Kunstinstituut Melly

Rotterdam Dialogues: the Curators

05 - 07 Mar 2009

Rotterdam Dialogues: the Curators
5, 6, 7 March 2009
Over the course of six months, Witte de With presents a program of three symposia, titled Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists. These symposia are structured to establish a lively platform for debate and exchange, creating space for a range of voices and opinions. The program itself comprises a variety of formats: lectures, panel discussions, interviews and dialogues, all designed to encourage lively audience participation.

The symposia explore the practice of three of the central protagonists of the contemporary art world: the critic, the curator and the artist. Critics were the subject of the first symposium, held last October (details and images are available on www.wdw.nl). This highly successful event is now followed by The Curators on 5, 6, 7 March 2009. The series will conclude with The Artists on 16, 17, 18 April 2009.

The practice of curating is a much discussed topic within the art world, but is often neglected by the media and thus remains largely invisible to the broader public. With our selection of speakers, we aim to put a wide range of faces to the often elusive and contested title of curator. Invited guests include artist/curators and others fulfilling hybrid roles, curators working inside and outside of art institutions, those responsible for major international art events and those working on an intentionally local scale. They include speakers from the Americas, from Asia, and from across Europe.

The speakers include: Pablo Leon de la Barra; Bart De Baere; Ute Meta Bauer; Lorenzo Benedetti; Iwona Blazwick; Nicolas Bourriaud; Sabine Breitwieser; Adam Budak; Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev; Barnaby Drabble; Zoran Eric; Bruce Ferguson; Anselm Franke; Juan Gaitan; Hou Hanrou; Jan Hoet; Jens Hoffmann; Emmanuel Lambion; Enrico Lunghi; Raimundas Malasauskas; Gerardo Mosquera; Sophie von Olfers; Paul O’Neill; Livia Paldi; Pist; Seth Siegelaub; Lisette Smits; The Salford Restoration Office; Andrea Viliani; What, how and for whom; Rein Wolfs.

Each day has an overarching theme, which is then subdivided into more precise topics and questions:

· Thursday – Expectations, looking at not only the personal expectations of individual curators, but also those of audiences and of artists and how these expectations might influence curatorial practice. Questions include: “are curatorial training programmes of benefit to the profession?”; “What is the future of the exhibition as a format?” and “When is a biennale a success?”.

· Friday – Positions, focusing on the daily practice of curating, the importance of building a reputation, the power of curators to shape the canon, and the influence of the market on curating. Questions include: “Is a curator a political animal?” and “Is a symbiotic relationship between artist and curator a necessary pre-condition for a successful collaboration?”.

· Saturday – Contexts, exploring the history of the profession, conditions and ideas underlying curating, and the increasingly international practice of exhibition making. Questions include: “Can the same show happen anywhere?”, “Does ‘embedded’ curating exist?”, and “Does a good curator disregard the audience?”.

Elements of each symposia comprising Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists will be compiled in a publication to appear in fall 2009. It will feature contributions by many of the speakers, by invited observers and by participants in the workshops and masterclasses.

On Monday 9 March, a curatorial masterclass will be given for young professionals and postgraduate students by Jan Hoet. Hoet was founding director of SMAK in Gent from 1975-2001, and director of MARTa Herford in Herford, Germany, from 2001 until his recent retirement. In 1992 he was artistic director of Documenta IX, Kassel, and in 2001 of Sonsbeek, Arnhem. Hoet will speak from his own practice and extensive experience, putting key questions to the masterclass participants for them to resolve together during the course of the afternoon.

From Wednesday 4 to Saturday 7 March, Raimundus Malasauskas will give a workshop in curating for a group of students. Malasauskas was curator at CAC Vilnius from 1995 to 2006, and currently curates at Artists Space, New York. Elaborating upon some of the questions raised by the symposium in a practical, hands-on manner, Malasauskas will give these students an insight into the day to day issues faced by contemporary art curators.

Also at Witte de With
Parallel to Rotterdam Dialogues: the Curators, a special event is planned that are also open to people not attending the symposium. On Saturday 7 March, Witte de With presents its publication Rotterdam by photographer Otto Snoek. Images from the book will be projected throughout the gallery spaces as part of the city-wide Museum-night celebrations.
Witte de With’s solo exhibition of Edith Dekyndt, titled Agnosia, is also open during the symposium and runs till 25 April 2009.

Practical information
Time: Registration daily from 12:30 p.m. Program starts daily at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: 1 day ticket: €15 (€10*), 3 day ticket: € 40 (€25*)
* reduction for <18, >65, students, Friends of Witte de With
Reservations: reservations@wdw.nl
Language: English
Location: Witte de With, 3rd floor
Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is conceived by Zoë Gray, Nicolaus Schafhausen and Ariadne Urlus.

Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, VSBfonds and SNS REAAL Fonds. Witte de With is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Culture and the City of Rotterdam.

For further information, contact Katayoun Arian: Katayoun@wdw.nl or via phone at +31 (0)10 411 0144.

Tags: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Edith Dekyndt, Jan Hoet, Jens Hoffmann, Jens Hoffmann, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Nicolaus Schafhausen