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Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

Photo of Professor Tom Trevor

Professor Tom Trevor

Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Curation


01392 724314


Tom Trevor is Programme Director of MA Curation: Contemporary Art and Cultural Management within Art History and Visual Culture, in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies.

He is Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded Creative Peninsula knowledge exchange project on a theme of place in Devon and Cornwall, and convenor/curator of the Atlantica project. He was formerly Academic Lead for the University's Creative Arc partnership with Exeter City Council and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (2020-23).

Joining the University of Exeter in January 2020, Trevor has thirty years’ experience as a curator and writer on contemporary art, including fourteen as Director of leading UK arts institutions. During this time he has curated more than 100 exhibitions, placing a particular emphasis upon experimental emerging practice and context-led projects. Since 2013, after eight years as Director of Arnolfini, in Bristol, he has focused on curating international biennials and large-scale visual arts projects, working in India, Korea, Denmark, Japan, UAE and the UK. Over the course of his career, he has produced or contributed texts to over 40 publications, and lectured widely.

Prior to joining the University, Trevor was Artistic Director of The Atlantic Project in Plymouth, UK (2016-19), Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015-16), Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, Japan (2014-15), curatorial consultant to the 1st ARoS Triennale in Aarhus, Denmark (2014-15), Guest Curator at the Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, India (2013-14), Director of Arnolfini in Bristol, UK (2005-13), Associate Curator of the Art Fund International collection (2007-12), and Director of Spacex in Exeter, UK (1999-2005).

Office: Queen's 205

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The focus of Trevor’s research is on shifting notions of ‘the contemporary’ in relation to biopolitics, decolonisation, climate emergency and the digital network society, as manifested through emerging contemporary art practices.

His recent essay, A New Atlantic (Bloomsbury, 2023) takes the processional performance from Cook’s New Clothes, by Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, as a basis to explore the contemporary ramifications of the 18th century Polynesian star navigator, Tupaia’s mapping of the Pacific. Other recent texts include: The Space of Flows in the 2018 Bruges Triennale catalogue, Liquid City, exploring the metaphor of ‘liquidity’ in relation to today’s image-saturated information society; Port City-Cape Town, published in Africa Modern on the occasion of the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, in 2017, which unpacks the relationship between art institutions, colonialism and maritime trade; and Three Ecologies, for the Hatje Cantz monograph on Lois Weinberger (a text which was also abridged for the documenta 14: Daybook in 2017), focusing on the artist’s use of ‘ruderal’ plants (or ‘weeds’) and the inter-related ecologies of ‘mind, nature and society’ as conceptualised by Felix Guattari. 

Previously, as Artistic Director of The Atlantic Project, Trevor devised a large-scale context-led project across the city of Plymouth, in the autumn of 2018, featuring site-specific installations by 20 artists from 12 countries, including Kiluanji Kia Henda, Ryoji Ikeda, Hito Steyerl and SUPERFLEX amongst others. In 2015, as Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, he was the first British curator to lead a Japanese biennial, entitled Take Me To The River, with artists from 8 countries showing alongside leading practitioners from Japan. In the same year he curated Music for Museums at the Whitechapel Gallery; a four-month programme of experimental music performances, film screenings and sound interventions throughout the institution. In 2014-15, as curatorial consultant to ARoS Kunstmuseum in the lead-up to Aarhus 2017, European Capital of Culture, he initiated and devised the 1st ARoS Triennale, on a theme of THE GARDEN. He also worked on a major video commission by John Akomfrah, Vertigo Sea, for the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2013, as Guest Curator at the Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, he co-curated the exhibition, Black Sun, with Shezad Dawood, including leading artists from the South Asian diaspora.

As a curator, Trevor has been responsible for numerous early career shows of British artists, as well as first UK exhibitions of renowned international figures; e.g. Cosima von Bonin, Tania Bruguera, Meschac Gaba, Shilpa Gupta, Liu Chuang, Doris Salcedo, Lois Weinberger and Haegue Yang. He has curated many solo and group shows, including international touring exhibitions with institutions such as Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam), Museum Ludwig (Köln), MAMCO (Geneva), Haus der Kunst (Munich) and Wiels (Brussels), and also commissioned projects by leading 20th century figures such as Louise Bourgeois, William Kentridge and Yoko Ono. From 2007-12, as Associate Curator of the Art Fund International he led on building a new £1million collection of contemporary art from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, making 44 acquisitions, with significant works by Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Emily Jacir, Amar Kanwar, Walid Raad and Akram Zaatari, amongst others, and a major commission by Do Ho Suh. He also has substantial experience of multi-art form programming, including performance art, experimental music, dance, film, literature and online projects, as well as devising year-round public programmes of talks and symposia, and long-term learning and participation projects.

Research through practice



Charlotte Prodger: BRIDGIT (Associate Producer)  24 October - 22 December 2023, CAST, Helston

TidelinesSalmon Run 2023 (Associate Producer)   24 September 2023, community relay along the length of the River Exe


TidelinesSalmon Run 2022 (Associate Producer)   25 September 2022, community relay along the length of the River Exe


The Atlantic Project: After the Future    28 September – 21 October, site-specific installations across Plymouth, UK

Artists: Nilbar Güreş, Tommy Støckel, Liu Chuang, Hito Steyerl, Vermeir & Heiremans, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Ryoji Ikeda, Yan Wang Preston, Donald Rodney, Shezad Dawood, Postcommodity, Carl Slater, SUPERFLEX, Uriel Orlow, Jane Grant & John Matthias, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, Chang Jia, Ursula Biemann, Bryony Gillard, Kranemann + Emmett


SUPERFLEX: FREE BEER version 6.0 (the Atlantic brew)    2 October ongoing, The Atlantic Project launch of a new community-owned brewery, at Tate Modern, London

Elmgreen & Dragset with Lukas Wassmann: A Good Neighbour    22 September – 16 November, The Atlantic Project billboard project in Plymouth, in collaboration with Istanbul Biennial

1st ARoS Triennial: THE GARDEN (Curatorial Consultant), Aarhus, Denmark    3 June – 30 July, as part of Aarhus 2017, European Capital of Culture

Artists: Alicja Kwade, Cyprien Gaillard, Yto Barrada, SUPERFLEX, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Tomás Saraceno, Simon Starling, Nikolaus Hirsch & Michel Müller, Elmgreen & Dragset, Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, Doug Aitken, Ackroyd & Harvey, Tue Greenfort, Fujiko Nakaya, E.B. ITSO, Mark Dion, Pia Sirén, Rune Bosse, Ismar Cirkinagic, Sif Itona Westerberg, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Hans Rosenström, Sarah Sze, Katharina Grosse, Oscar Lhermitte, Anssi Pulkkinen & Taneli Rautiainen, Max Hooper Schneider, Henrik Menné, Meg Webster, Tacita Dean


Music for Museums    17 September – 29 November, Whitechapel Gallery, London

Artists: Apartment House, David Toop, Gavin Bryars & Etel Adnan, Cara Tolmie, Mikhail Karikis, Florian Hecker, Hassan Khan, Ryoji Ikeda & Carsten Nicolai, Oliver Coates, Mark Fell, Dominic Murcott, Thurston Moore, Rhys Chatham + sound interventions by Support Structure + an artists’ film & video programme

4th Dojima River Biennale Take Me To The River – currents of the contemporary    24 July – 30 August, Dojima River Forum, Osaka, Japan                                                             

Artists: Aki Sasamoto, Angus Fairhurst, Hito Steyerl, Melanie Gilligan, Melanie Jackson, Michael Stevenson, Peter Fend, Ryoji Ikeda, Shimabuku, Shitamichi Motoyuki, Simon Fujiwara, SUPERFLEX, The Play, Vermeir & Heiremans, Yuken Teruya

John Akomfrah Vertigo Sea (Associate Producer), 9 May – 22 November, as part of All the World’s Futures at the 56th Venice Biennale, Italy, touring to Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden

Do Ho Suh New York City Apartment / Bristol (Associate Curator)      25 March – 8 September, Art Fund International commission at Bristol Museum, Bristol, UK


Emily Jacir Lydda Airport (Associate Curator)    26 July - 4 January 2015, Art Fund International collection at Bristol Museum, Bristol, UK

Black Sun: Alchemy, Diaspora and Heterotopia  (co-curated with Shezad Dawood)    9 Nov 2013 – 27 April, Devi Art Foundation, Delhi, India

Artists: Ayisha Abraham, Ashish Avikunthak, Matti Braun, James Lee Byars, Maya Deren, Zarina Hashmi, Runa Islam, Nasreen Mohamedi, Lisa Oppenheim, The Otolith Group, Tejal Shah, Alexandre Singh



Joelle Tuerlinckx: Wor(l)d(k) in Progress? (co-curated with Axel Wieder)    7 December – 16 March 2014, in collaboration with Wiels, Brussels, and Haus der Kunst, Munich

Mierle Laederman Ukeles: Maintenance Art Works 1969-80    28 September – 17 November, in collaboration with Grazer Kunstverein

Michael Dean: The Introduction of Muscle    28 September – 17 November

Yorgos Sapountzis: The Protagonists    20 July – 15 September

Ian Hamilton Finlay    20 July – 8 September

Jutta Koether: Seasons and Sacraments (co-curated with Axel Wieder)    4 May – 7 July, in collaboration with Dundee Contemporary Arts

Susanne Kriemann Modelling (Construction School)    4 May – 7 July, in collaboration with Kunstverein Braunschweig

Version Control  (co-curated with Nick Kaye and Axel Wieder)      26 January – 14 April

Artists: Oliver Laric, Louise Lawler, Eva & Franco Mattes, Melvin Moti, Rabih Mroué, Ken Okiishi, Amalia Pica, Tim Etchells, AP News, Gretchen Bender, Ruth Buchanan, Simon Denny, Felix Gmelin, Andy Holden & David Conroy, Loretta Fahrenholz , Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet, Morag Keil, Tobias Madison & Emanuel Rossetti, Seth Price, Nora Schultz, Giles Bailey, Bernadette Corporation, Gerry Bibby, Antoine Catala, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Grand Openings

Mikhail Karikis Sea Women    12 - 20 January


No Borders    15 December – 2 June 2013, Art Fund International collection at Bristol Museum

Artists: Ai Weiwei, Walid Raad, Haegue Yang, Akram Zaatari, Yto Barrada, Omer Fast, Hala Elkoussy, Shilpa Gupta, Meschac Gaba, Amar Kanwar, Tala Madani, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Imran Qu’reshi and Shahzia Sikander

Katleen Vermeir & Ronny Heiremans: The Good Life (a guided tour)    5-9 October, Art Gwangju:12 Museum Outlet, Gwangju, Korea

A Parallel Universe (project series), a year-long programme of exhibitions, film, music and performance, exploring alternative realities and co-existing worlds:

- Matti Braun: Gost Log (co-curated with Axel Wieder)       3 October – 6 January 2013

- Olivia Plender: Rise Early, Be Industrious (co-curated with Axel Wieder)      14 July – 9 September, in collaboration with Milton Keynes Gallery and CCA, Glasgow

- Superpower: Africa in Science Fiction        5 May – 1 July

Artists: Joao Maria Gusmao & Pedro Paiva, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Luis Dourado, Mark Aerial Waller, Neil Beloufa, Neill Blomkamp, Omer Fast, Paweł Althamer, The ARPANET Dialogues, Wanuri Kahiu

- Shilpa Gupta: Someone Else      3 March – 22 April

- Damien Roach: Infra Lion (co-curated with Nav Haq)       Throughout 2012

Sophy Rickett: To The River        3 March – 22 April


The Apparatus (project series), a year-long series of exhibitions and events to mark the 50th anniversary of Arnolfini, investigating structures of the art world today, its systems of belief and valuation:                                                          

- Museum Show, Part 2 (co-curated with Nav Haq)      9 December – 19 February 2012

Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind (Khalil Rabah), Danger Museum (Øyvind Renberg & Miho Shimizu), The Museum of American Art, Museo Salinas (Vicente Razo), Museum of Non-Participation (Karen Mirza & Brad Butler), Museum of Television Culture (Jaime Davidovich), Victoria and Alferd Museum (Åbäke), Hu Xiangqian's Museum (Hu Xiangqian), Museum of Forgotten History (Maarten Vanden Eynde), Museum of Incest (Simon Fujiwara)

- Museum Show, Part 1 (co-curated with Nav Haq)        24 September – 19 November

Museum of Contemporary African Art (Meschac Gaba), La Boîte-en-Valise (Marcel Duchamp), Museo Aero Solar (Tomas Saraceno), Museum of Conceptual Art (Tom Marioni), La Galerie Légitime (Robert Filliou), Museum of Drawers (Herbert Distel), Museum of Safety Gear for Small Animals (Bill Burns), Mini-Museum (Davis Lisboa), Museum of Projective Personality Testing (Sina Najafi & Christopher Turner), Museum of Revolution (Marko Lulic), Intuitive Galerie (François Curlet), Moon Museum (Forrest Myers), Musée d'Art Moderne, Départment des Aigles (Marcel Broodthaers), Museum for Myself (Peter Blake), World Agriculture Museum (Asunción Molinos), Voting Booth Museum (Guillaume Bijl), A History of Art in the Arab World: Part 1_Chapter One. Section 139: The Atlas Group (Walid Raad), Museum of Ordure (Stuart Brisley), Nasubi Gallery (Tsuyoshi Ozawa), Blackout Leica Museum (Sarkis), "I founded a fictitious museum in New York in '68 and collected 1,000,000 minutes of attention to show" (James Lee Byars), Museum of Failure (Ellen Harvey), From the Freud Museum (Susan Hiller)

- Haegue Yang, with Felix Gonzalez-Torres: The Sea Wall          16 July – 4 September

- Magical Consciousness (co-curated with Runa Islam and Nav Haq)      12 May – 3 July

Artists: Helena Almeida, Rosa Barba, Uta Barth, Angela Bulloch, Mariana Castillo Deball, Ula Dajerling, Matias Faldbakken, Ellen Harvey, John Hilliard, William E. Jones, Onkar Kular & Noam Toran, David Maljkovic, Melik Ohanian, Trevor Paglen, Peter Peri, Rosângela Rennó, Mungo Thomson, plus c13th Aztec obsidian mirror

- Cosima von Bonin’s Bone Idle  (co-curated with Nav Haq)         19 February–25 April, in collaboration with Witte der With (Rotterdam), MAMCO (Geneva) and Museum Ludwig (Koln)

- Neil Cummings Self-Portrait: Arnolfini (co-curated with Nav Haq)          Throughout 2011


IBT / What Next for the Body (co-curated with Helen Cole)      30 November – 5 February 2011

Teresa Margolles, Hancock & Kelly, Jordan McKenzie, Kira O’Reilly & Jennifer Willet, Zoran Todorovic

Old Media (project series), a 6-month programme exploring the idea of New Media / art, technology and its time:

- Fun with Software (curated with Olga Goriunova)        25 September – 21 November

Artists: David Link, Erik Thiele, Christoph Haag, Martin Rumori, Franziska Windisch & Ludwig Zeller, Harwood, JODI, Shulgin/Laskin, and the RunMe archive

- YoHa / Harwood, Wright & Yokokoji Coal Fired Computers / Tantalum Memorial     25 Sept – 21 November

- Heath Bunting Status Project       25 September – 21 November

- Kerry Tribe: Dead Star Light        17 July – 12 September, with Camden Art Centre and Modern Art Oxford

Lingua Franca (project series), a six-month programme focusing on the politics of language, as a cultural boundary:

- Caroline Bergvall & Ciaran Maher: Say Parsley       8 May - 4 July

- Louise Bourgeois & Otto Zitko: Me, Myself and I         24 April – 4 July

- Imogen Stidworthy (co-curated with Nav Haq)    27 February – 25 April

Janek Simon     30 January – 5 April, toured to Raster Gallery, Warsaw


Artist/Activist Series / 100 Days (project series), a six-month programme marking the countdown to the 15th UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (Copenhagen):

- Craftivism (curated by Zoe Shearman)      11 December – 13 February 2010

Artists: Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler, Stephanie Syjuco, Kayle Brandon & Heath Bunting, Rhiannon Chaloner & Manuel Vason, glorious ninth, GOTO10, Rui Guerra, Household, JODI, Mandy McIntosh, Gloria Ojulari Sule, Trevor Pitt & Kate Pemberton, Janek Simon, Clare Thornton

- Ocean Earth: Situation Room        20 November – 16 January 2010

Artists: Peter Fend, Catherine Griffiths, Kevin Gannon, Heidi Mardon, Eve Vaterlaus

- Artist Placement Group: Beyond the Acid-Free      21 November – 17 January 2010

Barbara Steveni

- C Words  (co-curated with Platform)       2 October – 28 November

Artists: Platform, Ackroyd & Harvey, African Writers Abroad, Hollington & Kyprianou, Spinwatch, Institute for the Art & Practice of Dissent at Home, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, Trapeze Collective, Virtual Migrants

- Ursula Biemann: Black Sea Files      11 September – 7 November, in collaboration with Bldmuseet, Umea, Sweden

Suzanne Lacy: University of Local Knowledge     September 2009 onwards, in an on-going collaboration with Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol

Johanna Billing: I’m Lost Without Your Rhythm      12 September – 8 November, with Camden Art Centre and Modern Art Oxford

Futurology  (project series, developed with Nav Haq), a six-month programme, investigating how representations of the future affect the present: 

- Sequelism, Part 3: Possible, Probable or Preferable Futures (curated by Latitudes)   18 July – 20 Sept

Artists: Heman Chong, Mariana Castillo Deball, Graham Gussin, Victor Man, Francesc Ruiz, Jordan Wolfson, Haegue Yang

- Tommy Støckel's Art of Tomorrow       20 June – 31 August

- Ronny Heiremans & Katleen Vermeir: The Good Life  (curated with Nav Haq)       10 April – 7 June

Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie (curated by Nav Haq and Tirdad Zolghadr)        1 May – 4 July

Artists: Neil Cummings, Annika Eriksson, Dirk Fleischmann/Michele di Menna, Chris Evans, Liam Gillick, San Keller, Hassan Khan, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Marion von Osten, Anup Mathew Thomas

Angus Fairhurst        31 January – 29 March, toured to Waddesdon Manor, M Museum (Leuven, Belgium) and Westfalischer Kunstverein (Munster, Germany)


The Cover of a Book is the Beginning of a Journey         22 November – 18 January 2009

Artists: Angela Bulloch, Sophie Calle, Jonathan Monk, Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner et al.

Concept Store (project series), an eight-month programme, transforming Arnolfini into participatory settings, exploring the ‘Experience Economy’:

- Supertoys: On toys, play and affective machines  (co-curated with Geoff Cox)          22 Nov – 18 Jan 2009

Artists: Chris Cunningham, Dunne & Raby, Natalie Jeremijenko, Kahve Society, Philippe Parreno, Unmask Group

- On Purpose: Design Concepts (curated with Åbäke)        13 September – 9 November

Artists: Åbäke, Droog Design, Daniel Eatock, Electronest, Ann-Sofie Back, Will Holder, Peter Jensen, Onkar Kular & Noam Toran, Metahaven, Alex Rich, Savage, Yuri Suzuki

- Far West  (co-curated with Nav Haq)         28 June – 31 August, toured to Turner Contemporary and Liverpool Biennial, plus off-site Far West Metro

Artists: Xu Bing, David Blandy, Liu Ding, Cao Fei, Pierre Huyghe & Philippe Parreno, Unmask Group, Gunilla Klingberg, Surasi Kusolwong, Michael Lin, Yoko Ono, SOI Project, Seven Samurai, Support Structure

Mircea Cantor: The Need for Uncertainty        12 September - 8 November, with Modern Art Oxford and Camden Art Centre

Saskia Holmkvist: Role Control        April - June, with Index (Stockholm), toured to Frankfurter Kunstverein.

Torsten Lauschmann      April-June

Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison          March-April, at Knowle West Media Centre

Michael Stevenson: Persepolis 2530 (co-curated with Martin Clark)       February – March, including an Andy Warhol portrait of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi

Bill Owens: Suburbia Revisited (co-curated with Claudia Zanfi)       February – March


Hans-Peter Feldmann  (curated by Martin Clark)         November – January 2008, with Sprengel Museum, Hannover and OK Centrum, Linz

Michael Curran: Look What they Done to my Song      November – January 2008, with Matts Gallery, London

Port City: on mobility and exchange (exhibition and project series)        September – November, toured to John Hansard Gallery (Southampton) and A Foundation (Liverpool) plus related projects around Europe with Amazelab (Milan)

Artists: Maria Thereza Alves, Yto Barrada, Ursula Biemann, William Pope.L, Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, Ofri Cnaani & Jenny Vogel, Meschac Gaba, Mary Evans, Raimi Gbadamosi, Melanie Jackson, Grzegorz Klaman, Erik van Lieshout, Kayle Brandon & Heath Bunting, Kate Rich, Zineb Sedira, Zafos Xagoraris

- The Maghreb Connection (curated by Ursula Biemann)     September – November

Artists: Doa Aly, Angela Sanders, Raphael Cuomo & Maria Iorio, Hala Elkoussy, Charles Heller, Valeriano Lopez Dominguez, Helena Maleno & Alex Munoz

- Maria Thereza Alves: Seeds of Change, Bristol         September 2007 onwards, a floating ballast seed garden (managed in partnership with University of Bristol and Bristol City Council from 2012 onwards)

Eileen Quinlan & Cheyney Thompson         July - September

Lucy McKenzie: Ten Years of Robotic Mayhem        July - September, with Norwich Gallery and SFMoMA, San Francisco

Manuel Vason: Encounters         June – July, toured to A Foundation / Liverpool Biennial

Black Audio Film Collective: The Ghosts of Songs       April – June, in collaboration with FACT (Liverpool)

Brian Griffiths: The Man Who Loved Islands (co-curated with Martin Clark)        April - June

Pale Carnage (curated by Martin Clark)        February - April

Artists: Nobuyoshi Araki, Athanasios Argianas, Ulla von Brandenburg, Tom Burr, Gillian Carnegie, Steven Claydon, Cerith Wyn Evans, Lothar Hempel, Mark Leckey, Aida Ruilova, Dirk Stewen, JD Williams

Henri Gaudier-Brezka          February - April

Ken Stanton Archive: Recording Iraq          February - April


Lois Weinberger: Home Voodoo       December – January 2007

Melanie Jackson: Road Angel         December – January 2007

Remembering Saro-Wiwa          November - December

Albert Oehlen: I Will Always Champion Bad Painting (curated by Martin Clark)       September - November, in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery, London: I Will Always Champion Good Painting

British Art Show 6       July - September, with Spike Island, RWA, Bristol Museum, and the Hayward Gallery London

Artists: Tomma Abts, Philip Allen, Anna Barriball, Ergin Cavusoglu, Adam Chodzko, Enrico David, Roger Hiorns, Richard Hughes, Kersten Kartscher, Mark Leckey, Goshka Macuga, Christine Mackie, Heather & Ivan Morison, Rosalind Nashashibi, Paul Rooney

Black Moving Cube (curated by David A Bailey)       July - August

Artists: Kole Onil-ere, Inge Blackman, Jon Sealey, Kaz Ove

Ghosting: In the Dark (curated by Eddie Chambers)       June

Artists: Atlas Group, Neil Cummings & Marysia Lewandowska, Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Johan Grimonprez, Susan Hiller, Uriel Orlow & Ruth Maclennan, The Otolith Group, Fiona Tan

Deimantas Narkevicius: Once In the XX century  (curated by Martin Clark)        May-July

Kirstine Roepstorff: A Handful of Once  (curated by Martin Clark)          May-July

Beck's Futures 2006 (co-curated with Jens Hoffmann, ICA)     April-May, at A Bond building, with the ICA, London, and CCA, Glasgow

Artists: Blood ‘n’ Feathers, Jo Robertson & Lucy Stein, Pablo Bronstein, Stefan Bruggemann, Richard Hughes, Flavia Muller Medeiros, Seb Patane, Olivia Plender, Simon Popper, Jamie Shovlin, Daniel Sinsel, Matt Stokes, Sue Tompkins, Bedwyr Williams

Mark Titchner: It Is You (curated by Martin Clark)    February-April

IBT / This Secret Location           January - March

Artists: Alex Bradley, Charles Poulet, Lynette Wallworth, Ryoji Ikeda, Eve Dent and Paul Hurley, George Poonkhin Khut and Daniel Belasco Rogers, (plan b), Charlie Murphy, Caroline Wright


Starting at Zero: Black Mountain College 1933-57  (curated by Caroline Collier and Michael Hutchison)     November - December, in collaboration with Kettle’s Yard

Artists: Anni & Josef Albers, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, R. Buckminster Fuller, Shoji Hamada, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jacob Lawrence, Bernard Leach, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly

Playing John Cage (curated by David Toop and Greg Hilty)      November - December

Artists: Alvin Curran, Ryoji Ikeda, Rolf Julius, Tagaki Masakatsu, Kaffe Matthews, Carsten Nicolai, Akio Suzuki and Michael Prime, with additional works by Gavin Bryars, Michael Parsons, Mieko Shiomi, Christian Wolff, John Cage

This Storm is What We Call Progress (curated by Catsou Roberts)      September – October

Artists: Haluk Akakçe, Martin Boyce, Matthew Buckingham, Jyll Bradley, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Julie Mehretu, Lee Mingwei, Nobuko Tsuchiya, JMW Turner

SPACEX EXHIBITIONS PROGRAMME 1999-2005                                               


Wide Screen (co-curated with Ben Cook, LUX)        October, artists film commissions presented in national cinemas and at Frieze Art Fair

Artists: Yang Fudong, Mark Leckey, Daria Martin, Mika Taanila, Imogen Stidworthy, Jimmy Robert

Folk Art Archive: Contemporary Popular Art from the UK (curated by Jeremy Deller & Alan Kane)       October – November

Universalism At Stake: dialogues with Senghor (curated by Marie-Theres Champesme)    July - September

Artists: Muhsana Ali, Maria Thereza Alves, Taysir Batniji, Jack Beng-Thi, Marie Noëlle Boutin, Jimmie Durham, Angela Ferreira, Kan-si, Ludovic Linard, Myriam Mihindou, Anri Sala, Maxence Denis

Phyllida Barlow: Scape          May-July

Lygia Clark: Body Memory       May-July

Describing Form (curated by Abigail Reynolds)         May-July

Artists: Dudley Shaw Ashton, Maya Deren, Hy Hirsh, Liliane Lijn, Daria Martin, Marie Menken, William Raban, Richard Serra, Hannah Wilke

Mika Taanila: Hotel Futuro      March-April 


JODI: Computing 101B     December - February 2005

Lisa Cheung: Great Wall of china    December - February 2005

Hortus: botany and empire           September-November, jointly presented at Spacex and Liverpool Biennial

Artists: Maria Thereza Alves, Bergvall & Maher, Susan Boafo, Jyll Bradley, Stuart Brisley, Peter Fend, Fischli & Weiss, Helena Goldwater, Andrew Lawson, Vong Phaophanit, Lois Weinberger

Peter Fend: Reverse Global Warming        July-September

Marcus Vergette: The Ring of Bells      June-July

Jeremy Deller: The Battle of Orgreave                June

Homeland: in and out of Middle England  (co-curated with Zoë Shearman)        April–June, scattered site project across Exeter

Artists: Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Tariq Alvi, Oladélé Bamgboyé, Grayson Perry, Rosalind Nashashibi, Ansuman Biswas, Jem Finer, Jyll Bradley, Wrights & Sites, Lisa Cheung and Michael Curran, plus guests

William Kentridge     February-April


Shizuka Yokomizo: Distance     December-January 2004, toured to Chapter, Cardiff and Site Gallery, Sheffield.

PERFORMANCE: Cameron Jamie, with The Melvins: Krandy Klaus/BB/ Spook House        November

Oladélé Bamgboyé: Introspect         October–November

Luke Fowler: What you see is where you’re at          July–September

Longlife              July-August

Artists: Maia & Damien Hirst, Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz/Tank Girl), Banksy, Adrenalin Magazine, Laird Hamilton, Paul Kaye, A, David Carson, Aphex Twin, Beth Derbyshire

Marine Hugonnier: Ariana (co-curated with Steven Bode, Film & Video Umbrella)         May-July, aso shown at the 50th Venice Biennale in June 2003

Flock (co-curated with Louise K. Wilson)           March-April, toured to Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

Artists: Jyll Bradley with Exeter Flower Club, Marcus Coates, Andrew Dodds, John Drever, Jussi Heikkila, Rona Lee, Rachel Lowe, Harriet MacDougall, Quack-project, Sophy Rickett, Katy Shepherd, Hans Waanders


Steven Tynan: Buster Keaton      December-February 2003

Gate (curated with Ben & Tim Eastop)      October, film screening on Dartmoor          

Artists including Eija Liisa Ahtila, George Barber, Patrick Keiller, Malcolm Le Grice

John Levack Drever and Marcus Vergette: Field Work      October-November

Different States        July-August

Artists: Anya Gallaccio, Keiko Sato, Paul Astbury

Generator  (co-curated with Geoff Cox)      May-June, toured to the Liverpool Biennial and Firstsite, Colchester

Artists: Mark Bowden, Stuart Brisley, Angus Fairhurst, Alex Finlay, Tim Head, Jeff Instone, Zoë Irvine, Sol LeWitt, limbomedia, Alex McLean, Netochka Nezvanova, Yoko Ono, Organogenesis, Colin Sackett, Cornelia Sollfrank, STAR & monkeys from Paignton Zoo, Joanna Walsh, Adrian Ward

Presentness is Grace: Experiencing the Suspended Moment      February-April, in collaboration with Arnolfini

Artists: Darren Almond, Zeyad Dajani, Antony Hall, Marine Hugonnier, Pierre Huyghe, Ann Veronica Janssens, Nina Katchadourian, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Corey McCorkle, Hideyuki Sawayangi, Marcel Broodthaers


Patterns  (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)        November-February 2002, multi-site project across Exeter, including site-specific installations in Exeter Cathedral, Exeter Mosque, Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies (University of Exeter)

Artists: Zineb Sedira, Samta Benyahia, Ismail Fajer, Geoffrey Preston

East of Eden series (project series):

- OFF-SITE PROJECT: Caroline Bergvall and Ciarán Maher: Say: “parsley”         November

- OFF-SITE PROJECT: Sea Change Part I       September-October

Artists: Ocean Earth (Peter Fend, Dennis Oppenheim, George Chaikin, John F. Simon, Taro Suzuki and guests

- Sea Change Part II           September-November

Artists: Susan Derges, Liz Nicol, Jem Southam

- East of Eden art: nature: society         July-September

Sixty artists including Thomas Joshua Cooper, John Virtue, Vong Phaophanit, Sophy Rickett, Eduardo Padhila, David Mabb, Juneau projects, Mamuka Japharidze, Abigail Reynolds, Jasone Miranda Bilbao, amongst others

- OFF-SITE PROJECT: Nils Norman: Geocruiser         September

OFF-SITE PROJECT: Station to Station (co-curated with Louise Short)            June

Artists: Phyllida Barlow, Duncan Cameron, Thomas A. Clark, Gillian Cooper, Adam Dade & Sonya Hanney, Mary Evans, Anthony Hall, Lesley Kerman, Andrew Mania, John Matthias & Alex Watkins, Louis Nixon, Graham Rich, Cecile Johnson Soliz, Tim Staples, Gladstone Thompson

OFF-SITE PROJECT: Lesley Kerman: Public Secrets      May onwards  

OFF-SITE PROJECT: What’s Going On        May

Angus Fairhurst: This Does Not Last More Than One Second  (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)       April-June

PERFORMANCE: L*******S        June

Artists: Angus Fairhurst, with Pierre Bismuth, Joe Strummer, Keith Allen and Damien Hirst

Home Series (project series):

- Gavin Renwick: HOME: the outpost of progress  (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)      January-April, also off-site, at Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter


Jayne Parker: Foxfire Eins (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)       December-January 2001, toured to John Hansard Gallery and Aldeburgh Festival

PERFORMANCE: World premiere of Christopher Fox’s composition, Inner, performed by Anton Lukoszevieze

Michael Curran and Imogen Stidworthy: Closing Close By         October-November

OFF-SITE PROJECT: Remote Sensing: George Barber, Sarah Miles, Monika Oechsler      October

- Sigalit Landau: Somnambulin (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)        August-September, toured to Saitama Museum of Modern Art, Japan

- James Ursell: Septomorphic Filter (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)      August-September

- Lois Weinberger: Edge of the City (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)      June-August, and at Camden Arts Centre and the Freud Museum, London    

Everything needs time (co-curated with Ineke van der Wal)       May-June

Artists: Berlinda de Bruyckere, Peter Buggenhout, Bettie van Haaster, Nico Parlevliet, Maria Roosen, Keiko Sato, Johan Tahon, Fiona Tan

Free Association series (project series), marking the centenary of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams:

- Bettina Semmer: Painting Factory (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)          March-April

- Homing: projects for Kosovo (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)     January-March

Artists: Christine & Irene Hohenbuchler with Martin Feiersinger, Gunther Steiner, Kunstwerkstatt Lienz, Architecture for Humanity with Mike Lawless, LDA Architects, Art Therapy Initiative


21: marking the 21st anniversary of Spacex (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)     December-January 2000 

Group show and off-site projects with 50 artists including Ed Allington, Ian Davenport, Tracey Emin, Gary Hume, Richard Long, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Vong Phaophanit, Bridget Riley, John Virtue, Gillian Wearing

Free Association series (project series):

- Hermione Wiltshire: ‘and when I got there’  (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)      October-November, toured to Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham.

Elastic Abstract (co-curated with Zoe Shearman)         September-October

Artists: DJ Simpson, Mark Canon, Michelle Fierro, Pascal Hervey, Phil King, Alex Landrum, Mike Stubbs



Poltimore House: Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World, Exeter 

Programme Consultant devising a three-year curatorial programme of international contemporary arts


Lois Weinberger: Camden Arts Centre and the Freud Museum, London                                          April - May 2000

Initiated a dual-site exhibition and outdoor project by Lois Weinberger as part of Free Association; a series of exhibitions and events in London and Exeter, to mark the centenary of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams


Art + Location - Architectural Association, London

Initiated and devised a two-year programme of site specific ‘art & architecture’ projects for ‘non-art’ locations. Developed in the context of the AA’s public art strategy and in collaboration with the Chairman and Staff


The Visible & the Invisible: re-presenting the body in contemporary art & society               Sept-Oct 1996

Produced by the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva) (co-curated with Zoe Shearman), multi-site project around Euston, London, including the Wellcome Trust, University College London, Friends House, St. Pancras Church and Euston Station

Artists: Sutapa Biswas, Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Burson, Tania Bruguera, Maureen Connor, Brian Jenkins, Bruce Nauman, Virginia Nimarkoh, Yoko Ono, Jayne Parker, Donald Rodney, Doris Salcedo, Louise K Wilson

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Trevor welcomes research proposals on a range of topics relating to contemporary art and curation, with a particular focus on shifting notions of 'the contemporary' in relation to biopolitics, decolonisation, climate emergency and the digital network society.

Research students

Miao Wang, 'The Fluid Space: the dilemma of constructing the subjective self in the Chinese social media environment-A study with the approach of Contemporary Art Practice'

Mie Al-Missned, 'Rites Without Passage: Ritual Performativity in Transnational Networks of Contemporary Art'

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2023 | 2022 | 2020 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004 | 2002 | 2000 |


  • Trevor T. (2023) The Assisted Painting Series, Bettina Semmer.


  • Trevor T. (2022) A New Atlantic: Wayfinding Beyond the Totalizing Claims and Epistemic Violence of Eurocentric Modernity, Tupaia, Captain Cook and the Voyage of the Endeavour A Material History, Bloomsbury Visual Arts.


  • Trevor T. (2020) Cook's New Clothes, IAAC Exhibition Reviews Annual 2019-2020, pages 35-40. [PDF]


  • Trevor T. (2018) The Atlantic Project: After The Future.
  • Trevor T. (2018) The Atlantic Project: After The Future, The Arts Institute, University of Plymouth.
  • Trevor T. (2018) The Space of Flows, 2018 Bruges Triennial: Liquid City, Stichting Kunstboek.


  • Trevor T. (2017) ARoS Triennial: The Garden.
  • Trevor T. (2017) Cape Town: port city, Africa Modern Creating Contemporary Art of a Continent, KT Wong Foundation.
  • Trevor T. (2017) Lois Weinberger, Documenta 14: Daybook, Prestel Publishing.


  • Trevor T. (2016) The Pre-History of Zero, International Awards for Art Criticism: Reviews Annual 2015-2016, International Awards for Art Criticism.


  • Trevor T. (2015) Music for Museums.
  • Trevor T. (2015) Take Me To The River - currents of the contemporary, Dojima River Forum.
  • Trevor T. (2015) The Origin of Futures, In-Residence Magazine (Art House Index Issue), Limited Editions vzw.
  • Trevor T. (2015) Dojima River Biennale 2015: Take Me To The River.


  • Trevor T, Dawood S. (2013) Black Sun: Alchemy, Diaspora and Heterotopia.
  • Trevor T. (2013) Everything and Nothing - the Pre-History of Zero, Joelle Tuerlinckx: WOR(L)(D)(K) IN PROGRESS?, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig.
  • Trevor T. (2013) Blind Spot - On the Metaphor of the Sun: Light, Language and Melancholia, Black Sun: Alchemy, Diaspora and Heterotopia, Ridinghouse.
  • Trevor T. (2013) Three Ecologies, Lois Weinberger, Hatje Cantz.


  • Trevor T, Enwezor O, Snauwaert D, Wieder A, Lorz J, Trevor T. (2012) Joelle Tuerlinckx, Wor(l)(d)(k) in Progress?.


  • Cummings N, Trevor T. (2011) Self Portrait Arnolfini, Arnolfini.
  • Trevor T. (2011) The Green Man, Lois Weinberger (Musee d'Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Metropole), Silvana Editoriale.
  • Trevor T. (2011) Me, Myself and I, Jovis Verlag.
  • Trevor T. (2011) Free Time, Cosima von Bonin - 1, 2, 3, 4 diese Publikationn erscheint anlässlich der Ausstellungsreihe 'Cosima von Bonin - the Lazy Susan Series - a rotating exhibition 2010-2012' ; mit folgenden Ausstellungsstationen: Cosima von Bonin's far niente for Witte de With's sloth section, Loop # 01 of the Lazy Susan Series, a rotating exhibition 2010-2012, 10. october 2010-9. january 2011, Witte de with Center of Contemporary Art, Rotterdam ; Cosima von Bonin's bone idle for Arnolfin's sloth section, Loop # 02 of the Lazy Susan Series, a rotating exhibition 2010-2012, 19. february 2011-25. april 2011, Arnolfini, Bristol ; Cosima von Bonin's zermatt! Zermatt! Z ... ermattet! For Mamco's sloth section, Loop # 03 of the Lazy Susan Series, a rotating exhibition 2010-2012, 8. june 2011-18. september 2011, Mamco, Genf ; Cosima von Bonin's cut! Cut! Cut! For Museum Ludwig's sloth section, Loop # 04 of the Lazy Susan Series, a rotating exhibition 2010-2012, 5. november 2011-13. may 2012, Museum Ludwig, Köln, DuMont Buchverlag.


  • Trevor T, Haq N, Cox G. (2010) Concept Store #3 : Art, Activism and Recuperation.


  • Trevor T, Marriott J, Trowell J, Gretton D, Minio-Paluello M, Ma'anit A, Amunwa B, Evans M, Smith K. (2009) C Words: Carbon Climate Capital Culture, Arnolfini.
  • Cox G, Haq N, Trevor T. (2009) Concept Store #2: Possible, Probable and Preferable Futures.


  • Trevor T. (2008) SOMNAMBULIN: A Short Journey Through Middle England, Ausstellung u.d.T.: Sigalit Landau : the Dining Hall, Hatje Cantz Pub.
  • Trevor T, Haq N, Cox G. (2008) Concept Store #1: Art, Consumerism and the Experience Economy, Arnolfini.


  • Trevor T. (2007) Lois & Franziska Weinberger: Home Voodoo, Arnolfini.
  • Trevor T. (2007) Port City: On Mobility and Exchange, Arnolfini.


  • Trevor T, Blazwick I. (2006) Albert Oehlen: I Will Always Champion Good Painting / I Will Always Champion Bad Painting, Albert Oehlen: I Will Always Champion Good Painting / I Will Always Champion Bad Painting, Whitechapel Gallery / Arnolfini.


  • Trevor T, Yokomizo S, Doherty C. (2004) Shizuka Yokomizo distance, Spacex.


  • LeWitt S. (2002) Sol LeWitt: Chicago, Spacex / Morning Star.


  • Trevor T, Parker J, Shearman Z. (2000) Jayne Parker Filmworks 79-00, Spacex.

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External impact and engagement

Trevor has thirty years’ experience as a contemporary art curator, including fourteen as Director of leading UK arts institutions, during which time he has curated more than 100 exhibitions, working in partnership with museums and galleries around the world. 

As a writer on contemporary art, Trevor has twice been shortlisted for the International Awards for Art Criticism, and was one of four winners of the 'IAAC 6' prize announced in Shanghai in September 2019.

Professional memberships (elected):

- International Curators of Contemporary Art Association (IKT), 2005 - ongoing

- International Arts Critics Association (AICA), 2009 - ongoing

- International Biennial Association (IBA), 2012 - ongoing

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Tom Trevor is a curator and writer on contemporary art. He is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Curation at the University of Exeter, where he leads the MA Curation programme, and is also Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded Creative Peninsula project and convenor of the Atlantica network. Previously he was Artistic Director of The Atlantic Project in Plymouth, UK (2016-19), Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015-16), Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, Japan (2014-15), curatorial consultant to the 1st ARoS Triennale in Aarhus, Denmark (2014-15), Guest Curator at the Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, India (2013-14), Director of Arnolfini in Bristol, UK (2005-13), Associate Curator of the Art Fund International collection, UK (2007-12), and Director of Spacex in Exeter, UK (1999-2005).

Over the past thirty years he has curated more than 100 exhibitions, placing an emphasis upon experimental emerging practice, particularly socially-engaged and context-led projects, working in partnership with museums and galleries around the world. During this time he has been responsible for numerous early career shows, as well as first UK presentations by artists such as Maria Thereza Alves, Cosima von Bonin, Matti Braun, Tania Bruguera, Meschac Gaba, Shilpa Gupta, Doris Salcedo, Joelle Tuerlinckx, Lois Weinberger and Haegue Yang, amongst others.

His recent curated projects include The Atlantic Project: After The Future (2018)a large-scale context-led project which took place in unusual locations across the city of Plymouth, featuring site-specific installations by 20 artists from 12 countries, including Hito Steyerl, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Ryoji Ikeda and SUPERFLEX. In 2015, as Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, he was the first British curator to lead a Japanese biennial, entitled Take Me To The River, with artists from 8 countries showing alongside leading practitioners from Japan. In the same year, as Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, he curated Music for Museums, a four-month programme of experimental music performances, film screenings and sound interventions throughout the institution. In 2014-15, as curatorial consultant to ARoS Kunstmuseum in the lead-up to Aarhus 2017, European Capital of Culture, he initiated and devised the 1st ARoS Triennale, on a theme of THE GARDEN. He also worked on a major video commission by John Akomfrah, Vertigo Sea, for the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2013, as Guest Curator at the Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, he co-curated the exhibition, Black Sun, with Shezad Dawood, including leading artists from the South Asian diaspora.

Over the past 30 years Trevor has curated numerous group shows and multi-site projects; e.g. The Visible & the Invisible (1996), the Free Association Series (1999-2000), the Home Series (2000-01), Generator (2002), Patterns (2002), Homeland (2004), Hortus: Botany & Empire (2004), Port City (2007), Far West (2008), Supertoys (2008), the Artist/Activist Series (2009-10), Museum Show pt I & II (2011), Version Control (2013).

As Associate Curator of the Art Fund International (2007-12), Trevor led on building a major new £1million (GBP) collection of contemporary art from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, making 44 acquisitions, including works by Ai Weiwei, Yto Barrada, Cao Fei, Meschac Gaba, Shilpa Gupta, Emily Jacir, Amar Kanwar, Imran Qureshi, Walid Raad, Haegue Yang and Akram Zaatari, amongst others, and a major commission by Do Ho Suh.

As a writer, Trevor has authored, produced, or contributed to, over 40 publications, including artists monographs with publishers such as Walther Konig, Hatje Cantz, Jovis and Dumont. His most recent published texts include A New Atlantic in Tupaia, Captain Cook and the Voyage of the Endeavour (Bloomsbury 2023), an essay in the Bruges Triennale 2018 catalogue (The Space of Flows), the launch publication of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town in September 2017 (Port City: Cape Town in Africa Modern) and a chapter for the documenta 14 Daybook. He has twice been shortlisted for the International Awards for Art Criticism (2015 & 2019) and was one of four winners announced at the 2019 ‘IAAC 6’ annual ceremony in Shanghai.

Trevor is an elected member of AICA (International Art Critics Association), IBA (International Biennial Association) and IKT (International Curators Association). He was previously a member of Plus Tate (chairing the digital working group), the national steering group of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network, and was founding Chair of Visual Arts South West, in the UK. He studied at the Ruskin, University of Oxford, and Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (Hon DLitt) at the University of Exeter in 2014, where he was an Honorary Research Fellow from 2014-20.

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