Mikhail Karikis: For Many Voices

Elinor Morgan (Curator), Mikhail Karikis (Other)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Through this research Morgan explored processes and practices of commissioning and exhibiting social practice with a focus on convening communities and collaborative production. Two commissions, the large-scale exhibition ‘For Many Voices’ and a forthcoming publication situated Karikis’s working methodologies within Morgan’s research around context-specific curation and the development of constituent curation. The exhibition surveyed ten years of the artist’s work through five large-scale presentations and despite Karikis’s international acclaim, was the first exhibition of its kind.

Morgan’s research into the role of the artist in convening communities (Mary Jane Jacobs, Kate Zeller, 2015); the relationship between voice and place (Brandon LaBelle, 2018) and creative understandings of ecology and industry (Bruno Latour, 2018) manifested in two commissioned artworks, the first survey of Karikis’s work and a public programme. It situated Karikis’s work within MIMA’s curatorial theoretical framework through co-production and new models of context-specific commissioning (Constituent Museum, 2018, Paul O’Neill, 2014). Morgan positioned the practice in discourses around the economic, social and industrial changes in the Tees Valley.
Morgan commissioned the artist to develop two new artworks, through a process of deep engagement with communities building on her constituent-based research into how museums and artists engage with publics. Through a collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, London and Film and Video Umbrella, she commissioned the artist to test innovative models of embedded working with a community of children. The resulting artwork, No Ordinary Protest was selected for the prestigious Jarman Award and screened in eleven UK institutions, and internationally. In Middlesbrough, she developed a partnership with North Ormesby Primary Academy through which Karikis collaborated with six- and seven-year olds at the school.
Combining pieces made in the UK, Italy and South Korea never previously seen together, the curation offered new insights and demonstrated a curatorial model for surveying an artist’s work. Seven years of research for this exhibition included studio visits, site visits, public events and reading groups. Morgan conceptualised interpretation to enable new insights and access, including audio description texts for two works without subtitles (Sandell, R. and Nightingale, E., 2012) and commissioned and edited an essay by Katerina Gregos. Tate Liverpool Curators aimed to replicate elements of the exhibition in their work with Karikis (interrupted by Covid-19).
A Study Day shared discourse around the politics of listening and socio-political practice of sound. Gregos’s exhibition text and talks by Salome Veogelin and Ella Finer from this Study Day will be expanded for a monograph that Morgan is editing with Germany-based publishers Freigeist Verlag. 
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


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