March 30, 2017 / Keynote Speaker Nicolas Bourriaud


The Nasher Sculpture Center announces an open call for participation in the inaugural Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium, which aims to expand scholarship on the field of contemporary sculpture in its many forms. Submissions should address themes related to the work of the 2017 Nasher Prize Laureate, Pierre Huyghe. Known for his multifarious practice encompassing a variety of materials and disciplines, bringing music, cinema, dance, and theater into contact with biology and philosophy, and incorporating time-based elements that vary in intensity—as diverse as fog, ice, parades, rituals, automata, computer programs, video games, dogs, bees, and microorganisms—Huyghe has consistently sought new ways to bring together unconventional and heterogeneous materials into a practice exceeding the sum of its many parts.

The annual Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium offers master’s and doctoral students from any academic discipline the opportunity to present scholarly work on a host of questions and topics related to each year’s new laureate. Addressing a broad audience of art historians and museum professionals, they will receive feedback from fellow presenters, an invited keynote speaker, and audience members. Students selected to present papers will also have their work published in the annual symposium compendium, together with the paper delivered by the keynote speaker.

Suggested Topics for the 2017 Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium: Pierre Huyghe

  • Time and temporality within sculptural practice
  • Post-Structuralist theory and its relation to contemporary art (e.g., Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari)
  • Video, performativity, and sculpture
  • Subjectivity and memory within a work of sculpture
  • Relational Aesthetics: interactive and participatory art
  • Collaboration, authorship, and artistic “genius”

Keynote Speaker Nicolas Bourriaud : Director of La Panacée art center, Montpellier, France

Nicolas Bourriaud (born 1965) is a French curator, writer, art critic, and author of theoretical essays on contemporary art. Bourriaud was the Gulbenkian curator of contemporary art at Tate Britain, London, where he curated The Tate Triennial: Altermodern (2009). He co-founded and was co-director of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, from 1999 to 2006. He founded the contemporary art magazine Documents sur l'art, of which he was director from 1992 to 2000, and worked as a Parisian correspondent for Flash Art from 1987 to 1995. He was director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, in Paris from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, he was appointed director of the future Contemporary Art Center of Montpellier, France, due to open in 2019. His writings have been translated into over 15 languages, and his publications include Radicant (Sternberg Press/Merve Verlag, New York/Berlin, 2009), Postproduction (Lukas & Sternberg, New York, 2002, English edition, Les presses du reel, Dijon, 2004, French edition), Formes de vie. L’art moderne et l’invention de soi (Editions Denoël, Paris, 1999), and Relational Aesthetics (Les presses du réel, 1998, French edition, English edition, 2002).

Moderator Pavel Pyś: Curator of Visual Art, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Pavel Pyś joined the Walker in 2015 after four years as Exhibitions & Displays Curator at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England. Hailing originally from Warsaw, the Australian-Polish curator and writer has contributed to a range of solo and group exhibitions in the United Kingdom and beyond, including exhibitions with artists David Diao, Robert Filliou, Christine Kozlov, Katrina Palmer, Vladimir Stenberg and Sturtevant, as well as the group exhibitions Carol Bove / Carlo Scarpa (2015); The Event Sculpture (2014); Indifferent Matter: From Object to Sculpture (2013) and 1913: The Shape of Time (2012) at the Henry Moore Institute; We Will Live, We Will See (2011) at the Zabludowicz Collection (as part of the inaugural Zabludowicz Collection Curatorial Open); and To See an Object, To See the Light (2011), at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including ArtReview, Mousse, Frieze, and Art Monthly Australia and he has published essays on artists including Carol Bove, Michael Dean and Fredrik Værslev. Pyś has also served on judging panels for the Aesthetica Art Prize and the Leonard James Little Fine Art Prize at the University of Manchester. 

Complete proposals include the following:

  • Contact information, participant’s field and university, and CV
  • Paper title and abstract of no more than 200 words that includes 3 to 5 keywords

Proposals are due by Sunday, December 11, 2016.
We hope to notify successful applicants by January 6, 2017.

With proof of need, eligible candidates may be considered for scholarship funding to offset travel costs.

Send submissions and questions to 
Registration information will follow. 

Download Call for papers, PDF format


The Dallas Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of Nasher Prize Celebration Month, with additional support generously provided by The Donna Wilhelm Family Fund.