Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity: Rhizome Curatorial Fellowship

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, March 30. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Rhizome is a leading arts organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology. Through open platforms for exchange and collaboration, our website serves to encourage and expand the communities around these practices. Our programs, many of which happen online, include commissions, exhibitions, events, discussion, archives and portfolios. Rhizome is an affiliate of the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Rhizome seeks a Curatorial Fellow from late April through August 2009. The Fellow will support the curatorial and editorial departments at Rhizome through research, writing and administration. This position is a unique opportunity for a person interested in pursuing a career in contemporary art to further their engagement with the field and hone their professional skills.

The Curatorial Fellow must be based in New York and must be able to commit to 16 hours of work per week, for 6 months, beginning in Spring 2009. This position is unpaid, but academic credit may be arranged. The Curatorial Fellow will work directly with artists and be overseen by the Director and Senior Editor.

The Fellow’s primary responsibilities include:

- Coordination, and development of the Rhizome ArtBase, including managing submissions and reaching out to artists
- Curating sections of the Rhizome website
- Researching topics for editorial coverage
- Writing articles for Rhizome’s blog and publications
- Administrative support of programs, such as Rhizome’s monthly New Silent Series at the New Museum
- General support of the organization

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates should have a level of familiarity with contemporary art and particularly new media and its history. Education or advanced experience beyond the undergraduate level is preferred. At a minimum, the candidate should have very strong writing, editing, and analytical skills, and very high internet literacy. Knowledge of Microsoft Office software is also required and basic Photoshop skills are preferred.

TO APPLY: Please email a cover letter, resume or c.v., three references, and three writing samples (urls or attachments) to Ceci Moss at editor(at) Review of applications will begin immediately. Deadline is April 15, 2009.
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Job: Curator, The Hayward

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, March 30. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Southbank Centre - The Hayward seeks Curator

Curator, The Hayward
Closing date: 8th April 2009

Curator, The Hayward
33,000 GBP per annum

Southbank Centre is the UK's largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London's most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain.

As the hub of visual arts activity at Southbank Centre, The Hayward plays a vital role in the UK and internationally by presenting a wide range of ground-breaking art exhibitions, project exhibitions and outdoor installations. Boasting one of the largest and most versatile exhibition spaces in the UK, The Hayward aims to place artists at the heart of its every activity and to offer visitors adventurous encounters that defy expectations.

As Curator, you will work with the Director and Chief Curator of The Hayward to manage incoming touring exhibitions as well as deliver a series of your own exhibitions and projects in The Hayward and outdoor spaces around Southbank Centre's site. You will be responsible for curating and writing about each project as well as supervising design and installation and managing project budgets.

With demonstrable knowledge of and interest in international modern and contemporary art, you will have significant experience of all stages of curating an exhibition in an art gallery or museum – from conceptualising, planning and administering exhibitions to their installation. Outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to manage relationships at all levels are also essential.

For further information and details about how to apply, please visit our website or phone +442079210641. Application forms should be submitted to recruit -at- or posted to HR, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX by 5pm on the closing date.

Closing date: 8th April 2009

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Job: Gallery Curator and Manager, FE McWilliam Gallery

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

Gallery Curator and Manager, FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio

2 year temporary post with possible 1 year extension and may be further extended/designated permanent.
£31,348 - £34,107 per annum

37 hours per week plus out of normal office hours as required (evening/weekend work essential)

The post holder will be responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, promoting and evaluating the on-going operations and future development of the FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio and serve as museum curator. The post holder will be required to work with external agencies.

Application Instructions:
Application forms and details of the job description including essential and desirable criteria are available from the Council’s website or by writing to the Human Resources Section, Banbridge District Council, Civic Building, Downshire Road, Banbridge BT32 3JY, quoting the appropriate Job Reference Number, to be returned no later than 4 p.m. on 20 March 2009.

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Opportunity: Events and Retreats at Wysing Arts Centre

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, March 7. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Wysing Arts Centre invites participants to a special one day event hosted by the artist Phyllida Barlow, "What do artists do?",
Friday 20 March, 10am – 5pm.

What do artists do? is a project initiated by Barlow that investigates the invisible activities behind how artists make work - those processes which though they may not be seen, acknowledged or known, form the resources and motivation for an artist’s creative activity. A number of other guest speakers – artists, writers and curators - will also respond to Barlow’s question on the day.

What do artists do? will launch Escalator Visual Arts, a two year programme of artistic retreats at Wysing Arts Centre. Each retreat will be advertised through an open call for participants and will be curated around a specific theme. The retreats, which will begin in July of this year, will be open to any artist or curator living in the East of England. A small number of subsistence bursaries will be available to participants and out of each retreat a number of the region’s artists and curators will be indentified to receive further individual support.

Wysing is delighted to be working in partnership with The Royal College of Art MA in Curating on the curation and delivery of each retreat. Following an application process, the MA programme will also select which of the region’s artists and curators will attend the retreats, with 10 places being available on each one.

The event What do artists do? will launch the programme and is open to any visual artist or curator living or working in the East of England though booking is essential as places for this event are limited to 40. The event is free and lunch will be provided.

To register please contact Escalator at- or call 01954 718881. Closing date for registration Monday 16 March.

Phyllida Barlow will be speaking about her own art practice at Wysing Arts Centre on Thursday 19 March, 6-8pm.
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Pick 'N Mix - March 2009

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, March 1. 2009 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
In like a lion, out like a lamb... welcome to March's Pick 'N Mix, a real mixed bag of treats this month:

- First of all, a postscript of sorts to last month's Pick 'N Mix, the "credit crunch edition": You've all surely read it by now, but in case you haven't, Holland Cotter's article, "The Boom Is Over! Long Live the Art!" in the New York Times is well worth a read. Complementing some of Francis McKee's comments that I quoted in last month's edition, Cotter writes: "Anyone with memories of recessions in the early 1970s and late ’80s knows that we’ve been here before, though not exactly here. There are reasons to think that the present crisis is of a different magnitude: broader and deeper, a global black hole. Yet the same memories will lend a hopeful spin to that thought: as has been true before, a financial scouring can only be good for American art, which during the present decade has become a diminished thing." Also, over at New Curator, there's an article on creative use of "slack spaces", which are some of the thousands of retail shops that have been vacated due to the credit crunch and not rented. As Pete at New Curator writes: "What better way to encourage economic stimulus than making sure commercial properties don’t fall into ruin and improving the image of the surrounding area?"

- I'm contemplating writing a whole article about "guest" curators and freelance curators, and their place in the market. Until then, maybe you can just read what I'm reading: an article on the American Association of Museums website called "The Stranger Among Us: Managing the Guest Curator Relationship", and an article by Sharon Heal entitled "Be My Guest" in the February issue of Museums Journal (sorry, the article isn't online! See if you can sneak a peek at Museums Journal at your local library or museum), the upshot of which is that it's a good idea to bring in outside experts in particular areas (for example, a milliner for a hat show) to curate temporary or permanent exhibitions.

- There's a good interview with the ever-interesting curator Nato Thompson at art:21. Favourite quote: "As much as the onslaught of cultural production over the last fifty years has radically altered capital’s relationship to aesthetics, it has also made us much more aware that knowledge has a form, and that there are a myriad of forms for the delivery of information and the production of knowledge. Basically, knowledge is a performance, whether it is the stage of the classroom, or the aesthetics of a typeface in a book, to the performance in a street, to a multi-channel video projection." A satisfying statement to unpick, which led me to ponder how curators perform knowledge.

- A brief article about the internationalism of the curatorial profession in the Japan Times: "Why Curators Stay at Home". To sum up, it asks why more Japanese curators are not "super curators", zooming around the globe, and the article comes up with the rather predictable answer that in order to be international, one must rack up a few air miles and be willing to exchange. Worth a read for the interview snippets with Fumio Nanjo, though.

- A fascinating piece entitled Whither Curatorial studies? is available on Artworld Salon. This piece rightly interrogates the existence of curatorial degree programmes and what they hope to accomplish and equip their students to do. "Undoubtedly the role of curator has been squeezed too narrowly between administration and dealmaking; but the travesty may be that curatorial studies programs fail to acknowledge this when they recruit students and collect their often sizeable tuitions. Shouldn't we then ask what sort of training curatorial programs are giving their students?" Of course, similar questions could be directed at so many fine art degree programmes and humanities programmes as well -- scores of artists leave art school without even knowing if their work fits into a commercial market or not, and if it does, what to do with that information. However, this essay at Artworld Salon is right to focus on curatorial studies, a field of study that, due the competitive jobs marketplace and varying contexts within which curators can work, demands much of those designing the curriculum.

- ...and, this just in: Nat Muller has reviewed the recent symposium at the Witte de With, "The Curators". A taste: "the curator as the new rock star, the self-proclaimed priests and priestesses of the art scene, the critics’ darlings or foes, the curator as genius, the curator as fascist, the curator as the icon we love to hate, or adore. It’s a lot of pressure…expectations were high."

P.S. Don't forget -- some of these articles don't stay online forever. If you want to refer to them in future, develop your own archiving system or use Evernote.
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