in other words

Everything you ever wanted to know about the art market but didn't know who to ask

#43 Art and Conspiracy

With Ian Alteveer & Doug Eklund


Guests Ian Alteveer and Doug Eklund with host Charlotte Burns. Photo credit: Matthew Magelof

Art Agency, Partners
#43 Art and Conspiracy

BY Charlotte Burns
executive editor of In Other Words

In this episode, we go down the rabbit hole with Ian Alteveer and Doug Eklund, the co-curators of “Everything is Connected: Art and Conspiracy” at the Met Breuer (until 6 January 2019).

The show deals with the ways artists have imagined the forces that control their lives, presenting 70 works created between 1969 and 2016 by around 30 artists and artist collectives. It is the first major exhibition on the topic.

The beginning half of the show focuses on art that uncovers corporate and political malfeasance through public records, dealing with scandals from Watergate to the assassination of JFK and the US government’s handling of the AIDS crisis. It includes work by artists intent on unveiling deceptions, from shell corporations to the networks linking politicians, business people and arms dealers. The second part of the show moves into the realm of the fantastical, presenting works that are often dark or troubled—whether doll houses, LSD-inspired visions or other kinds of alternate realities. 

For more, tune in today.

Click here for the full transcript

Charlotte Burns: Hello, and welcome to In Other Words where we cover everything you ever wanted to know about the art world but didn’t know who to ask. I’m your host, Charlotte Burns, and today I’m joined by Ian Alteveer, the Aaron I. Fleischman Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York.

Alteveer quote from interview: “That kind of dizzying sensation that you don’t really know the real story, I think, is represented so well in that work

I’m also joined by Doug Eklund who is a curator at The Metropolitan Museum as well, specializing in contemporary photography and variable media.

Eklund quote from interview: “He was looking for that choke point where you could force the institution into revealing its agenda.”

Together, Ian and Doug have organized the exhibition “Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy” which is on view now at the Met Breuer until the 6th of January.


Ian Alteveer

curator of Modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum

Ian Alteveer is the Aaron I. Fleischman curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s department of Modern and contemporary Art. He organized “Marisa Merz: The Sky Is a Great Space” as well as the recent smash-hit retrospective “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry”, which traveled to LA Moca. He was in charge of the 2015 Roof Garden Commission by Pierre Huyghe and was part of the curatorial team for “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” in 2012.

Alteveer also curated “Once Upon a Time and Now”, an exhibition celebrating the reopening of the New York LGBT Community Center in 2015.

Before working at the Met, Alteveer was a graduate curatorial fellow and curatorial assistant at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.

Doug Eklund

curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Doug Eklund is a curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, specializing in contemporary photography and variable media. Notable exhibitions organized by Eklund include “Street” (2013), “The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984” (2009), “Photography on Photography: Reflections on the Medium Since 1960 (2008), and “Closed Circuit: Video and New Media at the Metropolitan“(2007). Eklund received both his BA and MA from Columbia University.

Charlotte Burns

executive editor of In Other Words

Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.

Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.

For more on Ian Alteveer, Doug Eklund and “Everything is Connected: Art and Conspiracy”

“Everything is Connected: Art and Conspiracy” exhibition details and catalogue

Review of “Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy” by Hovey Brock in The Brooklyn Rail (November 2018), by Sasha . Levine in Surface (October 2018) and by Cat Lachowskyj in British Journal of Photography (September 2018)

In Other Words podcast “Inequalities in the Art Word” podcast with Ian Alteveer and Naima Keith (April 2017)

The live record

Behind the scenes with Ian Alteveer & Doug Eklund

9 Images

Where to look

Selected works from "Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy"

17 Images

You may also like...

Slideshow: Negative Space

By Matthew Thompson

Quarantined Cartoons

By Kaitlin Chan

Art Books and the Covid-19 Crisis

How the industry is adapting

By Christian House