Michelle Kasprzak's views on contemporary art curating

Opportunity: ICF Bursaries to attend Tate Symposium

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, January 2. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

6 bursaries of £250 each for travel and accomodation expenses to attend the Tate Symposium on Contempory Art in the Middle East on 22 and 23 January 2009 are available to UK based curators.

Please send your applications digitally to: info -at-

Deadline for applications is the 8 January 2008. The ICF advisory board will meet to review the applications on 9 January 2009. Successful applicants will be notified immediately.

The criteria for selection are:
- A track record of curating international artists (minimum of 3 shows).
- A strong interest in the aesthetics and ethics of global curatorial development.
- A collaborative approach to sharing knowledge and expertise.
- A strong written proposal of an ambitious project, which would benefit from the research opportunity of being part of the ICF.

Contemporary Art in the Middle East: A Two-Day Symposium at Tate Britain and Tate Modern

Defining the Middle East How do we define the Middle East? Can the Middle East be understood as a fixed physical entity or is it a dynamic and shifting definition, moulded by changing historical, social and political realities? What place does the diaspora play in defining contemporary Middle Eastern culture? This session investigates contemporary and historical definitions of the Middle East and how these impact on the making and distribution of art.

Writing and Translation: How does the interpretation and contextualisation of modern and contemporary art from the Middle East effect its understanding at home and abroad? What is lost in the process of translation and how can it be reclaimed to encourage deeper and more nuanced readings? This session explores writing on art and translation as well as broader issues of access and interpretation.

Art Now: Recent Exhibitions: There has been a proliferation of exhibitions of contemporary Middle Eastern art both in the region and abroad. This session will be dedicated to presentations by curators and artists reflecting on recent exhibitions and curatorial projects. Speakers include: Stuart Comer, Suzanne Cotter, Catherine David, November Paynter, Khalil Rabah and Andrew Renton.

Tradition and Modernity: What were the specific conditions out of which modern and contemporary art emerged in the Middle East? How have ideas about tradition and modernity played out within this context? This session looks at how definitions of tradition and modernity have shifted over time and in different national contexts in the Middle East.

The Politics of Space: What will be the impact of new and emerging spaces for seeing and exhibiting modern and contemporary art in different parts of the Middle East? This session looks at the spatial politics of art in the Middle East from major architectural developments in the Gulf such as Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi to more fluid institutional spaces for art such as the Sharjah Biennial and the ‘Home Works’ international forum in Beirut.

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