Caroline Hancock is a French and English independent curator, writer, editor and translator based in Paris.
Having worked on major eclectic, non-hierarchical, cross-historical and multi-disciplinary exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery in the early 2000s, she continues to research Surrealism and its international connections, the potentials of archival materials and the dialogue between ancient, modern and contemporary work, invisibilities and peripheries, the intricately complex personal nuances of each artist’s practice, voice and contexts. Language, literature and translation are the core of her practice.
Caroline Hancock has worked closely with artists such as Lynda Benglis, Tacita Dean, William McKeown, Amina Menia, Charlotte Moth, Otobong Nkanga and Zineb Sedira. In 2008, she was awarded the Joanna Drew Travel Bursary to travel to Algeria which led to long-term research on art and culture in Africa and the Middle East. Curatorial trips have also taken her to Belgium, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Spain and Senegal. In November/December 2013, she was invited as curator in residence at the Delfina Foundation in London.
She has recently written essays on the work of Julien Creuzet, Aurélien Froment, Amina Menia, Carlos Nogueira and Charlotte von Poehl (2016-2018). She writes regularly on modern and contemporary art for catalogues or the press (including artforum.com, Afterall, Art and Australia, Art Monthly Australia, Canvas, Contemporary &, the Jeu de Paume online magazine, Nafas Art Magazine, Photofile, Volume, 02). In March 2016, she was one of the nominees for the AICA Prix de la critique d’art in Paris, she talked about the work of Dalila Mahdjoub at the connected Palais de Tokyo event. Since 1998, she has been an active translator (English to French and French to English), editor and copy-editor, specialised in the arts sector. From 2015 to 2017, she was copy-editor for the Research Section of L’Internationale Online, edited by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez.
In December 2017, she curated the exhibition ‘Otobong Nkanga. The Breath From Fertile Grounds’, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin. In Spring 2018, ‘Measure The Valleys’ invites Fayçal Baghriche, Mohssin Harraki, Euridice Kala, Lucie Laflorentie, Dana Whabira to a residency at the Maisons Daura, St Cirq Lapopie, in preparation for the Parcours d’art contemporain de la Vallée du Lot, Maison des arts Georges Pompidou, Cajarc / Maisons Daura (July-August 2018). She is also curating the ‘Carte blanche à Charlotte Moth’, FRAC PACA, Marseille, Plateau Multimédia (May 2018).
In November 2015, she co-curated an exhibition of Scottish art from the 18th century to the present day at the Musée du Château des Ducs de Wurtemberg in Montbéliard with Director Aurélie Voltz: ‘My Love is Like a Red Red Rose’.
Invited by the Marseille expos network, she was guest curator of the Printemps de l’Art Contemporain (PAC) in May 2015. Adopting the picture postcard (a local invention in 1891) as an elastic common programming thread, Caroline Hancock worked with over 40 venues, herself curating or co-curating exhibitions at la compagnie, the FRAC, La Friche (with Sextant & + and astérides), the Galeries Lafayette, Palais Longchamp/ Musée des Beaux-Arts, whilst simultaneously planning then executing the 4 day launch weekend with urban walks, performances, concerts, bringing special attention to urban panoramas, heritage sites and public art, clichés, hotspots, and blind spots like the year-long artistic activities in the ill-famed Quartiers Nord. She had previously been asked to curate 2 related shows during the PAC 2014 (‘Symphonie Printanière’ at the Galerie Hors Les Murs, and ‘Mark Garry. Revoir un Printemps’ at the Galeries Lafayette) and ‘Transmission’ a carte blanche at the Galerie Karima Célestin in 2013.
In March 2015, she co-curated ‘The Untold Want’ at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin with Director Patrick T. Murphy. This was an international group exhibition exploring known and speculative connections with late Northern Irish artist William McKeown’s work and sensibility.
Between 2011 and 2013, as a member of the curatorial platform On The Roof with Elise Atangana and Yves Chatap, she co-curated projects with work by artists from Africa and the African diaspora in ‘Synchronicity’ in Paris and London, and ‘Cyclicalities’ in Dakar. In 2013, they co-organised Virginie Yassef’s performance ‘Investigations of a Dog’ on LE SOCLE, Parc des Chaumont, Paris, as well as the IKT Lab#3, ‘African Art. What For?’, with Chantal Pontbriand at Gulbenkian Foundation, Paris.
Other exhibitions include ‘Becoming Independent’, with work by Amina Menia and Zineb Sedira, RHA, Dublin (2013), ‘Thinking Work and Working Thought’, a project by Charlotte Moth for the Biennale de Belleville, Paris (2012), ‘sculpturations’ at the Abbaye de Fontevraud (2012), ‘De l’émergence du Phénix’, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2011).
Forming this career was originally based on ten years of diverse experience in major institutions in Paris, London and Dublin. Starting in Paris at the Centre Pompidou (1998-1999) and MAMVP/ARC (1999-2000), she contributed to exhibitions and catalogues such as ‘David Hockney’, ‘Le Fauvisme’, ‘Douglas Gordon’, ‘Voilà! Le Monde dans la Tête’. In London, she worked at Tate Modern (2000), aspreyjacques gallery (2001) and The Hayward (2002-2008) on exhibitions and catalogues such as ‘Saved!’, ‘Jacques Henri Lartigue’, ‘An Aside. Selected by Tacita Dean’ (touring to Camden Arts Centre, London; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea), ‘Georges Bataille and the Magazine DOCUMENTS’ with Dawn Ades, Simon Baker and Fiona Bradley, ‘The Painting of Modern Life’ with Ralph Rugoff (touring to Castello di Rivoli). At the Irish Museum of Modern Art/IMMA (2008-2009) in Dublin, she worked on exhibitions and catalogues such as ‘William McKeown’, ‘Calder Jewellery’, ‘Elizabeth Peyton’. She curated a Lynda Benglis retrospective (touring to Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; IMMA, Dublin; Le Consortium, Dijon; RISD, Providence; New Museum, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles) and co-edited the accompanying Les Presses du Réel monograph.
She is currently researching a book about Joanna Drew and the shifts in the art of exhibitions in Great Britain from 1952 to 1992 (publication in 2018).