Ella Comberg has published two articles: one in the Brown Alumni Magazine, and one in Hidden City Philadelphia.
Her piece about Jordan Carter ’12, “Curating the Ephemeral,” appears in the January 24, 2022 edition of the Brown Alumni Magazine. She explores the challenges he faces as a curator who showcases Fluxus and conceptual art — works that resist traditional means of exhibition and display in museums and galleries. Carter was the former Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, and, in December 2021, became the curator of Dia Art Foundation in New York.
In Hidden City Philadelphia, Comberg writes about Documenta, the exhibition of modern and contemporary art founded in the aftermath of World War II and hosted every five years in Kassel, Germany. Organizers hoped to present the 1976 Documenta in Philadelphia, in tandem with the city’s commemoration of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. Comberg’s article, “Documenta ‘76: How an Avant-Garde Art Sensation Almost Happened in Philadelphia,” discusses plans to bring the exhibition to Philadelphia, none of which came to fruition. She uses this art-historical moment to examine both the Cold War and the history of the city of Philadelphia.
Comberg is Editorial Director of Rx/Museum, a curated series of artworks and essayistic reflections that embody the interplay between museums and medicine. This project is a collaboration between Slought, the University of Pennsylvania, the Barnes Foundation, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Image: Arnold Bode’s plan for converting Memorial Hall into a sprawling exhibition venue for Documenta 6. Courtesy of Documenta Archiv, 1974.