Juli Carson


Juli Carson is an art historian, critic and curator. She is Director of the University Art Galleries, which host an annual rotation of professional and student shows. As the UAG Director, she curates several series: Room Gallery’s Emerging Artist Series, for which a single installation by a young artist is commissioned; the Major Work of Art Series, which features new work by first generation conceptual artists; and the Critical Aesthetics Program, which commissions new work by mid-career artists.


Solo exhibitions Carson has curated include: Kelly Barrie, Yael Bartana, Steve Fagin, Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Roberto Jacoby, Adria Julia, Mary Kelly, Cristóbal Lehyt, Shana Lutker, Dolores Zinney/Juan Maidigan, Florian Pumhösl, Constanze Ruhm, Barbara T. Smith, Koki Tanaka, Stephanie Taylor, and Erika Vogt. The UAG’s group exhibitions have featured: Fallen Fruit, Gaylen Gerber, Silvia Kolbowski, Sowon Kwon, Dorit Margreiter, An Te Liu, Katya Sanders, and Bahc Yiso. In addition to Carson’s curatorial activities at UCI, she curates thematic exhibitions on contemporary art that travel internationally. Her most recent international exhibition, Exile of the Imaginary: Aesthetics / Politics / Lovewas hosted by the Generali Foundation in Vienna.

Carson’s academic research focuses on the effect that legacies of 1960s Minimalism and 1970s Conceptualism has had on a branch of contemporary art informed by psychoanalysis. Her art criticism is widely published. She is editor of Exile of the Imaginary: Aesthetics / Politics / Love (Vienna: Generali Foundation and Walther König Press, 2007) and Paradox and Practice: Architecture in the Wake of Conceptualism (Irvine: UCI University Art Gallery, 2007). Her interest in the combined legacies of psychoanalysis and conceptualism informed her archival exhibition (and MIT dissertation) on Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document: Excavating Post-Partum Document: Mary Kelly’s Archive (1968-1998), Generali Foundation, Vienna (1998). In addition to her contributions to critical anthologies, Carson’s essays appear in artUSX-TRA,Art JournalTexte zur KunstDocuments, and October. Her most recent book is: The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011). Her forthcoming book is entitled: The Conceptual Unconscious: A Poetics of Critique, and will be published by PoLYpen.


“In Praise of Heretics, Or: What if Women Ruled Our World?” in Yael Bartana, Exhibition Catalogue, (Lausanne: Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, 2017).

After, After Before,” (UC Irvine: Room Gallery, 2016).

“Dora Chastain,” (UC Irvine: University Art Gallery, 2016).

“A Viral Scaffolding of Signifiers,” Berlin Journal, Fall 2016 

On Consciousness: Kerry Tribe’s Performative Aesthetics, (UC Irvine: Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, 2016) 

The Conceptual Unconscious: A Poetics of Critique, Forthcoming, (Berlin: b_books, 2017). 

Ed Moses: Cross-Section, (UC Irvine: University Art Gallery, 2015). 

“Libidinal Economies: Art in the Age of Bull Markets,” (UC Irvine: Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, 2015). 

“Drawing on a Sense of Place,” Dolores Zinny & Juan Maidagan, (Munich: Galerie Sabine Knust, 2014).

“Jock,” Self-Timer Stories, (Salzburg: Anton Pustet, 2014).

“The Politics of Falling,” Exhibition Catalogue, Daniel Joseph Martinez’s The Report of My Death is an Exaggeration; Memoirs: Of Becoming Narrenschiff, (Los Angeles: Roberts and Tilton Gallery, 2014).

“Salò Island,” Exhibition Brochure, Yoshua Okón, Salò Island, UCI Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, Winter, 2014.

“Faces of Consciousness: Repetition and Time” eds., Brad Buckley and John Conomos, Erasure: The Spectre of Cultural Memory (Libri Publishing Ltd., 2014). 

“The Symbolic Landscape: Pictures Beyond the Picturesque,” Exhibition Catalogue, University Art Galleries, UCIrvine, September, 2013.

"The Popular and the Conceptual," Generali Reader, ed Sabine Folie, (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2013).

“A Soundtrack for Collective Engagement,” in Koki Tanaka: abstract speaking sharing uncertainty and collective acts,exhibition catalogue for 55th Venice Biennale, Japanese Pavilion, (Nero and Japan Foundation, 2013). 

“That Obscure Object of Gender: Kerry Tribe’s Critical Mass,” in The Challenge of the Object / Die Herausforderung des Objekts, Congress Proceedings, T. 1-3. Edited by G. Ulrich Großmann/Petra Krutisch. (Nuremberg 2013).

“Arguments for an Abstract Space,” in Florian Pumhösl: Works in Exhibitions 1993-2012, (Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2013).

“On Realism, Reality and the Real: CRASH SITE: My_Never_Ending_Burial_Plot,” in Constanze Ruhm: Coming Attractions, (Vienna: Schleebrügge and the Academy of Fine Arts, 2013).

“Drawing on a Sense of Place,” Exhibition Brochure for Juan Maidagan and Dolores Zinny’s Cabo Nombre, UCI Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, Winter, 2013.

“Art of the Impossible: The Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP),” in Yael Bartana: And Europe will be Stunned, (Vienna: The Secession, 2013).

“V.A.L.I.S.: Modernity’s Buried Present,” in Connie Samaras: Tales of Tomorrow, (Pasadena: The Armory, 2013).

“Watercolor in the Brain,” Texte Zur Kunst, issue no. 87, “Conflict,” September, 2012.

“Everything Else Has Failed! Don’t You Think It’s Time for Love?” Sharon Hayes: There’s So Much I Want to Say to You, (Museum of American Art, Summer, 2012).

“Aesthetics of Repetition: A Case for Oscar Masotta,” X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, Vol 14, No 3, Spring, 2012.

“A Soundtrack for Collective Engagement,” exhibition brochure for Koki Tanaka’s A Piano Played by Five Pianists at Once (First Attempt), UCI Room Gallery, Winter 2012. 

"Free Radical Aesthetics: Barbara T. Smith's Birthdaze, Exhibition Brochure, The Radicalization of a '50s Housewife, Pacific Standard Time, UCI Gallery, Fall 2011.

The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011).

"Postcards from the Real: The Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland," in A Cookbook for Political Imagination, exhibition catalogue for "...and Europe will be stunned (Yael Bartana)," Polish Pavillion, 54th Biennale, Venice 2011.

"Constanze Ruhm's Galaxy of Signifiers," in The 5th International Video Art Biennale in Israel: Videozone V (Tel Aviv Contemporary Center of Art, 2010).

“Post-Partum Document: An Introduction,” in Dominique Heyse-Moore, ed., Mary Kelly: A Retrospective, (Manchester: The Whitworth Art Gallery, 2010).

“Andrea Geyer’s Criminal Case 40/61: Reverb,” Andrea Geyer Exhibition Brochure, UCI Gallery, Fall, 2010.

“Erika Vogt’s Secret Traveler Navigator,” Erika Vogt Exhibition Brochure, UCI Gallery, Fall, 2010.

“On Consciousness: Kerry Tribe’s Performative Aesthetics,” in Kerry Tribe: Dead Star Light, (London: Arnolfini, 2010).

“Galaxy of Signifiers: Constanze Ruhm’s Crash Site / My_Never_Ending_Burial_Plot,” in Texte Zur Kunst, Spring 2010.

“Hang Fire: Juan Maidagan and Dolores Zinny’s Curtain Call,” in Sabine Breitweiser, ed., Utopia and Monument, exhibition catalogue, steirischer herbst festival, Graz, Austria, 2010.

“In Praise of Love: The Poetics of Critique,” in Comrades of Time, exhibition catalogue, Published by PAVILION – journal of politics and culture, English/Romanian, February 2010.

“X Love Scenes / Pearls without a String,” Juli Carson, ed., Constanze Ruhm Exhibition Brochure, UCI Room Gallery, Winter 2010.

“Legacies of Resistance,” in Griselda Pollock, ed., Digital and Other Virtualities,  (Leeds University Press, 2009).

“Roberto Jacoby’s 1968: el culo te abrocho,” Roberto Jacoby Exhibition Brochure, UCI Gallery, Fall, 2009.

“Curriculum and Practice in the Age of Post-Studio Art Production,” in Brad Buckley, ed., Re-thinking the Contemporary Art School, (Nova Scotia: NSCAD University Press, 2009).

“Florian Pumhösl’s Critical Aesthetics,” in Modernism as Ruins, (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2009).

“A Just Noticeable Difference: Kenny Berger and Juli Carson in Conversation,” Exhibition Brochure, UCI Room Gallery, Winter 2009.

“The Surfing Memory Syndrome,” Steve Fagin Exhibition Brochure, UCI Gallery, Winter, 2009.

“What is a Picture?” in POVERTY HOUSING, Americus Georgia, (Vienna: MAK Center, 2009).

“In Praise of Love: The Poetics of Critique,” X-Tra, Winter 2009.

“Thinking with One’s Feet,” Kelly Barrie Exhibition Brochure, UCI Room Gallery, Fall 2008.

“Mary Kelly Interviewed by Juli Carson,” in OCMA Biennial Exhibition Catalogue, Fall 2008.

“Artforumism,” in Texte Zur Kunst Anthology, ed. Catherine Chevalier and Andreas Fohr, (Paris: Les Presses du Réel, 2008) French Translation by Michele Veubret.

“Molly Corey’s Live Like Him!” Exhibition Brochure, UCI Room Gallery, Winter, 2008.

“Legacies of Resistance,” Mary Kelly Exhibition Brochure, UCI Gallery, Fall, 2007.

“Cristóbal Lehyt’s Reduced to Insults,” Exhibition Brochure, UCI Room Gallery, Fall 2007.

Exile of the Imaginary: Politics / Aesthetics / Love, (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2007).

Paradox and Practice: Architecture in the Wake of Conceptualism, (UC Irvine: University Art Gallery, 2007).

“Shana Lutker’s The Future of an Illusion,” Exhibition Brochure, UCI, Room Gallery, Winter 2007.

“Adrià Julià’s Theatre of Eclipse,” Exhibition Brochure, UCI, Room Gallery, Fall 2006.

Ken Gonzales-Day’s Lynching in the West, (NY: Cue Art Foundation, 2006).

“The Jouissance of Institutional Critique,” in Institutional Critique and After, ed. John Welchman, (Zurich: JRP/Ringier, 2006).

“Chop Shop: A Conversation between Juli Carson and Stephanie Taylor,” Exhibition Brochure, UCI, Room Gallery, Winter, 2006.

“The Greenhouse Effect,” Exhibition Brochure, UCI, Room Gallery, Fall, 2005.

“On Discourse as Monument: Institutional Spaces and Feminist Problematics,” in Museums After Modernism: Strategies of Engagement, ed. Griselda Pollock, (New York: Blackwell Press, 2005).

“Atrocity and Empathy: On Reading Virilio through Eisenman,” in artUS, #10, Fall 2005.

“Five Paragraphs on Sol LeWitt,” in artUS, #8, Spring, 2005.

“The Trouble with Fanon,” in Minority Report: Challenging Intolerance in Contemporary Denmark, (Aarhus Festival of Contemporary Art, Denmark, 2004).  Also in: http://www.artbrain.org/phantomlimb/carson.html

“A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968,” www.collegeart.org, (Summer, 2004).

“Dematerialisms: The  Non-Dialectics of Yves Klein,” in Francois Perrin, Curator, Air Architecture, (Los Angeles: MAK Center, 2004).

“1989” in Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985, eds. Simon Leung et. al., (New York: Blackwell Press, 2004).

“Two Walls: 1989,” Surface Tension, eds. Brandon Labelle, et. al., (Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press, 2003).

“On Critics, Sublimation and the Drive: The Photographic Paradoxes of the Subject,” in Art: Sublimation or Symptom, ed. Parveen Adams, (New York: The Other Press, 2003). 

“Conceptualism and the Single Work of Art,” Art Journal, (Winter 2002).

“On Discourse as Monument: The New Museum and Feminist Problematics,” in Alternative Art New York,1965-85, ed. Julie Ault, (Minnesota Press, 2002).

“Excavating Discursivity: ‘Post-Partum Document’ in the Conceptualist, Feminist and Psychoanalytic Fields,” Dissertation, MIT, 2000.

“Mea Culpa,” Art Journal, (Winter, 1999).

“Excavating Post-Partum Document: A Conversation between Mary Kelly and Juli Carson,” Exhibition Catalogue, (Vienna: Generali Foundation,1999).

“Simon Leung,” Documents, no. 14 (Winter, 1999).

“Re-Viewing Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document,” Documents, no. 13 (Fall, 1998).

“The Trouble with Fanon,” Zing,  (Fall, 1998).

"Artforum-ism, or the Mythical Andy Warhol," Modernity, (Spring, 1997). 

"Artforum-ismus," Texte Zur Kunst, (August, 1996).

"Questions of Feminism: 25 Responses," October  #71 (Winter 1995).

"Letter to the Editors," October  #71, (Winter 1995).

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Art History
Critical Theory
Curatorial Practice