Exhibition Research Centre

Exhibition Research Lab


Exhibition Research Lab is the first academic centre and art gallery in the UK dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of exhibitions and curatorial knowledge

Director: Professor Joasia Krysa

Founded in 2012 as part of Liverpool School of Art and Design, the Exhibition Research Lab is uniquely positioned across academic and the cultural ecology of Liverpool, underpinned by collaborative posts held by staff with Tate Liverpool, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), RIBA North (The Royal Institute of British Architects), and Liverpool Biennial.

Exhibition Research Lab supports research and practice in the field of curating and its most dominant form, the exhibition. It points to the understanding of exhibitionary formats and curatorial practice as a form of critical inquiry and knowledge production.

Exhibition Research Lab extends the traditional remit of an art gallery as a site for display or pedagogical resource, to an expanded gallery or ‘lab’ where experimental thinking and making takes place, and where artistic and curatorial knowledge is enacted, produced and made public.

Exhibition Research Lab produces:

  • Exhibitions
  • Residencies and Fellowships
  • Journal and other publications 
  • Research and education at postgraduate and doctoral levels

Exhibition Research Lab serves diverse audiences through its gallery and public programme, including exhibitions, workshops, screenings, talks and conferences. The residency and fellowship programme is dedicated to artistic/curatorial research and the dissemination of knowledge, connecting international artists, curators and scholars working across diverse disciplines. The journal, a partnership with Liverpool Biennial, serves to disseminate the work of the Exhibition Research Lab and its key partners globally.

For more information on our postgraduate research and education opportunities, including the MA Exhibition Studies and MPhil/PhD opportunities, see Liverpool School of Art and Design pages.


Exhibition Research Lab is directed by Prof Joasia Krysa, Professor of Exhibition Research, with a joint appointment at Liverpool Biennial where she is Head of Research; with Dr Michael Birchall, Senior Lecturer in Exhibition Studies and Curator of Public Practice at Tate Liverpool; and Dr Mark Wright, Senior Lecturer with a joint appointment at FACT, where he is Director of FACTLab.

Prof Joasia Krysa

Professor of Exhibition Research and Director of Exhibition Research Lab at Liverpool John Moores University, with a joint appointment at Liverpool Biennial. In 2016 she was awarded an Honorary Associate Professorship at Aarhus University, Denmark. Previously she was Artistic Director of Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark (2012-15) and served as part of curatorial team for DOCUMENTA 13 and Liverpool Biennial 2016. Her research and curatorial practice is located across contemporary art, digital culture and critical theory, with a distinctive research expertise in the intersection of curating and computation.

Dr Michael Birchall

Senior Lecturer in Exhibition Studies and Curator of Public Practice at Tate Liverpool. Birchall is currently engaged in research around socially engaged art, community art, curatorial practice and theory, exhibition histories from the 1960s onwards, and new forms of creative labour in the arts, and would welcome PhD researchers in these areas. An academic of international standing he has also spoken in North America, Europe and Australia. As part of his role at Tate Liverpool he is co-curating the forthcoming project, O.K. The Musical by Christopher Kline, which is a project supported by the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme; in addition he is curating multiple projects at Tate Exchange; and is steering Tate Liverpool's Research Centre in Curatorial Practice and Museology.

Dr Mark Wright

Mark Wright holds a joint appointment between FACT (The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) one of Europe's leading centres for new media, where he is Director of FACTLab and the Liverpool School of Art and Design at Liverpool John Moore's University, where he is co-director of the Contemporary Art Lab. Previously he has been a senior research fellow between Edinburgh College of Art and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. His research interests centre around the relationship between arts practice, culture and technology and how new meaning unfolds from their interplay. Such an approach requires a focus on the development of new cross disciplinary methodologies encompassing the engagement of real communities through arts practice and co-design.

Jana Lukavečki

Exhibition Research Lab Assistant (Erasmus+ Traineeship)
Jana works as a gallery assistant and administrator. She is a student of Academy of Applied Arts, University of Rijeka, Croatia, currently on a traineeship Erasmus+ programme working in a gallery and research institution context, arts administration and event organization. She participates and helps organise and promote exhibition events, manages exhibition space, assists with talks and students, residential artists, PhD students working within the Lab. Collaborating with Liverpool Biennial, she is assisting with current development of the next Biennial 2018 edition, editing an online journal and performing a role of Programme and Development Coordinator for an upcoming Biennial 2017 Conference.

Sevie Tsampalla

PhD researcher
Sevie is a curator and researcher. Her PhD research focuses on curatorial practices across large-scale periodic exhibitions that engage with theories on the commons and practices of urban commoning. She was previously assistant curator for Liverpool Biennial (2015-2016) and the city-wide exhibition Track by S.M.A.K. – Ghent (2011-2012). As founding member of the collectives Reconstruction Community and AAA she initiated public interventions in Athens and Brussels, respectively (2006-2011). Sevie has curated exhibitions and projects that have addressed meeting grounds between art, social and political action (Fabric Spaces, Pianofabriek, Brussels, 2015; small change, AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, 2013; Some Misunderstanding, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 2013).

Mara Ambrožič

PhD researcher
Mara is a researcher, writer, editor, and expert of strategies of cooperation. PhD Candidate (with Prof. Joasia Krysa) at the Exhibition Research Lab with a thesis on curating understood as a wide-reaching category for various organisational forms, cooperative models and multidisciplinary structures (title: Research Curating, Cultural Policies and Strategies of Collective Engagement). From 2007 to 2012 she lectured on Counter-cultural movements at the Faculty of Arts and Design of the IUAV in Venice, as fellow professor alongside Marta Kuzma and as main EARN coordinator with Angela Vettese. Since 2015 she is Project director of IRWIN’s <NSK State in Time> and founder of <Libraries of the Future> an ongoing project around engaged publishing realities, writing practices and reformative power of associationism. Among other, she is associate editor of Archive Books Berlin and member of Raw Material Company of Dakar.

James Schofield

PhD researcher (2017-2020).

Funded by LJMU.

James Charlton

Visiting PhD researcher
James is a Senior Lecturer at Colab Research Centre, AUT University, New Zeland. PhD candidate at Plymouth University, UK, based and working within Exhibition Research Lab. His PhD thesis entitled – Catch|Bounce: Towards a relational ontology of digital art practice, renegotiates the methodological agency by which ‘the digital’ is constituted within art practice.

Dr Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey

Visiting academic
Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey is a graphic designer and publisher, co-founder and editor of the left-field arts journals Dot Dot Dot (2000–2010) and Bulletins of The Serving Library (2011–ongoing); one half of the artist duo Dexter Sinister together with designer David Reinfurt; and one quarter of archiving-publishing engine The Serving Library together with David, Angie Keefer, and Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey, which is currently in long-term residence at ERL. In 2015 he completed a practice-based PhD in the Department of Fine Art at Reading University titled ‘Work in Progress: Form as a Way of Thinking’.

Gabriela Saenger Silva

Visiting researcher
Gabriela is a graduate of Institute of Visual Arts, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, contributor to Mercosul Visual Arts Biennial Foundation and Liverpool Biennial 2016, 1 July 2017- 30 June 2018.

Silvia Franceschini

Visiting scholar (semester 2, 2017)

Silvia Franceschini is a curator and researcher. She is the co-author of "Global Tools 1973-1975: When education will coincide with life" a monograph on Global Tools, a multidisciplinary experimental program of art and design education (Salt e-publishing, 2015). Her recent curatorial projects address the notion of “strategy” as a subject and a methodological tool ("Sources go dark", Futura Center for Contemporary Art, Prague, 2015), connections between radical pedagogy and the operaist theories during the “Years of Lead” in Italy ("Global Tools 1973-1975: Towards an Ecology of Design", SALT, Istanbul) and political commentaries on the urban sphere of post-socialist Eastern Europe ("The Way of Enthusiasts", V-A-C Foundation, Venice Biennale, 2012). In 2011 she co-founded "Mazama Residency" (Mazama, Washington State), a research platform gathering artists and architects to a program of workshops, investigations and projects on the concept of “field” in its territorial, scientific and metaphysical dimension. She has previously worked as assistant curator for the Archive for Spatial Aesthetic and Praxis ASAP and at the Design Department of the Centre Pompidou. She studied Cultural Policies at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow and Design and Art Theory at Politecnico di Milano, where she is now a PhD fellow. Silvia Franceschini is a member of the curatorial team of the upcoming "The School of Kyiv", Kyiv Biennale of Contemporary Art (Kyiv, 2015), led by Georg Schöllhammer and Hedwig Saxeahuber.

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Researchers and Visiting Fellows

Dr Hilmar Schäfer, Visiting Researcher, Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences at Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany (Jan - March 2018).
Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, Visiting Research Fellow, The Serving Library (Feb 2017 – Jan 2018). Project supported by Research and Development grant from Arts Council England.
Gabriela Saenger Silva, Visiting Researcher, graduate of Institute of Visual Arts, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, contributor to Mercosul Visual Arts Biennial Foundation and Liverpool Biennial 2016, 1 July 2017- 30 June 2018.
James Charlton, Visiting Research Fellow, Colab Research Centre, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand (Aug 2016 – April 2017). Supported by the Arts Council of New Zealand.
Jaroslaw Czarnecki, Artists Residency, Academy of Fine Art, Gdansk (October 2016). Supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw.
Nur Cemelelioğlu Altın – Visiting Researcher from Yıldız Technical University and Gazi University, Fine Art Education Program and New Media Program, Turkey (March 2017).
Silvia Franceschini, Politecnico di Milano, Visiting PhD Fellow (Feb - June 2017).
Jana Lukavečki, Curatorial Assistant, Visiting from the Academy of Applied Arts, University of Rijeka, Croatia (2016-2017). Supported by Erasmus+ Traineeship.
Eleni Mali, Curatorial Assistant, Visiting from Open Hellenic University, Greece (May – July 2016). Supported by Erasmus+ Traineeship.
Mara Ambrožič, PhD Researcher (2016-2019). Funded by LJMU.
Sevie Tsampalla, PhD Researcher (2016-2019). Funded by LJMU.
James Schofield, PhD Researcher (2017-2020). Funded by LJMU.

Visiting professors and advisors

Juliana Engberg, Artistic Director, ECC Aarhus 2017
Koyo Kouoh, Director, Raw Material Company, Dakar
Lars Bang Larsen, Curator, 32nd Sao Paolo Biennial
Jacob Lund and Geoff Cox, Associate Professors and Co-Directors, The Contemporary Condition, Aarhus University
Prof Francesco Manacorda, Artistic Director, Tate Liverpool
Prof Mike Stubbs, Director, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology)
Sally Tallant, Director, Liverpool Biennial

Visiting speakers 2016/2017

Elise Atangana, Elmgreen & Dragset, Geoff Cox, Eoin Dara, Juliana Engberg, Marina Fokidis, Kristoffer Gansing, Verina Gfader, Anne Kølbæk Iversen, Lars Bang Larsen, Jacob Lund, Raimundas Malaŝauskas, Francesco Manacorda, Kuba Szreder, Terry Smith, Cornelia Sollfrank, Wolfgang Sützl, Sally Tallant

Current programme

Liverpool Biennial 2018 Talks Programme, 24 May – 26 October 2018

Curated by The Serving Library, presented in partnership with LJMU’s Exhibition Research Lab.

Since Spring 2017, The Serving Library has hosted a series of free events including workshops, talks, performances, and screenings at Exhibition Research Lab, Liverpool John Moores University. Now, under the auspices of Liverpool Biennial 2018, we have together assembled a new programme of talks designed to complement the exhibitions and projects elsewhere in the city.

This year’s Biennial is based on a line from a poem by German poet Friedrich Schiller (1759 –1805) 
that was later set to music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797–1828): ‘Beautiful world, where are you?’. At irregular intervals between May and October, an eclectic list of speakers from fields as diverse as economics, biology, linguistics, media theory, architecture and painting are invited to directly address or indirectly refract Schiller’s hanging question.

All events are free and open to everyone, booking is required.

Talks 6.30–7.30pm, doors open/drinks from 6pm.

Thursday 24 May
Native Economies: From the Potlatch Ban to the Masks of Beau Dick
A performative talk by Candice Hopkins (Art Historian and Curator, Toronto)

Thursday 7 June
Forensic Aesthetics
A talk by Eyal Weizman (Founder, Forensic Architecture, Goldsmiths College, London)

Thursday 28 June
Outside the Hit Factory
A talk by Alexander Provan (Editor and Co-founder, Triple Canopy, New York)

Thursday 5 July
Moonlight and LED
An exchange between Liverpool Biennial 2018 artists Ei Arakawa (New York) and Silke Otto-Knapp (Los Angeles)

Thursday 26 July
Climate Grief and the Visible Horizon
A talk by Meehan Crist (Writer-in-residence in Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York)

Thursday 13 September
Self-Repairing Cities
A talk by Mark Miodownik (Professor of Materials and Society, University College London)

Thursday 27 September
The Fabric of the Planetary Surface
A talk by Jussi Parikka (Professor of Technological Culture and Aesthetics, University of Southampton, UK, and Docent of Digital Culture Theory, University of Turku, Finland)

Thursday 11 October
A Great Enchanted Garden: Can AI Give Us Back Our Sense of Wonder?
A talk by Ryan Avent (Senior Editor and Free Exchange Columnist, The Economist, Arlington, USA)

Thursday 18 October
Reclaiming Beauty as a Public Good
A talk by Angela Nagle (Writer, author of Kill All Normies, Dublin and New York)

Friday 26 October
Aliens, Fieldwork, and Universal Grammar
A talk by Jessica Coon (Associate Professor of Linguistics, McGill University, Montreal) and a conversation with Vincenzo Latronico (Writer, translator and guest co-editor of The Serving Library Annual 2018/19)

For more information please visit: www.servinglibrary.org/programs.

Programme 2016/2017

Residency: The Serving Library, 2017/2018
Exhibition: Suzanne Treister’s HFT The Gardener, part of Liverpool Biennial 2016, 7 July – 16 October 2016; James Charlton, Catch|Bounce: towards a relational ontology of the digital in art practice, 13 - 24 March 2017
Conference: The Biennial Condition: On Contemporaneity and the Episodic, Liverpool Biennial 2016, 7 – 8 October 2016
Research Intensive: Excessive Research, international research workshop, partnership with Aarhus University, Denmark and Transmediale Festival for Art and Digital Culture, Berlin, 3 – 4 November 2015

Residency 2017/2018

Exhibition Research Lab is currently hosting a long term residency of The Serving Library. The Serving Library comprises a collection of framed objects on permanent display in the gallery, a smaller collection of bound books, and online and printed versions of biannual arts journal (Bulletins of The Serving Library). The gallery serves as a “satellite seminar room” based on this material, hosting irregular classes for university-level art, design or writing students (from local, national and international schools) as well as a series of public talks. The enterprise is currently funded by a Research and Development grant from Arts Council England.



For more information see the Exhibition Research Lab's Facebook and Instagram.

Contact details

Get in touch with researchers from the Exhibition Research Lab

If you’d like to ask a question or find out more information, please contact the team using the details below.

Contact: Prof Joasia Krysa

Email: J.M.Krysa@ljmu.ac.uk


Exhibition Research Lab
John Lennon Art and Design Building
Duckinfield Street
L3 5RD