Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity - Vessel International Curatorial Workshop, Bari

Posted by April Steele • Friday, April 22. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Vessel International Curatorial Workshop

28–30 May 2011

Via Guido De Ruggiero 6
70125 Bari, Italy

A three day workshop about cultural topology, the dynamism of forms and surfaces in relation to the transitory nature of reality, applicable to Eastern/Western Europe and the Mediterranean area. Emphasis will also be placed on the evolution of curating as a profession and its essential role in social and cultural redefinition.
Art has described, reflected upon and even instigated certain internal social and cultural dynamics in and around these territories. Art works in an extra-disciplinary manner, without the necessity of self-justification, which is often an obstacle for other divisions of knowledge. vessel aims to focus on "artwork" going beyond simply the physical art itself and transcending into reflections on the state of the world. In this context, art is a useful device to measure a more general consciousness of the state of global relationships. It helps us collectively think beyond the relations and patterns that are typically and constantly imposed upon us.

The non-tangible nature of art influences contemporary art and the protagonists involved in its development. The role of curator is in a phase of redefinition and parallels the dynamically evolving nature of contemporary art. vessel views the curator as a researcher who needs a place both to carry out and present research. This is a very different role from that of the art historian, whose principal task is to research particular artistic movements or moments, to select examples and to present this research within the conventions of a historical presentation. By contrast, the curator uses his or her research as a tool to interact with reality through art, resulting in a reflection upon contemporary society. vessel is not focused on the nuances of particular exhibitions, but rather how specific exhibition studies can serve as platforms for evaluation of broader curatorial concepts.

For this reason, our methodology will be based on group activities focused on individual case studies. The core of these case studies will be comprised of varying exercises dealing with secondary material concerning the curatorial practice in relation to the overarching exhibition made in a certain geographical area.

From these activities, we will additionally create a database, which will become the concrete formalization of the concepts that guide exhibitions. This elaboration will allow deeper analysis of the research made by curators for related exhibitions.

The workshop will be held by the Scientific Committee of Vessel :
Charles Esche – Director of Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Ilaria Gianni – Writer and Curator
Cecilia Guida – Researcher and Independent Curator
Denis Isaia – Researcher and Curator
Viktor Misiano – Art Critic, Curator and Director of international museums
Marco Petroni – Art Critic and Curator
Roberto Pinto – Art Critic and Curator
Viviana Checchia – Researcher and Independent Curator
Anna Santomauro – Independent Curator

Deadline is May 15th, 2011.

Vessel is supported by the Apulia Region
Winner of the prize "Principi Attivi 2010 – Giovani idee per una Puglia migliore"

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Opportunity: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Open Call for Curators, deadline may 31

Posted by Katerina Gkoutziouli • Sunday, April 10. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.


SYNAPSE – The International Curators’ Network at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin)
in the framework of the Asia-Pacific Weeks 2011 (September 6–17)

Duration: September 7–10, 2011, with a public keynote speech by Peter Weibel on September 6, 2011

HAUS DER KULTUREN DER WELT invites up-and-coming curators to apply for SYNAPSE – The International Curators’ Network at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Moderated by international curators, scientists and other experts, the first network meeting of SYNAPSE will focus on the interactions between science and art. Among other questions, it will address how scientific topics can be approached by curators. In interdisciplinary workshops, ten selected SYNAPSE curators and the five winning curators of Meridian I Urban.Curatorial Projects on Health will generate new project ideas. Visits to galleries, museums, and project and exhibition spaces will connect SYNAPSE participants with the vibrant Berlin art scene.

Jury members
• Katja Blomberg (director, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin)
• Yu Yeon Kim (independent curator, NYC and Seoul)
• Osvaldo Sánchez (curator/director, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City)
• Adele Tan (art historian and critic, Singapore)

Application requirements
The call is open to international up-and-coming curators with initial curatorial experience. Since lectures and workshop sessions will be held in English, applicants must be able to speak and write English fluently.

An international jury will review the applications and announce the ten selected participants by end of June 2011. Participation in the workshop is free of charge. Each participant will receive a travel subsidy of up to €500. Haus der Kulturen der Welt will support the participants in seeking additional funding and will provide board and lodging for the duration of the workshop.

A project in cooperation with the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art 2011.
The Asia-Pacific Weeks are supported by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the The International Curators' Network website

Deadline for entries: May 31, 2011

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Opportunity: Curatorial workshop: Towards Curating as a Critical Practice

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, December 23. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

First call for applications
Curatorial workshop: Towards Curating as a Critical Practice
April 27th - 28th, 2011
Novi Sad, Serbia

We are pleased to launch an open call for applications for a curatorial workshop targeted at individuals who have started a career in contemporary art as curators, writers or critics. This workshop will be part of the 10 years of D.B. Mangelos Award program (YVAA network) and is aimed at starting a dialogue about contemporary artistic/curatorial practice in S/CEE region.

The workshop will take place in Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia on 27th and 28th of April 2011 (Wednesday and Thursday) and is organized by Remont, DEZ ORG and Ilija and Mangelos Foundation.

Towards Curating as a Critical Practice

Context outline:
Is there such a practice as a critical curating and what would it assume? In today's conditions of cultural and knowledge production and general flexibilization and professionalization of labor, it could be said that particular figure of a curator lives its expanded role as a cultural producer. Indeed, the role of a curator in contemporary production of art&culture goes way beyond mediation of art works towards the audience, since it includes variety of activities ranging from basic conceptualizing and mounting of the exhibition, to handling complex institutional network of relationships and financial logistics. Curators' role today is expanded indeed, but that expansion also comprehends imperative to network, to improve managerial skills, to communicate and cooperate, which is pointing out a new form of professionalization in cultural field of post-fordist labor market. That position often encompasses ambivalences which are present in practice of curating as a representational, an intermediary strategy between art world and society's power structures/institutions. On the other hand, the curatorial practice is very much involved with theoretical reflection, with knowledge and knowledge production, and it is rich with a potentiality, as a point of access to engagement in political aspects of society. Last but not least, although loaded with different influences, what should be remembered as a bottom-line of this particular practice in the art world is curator's responsibility towards audience and the public.

Two-days long workshop in Novi Sad will try to open space for discussion among younger generation of curators from South East Europe, by enrolling and challenging theoretically on what they observe and do in the field of contemporary curating, and on what could be done. The discussions among curators and art critics will be accompanied with lectures and conversations with renowned international and regional curators and art theorists, which will serve as a further discussion booster. The workshop aims to map wider context of contemporary curating practice and to try to imagine discursive alternative strategies to it by answering the question: Is there such a practice as a critical curating and what would it assume? The workshop will be led by art critic Branka Ćurčić.

Branka Ćurčić is a writer, art critic and program editor in the New Media, Novi Sad (, since 2002. She graduated Fine Art and Theory of Art and Media (MA) in Novi Sad and Belgrade, Serbia. In the, she is the editor of publishing project (, which is focused on examining critical approaches towards new media culture, new cultural and political relations, contemporary artistic practice and the social realm. She actively participates in (co-)curating exhibitions, in organizing lectures, conferences and workshops regarding contemporary art theory and practices. She also takes part in several international research projects and her essays have been published in many magazines and publications in the region and internationally. She lives and works in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Documents to apply:
In order to apply, please email the following information in English to dezorg -at- by January 31st, 2011:
- A motivation letter explaining your background, why you are interested in participating in the workshop.
- A short biography, presenting recent relevant projects, or project/s you are currently involved with.

Selection process:
Ten applications will be accepted. Applicants living/working in the S/CEE region are welcomed to apply.
Primary attention will be paid to applicants' motivation letter. All applicants will be notified of the selection results by the end of February 2011.
Workshop will be held in English.
For any additional info please write to dezorg -at-
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What Do Curators Want?

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, April 21. 2007 • Category: Musings

"What Do Curators Want?" was the name of an event held recently at Side Street Projects (an art centre in Pasadena, California, USA) featuring Caryn Coleman, editor of and owner of sixspace.

The promotional blurb stated:
If you go about this the wrong way, you can kill your career before it even happens. So, how do you approach curators without shooting yourself in the foot? Caryn Coleman, owner of sixspace and editor of, will give you some practical advice in this free, public presentation...

They have also put Caryn's notes online, which are available in PDF format.

I was drawn to read about this event for several reasons, not the least of which was wondering how an expansive question such as "What do curators want?" would be answered. Caryn's excellent tips for artists will be very useful to those who are pursuing a relationship with a commercial gallery. It's good to see that the question was focused to cater to the needs of the local audience and the expertise of the speaker.

It did cause me to wonder what the PDF tip sheets would look like for curators with other concerns. What are the relevant parameters between artists and curators when in contexts such as the museum, the non-profit gallery, or festivals?
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