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The Travelogue Series

Five trips are fodder for five essayists, who did not travel along, to create new work.

The Travelogue Series of essays opens the process of travel and research leading up to the Carnegie International exhibition in 2018. Last year, I embarked on five major trips. Given the global nature of an art world in which artists and curators routinely cross paths on the silk routes of Biennials, internationals, and art fairs, the goal was to expand my sense of the word “international” by getting off the beaten track of my own work and travel. My approach was to invite five curators to each accompany me on one major trip to someplace new to both of us. The Companions, as the curators are called, contributed the trajectories of their own research and interests to shaping an overall itinerary that is at once serendipitous and specific. Collectively, we traversed Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, India, Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique, Haiti, the Bahamas, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. Where this research leads is the next phase in the process of realizing the International.

In the meantime, I wanted these trips to lead to other forms of account, to noodle on through the imaginations of writers. The commission is not to document the travel, but to use it as a point of departure. In other words, the Travelogue essayists are armchair travelers taking us, as readers, on their own trips.

Published first on Storyboard, Carnegie Museum of Art’s digital journal, and later in print in the exhibition catalogue, the Travelogue Series is an initiative of the Carnegie Int’l, 57th ed., 2018.

Dakar Biennial, 2016. Photograph by Ingrid Schaffner.

Travelogue no. 1, based on a 14-day trip in May 2016 with Companion Carin Kuoni to Morocco for the closing of the Marrakesh Biennial; Senegal for the opening of the Dakar Biennial; and Lagos, Nigeria. Carin Kuoni is the Director of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, New York.

Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku. Photograph by Ingrid Schaffner.

Travelogue no. 2, based on a 14-day trip in June/July 2016 with Companion Ruba Katrib to Romania for the Bucharest Biennial; Tbilisi, Georgia; Yerevan, Armenia, and Baku, Azerbaijan. Ruba Katrib is Curator at the SculptureCenter, New York.

Chemould Gallery, Mumbai. Photograph by Ingrid Schaffner.

Travelogue no. 3, based on an 11-day trip in August 2016 with Companion Doryun Chong to Mumbai, New Delhi, and Bangalore, India. Doryun Chong is Chief Curator at M+, Hong Kong.

Martinique. Photograph by Ingrid Schaffner.

Travelogue no. 4, based on an 11-day trip in September 2016 with Companion Bisi Silva to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; Barbados; Fort de France, Martinique; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Nassau, The Bahamas. Bisi Silva is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.

The Independence Palace, Ho Chi Minh City. Photograph by Ingrid Schaffner.

Travelogue no. 5, based on a 16-day trip in December 2016 with Companion Magalí Arriola to Manila, The Philippines; Singapore; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Magalí Arriola is an independent curator based in Mexico City.

The Travelogue Series of commissioned essays is an initiative of the Carnegie Int’l, 57th ed., 2018 to open up the process of travel and research leading up to the exhibition.