Histories of the Present is the book of our ambitious preopening programme in 2008. The programme was made up of five exhibitions or projects, each given a section, or ‘catalogue’, of its own in this beautiful publication. Each project was devoted to a different facet of Nottingham’s history and current affairs, as embodied by a particular building or site, which we explored through the work of international artists and speakers from a range of disciplines. Prison and the disciplinary society, Byron as a modern day celebrity, the digital and agricultural commons, culture after transatlantic slavery, and the legacies of ‘68 and Nottingham’s radical past, were examined in projects at an Elizabethan hall, an empty shop, a unique medieval village, Byron’s ancestral home and a former prison. The 40 artists include Godfried Donkor, Linder, Ulla Von Brandenburg, Pablo Bronstein, Goshka Macuga, Olivia Plender, Luca Frei, Chris Evans, Harun Farocki, Tatiana Trouve, Bruce Nauman and Ashley Hunt. The 23 essays include major contributions by Kodwo Eshun, Kobena Mercer, Neil Cummings, Marco Scotini, Eyal Weizman, Jonathan Ree, David Macey, Philip Hoare and Sebastian Horsley.
Edited by Alex Farquharson with Fiona Parry and Abi Spinks