Views on contemporary art curating

Job: Curator at FACT

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, March 17. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
FACT is the UK's leading organisation for commissioning, exhibiting, promoting and supporting artists’ work and innovation in the fields of film, video, and new media. Housed in the iconic FACT building in the historic Ropewalks area of Liverpool, two galleries, a Media Lounge and state-of-the-art cinemas invite visitors to experience a range of FACT activities from exhibitions and live web casts, to training and conferences; and finding new and interactive ways to encourage engagement throughout its programming spaces and in partnership with a broad range of participants, organisations and audiences.

The Curator will have the vision and determination to plan and effect the continuing transformation of the organisation, deploying resources creatively and to deliver the FACT’s creative vision and widen appeal to engage existing and developing audiences. We expect our curators to have in-depth knowledge and passion for international contemporary art, the moving image and new media with the skills to deliver to international curating standards. The post-holder will work to continually deliver excellence and will look to continually improve their reputation for delivering excellence within an international critical context.

Salary: circa £22k/pa. dependent on experience
Deadline: 11 April 2008

For more information and an application pack, please email recruitment -at-
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Opportunity: Liverpool Biennial

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, November 2. 2007 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Liverpool Biennial is working with Jiyoon Lee, a curator based in Seoul and London, on an international exchange project involving artists and curators from Seoul and Liverpool. The exhibition-based project will investigate models of artists’ studio and will involve residencies in each city.

Liverpool Biennial is currently looking for expressions of interest from ambitious Liverpool-based curators who would see this as a fantastic opportunity to gain more international experience and make the project a great success.

In order to be considered for the project, please send a CV to paul -at- by 9th November 2007.
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Job: Exhibition and Displays Curator, Tate Liverpool

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, April 30. 2007 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
At Tate we welcome exciting ideas, putting fresh and creative thinking at the centre of our programme. As the UK's largest gallery of modern and contemporary art outside London, Tate Liverpool faces dynamic times ahead. We already play a pioneering role in the growth and redevelopment of the city and, as a curtain-raiser for 2008 when Liverpool is European Capital of Culture, we will be hosting this year's Turner Prize - the first time it has been held outside London.

As part of our highly skilled and committed curatorial team, you will have a uniquely challenging and high-profile remit. We're looking for previous curatorial experience, a passion for 20th century and contemporary art and some impressive organisational skills.

Up to £25,050 plus benefits (depending on skills and proven ability)
Closing date: 16 May 2007
Interview date: 29 May 2007

For more information, please visit the Tate Liverpool website.
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Every curator's nightmare?

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, August 29. 2006 • Category: Musings
Perhaps it is every curator's nightmare - the gallery closes your show less than 24 hours after it opens.

The Gene Culture exhibition at Egg Space Gallery in Liverpool opened on August 9. The show is part of a broader research project by curator Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney, analysing perceptions of genetics in postmodern society. The Gene Culture exhibition contained a range of work in a variety of media, from photographs to animal parts. The show was closed down because of apparent concerns over a vegetarian restaurant being in the same building as the gallery (in case the animal parts escape?), and a skirmish over a performance at the opening event.

Ms Sweeney, a performance artist and graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, said she was disappointed with the decision.

"We had selected 10 international artists from 250 submissions and the standard of art was very high."

Artist Carrie Reichardt had her performance art piece, Pinky and Perky, banned on opening night. She was due to have worn pigs' heads in place of a bra.

Read the news article here.

Of course, this could be viewed as a blessing or a curse. The show will possibly live on and travel to other locations, and if the truism "there's no such thing as bad press" is to be believed, then one could conclude it's hard to buy the kind of press that a show being censored brings on.

The overreaction on the part of the controlling interests in the Gene Cultures case reminds me of the case from a few years ago of the Terminal 5 exhibition, curated by Rachel K. Ward, that also barely got past the vernissage.

Once again, nervous figures of authority (in this case, a sponsor of the exhibition, Jet Blue Airlines) objected to a work by Vanessa Beecroft featuring nearly naked black women with chains around their feet. Obviously a striking image, and a political statement that the sponsors balked at. Once again, an opening night party went terribly awry, this time simply because of raucous behaviour, resulting in puddles of puke and vandalised walls in the pristine terminal by Eero Saarinen at JFK airport. This was about as much as the New York Port Authority could take, and so they shut the show down. (You can read more about the show and its closure here).

However, Ms Ward is obviously a very smart cookie, and after working very hard to produce what appears to be a very interesting and tight exhibition, she managed to still generate press (and perhaps the show became even more "hooky" after being shut down by the Port Authority) and also seems to have spun off the exhibition into a derivative show, Terminal 5: Now Closed, in Paris.

I'm interested to see how Ms Sweeney makes lemonade out of the lemon of a situation she is currently in.

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