Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Senior Curator Programmes, The Power Plant

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, April 30. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities


The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto is seeking a Senior Curator. Applications (resume and letter of interest) must be received by May 25, 2010.

The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, is Canada’s leading public gallery devoted exclusively to the art of our time and is a high profile centre for contemporary art in North America. Over the past 23 years, it has forged an enviable reputation for presenting influential exhibitions, superior catalogues and editions, and challenging projects, public programmes and special events.

An employment opportunity exists in The Power Plant for a Senior Curator Programmes. Reporting to the Director, this position is responsible for implementing art and audience development programmes for The Power Plant, including exhibitions, publications, public projects and audience engagement and education programmes. As part of the management team, the incumbent will also participate in business and strategic planning for The Power Plant.

The Senior Curator will contribute to the research, development and presentation of new exhibitions and projects that interpret the response of artists to developments in contemporary culture and that respond to the global flow of information, emerging discourses, new artists, new geographies, new media and changing contexts that underpin developments in contemporary art. He/she will also implement a programme aimed at engaging new and diverse audiences for The Power Plant, through a dynamic mix of exhibition, education, interpretation, visitor support and community programmes that develop audience understanding of contemporary art and awareness of its significance as a vital social and cultural force.

The ideal candidate will hold a post graduate qualification in Art History, Fine Arts, Art Education or a related discipline and have a minimum of 5 years programming and management experience in a contemporary art organization. Proven experience in the organization of contemporary art projects and interpretive programmes and exceptional knowledge of the international contexts for contemporary art is a must, as is proven fundraising and budget management experience. He/she must have exceptional interpersonal and relationship management skills with the ability to develop effective partnerships as well as to persuade and negotiate.

DEADLINE for application: MAY 25, 2010

Qualified applicants please send your resume quoting Job Ref.#10F12-AKI to:
Human Resources, 235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON M5J 2G8
Fax (416) 973-1003
E-mail: jobs -at-

Harbourfront Centre is committed to building a diverse workforce and strongly encourages qualified applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

For more information on the gallery please visit

231 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario
Tel: (416) 973-4949
Fax: 416) 973-4933

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Job: Media Arts Curator, Western Front

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, April 28. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Position Type: Full-time contract, 35 hours/week
Date of Posting: April 20, 2010
Application Deadline: May 17, 2010
Years Experience: 2+
Salary: $31,000/year


The Western Front Society seeks an outstanding, highly motivated arts professional to step into the role of Media Arts Curator.

The Western Front was founded in 1973 by a small group of interdisciplinary artists, and has developed into an exemplary multi-disciplinary environment for experimental art practice and research. With a staff of ten plus interns and volunteers, the Society collectively produces over fifty events a year.

The Media Arts Program has a mandate to support production, research, experimentation and critical discourse by Canadian artists and arts professionals in media arts practices. The two major components of Western Front Media Arts are the Artist-in-Residence program and the archive of video art and performance documentation. In keeping with the Western Front’s historical emphasis on creative exchange and interdisciplinary practice, this program supports the creation and dissemination of new work in mediums including, but not limited to, video, internet art and sound art.


The Media Arts Curator reports directly to the Executive Director and will assume the leadership and responsibility for:
•Curating artist production residencies
•Facilitating access to the Western Front’s archival holdings
•Curating screenings and public presentations of work generated through both the residency program and the archive
•Ensuring the effective development, operation and sustainability of the Media Arts program
•Overseeing the implementation of programs, policies and operations on a day-to-day basis
•Editing publications
• Assuming responsibility for the media production studio/space

As our ideal candidate, you possess:

•Knowledge of audio/video systems, new media and new technologies
•Exemplary knowledge and understanding of contemporary art practices
•Knowledge and understanding of moving image archive practices
•A clear understanding of the philosophy and history of the Canadian artist-run centre movement
•Excellent written and verbal communications skills
•Proven financial management experience
•Ability to effectively delegate and supervise staff, volunteers, interns and external contractors
•Forward-thinking project management and organizational skills
• Knowledge of the principle funding agencies and prior grant writing experience
• Knowledge of managing publications and print projects
•Mac OS, Microsoft Office and Filemaker Pro


A competitive benefits package is available after the three months probation period is complete. After eight months of employment, four weeks paid vacation may be taken during the period when programs are recessed. An additional ten days paid holiday time may be taken during the December/January holiday period.


The Western Front Society is committed to the principles of Employment Equity and encourages applications from Aboriginal persons, members of a visible minority group or persons with a disability.

Applications containing a cover letter, curriculum vitae, three references, and writing samples, must be received by 4:00 p.m. on May 17, 2010

Please send applications by email only:

Media Arts Curator Hiring Committee
Email:admin -at-

We apologize that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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Job: Senior Curator, Iniva

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, April 26. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Iniva is currently recruiting for the following full-time position: Senior Curator
Salary c.£34,000

This senior post is responsible for contributing to the initiation of Iniva's artistic programme at Rivington Place as well as off-site and virtually, and providing a context for its Education and Public programmes.

Please download full details for this position from the Iniva website, including:

- Job description and person specification
- Further information about Iniva and Rivington Place
- Application form
- Equal opportunities policy statement + monitoring form

Please note that CVs will not be considered unless accompanied by a completed application form.

Deadline: 12noon, Monday 24 May 2010

To apply please complete the application and equal opportunities froms, ensuring that all the information requested is provided. Completed forms should be sent to: Iniva, Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA, UK.

or emailed to recruitment -at- with 'Senior Curator' in the subject line.

Iniva strives to be an Equal Opportunities employer and welcomes applications from people with disabilities. If you are unable to download these forms or require them in large print, please contact Obinna Nwosu on 020 7729 9616.

Iniva is funded by Arts Council England. Registered Charity No 1031721
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Call: Emerging Canadian Curator, Flash Forward Festival

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, April 20. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

For its inaugural presentation, and in the spirit of championing emerging talent, the Flash Forward Festival is proud to announce this call for proposals from emerging Canadian curators to program the Outdoor Canadian Exhibition component of the festival. The chosen candidate will be awarded the privilege of mounting a group show featuring the work of emerging Canadian photographers. Full entry details are listed below.

What we are looking for:

We invite exhibition proposals from emerging curators for a group exhibition that features the work of emerging Canadian photographers. In keeping with the vitality and the range of work that Flash Forward showcases every year, we are looking for a thoughtful and dynamic presentation suitable for the outdoor locale. This competition will provide a platform for an ambitious young curator to truly make his or her mark among international peers.

For the purposes of this application, the criteria that The Magenta Foundation will use to define a candidate as an emerging curator is as follows:

- Potential candidates must be under the age of 35 and have been curating projects for no longer than five (5) years.
- In that time, potential candidates must have curated at least two (2) exhibitions at public/regional or university galleries (should the candidate wish, this may include any programming commissioned as a requirement of their graduate or undergraduate studies).

Submission requirements

Candidates who meet the above eligibility requirements should submit, via the online application process, the following materials by 12:01 a.m., June 1, 2010:

1. A current Curriculum Vitae
2. A one- to two-page essay (double-spaced using 12-point type) that outlines the reasons why the candidate wishes to be considered for this curatorial position. The document should describe the applicant’s curatorial philosophy and demonstrate a solid comprehension of the current state of fine art photography and/or photojournalism in Canada and its international context.
3. A sample of previous critical art writing (an exhibition review or a curatorial statement from a previous exhibition).
4. A thesis, no more than one-page (double-spaced using 12-point type), proposing an exhibition that will feature the work of emerging Canadian photographers at the Flash Forward Festival. Candidates may not include their own works of art in the proposed exhibition. NB: The exhibition will be mounted in an outdoor courtyard in Liberty Village. Visit this link for photos of the exhibition venue that the winning candidate will program and should refer to in their thesis.
5. A maximum of 20 images may accompany and support the proposed exhibition. Upload jpegs only, no larger than 1MB per image (around 72-150 dpi and 800 x 600 pixels). For each uploaded image please list its title, name of the artist, date, media, and dimensions. For each artist, please include a brief bio and, if possible, a link to their website.

The submission deadline is 12:01 a.m., June 1, 2010.
Candidate Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by a curatorial panel of industry leaders:

- Sophie Hackett, Curator of Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario
- Jennifer Long, Artist, Curator, Educator
- MaryAnn Camilleri, Founder and Executive Director, The Magenta Foundation

The winning candidate will be publicly announced on June 4, 2010. The Magenta Foundation will work in tandem with the selected emerging curator to implement their vision and carry out the production of the exhibition.

Please note that the curatorial panel has the right to decline any application that is incomplete or does not meet the eligibility requirements as outlined above.

The Winning Emerging Curator Will Receive:

- One return ticket to Toronto to the Flash Forward Festival, plus accommodation (this component has no transferable value should the winning candidate live in the Greater Toronto Area)
- A VIP pass to attend all festival programming
- A speaking opportunity, as part of the official programming at the Flash Forward Festival, to present the Outdoor Canadian Exhibition
- Publication of the winning curatorial proposal in the Flash Forward Festival’s official program

Full details are on how to submit here.

About the Flash Forward Festival

October 6-10, 2010

The Flash Forward Festival is an international five-day bi-annual event launching in Toronto’s Liberty Village in October 2010. The Flash Forward Festival is an extension of The Magenta Foundation’s successful annual emerging photographers competition, Flash Forward. The competition, established as a platform to promote emerging artists from Canada, the US, and the UK, has positioned itself as the critically important vanguard for introducing international emerging talent to a global audience.

The Flash Forward competition receives highly favourable international coverage and is widely considered to be one of the most important emerging art incubators in the world.

The Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Emerging Artist Program once again does what its name implies: it freezes a brief moment in time, preserving it for closer inspection and demonstrating the promise of what is to come in the international photography community. (Boston Globe 2008)

Flash Forward’s mission is to showcase the future of photography, focusing on emerging talent that renowned jurors have identified as having great potential. The bi-annual festival will provide an in-depth experience for emerging photographers through educational and networking opportunities including events with collectors/arts enthusiasts and industry professionals (academics, gallerists, media/art directors and photo editors). The festival will include five curated exhibitions (representing the three host countries plus one guest country invited to showcase their best emerging photographers), as well as workshops, a lecture series, nightly events, an art fair and a closing party all taking place within Toronto’s Liberty Village, the host neighbourhood of the Flash Forward Festival.

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Pick 'N Mix #37

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, April 18. 2010 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
- A great upcoming event in beautiful Edinburgh for your diaries: Radical Complicities, Curating Art in the 21st Century. Saturday 1st May 2010, speakers include: Beatrice von Bismarck (Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig), Nav Haq (Arnolfini, Bristol), Maria Lind (Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, USA), Sarah Lowndes (Independent Curator, Glasgow), Bojana Pejic (Independent Curator, Berlin). Introduced and chaired by Angela Dimitrakaki and Kirsten Lloyd (The University of Edinburgh). Organised by The University of Edinburgh and presented in partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland, this conference brings together leading figures in the field to consider the potential and limitations of recent and emergent curatorial paradigms in contemporary art.

- Two new issues of "On Curating" are out, featuring interviews with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Paul O’Neill, Simon Sheikh, Mary Anne Staniszewski, Ian White, Katerina Gregos, and many more. The issues are themed around curating film, and the political potential of curating.

- If you are based in or happen to be in New York, see if you can catch up with the fine folk of CRUMB as they promote their new Rethinking Curating book with talks and high tea.

- More interviews and news stories I found around the web: a great story about boom and bust times in the art world with Neville Wakefield, one of the three-person curatorial team behind "Greater New York 2010" which opens on May 23rd; an interview with Victoria Lynn, visual arts curator of the Adelaide Arts Festival (click on "Show Transcript"), discussing her favourite artwork and art trends; and a story on Creative Time's plans for expansion and a focus away from "biennialism", with great quotes from both Anne Pasternak and Nato Thompson.

- "Curating as institutional critique?", an event at the Documenta Hallen in Kassel last month, was a symposium to discuss critical curating, how curating can be relevant in a socio-political sense, and how it can change or re-shape structures. This report gives insight into the discussions that happened there.
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Call for abstracts: Are Curators Unprofessional?

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, April 15. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Symposium: November 12–14, 2010
Banff International Curatorial Institute
The Banff Centre

Deadline: April 23, 2010

Curating contemporary art is, by nature, a field demarcated by flux and change, and thus remains to a great extent - and perhaps by necessity - an improvised and unregulated practice. In recent decades, however, it has experienced an unprecedented turn toward professionalization; the proliferation of curatorial and museum studies programs alone are evidence of this shift. We have also witnessed culture’s turn toward festivalization, of which the worldwide vogue for biennials is an example. In this context the profession and authority of the curator have undergone a simultaneous expansion and diminishment. Twenty years on, after the introduction of the first curatorial studies programs, there now exists an expansive curatorial class, which must contend with this unstable identity that persists between practice and profession.

In November 2010, The Banff Centre will host Are Curators Unprofessional?, the latest in the ongoing series of BICI symposia, which will examine the curator’s complex and changing relationship to notions of professionalism, expertise, ethics and modes of conduct. Developed in collaboration with Scott Watson from the University of British Columbia and Barbara Fischer from the University of Toronto, this symposium will provide a forum for leading international curators, museum professionals, educators, art historians, critics, students and artists to discuss and debate key issues in this area.

The panel Are Curators Unprofessional (Enough)? will analyze moments of crisis in the profession and ask: When is it necessary to be (un)professional? What issues exist within a field that is demarcated by instability? In the following Craftwork session, panelists will analyze the craft of exhibition making, by examining exhibitions that have provoked paradigm shifts. Is curating a trade or craft, rather than a profession? What skills must a curator possess? Which exhibitions have provoked paradigm shifts? The Catalogue is Out! session will scrutinize the emergence of curatorial writing as a genre and question its unique position and function in relation to art criticism and art history. What, if any, is the function of the catalogue? How does it mediate between the work of art and the world? What is the difference between criticism, curatorial writing and art history? Lastly, the Judge and Jury panel will illuminate the politics of taste, consider the ramifications of judgment with respect to curating and identify the continual attempt to re-distribute the power of judgment.

Submit a 200-word abstract and short CV to:

Banff International Curatorial Institute
The Banff Centre
Box 1020, 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr
Banff, AB, T1L 1H5
Email: VA_Admin -at-

We encourage submissions from young scholars, including graduate and PhD students. Please submit a 200 abstract and short CV to [email protected] by April 23, 2010, 5:00 p.m. All contributors should include their name, address, telephone number and email address.

Please note this event is funding dependent.

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Opportunity: Summer Seminars for Art Curators

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, April 12. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
5th Summer Seminars for Art Curators

Aesthetic Communities and Contextual Translation of Communal Art
August 15-20, 2010, Yerevan and Ijevan, Armenia

Call for Participation

There is always a loss in any work of interpretation, and this does not necessarily refer to the loss of the original meaning (the original historical context or the authenticity of an art work) as such but to the loss of the original conditions of reception. In regard to the Soviet art of Stalinism and beyond, art critic Viktor Tsupitsyn argues in The Museological Unconscious that these works were produced with the collective aspect of reception embedded in the very production and he describes this phenomenon as a “collective museological unconscious.” With the loss of the communal aspects of seeing which came with the demise of communism, these monuments of the times past are inherently deterritorialized and displaced when viewed in the context of Western representational structures, which condition an atomized, isolated and individuated viewer. The question then is, how is it possible to recapture or rather representationally translate communal reception when the embedded specificity of communist community has itself undergone such a radical transformation? What is the role of the curator in the perceptual politics that perpetuates through and around a work of art? Can a work of art intended for a collective optical unconscious in the original context of its production create new forms of undetermined and situational communities when exposed, represented and reinterpreted anew? What happens to the work when both its intended message and its addressee are lost? What becomes of a specific community in which the work is situated? What is the role of the one –the critic, curator, historian and writer, who exposes, reinterprets and repositions the communal work?

Would like to pose the double question of communal art’s function within communities in which these works are physically located as well as the aesthetic communities that come into being temporarily around a work of art.

The program is comprised of two parts. The first part entitled “Aesthetic Communities and Contextual Translation of Communal Art” will take place in Yerevan, in August 15-17th, while the second part “The Communal Function of a Monument” will be held in Ijevan, in August 18-20, a city located in Northern Armenia and close to the Georgian and Azerbaijani borders. For the first part in Yerevan we would like to invite proposals that deal with various theoretical frameworks, historical experiences

and examples of aesthetic communities and contextual aspects of reception in terms of the production of aesthetic experience. The second part takes the artistic forum called “International Symposium for Sculpture” organized in Ijevan in 1985-1991 by art critic Saro Sarukhanian in the context of perestroika politics and dissipation of pressure of the centralised bureaucratic and ideological apparatus of the communist party as a starting point to pose questions related to curatorial practices. Can these practices be connected to community art or it is an artistic prerogative to produce a communally visible and viable art? How can aesthetic objects from the past be engaged in re-evaluation of a site specific public sculpture in ways that this re-evaluation may empower local communities to engage in the striving for cultural and social change? How can we communally re-evaluate the work in ways that might permit escape from oblivion on the one hand and sacralisation on the other?

The Program is structured to accommodate daily lectures by invited specialists, round-table discussions and presentations by the participants. The presentations should focus on curating and aesthetic communities or curating community art.
There is no fee for participation. However, the participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. AICA-Armenia does not provide funding for logistics.

To participate, please send us your CV and a 300 word abstract of your proposed presentation by May 15th, 2010.
All materials should be sent to Marianna Hovhannisyan at m.a.hovhannisyan -at-

Summer Seminars for Contemporary Art Curators is an annual initiative organized by AICA-Armenia. It brings together newly practicing art curators from various contexts in a series of seminars, lectures, practical workshops, presentations and visits to art spaces in Yerevan. It started in 2006, and is organized annually during every summer. One of the objectives is to contribute to the development of the education of cultural practitioners, and specifically curators.

During the four years of activity the Summer Seminars for Contemporary Art Curators has fostered a strong partnership with a number of institutions and individuals, and particularly, SCCA-Ljubljana’s World of Art curatorial program, SCCA-Alma-Aty, Beral Madra Centre for Contemporary Art in Istanbul, Townhouse Gallery in Cairo and the University of Plymouth’s Critical Spaces research group in the UK.

Project blog: and website:
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