Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Curator of Exhibitions, John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, July 19. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, a dynamic 100,000 sq. ft. visual and performing arts complex, supports an unusually broad range of artists and ideas in its exhibitions, residency programs, and many other activities. The Arts Center seeks a full-time Curator of Exhibitions with a breadth of knowledge and significant experience in the field of contemporary art as well as an emphasis on craft-related forms and installation works. This person will develop original thematic and solo exhibitions; write materials for exhibitions and related publications and grants; undertake speaking engagements; and collaborate with other departments; in particular on complimentary programming and marketing. With nearly all exhibitions curated in-house, the Arts Center offers an exciting opportunity to develop and implement a wide range of innovative exhibition projects. The ability to produce excellent, accessible critical writing for catalogues and other interpretive materials is required. Qualified candidates also must have honed public speaking and presentation skills, strong organizational skills, as well as the capacity to collaborate with other curators, staff in other departments, artists, lenders, and volunteers. A master's degree in art history, American studies, or related field is required along with five years of curatorial experience. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan just one hour north of Milwaukee and two and a half hours from Chicago, Sheboygan has been named one of the most livable cities in the U.S. by national magazines.

Send cover letter, resume, 3 examples of writing on contemporary art and references to: Manager-Human Resources, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 New York Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53081-4507 USA or email atritz -at- For additional information visit

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Call for proposals: TAGallery

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, July 14. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Since January 2007, the TAGallery project has posed the question: "What if a link becomes representative of the artefact, the context and the exhibition at once?" As of July 2008, there are 500 different answers, represented by 438 artists, 473 artworks, 483 tags, a dozen of curators and still 999 exhibitions to come. Finally it is time to open the folksonomic experiment for public participation. From July 15 to September 15 netizens were invited to contribute link-collections, to re-contextualise the existing material and/or to experiment with tagging as a curatorial practice within the framework of TAGallery. If you are interested in participating please go to the CONT3XT website and read about how to submit an exhibition. Do not hesitate to contact cont3xt-at-cont3xt-dot-net if there are any questions.

About TAGallery:
Exhibitions TAGallery:
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Job: Curator at BAK

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, July 14. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst is currently seeking a committed, visionary curator to fill a newly created position on its team and contribute to its activities. BAK, located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is an internationally recognized space dedicated to thinking from, about, and through art, and is invested in the exploration and empowerment of two vital relationships: the link between art and the public sphere, and the alliance between artistic practice and theory.

BAK initiates research on diverse subjects of urgency that are key to the pursuit of these crucial relationships in art, and together with artists and other cultural practitioners realizes projects such as exhibitions, lectures, education, publications, and significant productions of new work. BAK places equal emphasis on these diverse activities. Exemplified by practices of participation, discursivity, production, flexibility, fluidity, and criticality, BAK’s approach constitutes a way of thinking and acting, a process of development, and a continuous activation of the possibility of art. BAK understands art in the expanded sense as a uniquely open field of possibilities inside society in which various discourses (aesthetic, cultural, political, social, economic, and others) intersect and exchange.

The ideal curator would feel a strong affinity with BAK’s philosophy and working methods and be ready to contribute her/his energy, intellectual capacities, creativity, vision, and ethical commitment to the diverse tasks at hand. This individual’s interests should be broad, but grounded in a vision of contemporary art as practice in active dialogue with the contemporary world and its concerns. She/he would demonstrate a strong inclination towards the activities of exhibition making and the conception and development of theory and discourse-oriented programs. The curator will have the intellectual independence and confidence to collaborate closely with the artistic director and orient her/himself within a small team and the conceptual framework of BAK, bringing new ideas and possibilities for collaboration to the fore. As continuity is an underlying principle of all BAK’s activities, the curator would readily express a serious, long-term commitment to the position.

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact BAK (info [at] for application materials. Completed applications are accepted from the date of this announcement until 8 September 2008. BAK is unable to accommodate phone inquiries.
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Opportunity: Hayward Curatorial Open

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, July 13. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Curate a Hayward Touring exhibition. Submit an innovative exhibition proposal.

Hayward Touring: Curatorial Open 2009 is the inaugural exhibition of a series of three annual Hayward Touring curatorial open calls. Hayward Touring in association with a number of regional museums and galleries invites proposals for an innovative exhibition, touring to four UK venues in 2009.

For 40 years, The Hayward has played a key role in creating imaginative, high profile exhibitions in London and throughout the UK with Hayward Touring exhibitions. Hayward Touring annually presents around 22 shows to 650,000 people in approximately 86 venues throughout the UK. Exhibitions range in scale from the British Art Show, the largest survey of contemporary British art organised in the UK, to small graphics and photography shows.

The successful applicant of the Hayward Touring: Curatorial Open will work in collaboration with the Hayward and four regional museums and galleries in organising their touring exhibition commencing July 2009. Hayward Touring: Curatorial Open provides a honorarium of £3,000 plus £1,000 for research and travel expenses. The curator will be expected to work within a modest exhibition budget that will allow for a small publication.

The selection panel includes Ralph Rugoff, Director, The Hayward, Roger Malbert, Senior Curator, Hayward Touring, representatives of the participating museums and galleries and an artist (to be announced).

Application deadline: 5pm Monday 8 September 2008

Short-listing: end of September 2008

Interviews: 14 October 2008

For more information, and to download the application form and guidelines, please visit the Southbank Centre website.
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Job: Assistant Curator, English Heritage

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, July 12. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
English Heritage protects and provides advice on England’s unique legacy of historic buildings, landscapes and archaeological sites. EH also manages over 400 sites and welcomes in excess of 11 million visitors to these each year.

EH is looking for a curatorial assistant to join the London Collections team to support the Senior Curator in the management of English Heritage’s portfolio of historic houses. This includes eight significant sites, with a wide range of paintings, furniture and decorative arts. Your role will be to help ensure that the collection documentation database is maintained to Museum Registration standards, and support conservation, presentation and display projects throughout the London Region.

You will have a relevant degree with a proven track record of working in a museum or historic house environment. Good knowledge of museum inventory database packages and of collection care standards and procedures, with the ability to research and work to project deadlines, will be essential.

English Heritage values diversity and aims to employ people who reflect this.

Closing Date: 10 August 2008
Interview date: 19 August 2008

To discover more and apply, please visit

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Job: Curator of Special Collections, British Film Institute

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, July 9. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The British Film Institute (BFI) operates a world-renowned archive, cinemas, festivals, films, publications and learning resources.

BFI is looking for a Curator to manage and develop the special collections and the provision of services relating to them and to take a leading role in the development and implementation of policy regarding these collections, placing them at the heart of BFI activities.

Duties will include appraising and acquiring production records and other materials that document British film and television production, setting cataloguing and conservation priorities and objectives and promoting the Special Collections.

You will need to be educated to degree level, or equivalent, with a recognised archive or information library qualification. You will also require knowledge and understanding of all aspects of British film and TV history, as well as knowledge of curating collections for use in publications, exhibitions and group presentations.

Based in central London, you’ll enjoy benefits such as a final salary pension scheme, 28-33 days annual leave, free tickets to the BFI Southbank plus many other discounts and benefits.

Qualification Level: Degree level
Salary range: c£33,000 – £39,000

Further details about the post and the BFI can be obtained by visiting or by email: jobs -at- Closing date for applications is 11 July 2008, and interviews will be held in the week commencing 21 July 2008.
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Pick 'N Mix - July 2008

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, July 3. 2008 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to the July edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of things that caught my eye over the course of the previous month. Check it out:

- A new Conversations e-book has been released! Download it now.

This edition of Conversations is with Karen Gaskill, the Director and Curator of Interval, and a Researcher at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool. She is also currently completing her practice-based PhD in Digital Media and Social Practice at the Digital Research Unit, The University of Huddersfield. The interview with Karen covered topics ranging from getting outside of the white cube to the expanding role of the audience.

- I recently discovered a blog called "Sideshows", written by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy. Recently Ms Chong Cuy has been publishing some really interesting interviews with young curators in China and Hong Kong. Recent examples include an interview with Kate Fowle, International Curator at the Ullens Centre in Beijing, wherein the notion of what "international" practice is today is discussed, and the second interview in the series is with Zoe Butt, Director of International Programs at Long March Project in Beijing, China. Well worth a read!

- Ms Chong Cuy, author of Sideshows, asked Kate Fowle to elaborate a bit more on the meaning of her title of "International Curator". Similarly, in this article we find founding film curator of University of California San Diego's ArtPower!, Rebecca Webb, discussing the difficulty of a title like "Film Curator". "A lot of people – when I'm here, anyway – say, 'Oh, do you work in a library or something?'" Ms Webb says. As curators, we all know titles have power and meaning, and this is usually why it is important professionally to seek appropriate credit for the work you have done. These specialist titles that were created for Ms Fowle and Ms Webb are meant to indicate an area of expertise, however, it is clear that it remains confusing for some people (sometimes because they don't understand what curators do in the first place, other times because the notion behind the specialism is so new?). Nomenclature is no small thing. I'll simply wonder aloud here: what can be done to indicate specialisation without inducing confusion?

- CultureGrrl (among other outlets) reported on the "leave" taken by Curator and Deputy Director David Franklin of the National Galleries of Canada. For me, this news story raised several ethical questions. Among all of the very obvious questions around the obligations of the gallery to its employees and to its public, the next issue that arose for me was of Mr Franklin's privacy. Curator at the National Galleries of Canada is a prominent position, to be sure, but did Mr Franklin ever imagine that his decision to take extended leave (or to effectively leave his post) would be fodder for the national and international press? I'm not sure that he did. Whatever his reasons, he isn't appealing to the press to make a case against his employer -- yet -- so perhaps he should be left alone, and we should presume his colleagues are capable of continuing his work, until we hear a statement from Mr Franklin himself. Or do any readers here think otherwise?
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