Endless Exhibition, 2018 – ∞
Materials and dimensions variable
Endless Exhibition is a curatorial-manifesto-as-artwork by Prem Krishnamurthy. Building on his long work as a designer, writer, exhibition maker, and founder of P!—the “Mom-and-Pop-Kunsthalle” that first existed in New York City from 2012–2017—the artwork surveys the overproduction, mass consumption, and fleeting attention span of the contemporary art world. To redefine the stakes of exhibition making, Endless Exhibition proposes a simple temporal play: starting today, every exhibition, art fair, and biennial mounted should be permanent, remaining on view forever.
A performative, polymorphic work—incarnated in texts, images, PDF presentations, lectures, publications, audio and video documentation, contractual agreements, and even whole exhibition programs and institutional formats—Endless Exhibition poses timely questions of space, waste, labor, and future histories. At the same time, it challenges the supposed autonomy of discrete artworks, fulfilling, in Krishnamurthy’s own words from a 1999 notebook entry, “[Principle] 5: reappearance of the project—the project should never be ‘done’—it should always invite addition, rethinking, recontextualizing…”
In 2019, Kunsthal Gent acquired the piece as part of its inaugural institutional framework, “Kunsthal as City.” In this context, it accrues layers of architecture and programming to construct an ongoing archaeology. Instantiating itself over time, Endless Exhibition rehearses new approaches to changing the global art ecosystem by rewriting its rules.
Prem Krishnamurthy is based in Berlin and New York. He is a partner and director of the multidisciplinary design practice Wkshps. Previously, he was a founder of the design studio Project Projects, winner of the Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Award. He serves as co-Artistic Director of FRONT International 2021, the contemporary art triennial in Cleveland and Northern Ohio. As an independent exhibition maker, he was an Artistic Director of the inaugural Fikra Graphic Design Biennial, Ministry of Graphic Design, and has curated exhibitions internationally including at P!, the acclaimed "Mom-and-Pop-Kunsthalle" that he founded in New York’s Chinatown in 2012. He has written for numerous catalogues and magazines and has edited books with Berkeley Art Museum, Cabinet Books, Duke University Press, Paper Monument, and others. His first book, the experimental memoir/monograph/manifesto, P!DF, was published by O-R-G in 2017.