PRINT January 1999


Ralph Rugoff talks with Lisa Corrin

BEFORE SHE MADE THE MOVE to England and the Serpentine Gallery in 1997, Lisa Corrin served for nearly eight years as chief curator of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. There, in concert with founder George Ciscle, she turned the museum into a model for how institutions could develop new audiences for contemporary art. The Contemporary functions as an intelligent parasite: Boasting neither a collection nor a building, it mounted its exhibitions in other museums and temporary sites in partnership with local arts, education, science, and social service agencies. Dedicated to exploring the relation between culture and artistic practice, the museum aimed to create multidisciplinary shows that would enable diverse audiences to connect their experience of art to daily life.

Despite its name, the Contemporary’s two most celebrated shows revisited historical subjects. Fred Wilson’s 1992 “Mining

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