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Gürsoy Doğtaş

Invite Yourself: solidarity between migration and curation
19–31 August 2024

Gürsoy Doğtaş
Cihangir Gümüştürkmen, GOLDEN BOY, 2011 (Schuhe).
Philipp Gufler, Quilt #46 (Zeki Müren) [with Gürsoy Doğtaş] 2021.
Credit: Maison Zeki Müren, Photo: Frank Stolle

[Slider above]
Exil, Marta Herford, photo: Besim Mazhiqi


Hohensalzburg Fortress

Teaching language
English (teacher speaks German)

What to bring
Laptop/Tablet, paper, pen


Maximum number of participants

Participation fee
670 Euro (reduced 495 Euro)

Who talks at exhibitions: who with whom, who about what? In times of cultural schism, this question is more relevant than ever. At any rate, it has accompanied Curatorial and Exhibition Studies from the very beginning. This is the starting-point, focusing on autobiographical research as part of curatorial praxis and supportive strategies. Students will learn self-empowerment practices in the visual arts and its archives – familiar from (post-)migratory literature.

Gürsoy Doğtaş, who grew up in Germany as a child of "migrant [or guest] workers", has worked for many years a guest curator for art exhibitions, festivals and other events. The concept of "guest", from the time of the German labour recruitment agreement (1955), has undergone change with this appropriation in the cultural context, passing under different circumstances into curatorial praxis. Cultural institutions have failed several generations of people with a history of migration – whether in their programme, as public or as personnel. Working together with these people means to recognise their suffering and at the same time to highlight alternatives.

Resistance to institutionalised forms of memory and their gaps is forming; solidarity is finding expression. From this perspective we will look at the archives of migration and develop strategies for engagement and research for artists who are still hardly known in the institutional mainstream. How can these artists be associated with the anti-racist struggles of the so-called migrant worker generation or present refugees? How does this legacy persist in contemporary cultural alliances? What is our role as curators and cultural workers?

On the basis of historical and contemporary exhibitions, students will learn to reflect on their own role as guest or host, as well as to translate knowledge of migrant situations into exhibitions, festivals or other cultural programmes for often "white-standardised" art institutions. How can I, as an "ethnologist of myself" (Annie Ernaux) recognise, name and reject the excluding structures of the art world? In this course, we will learn from other protagonists, initiatives for minorities, movements for solidarity – and above all, from one another. The course includes a trip to Vienna, to  visit various exhibitions and archives of migration.


Gürsoy Doğtaş is an art historian who works para-curatorially at the intersections of institutional critique, structural racism, and queer studies. He has (co-)curated among many other exhibitions, the symposium Public Art: The Right to Remember and the Reality of Cities (2021) in Nuremberg. In 2022/23 he was a visiting professor at the Institute for Art in Context at Berlin University of the Arts; he has was a researcher at the University of Applied Arts Vienna from 2020 to 2023.

Curated exhibitions:
There is no There There, Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt am Main (DE). Annem işçi – Wer näht die roten Fahnen?, Museum Marta Herford, Herford (DE). 2023 Gurbette Kalmak / Bleiben in der Fremde, Taxispalais, Innsbruck (AT).

Selected articles:
Gürsoy Doğtaş, Am Ende der Redekur, in: The Words of the Arty Class (
Gürsoy Doğtaş, Sinister Pop. Essay on Andy Warhol’s “Mustard Race Riot”, Museum Brandhorst, München (
Gürsoy Doğtaş, James Baldwin in Istanbul: Art and Activism in Exile, 18 March 2022, in: Contemporary & (

Gürsoy Dogtas
Foto: privat