Open Call – Curatorial Workshop in Generative Practices

Bari, Italy, 18-21 November 2013
The application form must be sent to selezionivessel@gmail.com by October the 7th.

Index of this document:
1. Conceptual framework
2. Workshop structure
3. Application procedure
4. Invited professors extended biographies

1. Conceptual framework of the workshop

The main objective of this workshop is to analyze what we define as generative artistic practices in relation to the format of the international art fair. As a general working definition, a generative practice starts from a conscious mirroring of a context, a response to it and a working through of its peculiarities and values. Furthermore, we would like to look at contexts which became internationally recognizable in the world of art due to various “branding” strategies, especially by cultural institutions (i.e. Biennales, museums or EU projects) devoted to exhibitory formats. The workshop will be looking closely at practices that try to maintain a productive, context-responsive activity in the same kind of site.

Often, these branding strategies, aimed at gaining international recognition and profit, create a strong and visible connection between the place and the event. For instance, it is easy to associate Venice with the Biennale, Kassel with Documenta, or Munster with Skulptur Projekte and vice versa. The format of the event is not the only format used to brand and position that place on the map. The presence of the museum is used as well. Explicit examples are the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Tate in Liverpool. Cultural politics support particular types of cultural practices over others in order to help internationalize and promote their region. Could these ‘international branding’ schemes have a homogenising effect on the characteristics of local artistic practices?

How do local art practitioners relate to these macro-happenings? How do their lives and artistic work continue when the events are finished, or in the shadow of such entrepreneurial institutions? Does the fact of being in the shadows of such a giant help, hinder, hide or expose the work being done regularly, which may respond closely to contextual needs and characteristics?

The aim of this workshop is to identify what we call generative practices, i.e. practices which try to trigger an impulse in local artistic and cultural life and operate steadily in contexts affected by such homogenising “brand making” institutionalised events. We aim to see how the combination of local marketing and cultural institutions becomes problematic, productive and/or parallel to the individual practices of the artist. We would then also like to identify, between locally-based groups, common strategies for defining lines of action.

2. Workshop structure

The workshop is meant for 12 participants. It will be conducted by invited professors and curators Nina Möntmann and Galit Eilat, together with organizers Haizea Barcenilla and Viviana Checchia. Both invited professors will bring up specific case studies, which will be analyzed with the participants in group work and discussions. Each of the professors will work for two days with the participants. Participants are also encouraged to bring up their own case studies, which can be examined with the group.

3. Application procedure

Participation in the workshop is subject to a payment of 350 €. The amount will cover all the expenses for meals and residency including a single-bed hotel room and Vessel’s 2013 membership. Selected applicants will be responsible for travel from their place of residence to Vessel as well as the return trip. The workshop itself is offered free of charge.

The Vessel team will provide acceptance certificates for all selected participants who wish to apply for economic help in their own countries or other international institutions.

The material sent for the application will not be returned.

According to regulation of the workshop, personal data of the applicants is exclusively used for selection procedures and will not be communicated to third parties.

Interested applicants of any nationality may apply. No study certificate and academic degree is required. The course will be delivered in English: for this reason at least an intermediate level of English is required.

The screening committee for selecting applicants consists of Viviana Checchia and Haizea Barcenilla. The application form must be sent to selezionivessel@gmail.com by October the 7th, 2013.

The applications must include:

1. Application form
Last Name:
Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Postal address:

List of studies/work experiences:
(Please attach your detailed resume to this form)

2. A motivational statement illustrating the applicant’s interests and explaining the reason for the application (max. 5,000 characters)

3. A short statement describing the case study that would be brought to the workshop (max. 1,000 characters)

4. Invited professors extended biographies

Galit Eilat is a founding director of the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon and a research curator at the Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. She is also editor-in-chief of the Maarav online magazine. Her research focuses on problems of social and political activism within the field of art, as well as current politics in the Middle East. She has curated and co-curated major art exhibitions such as Politics of Collection, Collection of Politics (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2010), The Real War, solo show with Sean Snyder, The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon (2010); Evil to the Core, The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon (2009–2010); Never Looked Better, Beth Hatefutsoth, Tel Aviv (2008–2009); Chosen (Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdańsk and The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, 2008–2009), Mobile Archive travelling seminar (Hamburger Kunstverein and The Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon, 2009), Liminal Spaces flying seminar (Israel and Palestine, 2006–2008), People, Land, State (The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, 2006) and This is Not America (Art Project Gallery, Tel Aviv, 2006). In collaboration with Sebastian Cichocki from the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, she recently curated Yael Bartana’s exhibition … and Europe will be stunned held at the Polish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.

Nina Möntmann studied art history at the University of Hamburg; her dissertation on social space in contemporary art was published in 2001 by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.

Nina Möntmann is a professor at the Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm, where she heads the department of “Art Theory and the History of Ideas”. Until 2006 she worked as a curator at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA) in Helsinki, where she curated “Spaces of Conflict” (Rooseum, Malmö; Secession, Vienna; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo; Kunsthalle Helsinki) and “Opacity” (UKS, Oslo; Secession, Vienna). She is a correspondent for Artforum and Le Monde Diplomatique, and contributes regularly to art journals and magazines such as Parachute, Paletten, Texte zur Kunst and De-Bug. In addition to teaching posts at the University of Hamburg, the Academy of Fine Arts in Umeå and the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah, she also held a guest professorship at the University of the Arts in Bremen.

In 2005 Möntmann travelled to India in the context of a newly established Goethe-Institut residency programme for artists and curators. On the basis of her stay there she developed an exhibition project entitled “The global and the village: Parallel economies in India”, which was presented in late 2006 at the Frankfurter Kunstverein (with Shaina Anand, Open Circle, Gigi Scaria, Christoph Schäfer, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Shilpa Phadke und Bishaka Datta (PUKAR), Abhinandita Mathur, Roshani Jhadav, Neelam Ayare and Karan Arora) . In 2007, she curated the panel discussion “ReForming India – Artistic Collectives Bend International Art Practices” for the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School in New York and the Armenian Pavillion for the 52nd Venice Biennial. Other recent projects include the group exhibition “Communities” (The Power Plant, Toronto, 2008), Manifesta 7 (2008, in the role of curatorial advisor) and participation in the long-term Israeli/Palestinian art project “Liminal Spaces”.

Curatorial Workshop in Generative Practices

Bari, Italy, 18-21 November 2013
With Galit Eilat and Nina Möntmann
Curated by Haizea Barcenilla and Viviana Checchia
Organised by Vessel with the support of Konstfack

LOGO Konstfack + Vessel