• Curation
  • South Bank Centre
  • 2006

How to Improve the World: 60 Years of British Art

The complication, of course, is that the very questioning of the singular account of art and the criteria of judgment that sustain it, while allowing attention to be paid to hitherto marginalised art practices, also dissolves the sense of a history of art within which those practices might otherwise hope to become more firmly situated. It is a curious situation that in general terms is favourable, but which in all specific instances demands dispute. The Arts Council Collection is a crucial forum for the stimulating of such disputation, and 'How to Improve the World' is an opportunity to witness that process of disputation at work. It is an exhibition not of the line, but of the open field. It deliberately eschews the idea of a simple historical narrative in favour of multiple juxtapositions which may be complementary, contrasting, disjunctive, contrary, amusing, or otherwise. Michael Archer, Overlapping Figures in How to Improve the World: 60 Years of British Art Arts Council Collection, edited by Michael Archer, Marjorie Allthorpe Guyton and Roger Malbert, Hayward Gallery, 2006, p.55