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Poster - The Curatorial Thing 2019.jpg

Press Release, August 2019

The Curatorial Thing
22-29 August 2019

Public Talks: Gustafsson & Haapoja, Nina Möntmann, Ximena Moreno, Gene Ray, Bergen/Copenhagen Papers

SixtyEight Art Institute is delighted to invite you to the public events surrounding our summer program The Curatorial Thing. We have invited artists, art writers, curators, and critical theorists to collectively reflect upon the challenges and rewards of working together through communities of practice and curatorial collectivity, in a time that is increasingly marred by social, political, economic and ecological precariousness.

Through the thematic framework, Communities of Practice in Precarious Times, the program aims to reflect on how curatorial methodologies can foster collaborative, co-creative, critical and experimental approaches that can help us rethink the ways we learn and work together. This could include thinking from and learning through other perspectives: by looking to emotions, bodily responses and across species, as well as by focusing on local and particular forms of knowledge that might not otherwise be recognized as ‘cultural production’. Taking the precariousness of our times as a starting point, the workshops, talks and conversations will revolve around questions related to the plurality of knowledges and collaborative and communal practices in the field of contemporary art, asking us to view our current moment in its full import, not only as a moment of danger but also as a resource for implementing real change.

All talks are free and open to the public.

Thursday 22 August
18.00-20.00: Artist duo Gustafsson & HaapojaMuseum of Nonhumanity. Moderator: Mary L. Coyne, Chicago-based curator, writer and dancer

Writer Laura Gustafsson and artist Terike Haapoja’s talk will reflect on their collaborative project the Museum of Nonhumanity (2016– ongoing) and how, as a temporary institution, it seeks to raise awareness about the deeply problematic logic of animalization, calling for a more inclusive form of coexistence in the future. Museum of Nonhumanity is a full-sized museum installation that presents the history of animalization, approaching this as a systematic act of oppression that connects xenophobia, sexism, racism, homo- and transphobia and the abuse of nature, natural resources and animals. The project also comprises site-specific programmes of lectures, and works with the assertion that declaring a group to be nonhuman or subhuman has, throughout history, been an effective tool for justifying slavery, oppression and genocide. A small scale installation of Museum of Nonhumanity will be on show at SixtyEight from 24 August - 28 September as part of the exhibition This is Not an Apricot, curated by Mary L. Coyne.

Gustafsson & Haapoja’s long-term project focuses on the issues that arise from the anthropocentric worldview of Western modernism and seeks to open paths for more inclusive notions of society. By imagining histories according to other species, examining how language enables othering, or mapping out the mechanics of animalization, Gustafsson & Haapoja ask questions regarding the impact of biopower, capitalism or systems of knowledge production on the lives of humans and nonhumans alike.

Location: Union (VerdensKulturCentret), Nørre Allé 7, DK-2200 Copenhagen N.

Monday 26 August
18.00-20.00: Critical Theorist Gene Ray – Athena’s owl takes flight at the end of the Holocene. Moderator: Katarina Stenbeck, Copenhagen-based curator

Five hundred years of capitalist modernity are crashing and burning to an end. The real state of emergency, as Benjamin called it, is near now. It’s a “what to do?” moment, and yet? Mann and Wainwright’s Climate Leviathan analyzes the political tendencies. Gene Ray’s talk seeds discussion by responding to their categories (Climate Leviathan, Climate Mao, Climate Behemoth, Climate X), with special attention to the crushing defeat of the revolutionary modernist Left, the emotional politics of the so-called Anthropocene, and the implications of Indigenous land and water struggles.

Gene Ray is Associate Professor in the CCC Research-based Master Program at HEAD-Genève/Geneva School of Art and Design. He was Project Director of the collective research project The Anthropocene Atlas of Geneva (2016-2018). Ray is the author of Terror and the Sublime in Art and Critical Theory (2005, 2011), editor of Joseph Beuys: Mapping the Legacy, and co-editor of Art and Contemporary Critical Practice (2009) and Critique of Creativity (2011), and has contributed numerous essays to journals and books including, South as a State of Mind, Third Text, Brumaria, Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, and Rasheed Araeen (Van Abbemuseum, 2018), and Documenta 14 Daybook (2017).

Location: Union (VerdensKulturCentret), Nørre Allé 7, DK-2200 Copenhagen N.

Wednesday 28 August
17.00-18.00: Curator Ximena Moreno – ‘Proyecto Eclipse’. In conversation with Christopher Sand-Iversen, Director, SixtyEight Art Institute

In conversation with SixtyEight Art Institute’s director Christopher Sand-Iversen, Ximena Moreno will discuss her recent curatorial projects as Coordinator of Visual Arts at Matucana 100 in Santiago de Chile. In particular, the conversation will focus on her latest exhibition project ‘Proyecto Eclipse’ (2019), made in collaboration with independent curator Lydia Korndörfer, which took the total solar eclipse on 2 July 2019 as a point of departure for investigating ‘darkness’ as a topic that connects art, philosophy and science. Charting a historical trajectory of the intersection of astronomical observations and artistic imagination, the project reflects on the future of humanity, the prospects of an apocalyptic future and the “obscurity of the contemporary” as expressed by Giorgio Agamben.

Ximena Moreno is a researcher based in Santiago, Chile. She received her MA in Global Arts from Goldsmiths University of London. Her work focuses on managing visual arts projects and research for publishing and curatorial purposes. While in London, she collaborated with and wrote for Artishock and La Panera Magazine. She participated in “Towards Tomorrow’s Museum” at Tate Modern, London and in “Politics of Near Futures: Possibilities, Prophecies, Prognoses”, a summer school at Heidelberg University. Currently she is co-founder of Revista Porvenir, a digital visual culture magazine, and a professor. Moreno has previously worked at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), part of Universidad de Chile, and since 2017 she has been the Coordinator of Visual Arts at Matucana 100, a Cultural Center located in Santiago.

– Break 18.00-18.30 –

18.30-20.00: Curator Nina Möntmann – The Curatorial and Its Mediation. Moderator: Line Ellegaard, Curator at Large, SixtyEight Art Institute

This evening is dedicated to questioning what constitutes curatorial agency in light of current political, social and planetary precariousness, and how collaborative and transdisciplinary methods provide critical frameworks for curatorial practice. In her lecture, Nina Möntmann examines recent exhibitions that serve as examples of the curatorial as a transdisciplinary method to activate and intervene in real-life contexts. These projects, organized by a diverse range of collectives and curators, mobilize domestic, urban and political zones in order to encourage participation in systemic social transformation. Here the notion of curatorial mediation is extended to the production of public discourse around specific topics, such as the black market or artistic censorship. The central task for curating today, Möntmann proposes, involves intersecting with conflicts in various social and economic sectors and integrating them into processes of construction. By researching and engaging beyond the margins of the conventional cultural field, curators can critically investigate pressing concerns and seek out new methodologies to effect social change.

Nina Möntmann is an art historian, curator and writer. She is currently Professor of Art Theory at the University of Cologne and was previously Professor of Art Theory and the History of Ideas at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, and curator at NIFCA, the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki. Recent exhibitions include: Fluidity (Kunstverein, Hamburg, 2016); Harun Farocki: A New Product (Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, 2012); and If we can't get it together. Artists rethinking the (mal)functions of community (The Power Plant, Toronto, 2008). Recent publications include Kunst als Sozialer Raum, (Cologne, König Books, 2002 / 2017); the edited volumes Brave New Work. A Reader on Harun Farocki’s film ‘A New Product’, engl./german (Cologne, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2014); and Scandalous. A Reader on Art & Ethics (Berlin, Sternberg Press, 2013).

Location: Union (VerdensKulturCentret), Nørre Allé 7, DK-2200 Copenhagen N.

Thursday 29 August
15.00 - 17.00: Launch of Bergen/Copenhagen Papers No. 2 – A new journal on art & politics. Round table discussion with artist and editor of Bergen/Copenhagen Papers, Frans Jacobi, co-founder and editor of Really Simple Syndication Press, Hugo Hopping, and artist Tore Hallas.

To mark the launch of the second issue of Bergen/Copenhagen Papers, the journal’s editor Frans Jacobi and its publisher Hugo Hopping have invited artist Tore Hallas to discuss his contribution to this issue’s theme of identity and religious objects. The name Bergen/Copenhagen Papers is to be taken quite literally; the publication springs from an already ongoing process of traveling and thinking in and out of these two cities. The editor Frans Jacobi and RSS Press have set out to facilitate a certain strand of artistic/political thinking. How can art engage in a politically-charged horizon, scorched by apocalyptic abysses and systemic entanglements? How can art add creativity and vision to societal debate?

Bergen/Copenhagen Papers is a low-tech artistic research magazine, made fast and directly without a long and expensive process of design and printing. Bergen/Copenhagen Papers is published by Really Simple Syndication Press, Copenhagen and organised as a collaboration between SixtyEight Art Institute, Copenhagen; Lydgalleriet, Bergen; 3.14 Kunsthall, Bergen; and Kunstakademiet - Institutt for Samtidskunst / KMD / UiB, Bergen. The journal is edited by Frans Jacobi and supported by KMD / UiB, Bergen.

Location: Union (VerdensKulturCentret), Nørre Allé 7, DK-2200 Copenhagen N.

The Curatorial Thing is organised by curator Line Ellegaard and curator Paola Paleari for SixtyEight Art Institute, 2019. This extended learning and speakers program consists of two strands: one with closed day workshops and a full event program for a select number of participants; and the other an evening program of lectures that are open to the general public. This year SixtyEight Art Institute has invited curator Giovanna Esposito Yussif, the publishers of Arts of the Working Class (represented by artist Paul Sochacki), curator Katarina Stenbeck, the exhibition spaces Kunstscenen and meter, and curator Inês Geraldes Cardoso to give workshops, talks, and exhibition visits.

The Curatorial Thing workshops are generously hosted by the Danish Art Workshops.

Previous years’ speakers and workshop leaders include: Professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University, Irit Rogoff; Head of Programme, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, Jussi Koitela; Head of the Institute of Art, Writing and Research at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts, Sidsel Nelund; Reader in Curating, Programme Director, Goldsmiths University, Simon Sheikh; Professor at Malmø Art Academy, Sarat Maharaj; Curator at Savvy Contemporary, Antonia Alampi; Curator at BAK - Utrecht, Matteo Lucchetti; and artist and organiser of Copenhagen Free University and now Hospital Prison University Archive, Jakob Jakobsen, among others.

SixtyEight Art Institute is an artistic/curatorial research organization that aims to uncover, develop, and further exchanges between artists and curators and their creative labour. The Curatorial Thing is SixtyEight Art Institute's new educational arm, which aims to organize and develop public learning formats within the local context of Copenhagen. The program is kindly supported by Nordic Culture Point and the Danish Arts Foundation. SixtyEight Art Institute’s exhibition program is kindly supported by the Danish Arts Foundation and Rådet for Visuel Kunst - Københavns Kommune.