Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity - Guest Curator, Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2012, deadline 30 Apr

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, April 19. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Selection Criteria for Guest Curator Applications, 2012

Click here to download PDF of the selection criteria for Guest Curator Applications 2012
Materials to submit via an application form online include the following:

SECTION ONE: Contact Details

SECTION TWO: Professional Background
Details of qualifications, exhibition history & awards
[this can be in free flowing text or listed as per a C.V., maximum 500 words]
Images [up to 3] of exhibitions you have curated / artists you have worked with
Writing samples [up to 3, each maximum 2000 words]. These can be published work, online or an extract of a thesis

Curatorial statement [maximum 500 words]. Explain the broader context of your interest in the MENASA region and what you feel you can bring to the Abraaj Capital Art Prize.
Details of two referees from fellow art professionals who are familiar with your work and you are happy for us to contact to discuss your application. These can be from artists.

There is no age restriction for curators to apply.
No specific curatorial qualifications are necessary but you must have quantifiable experience in the field of curating on an international level, of at least 8 years standing.
You can originate from any country in the world. You are asked to state your nationality, place of birth and current country / countries of current residence on the application form.
You must be able to dedicate enough time to the Abraaj Capital Art Prize project and not be involved in any conflicting appointments from October 2011 – March 2012.

Work directly with Abraaj Capital and/or its agent and the 5 chosen artists to ensure that all 5 art projects are produced and delivered by the deadline of Art Dubai, March 2012.
Prepare content for a catalogue on all 5 winning projects and the Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2012. This includes sourcing photographs and any necessary image permissions to accompany your writing. Content is due by March 31 2012.
At the request of Abraaj Capital and/or its agent, the Guest Curator shall personally appear at the event announcing the winners of the 2012 edition of the prize, the unveiling of the prize in March 212, the dates of such events to be stipulated by Abraaj Capital and/or its agent.
The guest curator shall be expected to make themselves available for interviews with the media at the request of Abraaj Capital and/or its agent.
During the 24-month period following the unveiling, at the request of Abraaj Capital and/or its agent the Guest Curator shall personally appear at up to three events to support the prize and participate in interviews and other media-related events.
The chosen guest curator will receive a set fee, paid in instalments. There is no application fee.

Deadline 30 April 2011

Defined tags for this entry: , ,

BAM International Visitor's Programme Report

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, April 15. 2011 • Category: Musings

BAM (Flemish Institute for visual, audiovisual, and media art) is an organisation based in Ghent that "provides information, and encourages development and networking" and "encourages collaboration and exchange between Flemish organisations and institutions abroad and tries to increase the interest in and knowledge of the Flemish art scene". Their International Visitor's Programme is a key component of their overall activities, with several invitations extended each year to foreign art professionals. I was fortunate enough to be invited and had a bespoke programme created for me that extended over four days and four cities in Flanders this February.

For the four days, Brussels was my base and I travelled throughout the region either by car with my gracious host, Nele Samyn from BAM, or I used the extensive Belgian train system. Nele was a great guide who designed a perfect programme for me, and answered all my general questions about the cultural situation in Flanders in between the scheduled meetings.

It's going to sound like a bit of a cop out, but there were so many things that I saw and people that I spoke with that making a big list of it would be a bit meaningless. So I'll just single out some highlights that are easy to summarise:

In terms of commiserating with colleagues, it was a great pleasure to meet Eva De Groote at Timelab, and see what's cooking there with their lab and their artist in residence programme. It was inspiring to visit Netwerk, a terrific and fairly large centre for contemporary art in the fairly small town of Aalst (home to fewer than 80,000 people). I greatly enjoyed dining with artist Frederik de Wilde, hearing all about his fascinating work (and getting some free Dutch lessons on the side). Going to Argos resulted in a lovely chat with Paul Willemsen, then spending a solid hour in their galleries being blown away by "Sea of Tranquillity", a piece by Hans Op de Beeck. I had a fabulous time at the Artefact festival in Leuven, especially the opening night and a group meal with several of the artists and festival curators. I had previously seen the work of Koen Vanmechelen in Den Haag, and I was very keen to meet him. Despite busy schedules all round we managed to meet for a great discussion over coffee in Leuven. BAM makes all your wishes come true!

I walked away from my brief visit to Flanders with a head full of artworks and a pocket full of business cards, but I also departed with a new conviction: that every country should have a programme such as this. This quick and intense introduction to the art scene in Flanders was invaluable to me as a curator. I saw dozens of artworks, attended a festival, viewed many individual shows, had studio visits with several artists, and met a number of fellow curators. It was a packed four days that I could never have organised on my own. I also now feel like I have a good grip on the aspects of the Flemish art scene that are relevant to me as a curator, something that can only be accomplished due to the bespoke nature of the programme. A generic version of this programme with a one-size-fits-all approach just wouldn't work as well. I hope that BAM continues this programme long into the future, and that other places adopt their exemplary model.

Defined tags for this entry: , , , , , , , ,

Pick 'N Mix - May 2009

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, May 1. 2009 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

Welcome to May's Pick 'N Mix:

- An interesting ethical issue is raised by Regina Hackett in her great, new-ish blog, Another Bouncing Ball. In a post entitled "Curators who are loath to credit art dealers", she outlines a few examples wherein collectors were acknowledged, but the dealers who helped to make an artist's career weren't. She asks: "Isn't it time to abandon the illusion that dealers are all about money and curators are all about art?" It's an underdiscussed topic, and I think Hackett is exactly right: the lines between the roles of all participants in the art ecosystem can be a bit fuzzy at times, and certainly the psychological barriers set up between for-profit practice and other areas is less than useful (though that doesn't mean it should escape critical examination).

- In a similar, why-does-this-happen-when-it-makes-no-sense kind of vein (though I apologise for the lack of a direct relation to curating), Jennifer Higgie writes a piece on the recent Turner Prize shortlist for Frieze's blog, noting that once again critics are braying about the "weirdness" of the shortlisted artists' works. Read the article to find out Higgie's hilarious counterpoints to the supposed weirdness of the nominees.

- I quite liked this interview in BOMB Magazine, where a curator is the interviewer, rather than the interviewee. Again -- sorry for the tenuous link, but I think Pedro Reyes is a really interesting artist, and Tatiana Cuevas does a great job interviewing him.

- On a final note, I'm happy that it's Futuresonic Festival time again in Manchester. Festival Director Drew Hemment and Art Programme Manager Dennis Hopkins have curated the main exhibition, and has decided that rather than hold the usual gallery tours conducted by himself or gallery staff, he will have external curators give tours of the exhibition, that will be "honest, open, warts and all". This idea is appealing on so many levels: to see what commentary a fresh pair of eyes will bring, as a solution for how to involve the curatorial community in an exhibition that they didn't take part in formulating, etc. I am delighted to be one of these external invitees and look forward to the experience -- I will report back on how it went here!
Defined tags for this entry: , , , , , , ,