Since their inception in the late 1980s, there has been an increased need for more critical diverse global approaches to academic curatorial programmes. What is the impact of an expanded, globally integrated contemporary art scene and how does curatorial education reflect this?
Curators, artists and academics Teresa Cisneros, Ben Cranfield, Clémentine Deliss, Sonia Dermience, Janna Graham, María Iñigo Clavo, Irit Rogoff and Lucy Steeds propose new historiographies and models of decolonising curatorial practice and education. Chaired by Antony Hudek, Nayia Yiakoumaki and Mercedes Vicente.
In collaboration with Curatorial Studies, KASK School of Arts – Ghent
11.30 Welcome and Introductions
Nayia Yiakoumaki, Curator Archive Gallery, Head of Curatorial Studies, and Project Manager NEON Curatorial Exchange, Whitechapel Gallery
Antony Hudek, Director Curatorial Studies, KASK – School of Arts, Ghent
Mercedes Vicente, Director of Education and Public Programmes, Whitechapel Gallery
12-1.00 New historiographies of and through exhibitions
Lucy Steeds/Afterall & Central St Martins and María Iñigo Clavo/Open University Catalonia, convened by Mercedes Vicente
2.00-3.00 Approaching curatorial knowledges
Professor Irit Rogoff/Curatorial Knowledge Goldsmiths, and Clémentine Deliss/École nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris Cergy, convened by Antony Hudek
3.30-5.00 Constituting new models/decolonising curatorial practice
Teresa Cisneros/Curator, Sonia Dermience/Komplot (Brussels), Janna Graham/ BA Curating Goldsmiths, convened by Ben Cranfield
5.00-5.30 Summary and Closing Remarks
Ben Cranfield/Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art
Teresa Cisneros is a Chicana (Mexican-American) curator / arts administrator / educator. She has worked in the visual arts in the U.S. and UK. She is co-founder of agency for agency a curatorial collective project that explores politics, identity, history and contemporary art practices in different formats. Cisneros mentors the sorryyoufeeluncomfortable collective and works with various cultural institutions. She completed a curatorial fellowship with the Showroom gallery in London which explored cultural equity, colonial administration and decolonial processes. Cisneros likes to think with others and act with others to address systemic oppressions in the cultural sector.
Dr. Ben Cranfield is a writer, lecturer and cultural facilitator and Senior Tutor in Curatorial Theory and History on the Curating Contemporary Art programme at the Royal College of Art where he also leads the Curatorial Thinking and Dissertation strands of the programme. Formerly a lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London for over eight years, he has a keen interest in the relationship between theory, practice and alternative forms of pedagogy. Prior to working in academia he was a gallery manager and exhibition organiser and in 2007-8 he co-curated the year-long series ’60 Years of Curating’ at London’s ICA. His current research and practice is focused on the relationship of the curatorial to notions of the contemporary and the archive, asking what it is to be ‘with’ one’s time. This interest stems from previous and on-going work into the histories and politics of art institutions, the theory of archives and institutional memory, and shifting ideas of art and culture in post-war Britain. Exploring the possibilities of the curatorial to re-approach the past through formations in the present, he is examining alternative approaches to using archival materials across curatorial, artistic and writing practice, particularly inspired by feminist, queer and decolonising approaches.
Dr. Clémentine Deliss is an independent curator and cultural historian based in Berlin. She is Visiting Professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris Cergy, at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, and has an International Chair at Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art in Paris. Deliss studied contemporary art and semantic anthropology and holds a PhD from the University of London on dissident Surrealism and experimental French anthropology in the 1920s. She was the publisher of the international artists’ and writers’ organ “Metronome” (1996-2007), presented at documenta X and documenta 12. Between 2002-2009 she directed the international research lab “Future Academy” with student cells in London, Edinburgh, Dakar, Mumbai, Bangalore, Melbourne, Tokyo and Yamaguchi. Between 2010 and 2015, she directed the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, where she established a new methodology for working with contested ethnographic collections and curated numerous exhibitions including El Hadji Sy: Painting, Performance, Politics (2015). She recently curated four roundtables on “Transitioning Museums” in Phnom Penh, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Berlin for the Goethe Institute. In 2016, she was a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg), and Senior Curator of IDeA Foundation in Armenia where she devised and ran the Dilijan Arts Observatory. Her latest exhibition Portable Homelands. From Field to Factory is part of Hello World. Revising a Collection currently on show at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin.
Sonia Dermience studied art history and had several positions as curator and editor before she founded Komplot in Brussels in 2002, a curatorial collective concerned with contextual creative practices. Under the name of Catherine Vertige, she conducted extensive research into post ’68 collaborative art practices in Belgium with seminars and the two documentary films ‘Sad In Country’ with Kosten Koper. In 2009 Komplot founded the participative educational program The Public School Brussels, which is soon to become The Komplot School Of Curating. Between 2010 and 2015 Komplot was located in a converted warehouse dedicated to exhibitions, residencies and studios. Komplot published three issues of YEAR magazine between 2011 and 2013. Currently Komplot is redeveloping a nomadic practice. In 2015, Sonia Dermience re-initiated an individual curatorial practice with TRUST, The Copenhagen Arts Festival, at Charlottenborg Kunsthal, Nikolaj Kunsthal, Gammel Strand, Overgaden, Den Frie and other semi-public locations in Copenhagen.
Janna Graham is a researcher, organiser, educator and curator. She is currently Lecturer in Visual Cultures and programme leader of the BA Curating at Goldsmiths. Graham has developed radical education and research projects in and beyond the arts for two decades, working at the intersections of art and contemporary social urgencies including struggles around migration, gentrification, education, anti-racism and indigeneity. From 2008-2013 Graham worked with others to develop the Centre For Possible Studies, a neighbourhood education and research project off the Edgware Road, supported by Serpentine Galleries. There, she edited publications including On the Edgware Road (2011) and Art + Care: A Future (2013) and Studies on a Road (2016). She is currently developing a book and ongoing research project with Susan Kelly and Valeria Graziano on histories and problematics of Public Programming in our current post-democratic impasse. She is a researcher with the Another Roadmap School and is part of the international sound collective Ultra-red.
María Iñigo Clavo is a researcher, curator and lecturer at Open University of Catalonia, with a PhD in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Her research focuses on coloniality, curating and museology, modernity and its inventions of otherness, and art in Latin America with special attention to Brazilian Art. She is a co-founder of the independent research group Península: Colonial Processes and Artistic and Curatorial Practices, in collaboration with Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. She was Visiting Fellow of Afterall Research Center (2016-2017), a researcher for the AHRC project Meeting Margins: Transnational Art in Europe & Latin America 1950-1978, University of Essex and University of the Arts London and postdoctoral Fellow at the University of São Paulo (FAPESP). She has written extensively for publications such as e-flux, Afterall, Stedelijk Museum Journal, Versión/sur, Concinnitas, Revista de Occidente, Bilboquet, Re-visiones, Lugar Común, among others.
Lucy Steeds is Reader in Art Theory and Exhibition Histories at Central Saint Martins (CSM), University of the Arts London (UAL). Senior Research Fellow for Afterall at CSM, she leads on their Exhibition Histories strand of research and publishing. She is core to the teaching team on the MRes Art: Exhibition Studies course at CSM and convenes the training programme for doctoral students in art and design across UAL. Her recent books include: How Institutions Think (2017) and The Curatorial Conundrum (2016), both co-edited with Paul O’Neill and Mick Wilson for The MIT Press; and Exhibition (for the Documents of Contemporary Art series), Whitechapel Gallery and The MIT Press, 2014. She has a PhD in Cultural History from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Irit Rogoff is a writer, educator, curator and organisor. She is Professor of Visual Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London, a department she founded in 2002. Rogoff works at the meeting ground between contemporary practices, politics and philosophy. Her current work is on new practices of knowledge production and their impact on modes of research, under the title of “Becoming Research” (forthcoming). As part of the collective freethought Rogoff was one of the artistic directors of the Norwegian Triennial “The Bergen Assembly” September, 2016 and editor of ‘The Infrastructural Condition” published in its wake. Rogoff is also co-founder in 2017 of “The European Forum for Advanced Practices”.
Antony Hudek is Programme Director of Curatorial Studies at KASK in Ghent. Prior to this Hudek was Director of Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp and previously Curator and Deputy Director at Raven Row. Before joining Raven Row he was Research Curator at Tate Liverpool and Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, where he initiated the Exhibition Research Centre, a site for the study of exhibition histories and theories. Hudek has co-curated exhibitions on, among others, Artist Placement Group, Larry Johnson, and Megan Francis Sullivan. He has written on artists including Eleanor Antin, Ria Pacquée, Ismael Saray, and Stephen Willats, and edited The Object, as part of the Documents of Contemporary Art series, published by Whitechapel Gallery and The MIT Press. With Sara De Bondt, he runs the non-profit press Occasional Papers, which publishes affordable books on art and design.
Mercedes Vicente is a curator, writer and researcher and interim Director of Education and Public Programmes at Whitechapel Gallery. An AHRC funded-PhD graduate at the Royal College of Art Critical Writing, Vicente’s thesis on New Zealand video artist Darcy Lange focused on issues of labour, education and activism. Prior to this, Vicente was Curator of Contemporary Art and Darcy Lange Curator-at-Large at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand. She holds a masters’ degree in Curatorial Studies from Bard College and was Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Vicente has curated numerous exhibitions at institutions such as Tate Modern, Ikon Gallery, Camera Austria, Cabinet (New York), Yale University, EACC (Spain) and NTU CCA Singapore. Her extensive writing and editorial credits include books, exhibition catalogues and art magazines. She is the editor of Darcy Lange: Study of an Artist at Work co-published by Govett-Brewster and Ikon Gallery.
Nayia Yiakoumaki is Curator Archive Gallery, Head of Curatorial Studies and Project Manager NEON Curatorial Exchange at Whitechapel Gallery, where she develops an innovative programme of research exhibitions related to the use of archives as a curatorial resource. Yiakoumaki was Director of Research and International Network at the Athens Biennale organisation (2016–2017) and annually devises the NEON Curatorial Exchange & Award, an initiative that fosters professional relationships for emerging curators, founded by NEON organization and delivered by the Whitechapel Gallery. She has conceived a number of successful exhibitions and commissions, including John Latham: Anarchive (2010) co-curated with Antony Hudek and Athanasios Velios, Rothko in Britain (2012), Aspen Magazine: 1965-1971 (2012), Black Eyes & Lemonade: Curating Popular Art (2013), Stephen Willats: Concerning Our Present Way of Living (2014), Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred (2015-2016), Imprint 93 (2016), Guerrilla Girls: Is it even worse in Europe? (2016-2017), and the current exhibition Killed Negatives: Unseen Images of 1930s America.