly interested in art and exhibition-making as sites of production and exchange.


    I see the role of the curator as an interlocutor between art and its diverse publics. In order to fulfil that role, it is vital that curators understand how art translates and functions outside the gallery space. Issues of language, institutionalisation and financial instability are wide-reaching and integral to the production, dissemination and understanding of contemporary art.


    From my background in historical studies, I developed an interest in the relationship between art, power and material culture. These concerns continue to inform my research; my MA dissertation looks at the terms and conditions of encounters between ‘the West’ and the Chinese avant-garde in the 1980s.


    At Modern Art Oxford, I have learned about the agency of arts organisations within local, as well as international, settings. The gallery’s emphasis on new commissions means that its unique architecture becomes as much a part of the work as the art itself. Creating discursive environments around exhibitions has become a feature of my work there, in which art and its models of engagement regularly merge.


    Host organisation: Modern Art, Oxford


  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons), History with French (First class), Bristol University, 2009
  • Experience

  • Exhibitions associate, Modern Art Oxford, 2010–12; Graduate internship, Christie's, London, 2010; Associate curator, Art Scene Warehouse, Shanghai, China, 2009; Project assistant, 'Atlantic Worlds' Trevor Matheson and Gary Stewart, London, 2007
  • Awards

  • Runner-up, The Society of French History Undergraduate Dissertation Prize, 2009