Monday, 2 March 2009


Witte de With
Rotterdam Dialogues: the Curators Symposium
5, 6, 7 March 2009

Over the course of six months, Witte de With presents a program of three symposia, titled Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists. These symposia are structured to establish a lively platform for debate and exchange, creating space for a range of voices and opinions. The program itself comprises a variety of formats: lectures, panel discussions, interviews and dialogues, as well as parallel workshops and masterclasses, all designed to encourage a lively audience participation.
The symposia explore the roles of three of the central protagonists of the contemporary art world: the critic, the curator and the artist. Following The Critics in October 2008, the focus now turns to The Curators.

Download the full program (pdf).

The practice of curating is a much discussed topic within the art world, but is often neglected by the media and thus remains largely invisible to the broader public. With our selection of speakers, we aim to put a wide range of faces to the often elusive and contested title of curator. Invited guests include freelancers, artist/curators and others fulfilling hybrid roles, curators working inside and outside of art institutions, those responsible for major international art events and those working on an intentionally local scale.

Jamila Adeli, Anke Bangma, Bart de Baere, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Pablo León De La Barra, Ute Meta Bauer, Lorenzo Benedetti, Iwona Blazwick, Nicolas Bourriaud, Sabine Breitwieser, Adam Budak, Ann Demeester, Barnaby Drabble, Mai Abu Eldahab, Zoran Eric, Bruce Ferguson, Juan Gaitan, Hou Hanru, Jan Hoet, Jens Hoffmann, Manray Hsu, Renske Janssen, Stefan Kalmár, Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, Emmanuel Lambion, Enrico Lunghi, Raimundas Malasauskas, Gerardo Mosquera, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Sophie von Olfers, Paul O’Neill, Livia Páldi, Philippe Pirotte, PiST, Irit Rogoff, Beatrix Ruf, The Salford Restoration Office, Brigitte van der Sande, Kitty Scott, Seth Siegelaub, Saskia van Stein, Adam Szymczyk, Andrea Viliani, Rein Wolfs, and What, how & for whom.

Each day has an overarching theme, which is then subdivided into more precise topics and questions:

Thursday March 5 – Expectations, looking at not only the personal expectations of individual curators, but also those of audiences and of artists and how these expectations might influence curatorial practice.

Friday March 6 – Positions, focusing on the daily practice of curating, the importance of building a reputation, the power of curators to shape the canon, and the influence of the market on curating.

Saturday March 7 – Contexts, exploring the history of the profession, conditions and ideas underlying curating, and the increasingly international practice of exhibition making.

On Sunday 8 March, a curatorial masterclass will be given for young professionals and postgraduate students by Jan Hoet. Hoet was founding director of SMAK in Ghent from 1975-2001, and director of MARTa Herford in Herford, Germany, from 2001 until his recent retirement. In 1992 he was artistic director of Documenta IX, Kassel, and in 2001 of Sonsbeek, Arnhem. Hoet will speak from his own practice and extensive experience, putting key questions to the masterclass participants for them to resolve together during the course of the afternoon.
This masterclass is now fully booked.

From Wednesday 4 to Saturday 7 March, Raimundas Malasauskas will give a workshop in curating for a group of (invited) students. Malasauskas was curator at CAC Vilnius from 1995 to 2006, and currently curates at Artists Space, New York. Elaborating upon some of the questions raised by the symposium in a practical, hands-on manner, Malasauskas will give these students an insight into the day to day issues faced by contemporary art curators.

Elements of each symposium comprising Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists will be compiled in a publication to appear in fall 2009. It will feature contributions by many of the speakers, by invited observers and by participants in the workshops and masterclasses.

Practical information
Time: Registration daily from 12:30 p.m. Program starts daily at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: 1 day ticket: €15 (€10*), 3 day ticket: € 40 (€25*)
* reduction for 65+, students, Friends of Witte de With
Language: English
Location: Witte de With
We can only accept cash for the symposium tickets.

Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is conceived by Nicolaus Schafhausen, Zoë Gray and Ariadne Urlus.

NB To be expected: The Artists, 16, 17 & 18 April 2009.

Witte de Withstraat 50

3012 BR Rotterdam

The Netherlands
+31 10 411 0144

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