Between Curatorial and Urban Practice

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Listen to Elke Kransy, Reading – Zurich PhD Curating Platform in discussion with Dr Clémentine Deliss, Maria Lind, Justin McGuirk

Recorded on 2 March 2013 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

In recent years arts practice has shifted towards new modes of collaborative production while digital platforms continually offer new ways to distribute and engage with the arts. As performing and visual arts organisations are transforming relationships with audiences, more varied roles have emerged for curators beyond exhibition making and collections management. Curating has evolved to embrace audience-generated content. Many curators see their role more and more as a cultural producer.

The panel will examine an evolving definition of contemporary curation within their practices, and their relationships to the cities and people around them. Is an architect who arranges and designs spaces or the city a curator? Is a curator an architect of sorts producing spaces of exchange? What about the work a writer or researcher does in ‘curating’ arguments and ideas? Finally, how does the increasing importance of the everyday, of the street, and of shifting political geographies of art practice mark curation today?

Clémentine Deliss is director of Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt am Main since April 2010. She studied contemporary art in Vienna, and social anthropology in Vienna, London, and Paris. She holds a PhD (1988) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London on 1920s French museum anthropology and dissident surrealism.

Elke Krasny is a cultural theorist, curator, urbanist and author, based in Vienna. She researches on the interrelations of architecture, urban space, issues of cultural identity and representation, engaged art practices, gender and world fairs, museums and exhibitions as cultural formations. She teaches Art and Public Space, Museum Pedagogy, Visual Didactics, Didactics of Architecture and Space and Cultural Education at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, “Garden as Community” at the Technical University of Vienna, Cultural Studies at the FH Joanneum Graz and is a visiting professor at the University of Bremen “Urban Transformation and its Narratives” 2006.

Maria Lind is a curator and critic. She is director of Tensta Konsthall, a centre for contemporary art in Stockholm, Sweden. Between 2001 and 2004 she was director of the Munich Kunstverein. Previous to that she was curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm (from 1997-2001) and in 1998 was co-curator of Manifesta 2 Europe’s nomadic biennale of contemporary art.

Justin McGuirk is a writer, critic and curator. He is the director of Strelka Press, the publishing arm of the Strelka Institute in Moscow, and the design consultant to Domus. He has been the design columnist for The Guardian and the editor of Icon magazine. In 2012 he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture for an exhibition he curated with Urban Think Tank. He is currently working on a book about activist architecture and social housing in Latin America.

Theatrum Mundi / The Global Street is a new urban forum based in London at LSE Cities. It seeks to understand what brings life to a city, particularly in its public places and asks how these might be better designed. Theatrum Mundi, focused on urban culture, brings architects and town planners together with performing and visual artists to reimagine the public spaces of twenty-first century cities – streets, squares, parks, and places for culture. We begin with theoretical conversations and move towards real projects, celebrating those which embody new thinking about public space.

This event forms part of LSE’s 5th Space for Thought Literary Festival|, taking place from Tuesday 26 February – Saturday 2 March 2013, with the theme ‘Branching Out’.

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