Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Report from Manufacturing Exhibitions (2)

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Wednesday, April 18. 2012 • Category: Reviews & Resources

Manufacturing Exhibitions (2), Max and Iris Stern International Symposium 6, MARCH 30, 2012 TO MARCH 31, 2012 Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

This year’s incarnation of the annual Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal’s Max and Iris Stern International Symposium aimed to reflect on leading issues from the last two decades of curatorial practice. For conference organizer and MAC curator François LeTourneux (and demonstrably for several of the presenters), dominant in this premise is the blurring between curating and art-making, and the adoption of historical perspectives in both practices since the 1990s. This “historiographic turn”, LeTourneux posited, has resulted largely from the archival systems and access to information made possible after the internet, and has been accompanied by the development of a self-reflexive and performative curatorial praxis. Upon this scaffold, leading contemporary curators were invited to explore the nexus between their own practices and these widespread trends.

Keynote presenter and curatorial firebrand Jens Hoffmann offered a précis of his forthcoming book “Show Time” (the title of which exposes his theatrical past). The project examines “fifty key exhibitions from the past twenty years” – a typology ranging from events for historical and site-specific reflection, to platforms for transnational exchange – each case was a group show. This canon of exhibitions evidently serves to highlight a “self-reflexive impulse” arising from the prevalent tendency in recent curatorial practice to actively consider the history of exhibition-making itself.

In thinking and talking about curatorial history, though, curators risk “creating dangerously insular meta-production” – a hazard Hoffmann attempts here to sidestep. Against a backdrop of globalization and alongside a spurt of globalized art practices, exhibitions since 1990 have become “vehicles for social, cultural and political expression... on the part of curators”. This ability to reflect on cultural contexts, Hoffmann suggested, arises from curatorial self-reflexivity: a facility for curators to look and act externally, derived from a kind of inward-looking. “Curating”, we were told, “has become a more creative medium” – at least in the form of group exhibitions – a claim that routine solo-show curator Kitty Scott was quick to challenge: “the group show has become the medium for the curator over the past two decades”, Hoffmann retorted in the question period.

The following day packed in ten presenters who shared a concern for historical outlooks in curation.

Montreal local, independent curator Vincent Bonin focused on the telling time-lag between the productions of contemporary art exhibitions, and subsequent publications, theorisations and retrospectives. For Bonin, this is evidenced most grippingly in the challenges posed by (or impossibility of) restaging work of post-studio artists like Michael Asher or Lawrence Weiner. Less the restaging of original artwork, exhibitions of such practices instead may endeavor to recapture an appreciation of the historical context of their original production.

Barbara Clausen, too, acknowledged the curator’s alchemical-like ability to rejuvenate practices brought alive from archived documents and artefacts, as she herself accomplished with Sarah Pierce’s 2010 performance FUTURE EXHIBITIONS, for which Allan Kaprow’s 1963 Push and Pull serves as both source material and mise-en-scène. Here, the staging of shows, the protocols and taxonomies of archives, and the practices of the curator become fodder for artistic production. With this, Clausen remarked on the shared affinity between curation and performance – the staging of a show and focus on the audience paramount to both methodologies.
Clausen further stressed the role of process-based modes of production, and the appropriation of previous exhibition models into display production. She reminded us that while the revival of the past used to happen over three full generations, it is now already a part of much production of contemporary performative practices (the work of Sharon Hayes is exemplary in this regard).

Extending her own invitation to address the colloquy, Kitty Scott invited Reesa Greenberg (distinguished scholar and Scott’s one-time professor in a late-1980s Montréal) to discuss her influential (and now sixteen-year-old) publication Talking About Exhibitions (Routledge). Scott posed ten questions for Greenberg, ranging from the practical aspects and working conditions of collaboration, to the feminist and theoretical challenges of the project, to its possible relations to contemporary curatorial and academic practices.
Greenberg opted for Scott to Skype her co-editors of the publication, Sandy Nairne and Bruce Ferguson, of which the crowd at the symposium was treated to a glitchy, unrehearsed recording. Greenberg’s own presentation that followed stressed the efficacy of collaboration as a productive modality, and remarked on the deep integration of theory and criticism into curation since the late ‘80s. Her pioneering work in curatorial discourse, she suggested modestly, represents an outdated model within contemporary networked-culture, and she further posited the possibility of reifying the project on the web.

Hou Hanru provocatively opened his talk with the remark that the French Commissaire means both curator and police. Hanru charted the increase in the major exhibition of ‘non-Western artists’ in the ‘West’ alongside influence of non-Western biennials that challenge dominant curatorial structures (offering the Havana and Istanbul Biennials as exemplary models). This is, Hanru argued, not just a prevalent recognition of new geographic horizons, but a means to rethink Western exhibition models. He posited a political turning point in which the biennial becomes an alternative cultural site – alternative to the banal, market-driven vision of art fair and museum paradigms. His is a call to engage specifically in public and participatory programs, for which his own 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007) may serve as example for such curatorial innovation. Its public and context-specific agenda included Dream House, (a show that never closed its doors to the public) and Nightcomers, a three-month endeavour that saw video projections reach peripheral neighborhoods of Istanbul. Hanru further advocated for sustainable social engagement (versus the punch-and-run tendency of biennials), as is the case with Rem Koolhaas’ Time Museum of Guangdong – the architecture of which is woven into residential condominiums in the neighborhood of Huangbian.

Florence Derieux, in line with Hoffmann, charted an historical turn in which the exhibition as its own subject is taken up in the now-normative role of the curator-as-author. This “exhibition-making as an artform in its own right”, Derieux offered, was aroused by Documenta 5 and more generally by Harold Szeemann’s evolution of the practice in the late ‘50s and ‘60s.
In sharing the same space of cultural production, though, artists and curators become intertwined in a relationship coloured by competition. Here, the category of the professional curator is inherently in conflict with that of the artist. Such conflation of artistic and curatorial roles may very well elicit innovative exhibition models, but clearly risks undermining the value of artists.

“Why must everything be so clean? Why must the white-cube persist?”, implored Dieter Roelstraete. His presentation, a call for “Retour au désordre”, proffered the virtuous capacities of risk, adventure, danger, experimentation, and transgression in exhibition-making. Rehashing his recently-published essay ‘In Defense of Making a Mess’ (orig. Unordnung, bitte in Monopol Magazin), Roelstraete pleaded for disorder in exhibitions – “to become messy again”. He decried a widespread lack of risk-taking in contemporary art, and at the same time conjured various traditions in art history that rely on risk. “Art’s partial roots are in refuse”: this is, Roelstraete affirmed, one reason why we’ll miss Mike Kelley so much. Now, instead of risk, we have the memory of risk – a restaging of it that assumes risk-taking is a thing of the past. “The past is easier to keep clean and tidy than the present”, he reminds us. Under this shadow, and conceivably in the light of an archive-fetishistic and commodity-driven market, much of contemporary art proscribes sterile curatorial practices akin to the privatized risk-management of art fairs. “Well-ordered shows”, Roelstraete asserted, “are easy” and “taking risks is, well, risky”.

‘it is uncertain what is mediating and what is being mediated’
In the concluding presentation of the symposium, art-historian Lars Bang Larsen and artist Søren Andreasen performed their Four Micro-Lectures on Mediation. Evidently borne from coffeehouse-conversations on dark Copenhagen afternoons, this sometimes-cryptic diatribe contemplated roles of the mediator in four social strata: Economy, Sound Production, the Culture Industry, and Curation:

1. Economy
In which mediation is a principle of commodity exchange, and the mediator professes a marked licence to enter the marketplace, to regulate and speculate, and thus to create a ‘super-market’.

2. Culture Industry
In which the mediator may be writ large in leading portrayals of lawyers by Hollywood men, traversing the fields of entertainment, economy and law (this insight was coupled with an automated slideshow of George Clooney and Matthew McConaughey). Here, the performative role of the middleman levels differences for others on his own professional terms. He is useful, though as Bang Larsen reminds us, “usefulness is a characteristic of the idiot”.

3. Sound Production
In which Phil Spector’s invention of the synthetic echo reverberation delimits access to the source of things. This focus on the membrane of mediation calls into question the role of the mediator in asking: “what happens to the echo when it is deliberately produced?”

And finally,
4. Curating
Wherein mediating is exposed as relativizing, and the mediator’s role is seen as the authoritative creation of new communities via the commoditization of cultural artefacts (à la Adorno). They offered: “when curators are no longer custodians of eternity, they must reflect on their own institution’s legitimacy”.

Collectively, the muster of curatorial notables shared concerns for historiographic sensitivity and the necessity for self-reflexivity. Such concerns were writ large in propositions by each participant: in the curatorial naval-gazing espoused with pied-piper-like certitude by Hoffmann, and, divergently, in the cautionary evocations of moments when artistic agency is assumed by curatorial authorities (by Derieux, Bonin and the Danish duo). The speakers offered compelling instances of past artworks and practices mitigated and reified in Lazarus-like display forms, as in Clausen‘s historical contextualization projects, and Scott’s active, participatory methodology. Progressive imperatives were pressed in Hanru’s models for new forms of cultural engagement, and in Roelstraete’s charismatic plea for experimentation and mess.

Manufacturing Exhibitions (2) fully engaged with, as Hoffmann warned against in his opening, “talking about talking about ourselves.” Called into question were the working modes of (and between) the curator-as-artist and the curator-as-manager. The symposium served to concretize contemporary curatorial practice in light of historical precedents, and to position its discourse in time for next year’s conference theme – abstraction.

Image of Img Søren Andreasen and Lars Bang Larsen by Mark Lanctôt.

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Call for Applications: Residencies at Darling Foundry

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, December 25. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Call for Applications
Residencies at Darling foundry
CURATORS in visual arts

Pilot Darling Foundry - Astérides (Marseille)
Residencies : November to December 2012
(1 French curator in Montreal and 1 Québécois curator in Marseille)
Deadline January 15, 2012

Residency: May to June 2012
This program is dedicated to curators from the Americas, including Canada. Québécois are not eligible.

**Deadline extended to January 23, 2012**

Guidelines, forms and more informations:
residence -at-


Appel de dossiers - Résidences à la Fonderie Darling
Volet commissaires en arts visuels

Pilote Fonderie Darling - Astérides (Marseille)
Résidences : novembre - décembre 2012
(1 commissaire Français à Montréal et 1 commissaire Québécois à Marseille)
date de tombée : 15 janvier 2012

Résidence : mai - juin 2012
Ce programme s’adresse aux commissaires en provenance du continent des Amériques, incluant le Canada.
Les Québécois ne sont pas admissibles.
**Date de tombée reportée au 23 janvier 2012**
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Job - Assistant Curator, Artexte

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, December 24. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Artexte est à la recherche d’un conservateur adjoint pour produire et coordonner des projets d’exposition innovateurs dans un contexte de recherche unique au Québec et au Canada.

Le nouveau programme d’expositions d’Artexte s’inspire de l’important fonds documentaire enrichi depuis 30 ans. Celui-ci rassemble catalogues d’expositions, publications d’artistes, dossiers d’artistes et périodiques publiés au Canada et ailleurs depuis 1965 et reflète un intérêt pour les approches critiques de la création, de l’exposition, de la recherche et de l’interprétation des arts visuels.

Le programme d’expositions vise à rendre compte des enjeux aussi multiples qu’inexplorés de l’édition et des écrits critiques, de la culture de l’imprimé, des réseaux d’information et des cyberinfrastructures.

Artexte dispose dans ses nouveaux locaux au 2-22, d’une salle d’exposition de 30 mètres carrés.

Le titulaire participe au développement de la programmation; planifie, produit et coordonne les expositions annuelles ainsi que le programme complémentaire; planifie et réunit les ressources humaines, matérielles et techniques nécessaires aux programmes; coordonne l’installation des expositions et des activités; réalise les outils interprétatifs; assure les communications; collabore à la préparation des demandes d’aide financière et aux rapports administratifs; assure la gestion de chaque projet.

Posséder une solide connaissance de l’art contemporain et de l’édition papier et numérique en art actuel; un intérêt marqué pour la production de nouveaux savoirs en lien avec la documentation des arts visuels au Canada et à l’étranger; faire preuve d’initiative, avoir la capacité de mener avec vitalité plusieurs dossiers à la fois. Le titulaire occupera un rôle clé dans le bon fonctionnement de l’organisme.

Détenir une maîtrise en histoire de l’art, communications, cultural studies, science de l’information, muséologie, ou l’équivalence; posséder au moins deux années d’expérience de coordination de projets dans un organisme artistique. Une parfaite maîtrise du français écrit et parlé et une bonne connaissance de l’anglais parlé et écrit sont essentiels.

Poste à temps partiel
25 heures semaine, 12 mois avec possibilité de renouvellement
26 000 $ + avantages
Date limite pour envoyer votre candidature : 15 janvier 2012
Entrée en fonction : mars 2012Soumettre votre curriculum vitae et une lettre d’intention à embauche -at- avant le 15 janvier 2012.

Seules les candidatures retenues seront contactées pour une entrevue.
Veuillez noter que le masculin a été utilisé afin d’alléger le texte.

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Job - Curatorial Assistant, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, deadline May 13

Posted by April Steele • Thursday, April 28. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Concordia University

Note: This posting represents a 2-year full-time, contract position (renewable – grade 9- cupeu)

Reporting to the Gallery Director, the incumbent manages the production of curatorial projects and provides research assistance to the Gallery’s curatorial, publication, and programming activities according to priorities established by the Director.


Liaise with artists and curators, art institutions, suppliers and various university services in the planning of each curatorial project.
Prepare loan agreements and standardized artist, curator and writer’s contracts; coordinate and organize transportation and insurance of loaned works; prepare conditions reports for incoming and outgoing works of art.
Write the press release for each exhibition and supervise its translation; prepare and produce all titles, labels and text panels, and conceive their graphic framework for each exhibition.
Oversee the effective functioning of the presented works throughout each exhibition; coordinate photographic and video documentation for each exhibition and event. Maintain a digital video and image library for research, publication and promotional uses; prepare final exhibition reports and administer all exhibition files; supervise work study students working as attendants at the reception desk.
Organize and oversee the gallery’s openings and assists in organizing special events and book launches.
Carry out research activities in relation to the Gallery’s future exhibitions and publication projects including bibliographic, archival and data base research in both traditional and digital formats; compile bibliographies, chronologies and data reports; research programming grants opportunities, provide and prepare material for grant applications, assist in writing grant proposals.
Liaise with graphic designers, printers and authors for the gallery’s publication program; research and obtain reproduction rights; copy edit and proofread texts and may be called to oversee such activities.
Assist in preparing exhibition proposals and in vetting incoming proposals; prepare final reports for granting agencies; prepare exhibition touring packages; manage the gallery’s touring exhibitions.
Perform other duties as required by the Director.


Bachelor’s degree in Art History, Curatorial Studies, or related area and one to two years experience in curatorial management.
Knowledge and a keen interest in contemporary art.
Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word (to create documents and reports) and basic knowledge of Excel (to create and update spreadsheets).
Knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator and basic graphic design and layout skills.
Very good spoken and written English (level 5); very good spoken French (level 5) and good written French (level 4) to communicate effectively with members of the internal and external communities in both official languages.
Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.
Initiative and resourcefulness essential; ability to work on an irregular schedule, to work under stress and to meet tight deadlines.

Please send your curriculum vitae with a covering letter by May 13, 2011, to the following address (no applications by email or by fax) and indicate on the envelope CURATORIAL ASSISTANT POSITION (only those selected for an interview will be contacted).

Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery
Concordia University
1400 boul. de Maisonneuve W, LB-165
Montréal, H3G 1M8 (Québec) CANADA

IMPORTANT: The language and computer skills of short-listed candidates will be tested.
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Opportunity - Young Curators Program, Canadian Centre for Architecture, deadline Apr 15

Posted by April Steele • Tuesday, April 12. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

The Young Curators Program offers the opportunity to propose and curate a project on the contemporary debate in architecture, urbanism, and landscape design during a residency of up to 3 months at the CCA.

The selected candidate will implement their curatorial direction, familiarize themselves with the CCA’s institutional knowledge and collection holdings, conduct research and work collaboratively with the CCA to realize the proposed project.

Each applicant must submit a proposal for a project to be realized by the CCA.

All submissions should be related to the CCA’s mandate with an emphasis on the contemporary debate on architecture, urbanism, and landscape design. It must introduce an innovative curatorial approach.

Projects based around the CCA Collection are welcome.

The CCA encourages a wide range of proposals from exhibitions in the galleries or on-line, publications, e-books, seminars, series of events, oral history programs and more.

All submissions must be new projects, never published or realized before. The selected project will be realized by the CCA in accordance to the institutional calendar and priorities.

The budget allocated for its realization will be fixed at the discretion of the CCA and in accordance with the scope of the proposed project.

All applications must be sent by Friday, 15 April 2011 to: youngcurator (at)

Each application should comprise the following documents in English or in French, in a single PDF file of up to 5 MB maximum:
- a curatorial statement (1,500 to 2,000 words, with 3-10 images) must include a project description, a work schedule, and - a description of your strategic rationale;
- a curriculum vitae detailing education, research and professional experience, working languages, and any other relevant information;
- a representative selection of a few realized projects that convey an impression of your distinctive approach;
contact information of 2 academics or professionals who are familiar with you and your work.

Eligibility and Terms:
All architects, journalists, designers, critics, historians and others with a curatorial project, who were born on or after 1 January 1976 are eligible for this program, regardless of citizenship and place of residence. The languages in use at CCA are French and English.

Each year, one recipient will receive a maximum of $10,000 CAD covering curator’s fee, travel, housing, and living expenses for a period of up to 3 months in Montréal (subject to the income tax laws of Canada and Québec). The scope of the project and specific timing of the residency will be determined in partnership with the CCA.

No more than one project per applicant will be accepted. Collective or collaborative projects are welcome, however only one person will be eligible to realize the project on behalf of the group.

The CCA will select a project according to the following criteria: originality of the curatorial statement, relevance to architectural thinking and practice, and connection with the curatorial direction and vision of the CCA.

The CCA will notify all applicants by Monday, 2 May 2011.

Please send questions and applications to: youngcurator (at)
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Opportunity: Young Curators Program & Internship Program at Canadian Centre for Architecture

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, March 11. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Curatorial practice as it emerged during the twentieth century is being extensively recast. The tremendous change in the status of the object, of culture, of the various disciplines, or information and education, implies an inevitable transformation of the curator’s role and competencies. A renewed interest for curatorial practice has recently emerged within the field of architecture.

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is an international research centre and museum founded by Phyllis Lambert in 1979 on the conviction that architecture is a public concern. Based on its extensive Collection, exhibitions, programs, and research opportunities, the CCA is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening thought and debate on architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society today.

The CCA is launching new curatorial opportunities: the Young Curators Program and the Power Corporation of Canada Curatorial Internships Program.

Do you want to realize your own curatorial project at the CCA?

Young Curators Program
The Young Curators Program offers the opportunity to propose and curate a project on the contemporary debate in architecture, urbanism, and landscape design during a residency of up to 3 months at the CCA.

Apply by 15 April 2011 to youngcurator -at-

Do you want to take part in the CCA’s curatorial activities?

Power Corporation of Canada Curatorial Internships Program

The Power Corporation of Canada Curatorial Internships Program encourages students and recent graduates across the design disciplines to become acquainted with the CCA collection, conservation, educational, exhibition, publication, and research programs through an internship of 6 to 12 months in Montréal.

Apply by 15 April 2011 to curatorialintern -at-

For more information, forms, and how to apply please visit the CCA website.

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Opportunity: Videographe call for submissions

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, November 10. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Call for Submissions

Vidéographe: 2010-2011 Programming

Deadline: Monday January 11, 2010 – 17h

Vidéographe invites Canadian and Quebec artists, curators, art centres and galleries to submit proposals for video art programs and media arts exhibitions.

Since its founding in 1998, the programming sector of Vidéographe has been devoted to promoting and exhibiting video art in its various forms and through its relationships with other artistic disciplines. Six activities per year are organized in different venues and in partnership with other cultural organizations.

Projects selected by a committee of peers will be presented in Vidéographe's annual programming. Proposals that provoke thought on the language of video and its modes of representation, encourage debate, and promote exchanges between different media arts practices are encouraged.

Note that Vidéographe pays fees to curators and to artists for screenings and exhibitions.

You can obtain the detailed description of this call by contacting Katherine Jerkovic at espace -at-, or by calling 1 514 866 4720.
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Job: Conservateur en chef/Chief Curator, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, July 28. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Conservateur en chef/Chief Curator
(English below)

Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal
185, rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Montréal (Québec) H2X 3X5, Canada

CONDITIONS SALARIALES : Classe 3, selon l’échelle salariale du personnel d’encadrement de la fonction publique.

S.V.P. veuillez faire parvenir votre CV avant le 31 août 2009, 17 h :

Par télécopieur : (514) 847-6934 Par courriel : rh -at-

Ce concours vise à combler un poste régulier à temps plein.


Sous l’autorité de la directrice générale, le conservateur en chef - directeur artistique et éducatif planifie, organise, dirige et contrôle les activités des unités fonctionnelles de la direction artistique et éducative, soit la collection permanente, les expositions temporaires, les expositions itinérantes, le service des archives des collections, le laboratoire de la restauration, les créations multimédias et le service de l’éducation. Il élabore les politiques muséales, particulièrement celles des collections, de la programmation, de la conservation et de la recherche s’y rapportant; il réalise, à l’occasion, des expositions. Il dirige le développement de la collection du Musée et de la conservation. Il planifie et gère le programme d’acquisitions du Musée et le contenu des catalogues d’expositions. Il dirige la recherche scientifique sur les œuvres et sur le contenu des expositions. Il gère les ressources financières, matérielles et humaines de la direction artistique et éducative.

- Définit en accord avec la directrice générale les orientations et les objectifs opérationnels propres à la direction artistique et éducative.

- Gère la collection du Musée et contribue à son interprétation et à sa mise en valeur :

- Planifie les priorités en matière d’acquisition et oriente le développement de la collection.

- Propose à la directrice générale les œuvres à acquérir (par achat ou par don) ou à prendre en dépôt, propose et présente les dossiers au comité consultatif de la collection.

- Élabore, oriente et supervise la réalisation de la programmation des expositions de la collection permanente, temporaires et itinérantes et des créations multimédias.

- Conçoit et réalise des expositions.

- Planifie, supervise et contrôle les budgets de la direction artistique et éducative.

- Participe au comité de direction du Musée, ainsi qu’aux comités consultatifs de programmation, de la collection et autres du conseil d’administration s’il y a lieu.

- Représente et véhicule la vision de la direction du Musée auprès d’autres institutions et associations muséales, nationales ou internationales et auprès de certaines instances publiques ou privées. Participe au rayonnement du Musée en œuvrant au sein d’organismes professionnels québécois, canadiens et internationaux.


- Être titulaire d’un diplôme universitaire de deuxième cycle en histoire de l’art.

- Posséder au moins dix (10) années d’expérience pertinente à titre de commissaire d’expositions et de rédacteur de textes et avoir une connaissance approfondie de l’art contemporain, du milieu artistique et de la muséologie.

- Avoir à son actif des réalisations pertinentes.

- Démontrer des qualités de gestionnaire.

- Capacité de travailler en équipe.

- Haut niveau de créativité et d’innovation.

- Capacités développées en matière de communication orale et écrite.

- Connaissance des logiciels de bureautique compris dans la suite Microsoft Office.

- Excellente maîtrise de la langue française, parlée et écrite ; très bonne connaissance de la langue anglaise, parlée et écrite.

English version:
Chief Curator
(Artistic and Education Department)

COMPENSATION: Class 3, as per salary scale for management personnel in the public service.

Competition to fill a permanent full-time position.

PLEASE NOTE: The working language of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal is French.


Reporting to the Director, the Chief Curator and Director, Artistic and Education Department plans, organizes, directs and oversees the activities of the various functions of the Artistic and Education Department: the permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, travelling exhibitions, collection archives, conservation laboratory, multimedia events and education services. S/he develops museum policies, particularly those pertaining to collections, programming, curatorial services and related research, and occasionally organizes exhibitions; oversees the development of the museum’s collection and curatorial services; plans and manages the museum’s acquisitions program and the content of exhibition catalogues; supervises scholarly research on works and exhibition contents; and administers the financial, material and human resources of the Artistic and Education Department. Duties include:

-In consultation with the Director, define the specific operating objectives and strategies of the Artistic and Education Department.

-Manage the museum’s collection and contribute to interpreting and showcasing it.

-Plan acquisition priorities and guide collection development.

-Submit proposals to the Director for works to acquire (through purchases or gifts) or to accept on loan, and propose and present cases to the Collection Advisory Committee.

-Develop, guide and supervise the programming of exhibitions from the permanent collection, temporary and travelling exhibitions, and multimedia events.

-Plan and organize exhibitions.

-Plan, oversee and monitor budgets of the Artistic and Education Department.

-Play an active role on the museum’s Management Committee, Collection Advisory Committee, Programming Advisory Committee and other Board committees, as required.

-Represent and convey the vision of the museum’s management to other museums and museum associations, both national and international, and to various public and private authorities. Promote the museum through involvement in professional organizations in Québec, across Canada and on the international scene.


- Master’s degree in art history.

- Minimum ten years’ relevant experience in curating exhibitions and writing essays and articles, and a thorough knowledge of contemporary art, the arts community and museology.

- A record of relevant accomplishments.

- Demonstrated management skills.

- Ability to work in a team.

- High level of creativity and innovation.

- Well-developed oral and written communication skills.

- Knowledge of Microsoft Office.

- Excellent command of written and spoken French; proficiency in written and spoken English.

Please submit your résumé no later than August 31, 2009, before 5 p.m.
By fax: (514) 847-6934 By email: rh -at-
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Job: Guest Curator, Le Mois de la Photo, Montréal

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, May 22. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Deadline : AUGUST 17, 2009

:: Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal is launching its call for the Guest Curator for the 12th presentation of the international biennale of contemporary photography that will take place in September 2011 ::

Every two years since 1989, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal produces an innovative photography event that serves as a catalyst for artists, other specialists of the image and the general public. This event promotes different tendencies in contemporary photography and creates international exchanges between photographers, the public at large, curators, the media and collectors. Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal works with artists, museums, galleries, artist-run centres, universities, and a large group of other partners to present a stimulating event that, by virtue of a series of mostly solo exhibitions spread across the city, transforms Montréal into one immense coherent group exhibition organized around a single unifying concept or theme.

Since 2003, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal has invited a Guest Curator to elaborate the theme of each new presentation of the biennale. All the exhibitions, educational activities, the colloquium and the publication are all organized around a singular theme defined by the Guest Curator. For information regarding the curators and themes of previous events, please consult our Web site at where you can also find more information on the organization, its history, and mandate.

The Guest Curator for 2011 will develop a, new, bold and innovative theme that lends itself to a coherent program of exhibitions, publication, colloquium, etc., that will distinguish Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal internationally and provide opportunities for our visitors to develop a better understanding of the theme and issues in contemporary photography in general.

For more details, please download the PDF.

Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal | | info -at-
661 rue Rose-de-Lima, Local 203 | Montréal (QC) | Canada | H4C 2L7 | T, (514) 390-0383 | F. (514) 390-8802

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Opportunity: Curatorial Residency at the Darling Foundry

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, December 20. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

The Darling Foundry is pleased to initiate, in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the inaugural residency program for independent curators of the Americas. This project is aimed at independent curators who want to build on their professional experience in the art industry.

Artists staying at the Darling Foundry will be immersed in the Montreal artistic community. The Darling Foundry is composed of two adjacent buildings, one for artists and the other for their public. It has two exhibition spaces and 15 studios, including three spacious, newly converted and renovated live-in spaces. Located in a post-industrial area in Old Montreal and the St. Lawrence River, this residency offers tranquillity in the heart of the city.

Housed for two months in a 60m2 live-in studio at the Darling Foundry, the curator will be given opportunities to organise and promote events and conferences.

The residency includes:
- Airfare (max CAN$1,200)
- A live-in studio for two months from April 1 to May 31, 2009
- A stipend of CAN$250 per week

Applications are evaluated by a committee that takes into account the quality of their work and the potential impact of a residence on the candidate's career.

Applications should include:
- application form (available at
- a letter of the candidate’s intentions describing current goals and projects
- a curriculum vitae
- digital images of past and recent works (maximum 30)
- texts, documents, catalogues, press reviews, as well as any other pertinent information

Deadline: January 20, 2009

Please mail applications to:
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IKT 2008 Congress Report

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, August 3. 2008 • Category: Musings

IKT, the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, held its annual congress in Montreal from 22-26 May 2008.

More than 130 members attended this year's IKT Congress, the first Congress ever to be held outside Europe. The days were very full, and included visits to major museums and galleries including the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montreal (MACM), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Dazibao, Galerie UQAM, Oboro, Vox, Galerie Clark, Fonderie Darling, and the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery. In each case, the director and/or curator of the institution was present to give us a personal introduction and tour. The mix of institutions provided a great overview of both the diversity of provision for artists and of the available exhibition spaces for curators in Montreal: artist-run centres, museums, studios, commercial galleries, university-affiliated galleries. The Congress also travelled to Quebec City, taking in the Manif d'Art, Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec, and production centres housed at Méduse. Optional post-Congress activities included short visits to Ottawa and Toronto.

The event was hosted by Parachute, and Chantal Pontbriand and her team ensured that every detail of the visit was perfectly planned. Coaches were arranged to transport the delegates from place to place (which ensured we kept to our packed schedule), refreshments were delicious and abundant, and questions or requests were handled expertly. The hosts thoughtfully included a customized coach tour of the city that covered significant sites in Montreal such as the Expo '67 ruins on Ile Sainte-Hélène, the Habitat buildings, Mont-Royal, and more. When the tour stopped briefly near the summit of Mont-Royal, several curators took the opportunity to get an ice cream and enjoy the view, which was one of many lovely moments.

The timing of our visit was excellent, as it coincided with the inaugural Quebec Trienniale at the Musée d'Art Contemporain (which was a key feature on the schedule), and curators who could find a scant few minutes spare in the action-packed itinerary could also zip up to the Mile-End for the Ateliers Portes Ouvertes (APO) event. Timing was also perfect to sample some of the fruits of the labours of IKT candidates and members. The Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery was hosting Vincent Bonin's exhibition about artists as cultural workers entitled Documentary Protocols II, and also Conceptual Filiations, curated by Michèle Thériault. Louise Déry curated Phenomena at Galerie UQAM, and Marc Lanctôt was part of the team behind the Quebec Triennale at MACM. It was enormously satisfying to see and support the hard work of one's colleagues during the Congress.

Interaction between local artists and the visiting curators was incorporated as an integral part of the Congress. A magnificent evening meal at the Fonderie Darling evolved into a lovely party, and also provided ample opportunity for the IKT members and guests to visit the artists who work at the Fonderie in their studios. As well, curators were able to request meetings with local artists, which were arranged by the Parachute team. These intimate meetings, which consisted of a handful of curators and the artist, were a terrific way for the Congress attendees to delve a little deeper and learn more about specific artists that piqued their interest.

A conference on art and economy was led by Mirjam Westen and included contributions from Jo-Anne Kane, Nina Montmann and Louise Neri. This short conference addressed some of the salient issues involved in the intersection of the fine art world and commercial concerns. A heated question and answer period followed, and the presentations sparked conversations throughout the rest of the Congress.

At the General Assembly, the board presented the financial situation of the past year and decisions were made regarding future Congress locations. It was decided that Congress will be hosted in 2010 by Athens, and in 2011 by Luxembourg and Metz. At last year's Congress, it decided that the 2009 Congress will be held in Helsinki and Tallinn. The board also issued a general request to assist in gathering documentation and information about the early years of the IKT association with a view to creating an IKT archive. The board intends to develop the archive into a significant resource and research tool, documenting nearly forty years of history.

The hospitality and collegiality on offer at the 2008 IKT Congress was truly exemplar, and everyone very much looks forward to Helsinki and Tallinn in 2009. If you have materials to contribute to the IKT archive, particularly of the early years of the association, please get in touch with IKT through the "contact" page on their website.

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Project: In-Site Montreal

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, February 18. 2007 • Category: Musings

I'm proud to announce the (semi-recent) launch of my latest curatorial effort.

In-Site Montreal is a collection of site-specific art presented on the portal pages of five wireless internet hotspots in the Ile Sans Fil network. Artists Nicolas Fleming, Maria Legault, and Virginie Laganiere have created art works that can be viewed simply by logging in to the Ile Sans Fil network at the selected hotspots. Though the project is best viewed in-situ, you can also view the works produced by the artists for the hotspot locations at the In-Site Montreal micro-site.

I have produced a curatorial text for the project, which I would be grateful for your feedback on, my cherished readers.

The concluding paragraphs of the essay include the following statements:
The virtual spaces that In-site Montreal inhabit are amorphous areas around several accepted gathering places such as cafes, galleries, markets, and bars. They are perhaps places where as an internet user, you may intend to use the opportunity of connectivity to the network to look outward, to read news of distant places or connect with friends far away through e-mails and online social networking sites. The art practice of telematics in particular addresses the creative possibilities when two parties are connected over distance to communicate. In some way, the pieces presented on the portal pages of Ile Sans Fil's network as part of the In-Site Montreal project present something that is almost anti-telematic, in that the works look inward rather than outward. In the case of this project, a connection to someone across the globe is not sought, it is shunned in favour of a further examination and rumination on the details of the local environment.

I'm interested in this idea of the inverse-telematic, the inward-looking, the intensely-local, especially using a tool such as Wi-Fi that we are so accustomed to associate with an outward-looking, nearly-anonymous roaming of virtual terrain.

Thanks to Year Zero One for producing the project, the Canada Council for the Arts for funding the project, Ile Sans Fil for hosting the project, and Rita Godlevskis for designing the map and visual identity of In-Site Montreal.

Job: Programming Coordinator at Studio XX

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, February 5. 2007 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Job offer at Studio XX: Programming Coordinator

Application Deadline: 1 March, 2007
Position Start Date: 19 March, 2007

Send in your c.v. and cover letter to: administration -at-

Description of the position: Programming Coordinator

The person who takes on this position is responsible of programming, promotion, and the supervision and organisation of regular public events at Studio XX, including the salons Femmes Br@nchées, the Journées de la culture and Art's Birthday. The coordinator supervises both the regular programming committee and the special events committee (except for the HTMlles Festival). She is also responsible, alongside the technical director, of the selection committee of artist residencies and coproductions. With the collaboration of the general director, she is in charge of grant writing with regards to the programming of regular and special events. The person who takes on this position agrees to work 21 hours weekly.

More specifically:

The ideal person has a good knowledge of current artistic trends in network arts, emerging media and sound art. She should also be very aware of questions related to gender studies, as well as feminist and activist practices. In order to be selected for the position, it is necessary to have organisational, technical and administrative skills, but mostly, abilities to develop a marketing strategy and visibility of our activities to a larger public.

Description of tasks
1- Coordinating Public Events and Collaborations
The programming coordinator must: Coordinate the event logistics (equipment rental, venue booking) and their production schedules by collaborating with the team, especially the technician; Create links between the artists and the speakers, the curators, team members (technician, translators, webmaster) and the volunteers in the organisation of events; Create and work with a programming committee; Coordinate the promotion of events as well as communications; See with the team members that events are documented; Coordinate the production of critical articles and promotional material, and the development of audiences.

2- Programming
The programming coordinator must: Supervise the programming committee; Articulate, with the help of the members of the team and of the Board of directors, the main aspects of the annual program which should follow the priorities of Studio XX; Develop an event calendar; Contact artists and speakers for Femmes Br@nchées.

3- Artist Residencies
The programming coordinator must: Come up with the pluriannual theme; Select the artist residencies with the programming committee; Facilitate links between the artists, the technician, the workshop coordinator and the rest of the team.

4- Public Image of the Studio and Website
The programming coordinator is responsible for the online content related to Studio XX's programming. She is in charge of updating the information on recent events and the archiving of past events (artist biographies, description of projects and of salons Femmes br@nchées); The programming coordinator should underline the critical interests of the Studio via her participation in the committee of the online journal, .dpi

5- Grant Writing
The programming coordinator is responsible for writing grants for regular annual activities. This responsibility is fulfilled in conjunction with the general director.

Centre d'artiste féministe engagé dans l'exploration, la création et la critique en art technologique.
Feminist art centre for technological exploration, creation, and critique.
338 Terrasse Saint-Denis . Montréal . Québec. H2X 1E8
tél: 514-845-7934 . fax: 514.845.4941 . . [email protected]
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Curator's talk: Nat Muller at Studio XX

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, September 28. 2006 • Category: Announcements

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Méta Femmes br@nchées 05 – Nat Muller
October 5th 2006, 10AM, at Studio XX

StudioXX celebrates its 10th birthday under the auspices of Event X, 2 days of conferences, round table discussions and performances. In connection with this event StudioXX will host visitor Nat Muller to present her own curatorial practice.

Nat Muller will be at StudioXX in the morning, on the 5th of October to host an intimate talk on her curatorial work. Her primary research directions have concentrated on the intersections between aesthetics, technology and politics, as well as new media and art practices in the Middle East. Nat will update us on her position as curator working between Europe and the Middle East, bringing up questions emerging from this networked practice which is, according to her, often schizophrenic. You are cordially invited to take part in this discussion.

In order to orient and animate the discussion we have invited active local curator Alice Ming Wai Jim who has recently returned to Montreal after working for 3 years in conservation at the Vancouver International Center for Contemporary Asian Art (Center A). Alice is now a professor at Concordia University. Her main fields of interest include contemporary Asian art, the art of the Diaspora, new medias, theories of representation, globalization, urban studies and curatorial practices. The links between the practices and orientations of Alice Min Wai Jim and Nat Muller promise to foster a dynamic discussion between these two interventionists and the attending public.

The discussion will be in English. $5, free admission for members. Register: [email protected] or call (514) 845-7934

Studio XX
338 Terrasse Saint-Denis, Montréal (Québec) H2X 1E8 Canada
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