COURSE DESCRIPTION: The 20th century witnessed the emergence of a new class of cultural producers named curators who gradually, thanks to the unpredictable effects of cultural globalization, began to play the most decisive role in both the production of art and that of an artist’s success. Over the last two decades, different universities have started to offer curatorial studies programs, focusing on the role of the curator in constructing associations between art, artists, audiences, and exhibitions as the most significant space for approaching art with a contemporary attitude. This three-part course engages with the curatorial field from a critical standpoint by interrogating the institutional assumptions about the nature and function of curatorial practice with a focus on the epistemological ramifications of exhibitions as well as their political economy. Part historical and part conceptual, this course critically traces the theory, formation and development of what is known within the contemporary art world as curatorial practice. Students will engage the primary texts (provided digitally by the instructors) as well as guest curators who will address both the challenges within the field as well as issues related to their own practices. In addition to theoretical discussions, students will engage in their own curatorial project.
In this first, June 2014 module (845a: Foundations), students will include an examination of key museums and exhibitions in the 20th century that each has directly and indirectly contributed to the formation of the field. Students will learn about the contributions by avant garde artists to the art of curating as well as the reactionary assimilation of their work by cultural authorities in Europe and North America. The second module (845b), to be held in July 2014, will cover both the inside view of curating through reading texts written by leading contemporary art curators about their field, as well as works by theorists and thinkers who have problematized the practice of making and showing contemporary art. Students will examine ideas discussed by authors against their work and examine their successes and failures in realizing their curatorial ideals. The third module (845c), to be held in August 2014, will look at the possibilities and challenges that globalization of finance capital and telecomputation —the synthesis between telecommunication and computation— has created for curating contemporary art. Students will examine the role of super star curators in the ever-connected network of virtues, practices and institutions that play a defining role for contemporary exhibition practices. The course will also examine digital strategies that can help subvert or make effective change in the dominant structures of the global contemporary art world.
PLEASE NOTE: This mini-course can be taken in parts a, b and c to form the three-module CTPE 845 course that is a required prerequisite for all GCAS Institute for the Arts diploma-seeking students. It is also available as a standalone course for faculty members seeking professional development opportunities, as well as the general public or non-credit seeking students, without any additional requirements.
REQUIREMENTS (Module 1): Students will attend course meetings and participate via Google+ Hangout, chat and Facebook. Students will prepare a 20 minute class presentation that will examine a major museum exhibition not covered throughout the course by using the exhibition catalogue, reviews and other related materials about the exhibition, the curator and the artist(s) involved. (Module 2): Students will attend course meetings and participate via Google+ Hangout, chat and Facebook. Students will write a 5-page research paper that will include at least two external sources on a specific theme of the readings. (Module 3): Students will attend course meetings and participate via Google+ Hangout, chat and Facebook. Students will each go through the proper processes of organizing a digital and online exhibition of works of art, prepare promotion material for their exhibition and write a short essay outlining the significance and the implications of their exhibition in accordance with class instructions and write a press release.
INSTRUCTORS: Mohammad Salemy
COST: $99 (to sign up/pay for online courses, click “Register")
DATES: June 16-19 (Mon-Thur 5-7:30 PM EST)
MEDIUM: Google Hangouts on Air + Facebook Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/curatorialtheory/