Venice, Italy

Curatorial Studies

online course
when 22 October 2020 - 15 November 2020
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 2.5 EC
fee EUR 4500

Why is the Venice Biennale still the leading international art shows? The Venice Biennale has been for over 120 years one of the most prestigious cultural institutions. The arts exhibition saw some of the most renowned 20th- and 21st-century artists presenting their work there and welcomed a range of important critics and art historians as curators of the main exhibitions and the National Pavilions, all contributing to generating the “pluralism of voices” for which the event has been known for.

The history of the La Biennale di Venezia dates back from 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized and has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors. Throughout decades, La Biennale di Venezia has maintained its ability to anticipate new trends in art, while presenting works and artists of every period under renewed perspectives. The preview days brings 25,000 artists, collectors, curators, museum directors and journalists into the city, followed by 600,000 visitors in the six months after.

How has the event gained its prestige? How the curatorial projects of keys figures like Harald
Szeemann, Massimiliano Gioni, Okwui Enwezor and Ralph Rugoff, have contributed to its developments?
Which is the role of national pavilions organized by dozens of countries, each offering a show of one or more artists?

These are the questions that we will try to respond with insights and intervention by some of the main actors, helping us navigate the cultural influence of the Venice Biennale and its future prospective.
We will enrich and deepen your understanding of how the Venice Biennale is basically running through original documents, letters and special guests.
Led by our global faculty, the course, is combining live lectures and discussion — to provide participants with expert insight and guided exploration.
Course 1. The Origins
22 – 25 October 2020
• The origins of the Venice Biennale. The main actors, the ideas and the structure for an immediate success. Analysis of the display and the artists of the first editions of the international exhibitions.
• The Biennale is becoming more and more international: the new pavilions build in the Giardini. Emblematic example of the geopolitical changes of the beginning of the 20th century. The architecture and the buildings of the national pavilions.
• Between the two wars evolution and changes inside of the Biennale. How the fascist regime

Imposes its political power on the artistic choices and on the status of the Biennale.

Course 2. After the war
29 October – 1 November 2020
• The Biennale after the second world war: 1948 and Peggy Guggenheim collection in the Greek pavilion.
• The contribution given by Carlo Scarpa and his idea of display: from the exhibition to the Venezuela pavilion.
• 1964 the American artists are dominating the scene, and the Golden Lion to Robert Rauschemberg.
• 1968 a time for revolution. The necessity for the Biennale to update its role.
• The show Ambiente/ Arte and the 1976 edition. 1980 a new section has been conceived: Aperto.

Course 3. The rise of the curators
5 – 8 November 2020
• The biennale is getting into a New era: the 1993 the global edition by Achille Bonito Oliva. Analysis of the concept/ display and artists
• 100 years of the Biennale: Jean Clair from a classical form of exhibition to contemporary art. Analysis of the concept/ display and artists
• Harald Szeeman and the Biennale becomes even more global. The edition of 1999 and the 2001.

Course 4. The Biennale from a curatorial prospective
12 – 15 November 2020
• Biennale 2003 and the dictatorship of the viewer. A collaboration between a group of world leading curators under the direction of Francesco Bonami

• The encyclopedia Palace, by Massimiliano Gioni 2013. An exhibition between art history and contemporary art research.
• All the world future by Okwui Enwezor: 2015 a post-colonial Biennale. Analysis of the concept/ display and artists
• Ralph Rugoff, not just a classical exhibition, but rather an immersive understanding of contemporaneity.

Course leader

The School’s teaching staff is formed by Italian and international professionals, scholars, historians and art critics of recognized experience. Among them: Matt Williams (curator), Angela Vettese (art critic), Chira Barbieri (Peggy Guggenheim Collection)

Target group

How it works:
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.

Our online Intensive Courses are designed to enrich and deepen your understanding of a specific subject in an dynamic format. The courses are ideal for undergraduates, art professionals, and art lovers seeking to learn more about art and cultural history or to acquire specific knowledge/skills.

Course aim

Our Online Delivery Method
Online Study Luctures effectively run over a long weekend – from Thursday to Sunday – maintaining our usual tours focused, intensive and immersive experience. During the lectures, through original documents the different prospective of the singular editions of the Biennale, will be carefully examine. Photos, letters, video will be the support to understand the display and the ideas standing behind the shows.
Live Seminars
Each lecture is two hours long at the end we will have a half an hour for questions and discussions. Your tutor will hold live seminars with you on 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.

Fee info

EUR 4500: You can choose to follow one or more courses you are particularly interested. The fee per course is 250 euro. In case you choose to take part to more then one course, a discount of 50 euro will be applied to the fee of the next courses. If you decide to follow the four weeks, the total cost will be of 800 euro.
The course fee includes expert tuition and reading material.
Any income generated by the Short Courses is used to support the work of The School for Curatorial Studies Venice in order to advance the curatorial study and to support the artists.

How to Book and Payment of Fees
Full payment is due at the time of booking to book:
Stage 1: Reservation
 Please complete the admission form below and return it by email to:
 We will then send you an email in reply letting you know whether a place is available on your chosen course. If so, we will reserve your place and give you a link to make payment

Stage 2: Payment
 Once you have our confirmation, you can proceed to make payment using the link which you have also been sent. Payments should be by bank transfer.

The courses have a limited number of places, the admissions are closed as soon as the courses are full.