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Previously Unknown is a podcast from Independent 20th Century that reframes and reevaluates what we think we know about contemporary art.

In this episode, Lisa Darms, Executive Director of Hauser and Wirth Institute, and John Tain, Head of Research at Asia Art Archive, speak about the future of artist archives and legacies–from making archives accessible, maintaining papers in their communities and persevering the original order of a collection. Hauser and Wirth Institute is a non-profit exhibitor at Independent 20th Century 2023, and has recently funded and supported a major project to further the legacy of Zahoor ul Akhlaq with Asian Art Archives. 

This podcast is generously sponsored by Crozier Fine Arts.



Previously Unknown Podcast Episode 1: The Future of Artists' Archives - Features - Independent Art Fair

John Tain joined Asia Art Archive (AAA) as Head of Research in 2017.  In addition to overseeing the rapid growth of archival collections, at AAA he has organized research projects such as ‘Modern Art Histories in and across Africa, South and Southeast Asia’ (2019-2020, with Dhaka Art Summit and Cornell’s Institute for Comparative Modernities), ‘Art Schools of Asia’ (2021-22), and ‘Independent Art Spaces of Taiwan’ (2022-2025).  Exhibitions he has curated or co-curated include ‘Translations, Expansion’ (2022), AAA’s contribution to documenta fifteen; ‘Crafting Communities’ (2020), devoted to the social practice of Womanifesto; ‘Women Make Art History’ (2018), which featured the Guerrilla Girls’ first new commission in East Asia, and ‘Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Someday, Chicago’ (2018). 

He is curator of the third edition of the Lahore Biennale (2024), which addresses ecologies and sustainable futures.  He lectures and publishes regularly, has served as a contributor and editor for Afterall’s Exhibition Histories series; an advisor for the Primary Documents volume on South Asia Modernism (for which AAA is collaborating with the Museum of Modern Art); and is an editor for the Intersecting Modernisms project. He previously served as a curator of modern and contemporary collections at the Getty Research Institute.

Previously Unknown Podcast Episode 1: The Future of Artists' Archives - Features - Independent Art Fair

Lisa Darms is Executive Director of Hauser & Wirth Institute, a nonprofit devoted to equity and innovation in the field of artists' archives. Lisa has worked intimately with artists and their collections for over fifteen years, including as Senior Archivist at NYU's Fales Library, where she managed the Downtown Collection of art and performance archives. She is the editor of The Riot Grrrl Collection (Feminist Press, 2013) and co-editor of Weight of the Earth: The Tape Journals of David Wojnarowicz (Semiotext(e), 2018). Lisa holds an MA in Archives and an MFA in Photography. 

About Hauser & Wirth Institute
Hauser & Wirth Institute is a non-profit, private foundation dedicated to transforming the field of artists’ archives by nurturing equity and innovation and increasing access to archives. Operating independently of commercial interests, the Institute provides grants for progressive archival projects and education, fosters networks locally and internationally and organizes public programming that enlivens and expands conversations around artistic legacies.