Combining theory and practice, the symposium taking place on October 18th sets a discursive framing for the program. The contributions seek to explore the dimensions of curatorial research today, discussing aspects of gender, digitality, politicality, performativity, and curatorial agency.
On the one hand, it sounds paradoxical – learning as an authority technique is often an afterthought,
verifiable and predictable practice – but actually learning is just that: learning in advance.
With my contribution, I would like to reflect on two concrete projects that use curatorial practice,
art education, radical pedagogy, situated knowledge and public art to explore a world that does not yet exist:
The Museum of Burning Questions and the Partisan Café,
both of which were part of the freethought project infrastructure at Bergen Assembly 2016.
The research and exhibition project infrastructure of freethought
provided the framework for a curatorial practice located between
public education, collaborative knowledge production and the exhibition of our research.
Lecture How can we learn something that does not yet exist?
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Nora Sternfeld is an art educator and curator. Since January 2018 she is documenta professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. From 2012 to 2018 she was professor for Curating and Mediating Art at the Aalto University in Helsinki. Furthermore she is co-director of the /ecm – Master Program in Exhibition Theory and Practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna; part of the core team of schnittpunkt. ausstellungstheorie & praxis; a co-founder and part of trafo.K, Office for Art, Education and Critical Knowledge Production (Vienna); and since 2011, a member of freethought, platform for research, education, and production (London). In this capacity she was also one of the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly 2016. She publishes on contemporary art, exhibitions, politics of history, educational, and anti-racism.
In this talk I introduce the concept of Posthuman Curating by focusing on curating as technology of the self, an infrastructural practice which performs as a form of biopolitics. This is a very different way of thinking about ‘curating’, which has traditionally been the domain of the museum: protecting, preserving, and cataloguing works which cycle between archives and public display; or art gallery where artistic practices are contextualised and interpreted with and for the public. Recognising that curating is now also part of curating content online and management of data-driven user profiling and optimisation this talk is framed by the question: what are the objects/subjects of posthuman curating.
Lecture Posthuman Curating and computational culture
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Magdalena Tyżlik-Carver is Assistant Professor of Digital Design at Aarhus University and independent curator. Her research investigates intersections of computation and practices of participation in contemporary art and culture bringing together art history, software studies, affect theory, curatorial practice and new materialism. She is co-editor of Executing Practices (Autonomedia 2017, Open Humanities Press 2018) and her most recent curatorial project Screen Shots: Desire and Automated Image exhibited in Aarhus Galleri Image in March and April 2019.
The continuing incorporation of performance practices into visual art institutions, archives and collections, art markets and modes of global dissemination has paralleled a shift in its critical conception. Rather than being seen as a static historical object, a performance is now understood as an uncertain work that morphs over time; the ephemerality of its event is complicated by its recurrence, its lasting and many afterlives. In what ways does the ‘persistence of performance’ challenge our understandings of the material and immaterial, presence and absence, the secular and the spiritual? How might radical curatorial practices navigate a relation to the afterlives of performance and their morphology? I will look at several examples of my recent curatorial practice that advance and complicate relations between bodies, action and material things within the economies and practices of the museum, whilst addressing questions of genealogical value.
Lecture Spirited affinities
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Adrian Heathfield is a writer and curator working across the scenes of live art, performance and dance. He is the author of Out of Now a monograph on the artist Tehching Hsieh and editor of Perform, Repeat, Record and of Live: Art and Performance. He has curated a number of significant performance projects in museums, theatres and galleries including Live Culture at Tate Modern in 2003 and the Taiwan Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale 2017. Heathfield is Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton, London.
In my contribution, following from my inaugural lecture held a few months ago at the University of Hildesheim, I would like to continue and further develop my reflections on the ethics of curating. The focus is on questions of what an ethic of curating includes, what current efforts exist in this regard and what difficulties and problems are associated with it. Last but not least, I wish to address the question of how an ethic of curating in the form of study programs such as the Cultures of the Curatorial, or my own teaching within the cultural sciences as well, can be taught and applied.
Lecture Some considerations about an ethic of curating
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Fiona McGovern is an art historian, author and curator. Since 2018, she teaches as a Junior Professor for Curatorial Practice and Art Education at the University of Hildesheim. Her research interests include (artistic) exhibition history and theory, ethics of curating and interdisciplinary approaches in the arts since the 1960s. In 2016 she published her monograph Die Kunst zu zeigen (To Show the Art). Künstlerische Ausstellungsdisplays (Artistic Exhibition Displays) by Joseph Beuys, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger and Manfred Pernice (transcript). She is also co-editor of the anthology Assign & Arrange. Methodologies of Presentation in Art & Dance (Sternberg 2014) and the book Jill Johnston. The Disintegration of a Critic (Bergen Kunsthall/Sternber 2019). The latter was created as part of an exhibition of the same name, curated together with Megan Francis Sullivan and Axel Wieder in the Bergen Kunsthall in the spring/summer of this year.