Venezia, Italy

Rethinking Exhibition Models of the Venice Biennale in Relation to the History of the Curatorial Practices

online course
when 2 May 2022 - 1 June 2022
duration 5 weeks
fee EUR 590

This workshop online provides an immersive and active understanding of curatorial practice and its developments in the last decades. Through the work of some of the most remarkable curators, the students will develop an understanding of how curating works by looking back at its history and by examining certain case studies. The analysis of specific editions of the Venice Art Biennale will give us the possibility to look to the predecessors and the influences of specific curators on their work. But it is also an opportunity to explore the ways in which the curatorial practices are changing and examine increasingly diverse approaches to exhibition-making.

First week: 02- 04.05.22 at 6pm - 8pm
Brief introduction of the program.
First issue: The world is turning global - a post-colonial approach to the exhibition making. Jean Hubert Martin curates in 1989 Les magician de la Terre in Paris, four years later the concept of nomadism and multiculturalism is the main idea of the Achille Bonito Oliva's Venice Biennale in 1993. Further developments are identified in some recent exhibitions which are reflecting critically on the colonial past. Case study: the curatorial approach of Charles Esche at the Van Abbe museum in Eindhoven and the exhibition organized in 2018 at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin: Hello World.
Open discussion

Second week 09 - 11.05.22 at 6pm - 8pm
The curator as an interpreter of the art history by creating new narration and visions through the display of the exhibition.
1995 at the Venice Biennale, Jean Clair curates an edition called: Identity and Alterity: Figures of Body 1895 - 1995. Instead of exploring the history of this century’s avant-gardes, Clair interrogates another, alternative history, one he perceives as ignored and overshadowed in the Modern canon’s conventionally accepted plan. In 2013 Massimiliano Gioni at the Venice Biennale curated The Encyclopedia Palace. The exhibition structured like a temporary museum that initiates an inquiry into the many ways in which images have been used to organize knowledge and shape our experience.
In 2015 a show at Punta della Dogana in Venice curated by the artist Dahn Vo, called Slip of the Tongue. The show was the result of a narration of his personal mythologies, featured with art history masters and contemporary art works.
Open discussion

Third week 16 - 18.05.22 at 6pm - 8pm
The curator questioning his time: The visionary curator Harald Szeemann, who launched at the Venice Biennale in 1980 the “Aperto” section for young artists and in the 1999 Biennale replaced it with “d’Apertutto”, a strolling, horizontal exhibition, a succession of events in exhibition spaces. An art exhibition which lied primarily in the quality of the critical and cultural proposals and raised many questions. How do art forms react to the prevailing globalization of languages? To the process of economic, financial, commercial and technological integration? Harald Szeemann is the curator who has always been able to criticize and question his time. Documenta 5 in 1972 is a perfect example of his curatorial attitude as much as the two editions of the Biennale (In 2001: Plateau of Humankind. The Visual Arts Biennale as a platform of humanity.)

Fourth week: 23 -25.05.22 at 6pm - 8pm
The exhibition as a collaboration of a team of curators. In 2002, Documenta 11 in Kassel, curated, by Okwui Enwezor was structured in five platforms which aimed and described the present location of culture and its interfaces with other complex, global knowledge systems. Okwui Enwezor created a team of 6 curators from different geographical area. One year later at the Venice Art Biennale 2003 was presented: The dictatorship of the viewer. A collaboration between a group of world leading curators under the direction of Francesco Bonami. Ten different exhibitions were representing a mapping of the contemporary art from all over the world.
The collaborative model is the bases also of the exhibition Hello World where a more structured concept is connecting each different curatorial section.

Fifth week: 30 - 01.06.22 at 6pm - 8pm
The last week is devoted to the work prepared by each participant and to discussion. The practical exercise aims to create a critical capacity of identifying the models presented and analyzed during the lectures in contemporary art exhibitions. Each participant will present an examples of exhibitions or will structure a new project which is related to the models discussed. The program aims to give the opportunity to create, according to his/her own artistic statement, an exhibition defined by a strong critical and innovative content.

The fee per course is 590 euro. In case you choose to take part to more than one course, a discount of 100 euro will be applied to the fee of the next courses.

Our Online Delivery Method
Online Study Lectures effectively run over the week – Monday and Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm CET – maintaining our usual tours’ focused, intensive and immersive experience.
Live Seminars - Each lecture is two hours long at the end of each lecture we will have a half an hour for questions and discussions. Your tutor will hold live seminars with you and discussions are accessed via a web-link which we will email to you. These sessions enable you to ‘meet’ your tutor and fellow students. To participate you will only need an internet enabled device; you do not need a account. If you have questions that you were not able to raise in the discussions, you will also be able to communicate with your tutor by email.

Course leader

Aurora Fonda

Course aim

The objectives of the workshop:
To gain familiarity with different types of models of curatorial practices and evaluate the essential qualities of a strong curator through understanding the historical and contemporary role of the curator in relation to past and recent exhibition models.
After each session a discussion will be hold in order to exchange different opinions and views on the approach of the singular curatorial practice. Rethinking specific curatorial models, by analyzing their origins and their subsequent developments is one of the key elements of the workshop.The mission is to create a critical ability in order to discover the proper curatorial model.
Practical exercise: in the last session every participant will have to present an exhibition project by applying one of the models identified during the workshop.

Fee info

EUR 590: In case you choose to take part to more than one course, a discount of 100 euro will be applied to the fee of the next courses.