Mark Dion, Society of Amateur Ornithologists, 2010. Installation view Emscherkunst, Emscher, Germany, 2010. Photo by Roman Mensing and Thorsten Arendt. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

Initiated in spring 2017

Through residencies, new commissions, and events, Collecting as Practice poses urgent questions to both artists and collectors around the philosophy, psychology and politics of collecting. While a number of programmes have recently interrogated issues around collecting practices, Delfina Foundation is the first programme to formally host artists and collectors in residence together to explore shared approaches and concerns and the potential for such practices in the broadest sense.

Devised by Aaron CezarCollecting as Practice, underpins a year of Delfina Foundation’s programme with artists, collectors and institutions, that are conceptually and practically expanding the notion of collecting in terms of aesthetics, ethics, conservation, preservation, education and value.

A public programme, curated by Rose Lejeune, develops the theme through a series of discussions exploring radical modes of collecting, and collections as sites with the potential for active and critical engagement in the development of cultural identity, revisionist histories and new narratives. As such, moving beyond a focus on the accumulation of individual art works, the programme unpacks how artists and collectors alike are redefining the critical discourses of collecting in a global context.

Talks, events and outcomes related to the residencies have been staged at Art Brussels, art monte-carlo, Autograph ABP, Delfina Foundation, Tate, the Horniman Museum & Gardens, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.


Mark Dion (USA), Özge Ersoy (Turkey), Deyson Gilbert (Brazil), Geumhyung Jeong (South Korea), Joshua Lue Chee Kong (Trinidad and Tobago), Avani Tanya (India), Oriol Vilanova (Spain/Belgium), Ali Miharbi (Turkey), and Wok the Rock (Indonesia).


Pedro Barbosa (Brazil), Dorith Galuz (France), Luba Michailova (Ukraine), Lu Xun (China), Daisuke Miyatsu (Japan), and Rudy Tseng (Taiwan).


24 April 2017, 19:00
Sharing Collections
Exploring the relationships that are formed between collectors and artists, Pedro Barbosa and Deyson Gilbert discuss their long-term collaboration exploring ephemera – posters, artists’ books and vinyl albums – produced by conceptual artists in the 1960s and 70s that form a substantial part of the Moreas-Barbosa Collection.

20 – 21 May 2017
Open House
Curated by six curators from the Curating Contemporary Art MA Programme at the Royal College of Art, this weekend of events brings together former resident artists of Delfina Foundation as a temporary collection.
Watch a video about the exhibition

5 June 2017, 19:00
The Social Value of Private Initiatives and Museums
In conversation with resident collectors Lu Xun(Sifang Art Museum, China) and Luba Michailova(IZOLYATSIA, Ukraine), this discussion explores how private initiatives can bring trans-national critical thinking and pedagogy to local contexts in meaningful ways.
Watch the event recording

20 June 2017, 19:00
Who Really Owns It? Thinking Through Ownership of Contemporary Art and Cultural Heritage
Taking its departure point from research conducted by resident curator Özge Ersoy, discusses key artistic, archaeological and architectural practices that address radical notions of social ownership and communal knowledge of artworks and cultural artefacts.
Watch the event recording

22 June 2017, 19:00
An evening of performances, presentations and experiments developed by the current artists-in-residence and guests, presenting a range of critical and experimental ideas on the notion collecting.

28 September – 11 November 2017
Private Collection: Unperformed Objects
The first UK solo exhibition by Geumhyung Jeongpacked with bizarre objects from Jeong’s collection, installed alongside video clips of her unsettling performances.
Read the press coverage of the exhibition
Browse the installation photos

2 – 8 October 2017
Geumhyung Jeong at Tate Modern
A week-long display by Geumhyung Jeong in the Tate Tanks with two ticketed performances of 7ways on 3 October at 17:30 and 5 October at 19:00.

10 October 2017, 19:00
New Museums & Collections
Collector-in-residence Rudy Tseng and curator Pauline J. Yao of M+ Hong Kong discuss the changes in the presentation and consumption of contemporary art in Taiwan, China and the broader region.

16 August – 26 November 2017
Wind Organ by Ali Miharbi at the Horniman Museum & Gardens
Ali Miharbi‘s new installation Wind Organ for the Horniman Gardens in South London, inspired by the museum’s musical instrument collection.
Read an interview with Ali Miharbi about the work

20 September 2017, 15:15
Avani Tanya in Conversation at V&A Museum
Joint Delfina and V&A resident Avani Tanya in conversation with Delfina Foundation Director Aaron Cezar and V&A Residency Programme Assistant Kate Quinlan discussing her residency experience and the research she has done on the history of the V&A’s South Asian collections.


Extending the learnings from the programme to new audiences, Collecting as Practice have been hosting a series of off-site talks in collaboration with international art fairs:

Art Brussels, 22 April, 16:00 
Collecting, Intimacy and the Domestic
with Pedro Barbosa, Aaron Cezar, Alain Servais and Dorith Galuz, moderated by Rose Lejeune.
Watch the event recording

art monte-carlo, 29 April, 15:00
Private Collection / Public Audiences
with Pedro Barbosa, Aaron Cezar, and Luba Michailova, moderated by Rose Lejeune.