Cultures of the Curatorial

Bonus Woche, Albertinum, Dresden, 2010. Foto: Beatrice von Bismarck
Cultures of the Curatorial is a graduate program which combines practice-based research and theoretical reflection. It addresses people from a variety of disciplinary or professional backgrounds: the arts – visual arts, dance, theatre, film, architecture, design or music, – cultural mediation, the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. What they have in common is a shared interest in a dedicated practice in the cultural field and in a concentrated, academically grounded acquisition of additional qualifications for their future professional practice in the curatorial field.
The curatorial is understood as a cultural practice, which goes decisively beyond the making of exhibitions and has developed into a practice in its own right of generating, communicating and reflecting experience and knowledge. The study program Cultures of the Curatorial thus does not only deal with methods of conception, organisation and implementation of curatorial projects, but also with the theoretical tools for analysis, discussion and further development of exhibitions and other forms of cultural mediation in a transdisciplinary and transcultural context.
The background to the study program Cultures of the Curatorial is the observation that in the course of the 20th century in the arts and sciences specific modes of practices, formats and aesthetics have developed, which can be subsumed by the term "curatorial". Accordingly theory and practice are treated as mutually intertwined in the program: In seminars, workshops, lectures and field trips staff and participants address the historical and current relations, conditions and potentials the curatorial has developed as an independent cultural practice. In addition in two curatorial projects the participants will develop their own statements in relation to the current challenges and possibilities of the curatorial.
What is the relevance of the curatorial within the cultural field under the conditions of globalisation? How do processes, strategies and effects of the curatorial relate to those of art and science? Where could common grounds or perspectives of reciprocal exchange be located? What kind of specificities does the curatorial adopt in the different arts and which forms does it assume in different cultures? Which functions does the curatorial take on in the respective aesthetic, social or economic contexts?
Questions such as these are at the centre of the program Cultures of the Curatorial. The four semester program involves a team of staff members of the Academy of Fine Arts (HGB) and international guests from the fields of art, academic disciplines and curatorial practice. Cultures of the Curatorial is a part-time MA program.
Guests speakers and Cooperations

Up to ten international guests annually contribute to the program’s offerings in the form of workshops, lectures, conversations and colloquiums. These guests include artists, especially those who work in an especially curatorial way; scholars from a broad range of disciplines relevant to the curatorial; and of course both freelance and staff curators. There are also guests from fields immediately connected to the curatorial, such as publishing and art criticism.The master program Cultures of the Curatorial works with a number of international guests from the fields of the arts, curatorial practice and different scientific fields. They are an integral part of the seminars as well as contributors to the various discursive formats - panels, talks, symposia - which address key topics in order to further develop the research on and with the curatorial.

Jennifer Allen, Pierre Bal-Blanc, Bassam el Baroni, Daniel Birnbaum, Claire Bishop, Gabriele Brandstetter, Sabine Breitwieser, Sabeth Buchmann, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Barbara Clausen, Alice Creischer, Dieter Daniels, Clémentine Deliss, Helmut Draxler, Antke Engel, Loretta Fahrenholz, Rike Frank, Anselm Franke, Sigrid Gareis, Heike Gfrereis, Angela Harutyunyan, Adrian Heathfield, Anna Lena von Helldorf, Nikolaus Hirsch, Hannah Hurtzig, Jutta Koether, Christian Kravagna, Vera Lauf, André Lepecki, Maria Lind, Florian Malzacher, Matthias Michalka, Maria Muhle, Matthias Mühling, Christian Philipp Müller, Vanessa Joan Müller, Susanne Neubauer, Sarah Pierce, Marion von Osten, Philipp Oswalt, Raqs Media Collective, Marcelo Rezende, Dorothee Richter, Irit Rogoff, Willem de Rooij, Hartmut Rosa, Eran Schaerf, Jörn Schafaff, Kerstin Schankweiler, Peter Schneemann, Jana Scholze, Mario Schulze, Maya Schweizer, Avinoam Shalem, Payam Sharifi, Bennett Simpson, Nanette Snoep, Lucy Steeds, Barbara Steiner, Gregor Stemmrich, Nora Sternfeld, Hito Steyerl, Leire Vergara, Anton Vidokle, Hortensia Völckers, Dan Voh, Eyal Weizman, Victoria Walsh, Katharina Weinstock, Karin Wieckhorst, Jun Yang, Tirdad Zolghadr

Cultures of the Curatorial cooperates with international partners. The exchange contributes to a wide practical and theoretical footing of the teaching and research. Our current partners are

Meetings + Workshops
Akteur*in Ausstellungs*geschichte
Talk by Rike Frank, Merve Verlag, Leipzig 2018
Exhibiting / Archiving
Roundtable course, HGB Leipzig, 2018. Contributors: Heike Gfrereis, Lucy Steeds and Marcelo Rezende
Meeting Hospitality: Hosting Relations in Exhibitions, „Situationen“
Space interventions by KdK students in cooperation with students of the Media Art department, Gallery of the HGB Leipzig 2012
Meeting Hospitality: Hosting Relations in Exhibitions
Talk by Alice Creischer: "Hospitality – Which support do curators need from the institutions hiring them?" HGB Gallery Leipzig 2012.
Contributors: Stefan Römer, Nanne Burrman, Alice Creischer /Andreas Siekmann, Wiebke Gronemeyer, Jenny Walden, Erik Hagoort, Lorenzo Fusi, Philipp Kleinmichel, Berižerovc, Jörn Schafaff and Ulf Wuggenig
Meeting Curatorial Things, Talk by André Lepecki: Thing/Dance/Vagueness: Choreopgraphic Challenges to Curating
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2014. Contributors: Sabeth Buchmann, Clémentine Deliss, Anselm Franke, André Lepecki, Maria Lind, Florian Malzacher, Susanne Neubauer, Kerstin Schankweiler, Peter Schneemann, Jana Scholze, Mario Schulze, Leire Vergara, Victoria Walsh, Katharina Weinstock
Lecture program and workshop "Erinnerung Repräsentation – Fiktion". On the role of dioramas in cultural history museums
Talk by Atul Dodiya, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, 2015. Contributors: Stefan Aue, Jana Eske, Atul Dodiya, Katharina Hoins, Carola Krebs, Jessica Páez, Yorgos Sapountzi, Benjamin Zachariah.
Lecture program and performance (re) framing the museum
Kunsthalle in the Lipsiusbau Dresden,2015. Contributors: Tulga Beyerle, Anne Pöhlmann, Veza Maria Fernandez Ramos, Martina Ruhsam, Gayatri Sinha, Hilke Wagner. Image: Video-Lecture„Extensions of Memories“ by Anne Pöhlmann
Course of study & modules

Cultures of the Curatorial is a postgraduate master´s degree program. The curriculum is divided into the following modules:

  1. History and theory of curating / History of exhibitions
    Central to the module is the format of the exhibition from a historical perspective with its aesthetic, cultural, social, political and economic relations conditions. It deals with the history and development of the public manifestations of art and culture as well as with the different research approaches developed to deal with them. Particular importance is placed on the relation of the curatorial to artistic practice on the one hand and theoretical practice on the other.
  2. Art history and theory of modern and contemporary art.
    The module provides an overview of the essential artistic positions and art movements from 1800 to the present that are of relevance to the curatorial. It deals with historical and contemporary artistic works and positions, art discourse and theories, which are fundamental for the understanding of art and culture since modernity. Key terms are Gesamtkunstwerk, installation, context orientation, self-organisation and teamwork, the concept of artistic labor, artistic mediation and the dematerialisation of the art object.
  3. Research practice I: Curatorial project
    The focus is on key curatorial competences in practice. In small groups the aim is to complete all steps of the curatorial work from conception to implementation and at the same time to reflect on its conditions and potentials. The group project gets realized in relation to a specific institution.
  4. History and theory of curating / Transdisciplinarity
    The focus is on forms of presentation and mediation of visual art in relation to those of other artistic and academic disciplines – such as dance, theatre, film, music, literature, architecture, anthropology and natural sciences. They are contextualized  within the academic discourses and methods which determine the study and research of these various disciplines.
  5. History and theory of curating / Transculturality
    The module deals with curatorial practices in different cultures. The focus is on the processes, strategies and perspectives which shape curatorial actions in a globalised cultural field. Relevant are the conditions of the mobilisation of people, objects and information, along with the aesthetic, economic, political and social implications and effects for the respective contexts.
  6. Research practice II: Master project/Conception
    The module is aimed towards the independent conception and development of a comprehensive project with reference to theoretical and practical curatorial methods as well as to relevant forms of knowledge. With a contentual conception chosen by the student, the aim is to develop one’s own curatorial techniques and methods, which will ultimately lead to the final curatorial project and the written thesis.
  7. Research practice III: Master project
    The focus is on the independent realisation of the master project, consisting of the final curatorial project and the written thesis. The task is to implement a curatorial project with a contentual concept chosen by the student and interconnected with academic-theoretical research. The module marks the completion of the study.
Publication „– Diplomarbeiten der Abteilung Fotografie“
curated by Sabine Schmid, 2017
Die Koralle
A Diplomatic Intervention, 2017, curated by Merle Heinrich und Anaïs Roesch
Performing Relationships
KV Leipzig, 2017, curated by Krisztina Hunya + Daniel Niggemann. Photo: dotgain.info, work by YES! Association/Föreningen JA!
Vom Zeigen und Schauen
GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, 2016
Pearls, cups and tigers. An object performance
The smallest gallery – collaboration space Graz, Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2015, concept: Veza María Fernández + Johanna Rainer
Hat Heimat einen Plural?
Installation view Doma, Deutsches Literaturinstitut Leipzig, 2013, curated by Katharina Schniebs
Bonus Woche, Albertinum, Dresden, 2010