“The Next 25 Years: Propositions for the Future of Curatorial Education”

“The Next 25 Years: Propositions for the Future of Curatorial Education”

California College of the Arts (CCA)

CCA Curatorial Practice students in class,
September 2013. Image courtesy of CCA.
January 30, 2015
“The Next 25 Years: Propositions for the Future of Curatorial Education”

March 14–15, 2015

California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247

T +1 415 551 9239


Confirmed participants include Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy, Maeve Connolly, María del Carmen Carrión, Reesa Greenberg, Kit Hammonds, Matthew Higgs, Sinead Hogan, Anthony Huberman, Leigh Markopoulos, Mami Kataoka, Ola El-Khalidi, Vasif Kortun, Kristina Lee Podesva, Salwa Mikdadi, Julian Myers-Szupinska, Estelle Nabeyrat, Nontobeko Ntombela, Kris Paulsen, Aneta Rostkowska, Grace Samboh, Kitty Scott, and Ulay (Frank Uwe Laysiepen).


“The Next 25 Years: Propositions for the Future of Curatorial Education” is the third in a series of recent symposia aiming to gauge the status and prospects for curatorial programs internationally. It offers a forum in which colleagues in the art world and in the field of curatorial education can talk frankly about the challenges of working with artists, making exhibitions, and educating curators today. Day one will review developments in the curatorial field over the last 25 years and assess them in relation to curatorial education, while day two will focus more closely on the content, curricula, and graduates of curatorial programs—with an emphasis on those programs planning radical shifts or operating from emergent contexts or scenes.

This symposium is sparked by increasingly urgent conversations about the difficulty of reflecting the practice of curating in academic structures. It marks the ten-year anniversary of the first graduating cohort of CCA’s graduate Curatorial Program, which at the time of its inception in 2003 was the first on the West Coast and one among a handful of programs internationally. Now it belongs to a seemingly thriving, although often criticized, academic field.

The weekend’s proceedings will be prefaced by a keynote address from the artist Ulay, who in his performative, educational, and curatorial practice has challenged the ways in which art is presented, interpreted, and taught. The relationship between the artist and the curator, understood to be at the heart of curatorial activity, has developed along fraught lines since the 1960s when the exhibition was first considered a medium and art functioned as critique. Addressing this axis, Ulay will touch on the ways in which artistic practice has both challenged and informed curatorial practice.

Structure and content
On Day One presentations will include a roundtable discussion; a paper by Reesa Greenberg; and a debate, which is conceived of as a way of rehearsing various arguments about the perceived contributions and contradictions of academic curatorial education.

On day two faculty from invited curatorial programs will air proposed curricular revisions and the considerations that have prompted them. The day will conclude with research presentations by an international group of young curators who are devising new and interesting models for working with artists and engaging audiences.

Questions to be addressed across both days include:
– Can curating today be understood solely as making contemporary art production public?
– What value should we attribute to the broader cultural obsession with the curatorial mode?
– What contributions have curatorial programs made since the École du Magasin launched its degree in 1986?
– What does it mean to teach curating in a contemporary context?
– What kinds of educational strategies are necessary for new generations of curators working within expanded social and political environments?
– How far has the language around curating changed since the recognition of the global, and specifically non-Western, contexts of art? And to what extent is this language meaningful?
– Should curatorial education diversify to encompass disciplines other than contemporary fine art?


A publication supported by the Banff International Curatorial Institute will include presentations from the day as well as commissioned reflections and critiques of the symposium’s discussions.

“The Next 25 Years: Propositions for the Future of Curatorial Education” has been organized by the CCA Graduate program in Curatorial Practice, in partnership with the Banff International Curatorial Institute; Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology; École du Magasin, Grenoble; Independent Curators International, New York; and the Royal College of Art, London.

Symposium registration
Audience attendance and participation welcomed. For more information on the symposium, ticket prices, and how to register please email Carey Lin, Curatorial Practice Program Manager: [email protected] / T +1 415 551 9239.


About CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
Founded in 2003, CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice offers an expanded perspective on curating contemporary art and culture. Alongside traditional forms of exhibition making, this two-year Master’s degree program emphasizes the momentous impact over the last half-century of artist-led initiatives, public art projects, site-specific commissions, and other experimental endeavors that take place beyond the confines of established venues. The program is distinguished by an international, interdisciplinary perspective, and it reflects San Francisco’s unique location and cultural history by placing a particular importance on the study of curatorial and artistic practices in Asia and Latin America. For more information, click here.

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California College of the Arts (CCA)
January 30, 2015

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