Whether as a free curator, artist, cultural producer of events or in an institutional position, curating has positioned itself worldwide as a powerful agent in social transformation processes, as it increased the awareness and understanding of social situations and demands, of conflicts and negotiations.
We understand curating or the curatorial not as a philosophical concept but as a practice that is deeply involved in politics of display, politics of site, politics of transfer and translation and regimes of visibility. It is based on a concept of critical research that takes as its starting point the investigation of what is often the overly simplistic understanding of the curator as a new agent in the fields of art and culture. The programme understands the curatorial as a multi authored approach to the production of meaning which is intrinsically linked to transformations of contemporary societies, the reorganization of labour, cultural policies, politics of inclusion/exclusion and issues poised by points of intersection.
The programme has been developed in the context of cultural analysis, theories of power, theories of communities based on feminist, queer, postcolonial, ecological, post-Marxist and other political and emancipatory positions. Many of these positions emerge out of political struggles or social movements. We see curatorial knowledge production as a space for the negotiation of social, political, cultural and economic conflicts. It understands curating as agency from which new constellations emerge. These could be represented in the format of an exhibition but equally in other forms of meaning production through a context related media conglomerate. This involves a critical review of contemporary curatorial practices and theories and the critical reflection of the rise of a so-called curatorial class. By engaging with these trajectories, the conditions, and the foundations of knowledge production in the curatorial field become the subject of critical research leading to their re-positioning
In our globalized cultural world, a strong knowledge of artists and cultural practitioners working in diverse geographical, cultural and social contexts is a central requirement, and therefore, a vibrant net of international practitioners as well as the knowledge and the experience to move in such an international situation is pre-condition in every contemporary curatorial practice. Consequently, it is important for universities worldwide teaching curatorial practice, to offer to their students the necessary possibilities to engage with an international network as well as with an international audience.
The workshop foster trans-local and transcultural learning in real-life local contexts through a series of practice projects and knowledge production (workshops and conferences), which also reflect on positions and relations in the arts art in society as well as on social situations in the respective environment.
In these contexts, special attention has to be paid to context awareness, decolonization processes, working with complexity and inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches.