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Diana Campbell Betancourt

Institution-building as curatorial practice
07.08.2017 – 12.08.2017

  • Mining Warm Data, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit, 2016, photo courtesy: Dhaka Art Summit und Samdani Art Foundation, photo: Jenni Carter
    Medium/Media: Curatorial theory and practice
    Location: Festung Hohensalzburg

    Language: English
    What to bring: Laptop
    Requirements: Readings will be provided in advance
    Maximum number of participants: 20
    Co-teacher: Mirela Baciak
    Participation fee: € 450.– (€ 370.–)


    In many contexts, especially those developing ones that lack formal art institutions, opportunities for young or emerging curators to practise professionally and in a financially sustainable manner are few and far between. There is a generation of curators who, rather than lamenting the situation, are building their own institutions, providing a platform to enable the kind of curatorial practice they want to see. When successfully managed, these platforms enrich the local context and deepen roots as they grow; when too founder-centric, they may flounder under success that can distract from the core mission when international attention diverts energy from the urgent tasks at hand.

    Curator-founded initiatives are distinct from artist-led, patron-led, or government-led ones. The course will focus on historical and current examples of successful and unsuccessful initiatives in each of these categories, focusing particularly on models from the global south. The course will also address red flags to look out for when seeking to implement curatorial vision into an institutional structure. Students will apply what they have learnt to developing proposals for new institutions to address their own contexts and curatorial interests, and learn techniques for implementing these proposals in reality.