Claire Bishop

Claire Bishop

Research Interests

  • Contemporary art
  • performance art, art & politics
  • exhibition history
  • post- and de-colonial theory


  • Ph.D. University of Essex, 2002
  • M.A. University of Essex, 1996
  • B.A. University of Cambridge, 1994

Claire Bishop, professor of art history, is widely considered to be an original thinker and creative interpreter of contemporary art, as well as a dynamic teacher. Her 2002 Ph.D. from the University of Essex was published as Installation Art: A Critical History and quickly became an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the subject; her edited volume, Participation is also highly regarded. Her book Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship won the College Art Association’s 2013 Frank Jewett Mather Award for art criticism. Forthcoming projects include a short book on Merce Cunningham's Events, and Disordered Attention, a collection of essays about contemporary art and performance since the 1990s. Her books and articles have been translated into twenty languages, and she is a Contributing Editor to Artforum. See her website on and online archive. 

Awards and Grants

  • Research Fellowship, Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Williamstown (2013)
  • Frank Jewett Mather prize for art criticism (2013)
  • ASAP book award prize (2013)
  • Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, (2017)



  • Tania Bruguera in conversation with/en conversación con Claire Bishop, NY: Cisneros, 2020
  • Radical Museology, or, What’s ‘Contemporary’ in Museums of Contemporary Art?, Cologne: Koenig Buchhandlung, 2013
  • Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, London: Verso, 2012
  • Participation, London: Whitechapel Art Gallery and Cambridge, Mass: MIT Pres, 2006
  • Installation Art: A Critical History, London: Tate Publishing & New York: Routledge, 2005


  • 2020, ‘Free Your Mind: A Speculative Review of #newMoMA’ (co-authored with Nikki Columbus), n+1, January, your-mind/
  • 2019, Okwui Enwezor (Obituary), Third Text,
  • 2018, ‘Black Box, White Cube, Gray Zone: Dance Exhibitions and Audience Attention’, TDR, 62:2, 22–42
  • 2017, ‘Against Digital Art History’, Humanities Futures/Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University,
  • 2014, ‘The Perils and Possibilities of Dance in the Museum: MoMA, Whitney and Tate’, Dance Research Journal, vol.46, no.3, 62–76
  • 2012, ‘Digital Divide: Contemporary Art and New Media’, Artforum, September, 434–441.
  • 2011, ‘Unhappy Days in the Art World? Deskilling Theater, Reskilling Performance’, Al Held Essays, Brooklyn Rail, December, 39–40
  • 2006, ‘The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents’, Artforum, February 2006, pp.178–183
  • 2004, ‘Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics’, October (MIT Press), no.110, Fall 2004, 51–79