“Curator without a parachute”

“Curator without a parachute”

Les Ateliers de Rennes - Contemporary Art Biennale

Photo: Lee Bennett.

November 8, 2014
“Curator without a parachute”

Tuesday 18 November 2014, 14–18h
Free entry with reservation: [email protected]

Frac Bretagne
19 avenue André Mussat
35011 Rennes


Independent curators invited to create biennales or large exhibitions are often described (somewhat pejoratively) as having been “parachuted” into a project. What is the impact of this practice on the local art scene, on the exhibitions they create, and on their curatorial practice?

Six international curators—working in institutions and as freelancers—are invited to Rennes on the occasion of Les Ateliers de Rennes – contemporary art biennale, to discuss together this profession that is simultaneously delocalized and rooted in a specific territory.


Panel discussion 1 (in French)
“Guest curators – traveling with their shells on their back”

In Dutch there is an expression that guests, like fish, stay but three days fresh. What is the “best before date” for guest curators? How long are they welcome in the institutions that host them? Looking at the interaction between these hosts and guests, this panel discussion explores the dynamics of the invited curator and the different formats that such an invitation can take.

Laurence Gateau (Director, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou)
Florence Ostende (independent curator & adjunct curator at Dallas Contemporary)
Émilie Renard (Director, La Galerie, Noisy-le-Sec)

Sophie Kaplan, Director, La Criée centre d’art contemporain


Panel discussion 2 (in English)
“Curators from near or far?”

Many biennales adopt the model of inviting a different curator for each edition. What is the reasoning behind this approach and what are its implications? Bringing together curators with experience of being the invitee and the inviter for such a situation, this panel discussion looks at possible alternatives to parachuting “international” curators into “local” biennales.

Nav Haq (curator, MuHKA, Antwerp)
Xenia Kalpaktsoglou (co-director of the Athens Biennale)
Ralph Rugoff (Director, Hayward Gallery, London and curator of the Lyon Biennale 2015)

Zoë Gray, curator of PLAY TIME, 4th edition of Les Ateliers de Rennes – contemporary art biennale


What is an IKT Lab?
IKT Labs are a series of events initiated by members of IKT, the international association of curators of contemporary art. They are discursive platforms designed as moments to share ideas about professional practice. Open to IKT members and to the general public.

This IKT Lab is a collaboration between PLAY TIME, Les Ateliers de Rennes – contemporary art biennale (4th edition), Frac Bretagne and La Criée centre d’art contemporain.

Conceived by Catherine Elkar (director, Frac Bretagne), Zoë Gray (curator of PLAY TIME, 4th edition of Les Ateliers de Rennes – contemporary art biennale), and Sophie Kaplan (Cirector, La Criée centre d’art contemporain).


Les Ateliers de Rennes presents IKT Lab: “Curator without a parachute”

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Les Ateliers de Rennes - Contemporary Art Biennale
November 8, 2014

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