Curatorial Studies programme

Curatorial Studies programme

Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)

Image 1-3: Photo: Anselm Franke; Image 4: Stills from Samuel Beckett, Film, featuring Buster Keaton; Image 5: Hannah Hurtzig, The Waiting Hall. Scenes of Modernity, 2012, installation and performance. Taipei Biennial, 2012, curated by Anselm Franke, Photo: Yung-Jen Chen.

February 13, 2024
Curatorial Studies programme

Application deadline: March 11, 2024
Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Pfingstweidstrasse 96
8005 Zürich
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MA Cultural Critique, Curatorial Studies
At the Curatorial Studies program of the Zurich University of the Arts, we are dedicated to forging new pathways for research-driven, imaginative and interventionist curatorial practices across genres, disciplines, and publics. We believe that in the “polycrisis” (Adam Tooze) of the present, museums and exhibiting institutions must rethink and revise their foundational narratives and genealogies like never before. Thinking along with artworks, artifacts, popular culture, historiography, myth and politics, we understand Curatorial Studies to essentially engage with questions of (re-)framing: in terms of spatial displays as much as the narrative frames inscribed and reproduced by the histories of human civilizations, empires and nations, culture and art. Because none of the “standard stories” (David Graeber/David Wengrow) hold ground.  

In close dialogue with artistic practices and scientific debates, the Major in Curatorial Studies enables prospective curators to rethink existing institutional formats and develop new vocabularies of presentation, mediation, and meaning making. With Anselm Franke as its new head, Curatorial Studies is exploring how curatorial practice and research can offer transformative pathways for cultural imaginaries in a fraud systemic and geopolitical context, and how the re-coding of historical imaginaries in museums can make the present legible differently. 

Teachers in the Curatorial Studies Major include 2023/24
Paolo Bianchi, curator and cultural publicist / Adriana Domínguez Velasco, curator, Head La Capsula exhibition space, Zurich / Anselm Franke, curator, Head Curatorial Studies program, ZHdK / Sønke Gau, cultural scientist, curator, senior researcher, lecturer Master Art Education and Master Transdisziplinarität, ZHdK / Nida Ghouse, autor, curator, teacher for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and Visiting Lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Humanities at Princeton Universität / Elisa Giuliano, curator, researcher / Gila Kolb, art mediator, Head Forschungsprofessur Fachdidaktik der Künste PH Schwyz / Sarah Lewis-Cappellari, cultural producer and PhD candidate in Theater and Performance Studies and Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow at the University of California / Ana Teixeira Pinto, cultural scientist, Guestprofessor AdBK Nuremberg, tutor Dutch Institute / Antonio Scarponi, architect and designer, teacher Master Art Education Curatorial Studies and Bachelor Design, ZHdK / Nadja Schmid, critic, artistic researcher, curator / Thomas Sieber, cultural scientist and mediator / Kandis Williams, artist, researcher, educator, founder Cassandra Press. 

Guests in 2023/24 
Michelle Akanji, Co-Director Gessnerallee, Zurich / Ho Rui An, artist / Teresa Koloma Beck, sociologist, professor / Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, writer, curator, art critique / Clare Davies, Associate Curator Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) NYC / Andreas Fannin, historian, Zürich Kolonial / Damian Fopp, Curator Museum für Gestaltung / Cuauhtémoc Medina González, PhD, art critic, curator and historian / Ayse Güleç, mediator, researching activist on Anti-Rassism, Migration, Art, Art Mediation / Renate Höllwart, mediator, founder and member Trafo.K / Rémi Jaccard, Director Museum Strauhof, Zürich / Jane Jin Kaisen, visual artist, filmmaker, and Professor of the School of Media Arts, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts / Patrizia Keller, Artistic Lead Kunsthalle Arbon / Blaise Kirschner, artist / Susanne König, Founder, Head of König Büro / Jesmael Mataga, Associate Professor of Heritage Studies, Sol Plaatje University Kimberly, South Africa / Sarah Mühlebach Curatorial Assistent Kunsthaus Aarau / Volker Pantenburg, Professor of Filmstudies University of Zurich, co-founder of the Harun Farocki Institut Berlin / Rijin Sahakian, writer, artist, founder of Sada, a non-profit project conducting arts education, advocacy, and production programs for Baghdad-based artists. / Anna Schürch, Art educator, lecturer and researcher in the field of Art Education, ZHdK / Wendy Meryem Kural Shaw, former Professor for the Art History of Islamic Cultures, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Freie Universität Berlin / Team “Das Wandbild muss weg“, Vera Wyser, Angela Wittwer, Esther Poppe / Nina Tabassomi, Director Taxispalais Kunsthalle Tirol, curator and theaterscientists / Ramaya Tegegne, artist / Klaus Theweleit, author, researcher, lecturer at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Freiburg; Professor (retired) of Art and Theory at the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe / Isaac Chong Wai, artist / Maja Wismer, Head Contemporary Art after 1960 Kunstmuseum Basel / Geraldine Wullschleger, Curator Kunsthalle Thurgau / Zairong Xiang, researcher, author of Queer Ancient Ways.

The application deadline is March 11, 2024, with the MA programme beginning in September 2024. 

Zurich University of the Arts Master Cultural Critique / Major Curatorial Studies, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zurich. Further information can be found online. For questions please reach out to: info.mcc [​at​]

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Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
February 13, 2024

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