Open Call: PERPETUUM LABS/BAC Part 1 – Curating the Political

Open Call: PERPETUUM LABS/BAC Part 1 – Curating the Political

Venue: Baltic Art Center (BAC), Visby
Date: June 13-15, 2013

In our times of systemic economic and political crises, rising public indignation and anxiety, artistic projects and exhibitions addressing political issues are once again at the forefront of critical attention.

The objective of Curating the Political, the first in the new series of PERPETUUM LABS / BAC, is to engage in a sanguine comparative debate on prominent professional curatorial and artistic projects addressing the relation of art and politics. The next instance in this series will be Curating the Social, PERPETUUM LABS / BAC 2 at Kallio Kunsthalle, Helsinki.

PERPETUUM LABS / BAC 1 – Curating the Political is a 3-day event consisting of professional debate and criticism, presenting constructive and dissenting opinions on curatorial practices. The LAB will use prominent case-studies in curatorial practice as starting points, while
 drawing on theoretical texts, academic research and activist practice. Each LAB will also develop new approaches and potentials for future
 projects. (For example, it may be possible to develop a case study with young curators based around the events at the political week Almedalsveckan, that takes place in Visby every July.)

Bringing together established curators and artists by invitation and younger-generation Nordic and Baltic-resident participants by open call, PERPETUUM LABS / BAC Part 1 – Curating the Political seeks to develop analytical and nuanced positions starting from diverse set of
 well-informed standpoints.

The topics of the 3-day Curatorial Peer-to-Peer are the following:

• What are contemporary “political” artistic and curatorial strategies, their pitfalls (e.g. appropriation by the institutions being critiqued)
 and successes? What is critical art, radical art, subversive art, provocative art, activist art, etc.? Is this current language of the
 intersection of politics and art appropriate and sufficient?

• How are politics, art and political action related? Is “art for the sake of politics” legitimate? Is the demand for “autonomy” only 
tactical, is it strategic, or truly a philosophical position? What is the relation of art, its “laboratories” and Realpolitik? Is political
 art living up to its self-conception of being ahead – or at least abreast – of our times?

• What role can/does contemporary art play in examining and articulating the current political state of affairs? How do large-format exhibition projects approach, present, and reflect on acute political and social conflicts? What complications emerge?

• Discussions will be based both on recent projects of the invited international experts and a selection of recent exhibitions, biennials
and projects. These will include projects like dOCUMENTA (13), Berlin Biennale 7, Truth Is Concrete (Steirischer Herbst, Graz) and Meeting 
Points 6.

The activities include individual presentations of participants-projects, tutoring in working groups and collective discussion formats – both traditional and innovative, such as the Valuation Chamber format developed by The Arts Assembly. The maximum number of participants will be 10. The working language is English.

LAB Mentors (in alphabetical order)



Bassam el Baroni, Curator, Alexandria/London. Co-founder of the Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF); co-curator of Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain; co-curater of the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), Norway; curator of the 36th eva International Biennial, Limerick City, Ireland, 2014.

Nicoline van Harskamp, Artist, Amsterdam, addresses the function and power of the spoken word, and its ability to influence perception and shape thought, both of which are instrumental to politics. Her most recent and ongoing project,Yours in Solidarity, addresses the contemporary history of anarchism through a correspondence archive.

Vladan Jeremic, Curator, Artist and Activist, Belgrade. Co-creator with Chto Delat/What is to be Done? of Partisan Songspiel. A Belgrade Story ; Curator, I Will Never Talk About the War Again, Färgfabriken in Stockholm (2011) and Kibla, Maribor (2012); co-initiator of Call the Witness – 2nd Roma Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennial.

Marita Muukkonen, Curator, Helsinki. Co-founder of Perpetuum Mobile; previously Curator at HIAP – The Helsinki International Artists-in-Residence Programme; Curator at FRAME – The Finnish Fund for Art Exchange; Editor of FRAMEWORK – The  Finnish Art Review; 2001-2005 at NIFCA The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art.

Livia Paldi, Curator,Visby. Director of BAC. Curator and chief curator at the Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest (2005-2011). Curatorial agent of dOCUMENTA (13).

Ivor Stodolsky, Curator and Theorist, Helsinki/Berlin. Co-founder of Perpetuum Mobile and The Arts Assembly and co-initiator of the Perpetual Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2009;  Currently curating the RE-ALIGNED ART project (Helsinki, Berlin, Tromso and Stockholm). Relevant recent publications include “A Multilectic Anatomy of Stiob‘ and Poshlost‘”, Laboratorium vol. 3, 2011.

Please see full bios on BAC’s website at
http://www.balticartcenter.com/perpetuum-labs-bac/

Eligibility

Applicants must be resident in one of the Nordic or Baltic countries. They should have considerable experience and/or education in curatorship or exhibition practice.

Application procedure

Applicants are asked to include the following documents:
1. A short c.v.
2. A statement of motivation explaining how PERPETUUM LABS / BAC could support your curatorial interests and projects, and how you intend to structure your contribution (approximately 2 pages)
3. Specification of whether support for travels and/or accommodation will be required to attend the seminar. Only very limited funds are available for students. We recommend you apply to funding bodies at the national, regional or university levels as soon as possible. If a letter of acceptance is needed in advance, please let us know the relevant deadlines.

Please send the files in PDF format. All questions should be directed to
 application@balticartcenter.com

Important dates

Deadline for submitting applications: March 25, 2013.
Notification of acceptance: March 31, 2013.

PERPETUUM LABS /BAC is a cooperation between BAC and Perpetuum Mobilε,
 2012-13.
http://www.balticartcenter.com
http://www.PerpetualMobile.org

The project is supported by

Nordisk Kulturfond / The Nordic Culture Fund

Riksutstallningar / The Swedish Exhibition Agency

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