Kris Ercums

October 27th, 2014 New York City

Kris Ercums, Curator at Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, discussed SMoA’ upcoming exhibition Temporal Turn which examines the relationship between speculative inquiry & real-world debates on nationalism, globalization & cosmopolitanism in contemporary Asia. The show includes works by artists adapting scientific methods, and historical & cultural perspectives that result in hybrid approaches to the construct of time and future.

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Bio – Kris Ercums (Kansas)
Kris Imants Ercums joined the Spencer Museum in 2007 as assistant curator of Asian Art. In 2010 his title and duties were expanded to include global contemporary art, in order to reflect the Spencer Museum’s growing interest in researching and introducing contemporary artistic practice taking shape outside of more well-known Euro-American paradigms. Prior to joining the Spencer, Ercums resided in Beijing, where he conducted research as part of a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Abroad Fellowship. In 2014, Ercums completed his doctorate at the University of Chicago in Chinese art history; his dissertation examined the development of modern art exhibition culture in China during the early twentieth century. In 2009 Ercums was awarded a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to investigate the interface between technology and contemporary artistic practice across Asia.

Building on this research project, Ercums has organized six international artist-in-residence projects at the Spencer, with artists from China, Japan, Korea, and Mexico: Up/Down: A Project by Wang Tiande (2009); Mobile Landscape: Kim Jongku (2010); Jin Shan: It Came from the Sky (2011); Prepared: Strategies for Activists with Chen Shaoxiong (2012); I Love Xijing–Xijing School with the Xijing Collaborative (Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Gimhongsok, and Chen Shaoxiong), in partnership with the H&R Block Art Space, Kansas City Art Institute (2013); and most recently Comanche is Dead: A Project by Diego Teo, co-curated with Cassandra Mesick (2013). Ercums also curated Extra/Ordinary: Video Art from Asia (2010) and xy (2009), an examination of the social construction of masculinity through objects drawn from the SMA permanent collection. In collaboration with Kate Meyer, Ercums spearheaded Project Redefine (2010–14), a bold venture to reinstall and rethink the Spencer’s permanent collection galleries, resulting in six long-term thematic exhibitions developed by a team of curators, educators, graduate interns and designers.


Kris Ercums’ participation in FIELD MEETING was supported by Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas

Rohini Devasher, Bloodlines, 2009. Single-channel video, inkjet print, projection panel mounted on aluminum. Courtesy of Spencer Museum of Art