“Curating: Glittering Myth, Social Symptom, Revolutionary Force?”

“Curating: Glittering Myth, Social Symptom, Revolutionary Force?”

Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)

Nana & Friends, Only strong characters can surrender (video still), 2014. Photo: Mona Kuschel. Courtesy Nana & Friends.

November 4, 2014
“Curating: Glittering Myth, Social Symptom, Revolutionary Force?”

A conference on curatorial knowledge production

Saturday, 15 November, 2014, 10am–6pm

Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Toni Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 96
Hörsaal 1
8005 Zürich


The Research Platform for Curatorial and Cross-disciplinary Cultural Studies practice-based Doctoral programme (University of Reading, Fine Art Department of Art and the Postgraduate programme in Curating, ICS, ZHdK) presents a conference on curatorial knowledge production.

The last aspect of art/curating has been the hidden driving force behind many curatorial projects. An argument can be made on the basis of various theoretical approaches about how art has an impact on social conditions, how it can achieve a political dimension after all. Jacques Ranciere argues that certain forms of art, namely the aesthetic regime of visibility, express “equivalence” or “equality,” and that this is true of postmodernism. This viewpoint can also be critiqued from a perspective which takes into consideration the power struggles in the art field.

Contemporary curating exists as a media conglomerate, the production of meaning is achieved through a combination of artworks, photographs, commentary, publications, design, gestures, music, film, press releases, websites and interviews. It is situated in a specific political and cultural context. To analyse these complex situations we need a variety of approaches, for every project the combination could alter, that makes a bricolage of methodical approaches necessary.

Welcome and introduction
Sigrid Schade and Dorothee Richter: “Outline of a theory of curating”

Felix Ensslin: “What is the Subject and Discourse of Curating?”

Coffee break

Elke Krasny: “Curating as Caring. Mapping Affinities, Affects, Feminist Durationality, and Solidarity”

Avi Feldman: “Curating the Law – Reflection on Contemporary Art and Law”

Allan Siegel: “Museums, curators and precarious democracies”


Lunch break

Video: Szuper Gallery, Work/Arbeit/Rabota (2009), 15 mins

Julia Moritz: “Curating Theory—Tendecies, Tools, Trouble”

Michael Birchall: “Shifting power: the curator as producer in socially engaged art”

Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen: “Curating Architecture”

Q & A
Short break and performance by Fender Schrade and Nana Hüleswig
Performance: NANA&FRIENDS, Only strong characters can surrender (2014)

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Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
November 4, 2014

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