Since 1991 Julie Courtney’s curatorial practice has consisted of commissioning artists to create temporary site specific projects in historic sites and untraditional art spaces. Artists give fresh perspectives of and new insights to the history of places, causing both the staff and visitors to rethink their preconceptions about a place or a historical event. Courtney has transformed places like Eastern State Penitentiary, where Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller created a sound installation, Pandemonium, that recreated the feeling of a prison riot. And John Bartram’s house, where Mark Dion retraced the travels of William Bartram and, like the Bartrams, sent back both natural and man-made artifacts, which were installed seamlessly throughout the house.
Courtney’s projects bring new audiences to the historic sites and introduce their current members to contemporary art.