Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Exhibitions Curator - Zabludowicz Art Projects

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, October 27. 2007 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Zabludowicz Art Projects, a not-for-profit charity which facilitates public access to contemporary art via exhibitions of works from the Zabludowicz Collection, is looking for a new Exhibitions Curator for 176, a new North London contemporary art project space for artistic and curatorial experimentation and research.

Hours: Full time, 40hrs per week, flexible
Monday - Friday with weekend work as appropriate
Based at: 176 Prince of Wales Road, NW5 3PT
Starting salary: £23,000 per annum

Application by CV and Cover Letter by 4pm on 2nd November 2007 to: Assistant -at- or by post to: 176 Prince of Wales Road, London, NW5 3PT
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Call for proposals: New Work UK

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, October 26. 2007 • Category: Announcements
New Work UK: Open Call for Curatorial Proposals

For the screening series New Work UK LUX and Whitechapel have been inviting individual curators to present programmes of the best of new British work as part of Whitechapel’s film programme. Now we would like to extend this invitation into an open call for curatorial proposals, one of which will be selected for presentation at Whitechapel on 28 February 2008.

Proposals are invited from anyone based in the UK – curators, artists, filmgoers – to develop a programme that will showcase new British artists’ moving image work in distinctive and revealing ways. You will determine the format and content of your programme and how it is presented. It could be a selection of work by one artist or a group of artists containing works that are formally, aesthetically, politically or otherwise connected, whether these connections are implicit or explicit, provocative or symphonic. The programme should consist primarily of new British work that has not been widely seen in London with a total running time of up to 90 minutes. There is a total budget for your programme of £500 which includes your fee and any screening fees, and you will be responsible for presenting the programme and getting agreements from artists to show their work.

In selecting the programme for presentation particular attention will be given to the coherence and originality of proposals and the clarity of your curatorial statement.

Proposals should take the form of a one-paragraph outline of the programme, accompanied by either a list of artists or a list of individual works that you would like to show.

Proposals should be sent by Friday 30 November 2007 to nwuk -at- or by post to NWUK, LUX, Shacklewell Studios, 18 Shacklewell Lane, London, E8 2EZ.

NB: Whitechapel can show the following formats: 16mm, all video formats, DVD.
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Talk: Curating a Second Life - Daniele Balit

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, October 25. 2007 • Category: Announcements
Curating a Second Life by Daniele Balit
October 26, 2007; 8:00 pm, Skopje
Contact for more info: Tel: +389 2 3228 594 Email: presstoexit [at]

The word “avatar” derives from the Sanskrit term Avatāra, meaning “incarnation” and today, it commonly designates the identity assumed for exploring virtual worlds and online communities such as Second Life. The avatar is not only a tool or a threshold to the virtual, but often becomes an incarnation of desires. It represents the will to be different or, at least, the illusion of holding the threads of existence. At this point, the boundaries between ‘the virtual’ and perceived realities start to become very porous.

The lecture will introduce Daniele Balit’s curatorial practice and will focus on Second Night, an exhibition curated together with the French artist Christophe Bruno, for the recent Nuit Blanche (White Night) in Paris. As part of the lecture artworks by Yona Friedman, Claude Closky, Miltos Manetas, Andreas Angelidakis, Alain della Negra and Kaori Kinoshita will be presented and discussed.

Daniele Balit (Rome, 1976) is a freelance curator and art critic based in Paris. He is a PHD researcher at La Sorbonne with a research on the intersections between sound based art and experimental music. He is a founding member of 1:1 projects, established in January 2006, which functions as a platform for cultural production based in Rome and London. 1:1 projects are devoted to promote art projects, artists and artistic practices. Balit has developed projects and collaborations with different institutions, including Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), CNEAI (Paris), Careof (Milan), NICC and MUHKA (Antwerp). He is currently a guest of the Visiting Curatorial Initiative (VCI) programme at press to exit project space. (via)
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Open Source Curating

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, October 20. 2007 • Category: Musings
I've noted of late that the term "open source" gets bandied about quite a bit, not just in technology-related industries, but also increasingly in the art world. To be sure, some systems in the art world, including curatorial processes, are very open and transparent. Is it stretching it a bit, however, to relate this transparency and receptivity in the art world to the "open source" movement, a crusade mostly associated with software that you can download for free and possibly manipulate before sharing your evolution of the product with others?

Open source (appropriately, as defined by Wikipedia) " a set of principles and practices that promote access to the design and production of goods and knowledge. The term is most commonly applied to the source code of software that is available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent intellectual property restrictions. This allows users to create software content through incremental individual effort or through collaboration."

OK, so that's our basic definition. The Wikipedia article goes on to state: "The open source model of operation can be extended to open source culture in decision making, which allows concurrent input of different agendas, approaches and priorities, in contrast with more centralized models of development [...] ." If we agree with this, that does seem to answer our question about the use of the term - it can be applied as a model to nearly anything. What, then, have been the interesting examples of late that cause me to go trawling on Wikipedia for definitions of open source? Let's look at them one by one:

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Curating and Education: Conversations with an International Panel

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, October 19. 2007 • Category: Announcements
Lorie Mertes, Director of the Galleries at Moore and Janet Kaplan, Director of the new BFA in Curatorial Studies announce: Curating and Education: Conversations with an International Panel

Saturday October 27, 2007, 10am – 5pm
Moore College of Art & Design
20th and The Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Curating and Education is the second in an ongoing series of public conversations about issues and ideas in contemporary curatorial practice presented by The Galleries at Moore in conjunction with Moore’s new BFA in Curatorial Studies. Through a series of paired conversations with an international roster of distinguished panelists, we will discuss the creative nexus between curating and education. Questions to be considered include: What do the growing number of projects in which curators are creating educational forums as exhibitions suggest about opening up the creative exchange between curating and education? Given the institutional hierarchies that often impede creative collaboration between curators and educators, how can curating and education work together as powerful laboratories for the production of ideas? What is at stake and what is possible?

The program is free but pre-registration via e-mail is requested for planning purposes. Please RSVP by October 22, 2007 to: jkaplan -at-

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Job: Associate Curator & International Exhibitions Manager

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, October 7. 2007 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Catriona Jeffries Gallery is searching for the position of Associate Curator/International Exhibitions Manager.

The successful candidate will possess the following:
- undergraduate or post graduate education in Art History, Curatorial Studies or related studies
- knowledge of the national and international museum system
- knowledge of the international art market
- experience in curatorial practice
- knowledge of collection management
- knowledge of the history of art in Vancouver and related international histories of contemporary art
- published critical writing
- strong leadership and organizational skills

Closing Date November 15, 2007.
Position available for December 15, 2007.

Interested individuals are asked to submit: current CV, three references, writing samples and detailed letter of interest to the address below by the closing date.

Please submit application to:
Catriona Jeffries
Catriona Jeffries Gallery
274 East 1st Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5T 1A6 Canada

E-mail: cat_jeffries_gallery -at-
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Job: Deputy Director, John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, October 7. 2007 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The John Hansard Gallery is one of Britain’s leading public galleries of contemporary visual art and plays a key role on the cultural life of the campus and the city.

As Deputy Director, you will play a pivotal role in managing and coordinating the Gallery’s transition from its current location into new premises in 2012, as part of Southampton’s Capital Lottery bid. Responsible for developing and overseeing a range of curatorial, artistic and administrative initiatives, you will ensure a coherent transition in terms of programming, events, audience development.

Closing date: 12 noon, 22 October 2007

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Call for curators: Smack Mellon Emerging Curator Programme

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, October 6. 2007 • Category: Announcements
Smack Mellon, based in Brooklyn, NY, is accepting proposals from emerging curators for its emerging artists summer show. Smack Mellon’s mission is to nurture and support emerging, under-recognized mid-career and women artists in the creation and exhibition of new work by providing exhibition opportunities, studio workspace, and access to equipment and technical assistance for the realization of ambitious projects.

The Emerging Artists Summer Show will be curated by a selected Emerging Curator and will be made up of Emerging Artists. An Emerging Artist is considered to be an artist without commercial representation who has been working as an artist for less than 10 years and who may not have had previous opportunities to show at a gallery or non-profit space. An Emerging Curator is defined as an independent curator who is beginning their career as a curator.

Proposals are due at Smack Mellon on November 1st. After being chosen, the selected Emerging Curator will review submissions from Emerging Artists with the Smack Mellon staff. Curators will be expected to select some artists from these submissions for their show.

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Job: Assistant Curator at the ICA, London

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, October 2. 2007 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The ICA wishes to appoint an Assistant Curator with at least three years experience working in a public, private or artist-run organisation in a curatorial capacity. The post is one of two Assistant Curators at the ICA, both of whom work with the Director of Exhibitions on the realisation of a contemporary art programme. The successful candidate will have extensive knowledge of the international contemporary art scene and a proven ability to collaborate with artists, outstanding administrative and communication skills, and experience of event programming as well as exhibition making.

To apply, send your CV, with a covering letter, to:

The Administrator
Institute of Contemporary Arts
12 Carlton House Terrace

Fax: 020 7873 0051
Email: administrator -at-

Closing date: Monday 15 October 2007
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Pick 'N Mix - October 2007

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, October 1. 2007 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to the October edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of bite-sized items that have captured my attention recently.
  • The "five questions" format for an interview seems to be as popular as ever. Here are two that have caught my eye: five questions for Matthew Higgs, guest curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, and five questions for Ou Ning, founding curator of the Get It Louder exhibition, a four-city showcase that explores the increasingly blurry line between art and design in China.

  • This little morsel is stretching the mandate of this blog a little, but I thought I'd include it here anyway: William Gibson, godfather of cyberspace, recently (and very briefly) mused in an interview on the idea of "curating" via eBay. As Gibson says: "Every hair is being numbered -- eBay has every grain of sand. eBay is serving this very, very powerful function which nobody ever intended for it. eBay in the hands of humanity is sorting every last Dick Tracy wrist radio cereal premium sticker that ever existed. It's like some sort of vast unconscious curatorial movement." The interview is available on the Washington Post website. (via ExhibiTricks)

  • This UNESCO position paper gives a good overview on how the role of the museum in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage was considered at the expert meeting that took place in 2004. The paper deals with this subject in very plain English and raises some very interesting points. One of the most thought-provoking segments for me was this bit:
    Museums are already, in this sense, involved with living heritage: collections that look dead to us in their depots and showcases may be very much alive to descendents widely separated in space and time from this material and conventional ways of dealing with it. And here is a conundrum: if the dead collections in museums (dead, anyway, except to the few who can lay hands on them!) can 'come alive' under certain circumstances, can currently ‘living cultural heritage’ die (inadvertently) if it is musealised in a certain way? What does it mean to speak of ‘safeguarding’ living heritage when the outcome of musealisation is so unpredictable?

  • "How Many More Curators Will Leave the Trade?" cries the headline at the Art Newspaper. The article discusses a perceived "brain drain" from the curatorial roles at museums, because of low salaries and increasing pressure to fundraise and deliver outside of job descriptions. True or false? Read the article, and you be the judge. This article is no longer available, because the Art Newspaper keeps their archived articles for paying subscribers only. It appears that even an abstract of the article is unavailable without paying - how disappointing.
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