Title Image

SITE Santa Fe

Project type: Museum


Location: Sante Fe, NM, U.S.A.


Time: 2000


Status: Completed


Size: 5,000 sqm


Photos: Herbert Lotz


In collaboration with Dave Hickey

SITE Santa Fe’s Fourth International Biennial


Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism

Excerpts from the Curatorial Statement and Exhibition Description by David Hickey


Mounting the exhibition that I want to see requires redesigning the priorities of international exhibitions, like the SITE Santa Fe biennials, as they have evolved over the last 30 years. In the now-traditional biennial format, a neutral, international-modernist, factory-kunsthalle space (concrete floors, white walls, industrial ceilings) is installed with site-specific, regional artworks theoretically informed by a critical rhetoric that insists upon the primacy of the local, the imperatives of group identity, and the ineluctable logic of historical necessity.

With the aid of Graft Design (a Los Angeles-based design firm), I plan to design a complex, coherent exhibition hall composed of interlocking spaces that are physically (not iconographically) evocative of various regional cultural milieus (Mediterranean, Japanese, Western American, Northern European etc.), then install within them singular works of art, which, rather than demonstrating the isolated (and often abject) integrity of specific regional and cultural identities, celebrate the global field of overlapping and interfused idiomatic expression the virtuoso accommodation of one cultural idiom to another that constitutes the very definition of cosmopolitanism.


Dave Hickey
January 2001