Nine Qwerty Bells

Maria Fusco (Artist)

    Research output: Other contribution


    ‘Nine Qwerty Bells’ is a curated exhibition and sole-authored book by Fusco, commissioned by Whitechapel Gallery, London.

    The project challenges normative forms of exhibition-making and the traditional museological terminology of audience interpretation by addressing the perceived muteness of singular art works. Fusco created an exhibition (8 May - 1 September 2019), which had the writerly characteristics of a book and, in parallel, wrote a book which had the temporal characteristics of an exhibition, to create an intertextual experience. It was part of a two-year project in which Whitechapel Gallery invited four internationally acclaimed writers to address works from Spain’s La Caixa Collection of Contemporary Art.

    Fusco selected underrepresented works from the collection by eight artists (many had not previously been seen in public) which address speech in an integral way and employed two interrelated concurrent methods to give them voice. Firstly, she repurposed the editorial tools of a writer to create an exhibition in which the art works are the main characters. Secondly, she wrote a book in which the artworks are speaking, in the first person, about their subjecthood and assessment of the other artworks: crucially, the artworks can only speak from the perspective of the physical position they have in the gallery space, so have highly subjective and limited viewpoints. This hybrid of the creative/critical voice is the project’s key methodology.

    The exhibition was free, attended by 73,334 visitors. The dual language book is distributed internationally by Thames & Hudson. It has been reviewed internationally in publications including ABC Cultura, Art Daily, El Dario and Spanish national newspaper La Vanguardia. Fusco has been invited to discuss the project at a range of venues including The British Library (May 2019) and to co-run a public course on hybrid writing at Arvon Lumb Bank (October 2019).
    Original languageEnglish
    TypeMulti Component Output
    PublisherUniversity of Dundee
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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