Marie-Laure Allain Bonilla

Postdoctoral Fellow, Art History


Publications  (selection)

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Trained in curatorial studies, Marie-Laure Allain Bonilla holds a PhD in contemporary art history from the University of Rennes 2 (France). She specializes in the history of exhibitions—her PhD dissertation highlights a history of the uses of postcolonial theories by curatorial practices in contemporary art since the 1980s—and is particularly interested in contemporary African art practices and the way they are promoted, marketed, purchased, and displayed. Her primary research concerns museum acquisition policies in the global era and the possibilities to decolonize institutional practices through collaborations, both in the West and in former colonized areas.

Allain Bonilla has published on subjects such as the biennial phenomenon (particularly the Johannesburg biennale), on museum and curatorial studies, as well as on contemporary art practices challenging Western prerogatives, always using cultural studies, anthropology, and postcolonial and decolonial theories as a toolbox to write a non-Eurocentric art history. She is also a regular contributor to Critique d'Art. Apart from working on the publication of a book based on her PhD dissertation, she is currently coediting a book of collected papers for an international conference she co-organized in 2015 at the University of Rennes 2 on feminist, queer, and post/decolonial subjectivities in contemporary art.

Allain Bonilla has taught at University of Rennes 2, where she was involved in the Master in Curatorial Studies program, and in January 2016 she joined the University of Basel for her post-doctoral research. A member of Urban Studies, she is also affiliated with the Seminar of Social Anthropology, where she works with Prof. Dr. Till Förster. She is a member of the Global Art Prospective program at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) in Paris.