Everything you always wanted to know about curating and a few more questions
17–22 August 2020
Lena Moscha in Kostas Tsioukas Dance Company’s score for the opening of Kunsthalle Athena, 2010, performance
and ping-pong. In the background: Matthieu Laurette, Opportunities, Let’s Make Lots of Money, 2005, installation view from THE BAR, Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, 2010, photo: Anneta Papadatou
English (the teacher also speaks Greek and French)
What to bring
Laptop, pen and notebook; favourite readings; lots of questions, comfortable shoes
Maximum number of participants
€ 350.– (€ 300.–)
How can we “curate” together in times of a recurring hyper-corporeality? What have been the major changes in the role of the curator and the museums over the past twenty years? And most particularly, when our everyday life is lived in physical distancing due to a global pandemic? What are the changes that might be foreseen in the structure of art institutions, and in the role of curators, museum directors, art professionals of all kinds, in the new era of planetary hygiene turbulence? What kind of exhibitions or other type of projects could and should be implemented today? For whom do we curate and to whom are we accountable? Is the architectural form of the exhibition vessel still valid, especially in times like ours, where the “public space” of the streets – the major point for people’s togetherness and interconnectedness – is deserted? What is the role of contemporary art in shaping a democratic public sphere? How can we learn from each other? Who needs us curators, anyway?
Conceived with the task of formulating as many questions as possible, the course will explore the ever-changing nature of curatorial practice within the socio-economic, political and environmental transformation of our times, and most particularly in this historic moment of planetary hygiene challenge and social distancing. Through a series readings and conversations, participants will be invited to reflect on curatorial methodologies and challenges, as these occur in the case studies that will be presented within the online course.
The aim is to be able to formulate a set of ten core questions (in analogy to the ten commandments) which might add to the overall pursuit of the advancement of curatorial research and praxis. This “decalogue” will be visualised and presented publicly in ways made available by the Summer Academy. This could be in the website, or physically in the Fortress. Also, if possible, this decalogue would be sent to a selected list of curators, to be answered and become a kind of public document and a syllabus for a future class. The classes will be held in daily group e-meetings and will include online seminars by teacher and/or guests, preparatory assigned readings and presentation of those by willing participants, Q& A and conversation. Private tutorials will be offered if needed. The detailed schedule will be announced ahead of the course and can be adapted according to the expectations and needs of the group. Participants may choose to work in smaller groups or collectively towards the formation of their final project/idea concerning the ten questions.
Marina Fokidis is a curator, writer, and educator based in Athens, Greece. She is the founder of the art center Kunsthalle Athena, ( www.kunsthalleathena.org) which was established in 2010 and operated as a non-profit art space until 2015 and of the journal "South as a State of Mind (www.southasastateofmind.com ) which was founded in 2012 as a platform for critical discourse on contemporary art and culture, with a particular focus on south to south to south correlation and shared intensities.
Fokidis is known for her advocacy of emerging and underrepresented artists, particularly those working in Greece, South Europe, and the wider Mediterranean region. Her curatorial practice is characterised by a strong focus on geography, co-existence, locational experimentation, and critical engagement with social and political issues. In 2014 she was appointed Head of the Artistic Office in Athens and curatorial advisor for documenta 14. There she worked closely with the artistic director, Adam Szymczyk, and the members of the curatorial team to develop a program that incorporated a wide range of critical perspectives, approached from multiple angles and presented simultaneously in two different locations-Athens and Kassel- and not just a single one, as per Documenta’s tradition. In 2011 Fokidis was one of the curators of the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennial of Contemporary Art. She was also commissioner and curator of the Greek Pavilion at the 51st Biennale di Venezia (2003) and one of the curators of T.I.C.A.B. – Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual 1 (2001). She was an adjunct curator at the Art Space Pythagorion – Schwarz Foundation, where she curated solo shows with newly-commissioned works by Slavs and Tatars (2013) and Nevin Aladağ (2014). From 2001 to 2008 she served as co-director of Oxymoron, a non-profit organisation in Athens dedicated to the promotion of contemporary visual art in Greece on an international level.
Fokidis has curated numerous other exhibitions, both in Greece and internationally.During the last year she worked on the curation of the main thematic exhibition of ARCO /Madrid. Titled The Mediterranean: A Round Sea, it received ninety two thousand visitors and a wide attention from professionals and the press. At the same time, she has written for various art publications, including Frieze, art-agenda, Flash Art , ARTINFO. and Manifesta Journal. She was a jury member for various awards, including the Preis der Nationalgalerie (2019), Videobrasil (2017), BES Revelação/Museu Serralves (2013) and the 2013 Furla Art Award.
Marina Fokidis (ed.) The Mediterranean: A Round Sea, Arco /Ifema & Nero Editions, 2023
Marina Fokidis (ed.) SOUTH AS A STATE OF MIND ( www.southasastateofmind.com)
Marina Fokidis, “Digging into the Future: An Account of Notions of Time and Place” in Hildengund Amanshauser, Kimbery Bradley (eds.) Navigating the Planetary, Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts & VFMK, 2020
Marina Fokidis, “Learning from Athens – A Working Title and a Working Process for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel”, in: Joasia Krysa (ed.): The Biennial Condition: Stages #6, Liverpool Biennial, 2017
Marina Fokidis, “Kunsthalle Athena, The Institution as a Performance”, in: João Mourão, Luís Silva: Performing the institution(al) – Volumes 4 & 5, Cura Books & Kunsthalle Lisbon, 2016
Marina Fokidis, “Sierra_Oscar_Uniform _Tango _Hotel”, in: Galit Eilat, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Charles Esche, Pablo Lafuente, Luiza Proença, Oren Sagiv, and Benjamin Seroussi (eds.): Making Biennials in Contemporary Times, Essays from the World Biennial Forum 2, online publication, 2014
Marina Fokidis, “Hijacking Cultural Policies“, in: Judith Kapferer (eds.): The State and the Arts. Articulating Power and Subversion, Berghan Books, New York 2008