Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Curatorial Associate at the Southbank Centre

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, February 26. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Located within a 21-acre site, Southbank Centre is the one of the largest arts centres in the world. The site includes three iconic buildings - the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Hayward and attracts more than three million visitors every year. You will work with the Director and Chief Curator of the Hayward to deliver a series of Project Space Exhibitions over a six-month period: you will be responsible for curating and writing about each project as well as supervising design and installation and managing project budgets. With demonstrable knowledge of and interest in international modern and contemporary art, you will have significant experience of working in an art gallery or museum at all stages of curating an exhibition from conceptualising, planning, and administering exhibitions to their installation. Outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to manage relationships at all levels are also essential. You will be available for an immediate start.

Salary: c. £30,000 per annum
Temporary 6 month contract from March 2008
Closing date: 6 March 2008

For more information and to apply, visit the Southbank Centre's website.
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Job: Curator of Art at the York Museums Trust

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, February 26. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
York Museums Trust are looking for a Curator of Art who will ensure the art collections reach their potential as a resource for learning, inspiration and enjoyment, through the curation of the art collections and leading the art team on all aspects of collections care and management across the art collections. Core responsibilities include: staff management, collection management, collection development, interpretation, research, learning, organisational development, partnerships, and funding.

To obtain an application package, contact Joan Mudd, Human Resources Manager, by telephoning 01904 687648 (answer phone) or by e-mail to recruitment -at-

Salary: £23,953 - £25,536 p.a.
Closing date: 20 March 2008.
Interviews: 4 April 2008.
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Job: Assistant Curator at Tate Britain

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, February 26. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Tate Britain seeks a temporary Assistant Curator to co-ordinate the delivery of major exhibitions. As well as planning and managing loan requests and providing research for larger exhibitions, you'll maintain documentation and administration and liaise between many different colleagues and contractors, from artists and designers to fellow curators, technicians and exhibition sponsors. Your ability to build effective working relationships will make you a valuable team member. This position is temporary maternity cover of up to 12 months.

For further information and to download an application pack, please visit the Tate's website or email jobs -at- quoting ref: 7207.

Salary: £21,000 p.a.
Closing date: 10 March 2008.
Interviews: 1 April 2008.
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Opportunity: Curatorial Research and Project Grants

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, February 16. 2008
Etant donn�s: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art
Application deadline: March 31st, 2008

Etant donn�s: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art offers financial support in the form of grants to American nonprofit institutions organizing exhibitions, installations, artist residencies, publications, or other projects by living French artists or to French nonprofit institutions presenting the same types of projects involving American artists. Qualifying projects may be in the fields of visual arts, architecture and design. The Fund, established in 1994 with the French Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), with support from the Florence Gould Foundation, has distributed nearly 2 million dollars to support more than 200 projects at major French and American institutions.

Since 2005, Etant Donn�s also offers Curatorial Research Grants supporting the professional development of American curators by offering them extended stays of up to three months in France for research projects in the field of contemporary art. The grants are intended to facilitate the discovery of new talents, reinforce interest in established contemporary artists, and encourage the exploration of France's cultural resources. Eligible projects may include research for an exhibition or publication, travel to visit specific sites and collections, an intensive period of reading or writing or other projects that support professional development. The grants are reserved for curators and scholars, who must be U.S. citizens or legal residents of the United States for at least five years who have a minimum of three years of research or professional experience in the field and are currently employed by or have a specific project in collaboration with a nonprofit art space.

Grants are awarded through an open competition administered by the Etant donn�s Fund. Applications are reviewed by the Etant donn�s Artistic Committee, composed of prominent curators, art critics and arts administrators. Completed applications must be received on or before March 31st of each year, for projects beginning after June 1st. Incomplete or late applications cannot be accepted for consideration.

Complete guidelines and application forms are available at the FACE website.
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Opportunity: Curatorial proposals for NURTUREart

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, February 15. 2008 • Category: Announcements
NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc., an organization dedicated to supporting and nurturing emerging artists and curators based in Brooklyn, NY, USA, is now accepting curatorial proposals for their upcoming 2008-2009 exhibition season. Emerging independent curators committed to developing their professional curatorial practice, as well as first-time curators, are encouraged to submit proposals. More information and application guidelines can be found at Email info -at- or call 1.718.782.7755 with any questions. Proposals for the 2008-09 exhibition season are due May 2nd, 2008.
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Digital Curatorship: Public Programming in the Information Age

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, February 5. 2008 • Category: Announcements
Digital Curatorship: Public Programming in the Information Age is a Connecting Principle event at Culture Lab, Newcastle University, organised in collaboration with the School of Arts and Cultures, 12th February 2008.

This mini-symposium is an opportunity to engage with the constantly evolving nature of practice in the curatorship of digital and new media art. We (Newcastle University) aim to do this by bringing together some of the different constituencies at work in the field both in the North East and beyond, and by providing a platform for different perspectives and informed debate. The event will comprise a series of short presentations from practitioners within the field followed by wider panel discussions including further invited participants.

Likely themes/questions to be addressed might include:

- The natures and identities of digital curatorship (products and processes, changing ideas of the 'artwork'/'artefact', visitor experiences)
- Different professional perspectives on digital curatorship and programming, e.g. those of the artist, artist-curator, curator, technician, educator, artist-educator, conservator, academic etc.
- Digital art and sound/music
- Digital curatorship/programming, installation and site specificity
- Net art and the gallery/exhibition
- Digital curatorship/programming in urban contexts
- Conserving and managing new media in art museum/gallery and exhibition contexts

Speakers include: Chris Whitehead, Michelle Kasprzak, Alistair Robinson, Kirk Woolford, Sarah Cook,
Atau Tanaka, Beryl Graham, Sally Jane Norman.

The panel discussions will pick up and expand upon key themes, issues and ideas which emerge in the preceding talks and will allow for dialogue between speakers and audience members.

The event is linked into the curricula for the postgraduate programmes in Art Museum and Gallery Studies and Art Museum and Gallery Education, but is also open more generally: to staff and students from other programmes, other universities, artists and cultural sector professionals from the region and beyond.

The proceedings may be disseminated in various ways -- through digital recording and streaming and possibly through web or print publication.

Register to attend this free event here.

Culture Lab
Connecting Principle
Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies
Fine Art Department
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Pick 'N Mix - February 2008

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, February 4. 2008 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to February's Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of interesting tidbits that have captured my attention recently.
  • I found this post about the "Video Vortex: Curating Online Video" symposium in Amsterdam really interesting, especially towards the end where there is this quotation: "...there was a short panel discussion about the role of the curator. [...] Hierarchies are changing and curators have to respond to those things. From the audience comes the remark that curators were the middle person between the artist and his audience. This position is threatened due to 2.0. Maybe it's a solution to look at the curator's role to help to rate and analyze the work. This would make a shift instead of being an audience seeker he would become an intellectual."

  • "Who gets to tell the story?" is a great question that Rebecca Durkin asks on the Burke Museum blog. Ms Durkin expresses concern about photographs of Native Americans taken by a white person who "felt he was documenting a "vanishing" race" being displayed simultaneously alongside an exhibition of Native American artifacts and taped interviews. Ms Durkin says: "I'm excited to see the shows open this weekend and compare the stories the two shows are telling. Will This Place Called Home serve as a test of sorts for the authenticity of the images in Peoples of the Plateau? And how will the historic photos in Peoples of the Plateau inform the context with which we look at the cultural materials in This Place Called Home?" In this case, it seems that the Burke Museum is valiantly attempting to let more than one story be told at the same time, giving the viewing public some space to reach their own conclusions.

  • There are some very critical and challenging statements being made in a text "Terminal Souvenirs: What is wrong with curatorial practise today" by Maia Damianovic, a critic and independent curator based in New York. The whole text is excellent reading, but I thought I'd excerpt some quotations that were very resonant for me.
    Too often, we can discern in current practice the insidious an implacable macula of conservative constraint trying to disguise itself behind critical, ideological and political posturing. Our theories and our practices, for the most part, simply do not match, Over and over again, we are confronted by didactic, pedagogic and formulaic curatorial mechanisms that glamorize a gamut of dull, dry or safe conceptual choices. Are the mechanisms surrounding curating so elaborately enshrined that we are confronted with a symptom of overwhelming conservatism, of being stuck in the pursuit of easy prescriptions, but also perks and rewards? In any case, curating today opens to a whole field of different investments, that seamlessly slip into the arena of politics, power and finances at the mercy of all their jumbled forces. But, politics and ideology can also become packaged commodities.
    Why are we so complicit? A transformation of curating and exhibiting today could amount to an ethical and political change of destination. A change of destination that would eschew comfort, self-gratification and success, and open itself to insecurity and anxiety; moving from protected to vulnerable contexts. lt could also move from pragmatics to poetics.
    A little confusion and chaos would work wonders. Why not swim against the current a little more; against the large survey show, 'against curating as a formula of success by default. Perhaps the curating and exhibiting of art today should be anxious, insecure practices.

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