Tom Trevor is a curator and writer, based in the UK. He is currently Artistic Director of the Atlantic Project (incorporating the River Tamar Project), based at Plymouth University, developing a new international festival of contemporary art for the South West of England in the lead-up to Mayflower 400 in 2020. He is also Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, devizing the on-going Music for Museums programme. Previously he was Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, Japan (2014-15), curatorial consultant to the 1st ARoS Triennial, 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 (AFI) collection (2007-12), and Director of Spacex in Exeter, UK (1999-2005). His other projects in 2015 include commissions by John Akomfrah for the 56th Venice Biennale, Italy , and Bildmuseet, in Umea, Sweden (Associate Producer), and by Do Ho Suh for AFI at Bristol Museum (Associate Curator). Exhibitions curated in 2014 include Black Sun, at the Devi Art Foundation (co-curated with Shezad Dawood), and Joelle Tuerlinckx’ Wor(l)d(k) in Progress? at Arnolfini (co-curated with Axel Wieder, in collaboration with Wiels, Brussels, and Haus der Kunst, Munich). He is also currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter (2014-17), where he was conferred a Doctorate of Letters in 2014.
Over the past twenty years Trevor has curated more than 100 projects, including first UK exhibitions of artists such as Maria Thereza Alves, Ursula Biemann, Cosima von Bonin, Matti Braun, Tania Bruguera, Meschac Gaba, Doris Salcedo and Shizuka Yokomizo, and first shows in Japan by artists such as Melanie Gilligan, Hito Steyerl, SUPERFLEX and Michael Stevenson, amongst many others. He has curated numerous group shows and multi-site projects; e.g. The Visible & the Invisible (1996), the Home Series (2000), Generator (2002), Patterns (2002), Homeland (2004), Port City (2007), Far West (2008), Museum Show (2011), Version Control (2013), etc. He has produced, or contributed to, over 40 publications, including books with international art publishers such as Walther Konig, Hatje Cantz, Jovis and Dumont, and lectured widely. He has close working relationships with many museums and arts organisations around the world. In 2014, he was a member of the jury for the Korea Artists Prize at the National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Seoul, a member of the Advisory Committee to the Gwangju Biennale, an International Curator’s Forum correspondent at the Sharjah Biennial ‘March Meeting’ in the UAE, and a delegate at the 2nd World Biennial Forum in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is an elected member of AICA (International Art Critics Association), IBA (International Biennial Association) and IKT (International Curators Association), and was previously a member of Plus Tate (chairing the digital working group) and the national steering group of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network. He was founding Chair of Visual Arts South West, in the UK (2010-13). He studied Fine Art at the Ruskin, University of Oxford, and Goldsmiths’ College, University of London.
From October 2005 to October 2013, Trevor was Director of Arnolfini, the centre for contemporary arts in Bristol (UK), described by Sir Nicholas Serota (Director of Tate) in 2011 as “one of a handful of the most significant contemporary cultural centres in Europe.” During this time he was also Associate Curator of the Art Fund International project (2007-12), working in partnership with Bristol Museum to build a collection of contemporary art from an international perspective. Artists represented in the Art Fund International collection, under his direction, include Ai Weiwei, Yto Barrada, Omer Fast, Meschac Gaba, Shilpa Gupta, Emily Jacir, Amar Kanwar, Tala Madani, Imran Qureshi, Walid Raad, Do Ho Suh, Haegue Yang and Akram Zaatari, amongst others. The collection was launched in December 2012 with the exhibition No Borders, curated by Trevor, at Bristol Museum.
At Arnolfini (2005-13), Trevor oversaw a visual arts-led multi-disciplinary programme of exhibitions, performance, dance, music, film, literature and online projects, along with a busy public programme of talks, seminars and learning activities. During this time he curated solo shows by Lois & Franziska Weinberger (2006), Melanie Jackson (2006), Ken Stanton Archive (2007), Michael Curran (2008), Angus Fairhurst (2009), Barbara Steveni (2009), Caroline Bergvall (2010), Louise Bourgeois & Otto Zitko (2010) and YoHa (2010), and co-curated exhibitions by Cosima von Bonin (2011), Matti Braun (2012), Jutta Koether (2013) and Joelle Tuerlinckx (2013). His curated group shows at Arnolfini included Port City (2007) (Yto Barrada, Ursula Biemann, Meschac Gaba, Erik van Lieshout and Wiliam Pope L et al), Far West (2008) co-curated with Nav Haq (Cao Fei, Liu Ding, Pierre Huyghe, Michael Lin, SOI Projects, Xu Bing, Gunilla Klingberg, Surasi Kusolwong and Yoko Ono), Supertoys (2008) co-curated with Geoff Cox (with Philippe Parreno, Natalie Jeremijenko, Chris Cunningham and others), the 100 Days artist/activist series (2009) (including Artists Placement Group, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, Platform, Ocean Earth), Magical Consciousness (2011), co-curated with Runa Islam and Nav Haq (with Angela Bulloch, Mariana Castillo Deball, Matias Faldbakken, Mungo Thomson, David Maljkovic et al), Museum Show (2011) parts I & II, co-curated with Nav Haq (with Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Broodthaers, James Lee Byars, Susan Hiller, Marko Lulic, Tomas Saraceno, Walid Raad, et al) and Version Control (2013), co-curated with Axel Wieder (including Tim Etchells, Felix Gmelin, Olivier Laric, Eva+Franco Mattes, Amalia Pica and Rabih Mroue, amongst others).
In the city of Bristol, long-term projects in the public domain include Maria Thereza Alves’ Seeds of Change (2007-), a ‘ballast seed garden’ of migrant plants brought to the port through maritime trade, and Suzanne Lacy’s University of Local Knowledge (2009-), foregrounding the knowledge held within the working class community of Knowle West. Other significant projects presented at Arnolfini during this period include first major UK solo shows by Albert Oehlen, Black Audio Film Collective, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Lucy Mackenzie, Mark Titchner, Deimantas Narkevicius, Michael Stevenson, Saskia Holmkvist, Heiremans & Vermeir, Mircea Cantor, Joanna Billing, Imogen Stidworthy, Kerry Tribe, Haegue Yang, Shilpa Gupta, Olivia Plender, Yorgos Sapountzis, Michael Dean and Mierle Laederman Ukeles, as well as numerous live programmes. Whilst his specialism is in curating contemporary art, he also has programming experience across the disciplines of performance, music and film. Highlights include the In Between Time festival of performance, Goat Island, Forced Entertainment, music by Hassan Khan, Moritz von Oswald and text-fireworks by Cerith Wyn Evans, amongst many other events.
At Spacex (1999-2005), Trevor curated more than 50 exhibitions and ‘off-site’ projects, placing a particular emphasis upon socially engaged, context-based work, including multi-site projects such as Patterns (2001) (with artists Zineb Sedira and Samta Benyahia) and Homeland (2004) (with Tariq Alvi, Michael Curran, Guillermo Gomez Pena, Rosalind Nashashibi and Grayson Perry and others). During this time he curated first UK solo exhibitions by Oladélé Bamgboyé, Angus Fairhurst, Luke Fowler, Sigalit Landau, Jayne Parker, Mika Taanila, Lois Weinberger and Shizuka Yokomizo, along with one-person shows by Phyllida Barlow, Jeremy Deller, Peter Fend, Marine Hugonnier, Cameron Jamie, JODI and William Kentridge. He also curated independent projects for the Liverpool Biennial; Generator (2002) (including new works by Stuart Brisley, Sol LeWitt, Netochka Nezvanova and Yoko Ono), and Hortus (2004) (including Maria Thereza Alves, Caroline Bergvall & Ciaran Maher, Peter Fischli & David Weiss and Vong Phaophanit); and for Frieze Art Fair (2005) (with new film commissions by Yang Fudong, Mark Leckey, Daria Martin, Jimmy Robert, Imogen Stidworthy and Mika Taanila).
Trevor studied Fine Art at the Ruskin, University of Oxford, and Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. In the 1990s he practiced as an artist in London, participating in exhibitions such as East Country Yard Show (1990) and 2 out of 4 Dimensions (1993) with contemporaries including Sarah Lucas, Liam Gillick, Gary Hume, Michael Landy and Gillian Wearing, as well as being active as a music producer for television. As an independent curator from 1994-2001, he curated context-based projects for the Institute of International Visual Arts (InIVA), Wellcome Trust, Camden Arts Centre and the Freud Museum (London), amongst other institutions. In 1996 he co-curated, with Zoe Shearman, a multi-site project, The Visible & the Invisible: representing the body in contemporary art & society, produced by InIVA, that took place in non-art locations around Euston, London, including first UK presentations by Tania Bruguera and Doris Salcedo along with site-specific installations by Louise Bourgeois, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Donald Rodney and others.
Trevor has given numerous talks internationally, including in Aarhus, Beijing, Beirut, Bridgetown, Cairo, Faenza, Seoul, Tehran, Yokohama and Zurich. He has lectured widely, including at the Architectural Association (London), the Asian Culture Complex (Gwangju), Goldsmiths College (London), IUAV (Venice), the Postgraduate Programme in Curating ZHdK (Zurich) and the Slade, UCL (London). In 2012 he was a visiting lecturer on the Gwangju Biennale International Curators Course, and in 2013 he gave the 4th ARKO lecture in Seoul.
He has written numerous articles and produced more than 40 publications, including recent essays, Everything and Nothing in Wor(l)(d)(k) in Progress? – Joelle Tuerlinckx (Koenig, 2013), The Three Ecologies in Lois Weinberger (Hatje Cantz, 2013), Free Time in Cosima Von Bonin (Museum Ludwig, Cologne/Dumont, 2011), Me, Myself and I – Otto Zitko (Jovis, Berlin, 2010) and Somnambulin in Sigalit Landau (Kunst-Werke, Berlin/Hantje Cantz, 2008). He founded the Concept Store journal in 2008.