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  • SixtyEight Art Institute, København Gothersgade 167 København, 1123 Denmark (map)

The Curatorial Thing
22 – 29 August 2019
Open Call

SixtyEight Art Institute is welcoming emerging curators, researchers, artists and other practitioners to take part in our annual free intensive summer program. Using the Nordic notion of a ‘thing’ – an old concept for a meeting place, an assembly of the community, or what can be defined as the precursor of the modern term ‘parliament' – SixtyEight is inviting you to join us for a series of workshops and lectures led by some of the most interesting artistic and intellectual profiles operating in the Nordic region.

Thematic Frame
Communities of Practice in Precarious Times

The third edition of The Curatorial Thing intends to open up questions and debates about 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. If anything, the precariousness of our planet tells us that the foundation of the modernist vision of progress, rationality and human mastery (of both planet and peoples) and the underlying colonial discourses of extraction, exploitation and binary thinking can no longer hold, and we need to question the epistemic categories, situations and relations that curatorial practice involves and puts forward.

This year’s summer school aims to reflect on how curatorial methodologies can foster collaborative, co-creative, critical and experimental approaches that could 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’.

How do we orientate ourselves in a world of constant change, under pressure from epochal and irreversible crisis? And how can we see the question of precarity as an opportunity for action and not an added stress factor? Considering the ability of curatorial practices to gather together, to collectivise, to operate a critical framework, or perhaps assemble transient communities, in the light of political, social and planetary impasse, what forms of curatorial agency seem most promising?

How can we make choices that critically reflect on (the influence of) pre-established systems and mechanisms? And in which ways can the curatorial situation and exhibition-making be places for transformation and experimentation with future ways of thinking, working, learning and being?

Taking the precariousness of our times as a starting point, the workshops, talks and conversations will revolve around specific 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.

SixtyEight Art Institute invites artists, art writers, curators, cultural producers, speakers, researchers and theorists to collectively reflect upon how to create a sustainable future for independent curatorial research and cultural production in the Nordic region and beyond.

Structure & Program

The Curatorial Thing has two strands: closed workshops for 10-12 selected participants and an evening program of lectures, where everybody is welcome. The workshops are designed exclusively for participants to strengthen their understanding of curatorial mechanisms and research positions through a combined practical and theoretical approach. The workshops are envisioned as closed and intimate sessions that seek to ask, at a fundamental level, how independent communities of curatorial practice and collective efforts can be sustained, developed, and strengthened within the current challenges and changes in the sphere of art and in relation to the precariousness that characterizes our times.

The evening lectures are open to the public and examine the thematic frame through sub-questions and themes presented as talks, conversations and Q&A.

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.

This year's full program will be announced shortly at www.sixtyeight.dk.

How To Apply & Practical Information

The Curatorial Thing especially welcomes Nordic based candidates but is also open to candidates resident in other locations. SixtyEight cannot cover travel costs or accommodation, but provides the learning program free of charge for the selected participants. The program is funded by Nordic Culture Point.

To apply for full participation, including both the workshops and evening lectures, please send the following to tct@sixtyeight.dk with subject "The Curatorial Thing":

  • A written statement about your curatorial or artistic research interests or goals, including how you see your contribution within the thematic framework of ‘Communities of Practice in Precarious Times’, and why you would benefit from participating in the program (max. 2000 characters incl. spaces).

  • Your CV (including nationality, age, and contact information).

Deadline: 21 June, 2019.
Selected participants will be notified by early July 2019.

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. SixtyEight Art Institute’s exhibition program kindly supported by Billedkunstudvalg Københavns Kommune and The Danish Arts Foundation.