Talks

Recently I had the pleasure of doing two talks outside my normal teaching context (Birkbeck, University of London): one for the current cohort of students at the Royal College of Art’s Curating Contemporary Art, upon the invitation of my wonderful former colleague Ben Cranfield, the other for BA arts students across programmes at Manchester Metropolitan University, upon the invitation of the equally wonderful Judith Winter. While the emphasis of the talks of course differed – Ben had specifically asked me to use my research as focus/starting point, whereas Judith wanted me to keep things broader to try and speak to a very diverse group of undergraduate students – I used some of the same material for both, with slight adaptations. At the RCA I talked specifically about publications as a space in relation to curatorial practice and discourse, and our expectations about its use in relation to art and exhibitions, whereas at MMU I focused on the use of publications as space for artistic practice and its mediation. Below the two opening slides: spot the difference…  

As I have done before, I used a facebook conversation Paul O’Neill and I had about five years ago, about the difference between curating an exhibition and curating a book, to kick-start my musings. Because I am in the middle of thinking and writing for several chapters in relation to my own research, doing both talks proved to be a welcome trigger to refocus.

Last talk

Three times lucky for me: I’ll be talking at Birkbeck again this morning. Drawing on notions of authorship and translation, and making connections with ‘the curatorial’ and ‘the translational’ I will consider some case studies that I’ve been looking at recently, including the book Ways of Seeing.

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More talking…

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Not strictly talking about a specific book, but I will be in conversation with graphic designer Stuart Bailey this coming Tuesday, 20 June, about how we both approach our research around art books, and publishing about and in relation to art. Stuart finished his PhD at Reading in 2014, embracing Umberto Eco’s notion of the Open Work, something I am also interested in.

The talk will take place at Birkbeck, in a series of Corkscrew events that focus on practice-based or practice-related research. For more information click here.

On Management

Issue 5 of the open access PARSE Journal of Valand Academy of the University of Gothenburg has just gone online (click here to access the webpage). As always, it comprises an interesting range of texts, this time on ideas and practices related to management in the arts – both on individual and institutional levels.

PARSE No. 5

Contributors include the late Marc Fisher (Accelerate Management), Andrea Francke and Ross Jardine (Bureaucracy’s Labour: The Administrator as Subject), Christopher Newfield (Arts and Humanities Education as Neo-liberalism Comes Unglued), Karin Hansson (The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life: Between Alienation and Belonging), Carla Cruz (‘Save Our Library!’: Social Action, Austerity and The Big Society), Kaldun Bshara (Biennales in Palestine: Thinking Art and Making Art), Erling Björgvinsson (Managing Collaborative Critique in Times of Financialisation Capitalism), Dari Bae and Apolonija Šušteršic (Master Plan for Duamdong) and Barbara Czarniawska (After Practice: A Personal Reflection).

The Curatorial Conundrum


9780262529105_0The Curatorial Conundrum 
is nearly off to print. The book looks at the burgeoning field of curatorship and tries to imagine its future. Both practitioners and theorists consider a variety of futures: the future of curatorial education, the future of curatorial research, the future of curatorial and artistic practice, and the institutions that will make these futures possible.

They examine the proliferation of graduate courses in curatorial studies over the last twenty years, and consider what can be taught without giving up what is precisely curatorial, within the ever-expanding parameters of curatorial practice. They discuss curating as collaborative research, asking what happens when the exhibition operates as a mode of enquiry in its own right. And they explore curatorial practice as an exercise in questioning the world around us, and speculate about what it will take to build new, innovative, and progressive curatorial research institutions.

Contributors include Nancy Adajania, Mélanie Bouteloup, Nikita Yingqian Cai, Luis Camnitzer, Eddie Chambers, Zasha Cerizza Colah, Galit Eilat, Liam Gillick, Vladimir Jerić, Koyo Kouoh, Miguel A. López, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Paul O’Neill, Tobias Ostrander, João Ribas, Sarah Rifky, Sumesh Sharma, Simon Sheikh, Lucy Steeds, Jeannine Tang, David Teh, Jelena Vesić, What, How & for Whom/WHW, Mick Wilson and Vivian Ziherl.

Edited by Paul O’Neill, Mick Wilson and Lucy Steeds, and published by the Center for Curatorial Studies Bard College/Luma Foundation and The MIT Press. Due in March/April 2016.