Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity: Emerging Writer/Curator-in-Residence

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, November 30. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
Call for Applications: Emerging Writer/Curator-in-Residence

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is a non-profit artist-run centre committed to the advancement of photographic art. The writer/curator residency is open to applicants of any region. The six-week residency is to be completed between April and June 2009. Financial support is provided. Deadline for Applications: December 15, 2008. Please note this opportunity is open to Canadian citizens only.

The Writer/Curator resident will create a written work on photography, and/or curate a photo-based exhibition on a theme of their choice.

Benefits of this residency:

- Written work will be included in an upcoming Gallery 44 publication and/or curated exhibition will be considered for Gallery 44's future programming
- Editorial and programming support for the project
- Presence on the Gallery 44 website
- Free participation in a Gallery 44 workshop
- Financial support including CARFAC fees

How to Apply:

Please submit a cover letter indicating your preferred dates for the residency (six weeks between April - July 2009) and your contact information, along with the following:

- Project description of proposed residency (Describe a specific area of photography that you are interested in, and how your written work or exhibition might explore this theme)
- Two to three samples of recent writing on topics of contemporary art and/or photography
- CV or resume
- Self-addressed, stamped envelope. Submissions without a SASE will not be returned.

Gallery 44 will take reasonable care with submission materials; however, we cannot accept responsibility for damage or loss to original photographic prints.

Gallery 44 does not accept submissions by fax or email.

Contact and mailing address for submissions:
Melissa Bennett, Exhibition Coordinator
Residency Submission
Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
401 Richmond Street West, Suite #120
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
P 416.979.3941
F 416.979.1695
melissa -at-

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More podcasts

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, November 22. 2008 • Category: Reviews & Resources
The San Francisco Art Institute has a podcast series entitled "Dialogues". Two podcasts in this series may interest readers: one featuring Laura Hoptman, and another featuring Carlos Basualdo.

Laura Hoptman curated the 2004 Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh and Drawing Now: Eight Propositions at the Museum of Modern Art, Queens. In her talk, Hoptman discusses her interest in artwork that explores big questions: those of life, death, and the meaning of the universe. Carlos Basualdo is the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and an Adjunct Professor at the IUAV University in Venice, Italy. He was a co-founder (with Hans Ulrich Obrist) of the Union of the Imaginary, an online forum for the discussion of issues pertaining to curatorial practice. These podcasts are long and feature lengthy introductions, so better to listen to these when you have a bit of time.

Veteran podcasters Bad at Sports teamed up with Side Street Projects to present a 10-part podcast series entitled "What Do Curators Want?" that covers best professional practices for contemporary visual artists. While the podcasts are definitely aimed at artists (and give some terrific concrete tips to artists), the messages about professional practices are often applicable both ways. Far from theoretical talks, these short, practical discussions might be useful to curators too. Of particular interest may be hearing how the featured curators in these podcasts discuss perennial issues such as artistic quality and different types of exhibitions and exhibition venues. Compare their views to yours!

Frieze Foundation (the good folks who bring us the Frieze Art Fair, Frieze Magazine, and other goodies) also have a great podcast series. One of their recent podcasts, Cultural Cartography: Does Art Travel? is a discussion chaired by Philippe Vergne (new director of the DIA Art Foundation in NYC, former Chief Curator and Deputy Director, Walker Art Center) focusing on whether art can really speak across borders. What happens when the local becomes global? Vergne, in his introduction, questions whether we are really taking advantage of international connections and jokes that this podcast could have alternatively been titled "Pasta or chicken?", echoing that familiar refrain on long haul flights. It's a strong panel and well worth downloading.

Happy listening!
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Opportunity: Curatorial Fellowships at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, November 12. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen invites visual and media artists, art critics, theorists, and curators to apply for the three fellowship positions in 2009–2010. The period for which candidates can apply is September 7, 2009 – July 2, 2010.

Jury 2009/10: Stephan Dillemuth, Annja Krautgasser, Andrei Siclodi

The closing date for submissions is December 5, 2008 (postmark).

Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen is a post-graduate center for production, research, exchange in the fields of visual arts and art theory. Within the framework of the International Fellowship Programme for Visual Arts and Theory, the Künstlerhaus provides a platform that facilitates the development and production of artistic and art-theoretical projects in a critical context. At the same time, Büchsenhausen offers a forum for direct exchange between professionals – artists, theoreticians, critics, and curators – from the region and abroad, as well as a point of interaction with local interested audiences.

With its Fellowship Programme for Visual Arts and Theory, Büchsenhausen actively promotes internationally relevant art production, research, and discussion in the region of Tyrol.

The programme's aims are:

To improve the production of a qualified discourse on art and society in the local and global context;

To improve exchange between cultural producers in the visual arts and beyond (creating a network of experts);

To support and expand the critical, socially relevant artistic and art-theoretical production of knowledge;

To facilitate the transfer of knowledge between the art field and the public outside the art context.

The programme brings together the advantages of a residency with the possibilities of a postgraduate non-university lectureship, without offering a formalized educational programme. In terms of content, the programme addresses a worldwide public made up of professionals in the fields of contemporary art, architecture, art and media theory and criticism.

The conveyance and discussion of the fellow's own work occurs parallel to the development of the individual projects. The public events take place in series. The focus of these series of events is determined by the respective emphases of the various fellows' works. Within the framework of this discursive format, the fellows (or their guests) can present various points in their research, open up their works-in-progress to critical discussion, interact with experts who they invite, work through content with the public, and/or try out new ways of working.

Professional visual/media artists, art theorists, art critics, and curators from all over the world are eligible for the fellowship. The candidates must submit a project proposal. Work on the submitted project forms the core of each fellow's activities during his/her stay in Büchsenhausen. A description of a series of public events intended to accompany the individual work during the duration of the fellowship (four to six events) is also an integral part of the project proposal.

The selection procedure occurs in two stages.

In the first stage, the submitted applications are evaluated and the jury makes a shortlist of candidates who will be invited to Büchsenhausen for personal interviews. The personal interview with the jury forms the second stage. For the interview, the applicants have to come to Innsbruck to personally present their working plans and aims during the fellowship.

For the full text of the call, more information on the application procedure, financial questions, etc. please consult the website or contact:

office -at, phone +43 512 278627, fax -11.

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Opportunity: Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, November 4. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The Lemelson Center offers two different ways for researchers to receive financial support while using the invention-related collections at the Smithsonian. The Fellowship Program provides a prorated stipend for up to ten weeks and is currently accepting applications until the January 15, 2009 deadline. The Travel to Collections Award offers researchers a travel allowance and a stipend for up to 21 days and accepts applications year-round.

These programs support research projects that present creative approaches to the study of invention and innovation in American society may include, but are not limited to, historical research and documentation projects resulting in publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, and multimedia products. [Ed: emphasis mine.]

The Archives Center holds more than 14,000 feet of archival materials. The collections are particularly strong in documenting the history of technology, invention, and innovation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Both individuals and companies are documented in subject areas including railroads, pianos, television, radio, plastics, ivory, and sports equipment. One of the largest collections is the Western Union Telegraph Company Records, ca. 1840-1994. Other collections of significance include the Earl S. Tupper Papers, documenting the inventor Tupper and his invention Tupperware; the Darby Windsurfing Collection, 1946-1998, documenting the invention of the sailboard; and the Records of Small Beginnings, Inc., a medical supply company that designs, invents, manufactures, and distributes products for premature infants.

Since 1995 the Lemelson Center has supported oral and video documentation of contemporary inventors and inventions, covering inventions in a variety of fields, such as healthcare, consumer electronics, and toys.

The Lemelson Center was established at the National Museum of American History in 1995 through a gift from The Lemelson Foundation. Jerome Lemelson (1923-1997) was an independent inventor who earned more than 600 patents, representing one of the largest patent portfolios in America's history.

The Center's mission is to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation, to encourage inventive creativity in young people, and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States.

For more information about these programs, including deadlines, eligibility, and application forms and procedures, please visit:
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Pick 'N Mix - November 2008

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, November 4. 2008 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to November's Pick 'N Mix.
- First off, a roundup of relevant Facebook pages that have come to my attention. I know a fine few folk who have issues with Facebook and are not members of the service, but I do have to say for the record that I think it is one of many great web 2.0 tools to network and stay informed about what's happening culturally. More and more organisations are using Facebook to either make exclusive offers or communicate messages to their Facebook fans first. One of the many reasons for this is that I think organisations and groups appreciate the way that Facebook allows them to see more and know more about who is interested in their activity. Each person who is a "fan" of yours on Facebook is a real live person that validates what you are doing and is following your message. You can't say the same for the list of IP addresses in your organisation's website statistics log. Anyways, here are a few that caught my eye:
Blood (Contemporary Art Society) (New on Facebook)
MoMA (Exclusive offers for Facebook fans)
Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum (Lots of helpful links)
Walker Art Center (Lots of photos and video)
...and of course,!

Add more suggestions of Facebook pages and groups in the comments!

- ...and now for a charming anecdote. I was at a wonderful event during the Frieze Art Fair in London. Organised by the Contemporary Art Society and Castlefield Gallery, the event was a sort of artist-collector-curator "speed dating", that also featured the work of artist Feng-Ru Lee, who was busy making dumplings to share with the crowd (and putting Castlefield Gallery Director Kwong Lee to work in their makeshift kitchen, too!). It was a great use of the "speed dating" principle applied to the cultural realm, and these quick and focused introductions felt very apropos after whizzing through the hustle and bustle of the art fairs. One of the people I met that night, Lotte Juul Petersen, told me that she is the new Artists and Programmes Curator at Wysing Arts, and in our conversation I discovered that she found out about the job here first, at! To say that this little piece of information made my night would be an understatement. Congratulations on your new job, Lotte!

- I have to apologise for this month's Pick 'N Mix being a little light on content, but you'll forgive me: This Friday an exhibition I've been working on launches in London, which means a lot of last-minute things (not to mention, the ink is barely dry on the curatorial essay...). For more information on the show, Schematic: New Media Art from Canada, please visit the project website (link corrected on 12/11/08! Apologies!) or the gallery's website. As for more meaty content for this blog, once the Schematic exhibition is up and running I intend to finish off and post a book review and some podcast reviews, so stay tuned!
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Job: Director, Frankfurter Kunstverein

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, November 4. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The Frankfurter Kunstverein is a leading German institution in the analysis of contemporary art with an international reputation and is engaged in reaching a broad audience via its exhibitions, lectures and publications.

The Frankfurter Kunstverein's current director, Chus Martínez, has taken a new position starting now. Therefore the board of the Frankfurter Kunstverein is looking for a new, visionary director who can lead the institution from spring 2009, possibly 1st of April. The board of the Frankfurter Kunstverein is looking for someone with a broad, documented experience in German and international contemporary art, and who is known in Europe and abroad as someone with a distinctive approach in the field. Experiences that could be relevant are, for example, work as an art historian, curator or critic. An international network in the visual arts is an important qualification as well.

The board is looking for someone with a strong vision of the Frankfurter Kunstverein's programmatic direction and setting for the future. As the director of a flexible and fast-paced workplace, you must be accustomed to management and have excellent social skills:

- You show initiative and have the analytical power and social intelligence to function effectively and comfortably in the complex professional institutional field in Frankfurt am Main.
- You are a strong communicator and have a natural tendency towards cooperation and collaboration.
- You deal easily and naturally with the political, cultural, economic and public relations of the institution as well as with its members, and have concrete strategies for successfully seeking fundraising and sponsoring partnerships, based on practical experience
- You are a persistent, convincing and effective negotiator.

In addition, excellent German, written and spoken, and a perfect knowledge of the English language are a must.

The position is at least a three-year appointment, which can commence as the parties see fit.

Please send your application before November 28th, 2008. The application should include a short description of your vision of the Frankfurter Kunstverein's future conception and profile along with a CV, references and your desired salary. Please don't send catalogues. Please send your application to:

The Board of the Frankfurter Kunstverein:
c/o Gabriele Dagher
Frankfurter Kunstverein e.V.
Steinernes Haus am Römerberg / Markt 44
D-60311 Frankfurt am Main

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