timeline

Beyond the Frame: Masterclass with Okwui Enwezor

Beyond the Frame: Masterclass with Okwui Enwezor

Haus der Kunst, Munich

In February 2017 the Beyond the Frame cohort traveled to Munich to meet with Okwui Enwezor, Director of Haus der Kunst, and one of the curators of the current exhibition Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and Atlantic, 1945-1965. The group was given a detailed tour of the exhibition by Dr. Damian Lentini and took part in a masterclass with Okwui on the subject of curating such an in-depth exhibition in relation to the experiences of curating Documenta and the Venice Biennale. The group also had the opportunity to see Okwui in conversation with Documenta 14 Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk, ahead of visiting the exhibition in Kassel in July 2017 as part of another Beyond the Frame trip.

Beyond the Frame: Masterclass with Zoe Whitley and Hew Locke

Beyond the Frame: Masterclass with Zoe Whitley and Hew Locke

January 2017, Tate Modern 

Artist Hew Locke and curator Zoe Whitley spoke to participants of the Beyond the Frame and Diaspora Platform projects about their individual practices and their experiences of working with different international institutions. More specifically Locke discussed his experiences of presenting art in historical spaces, in projects such as The Tourists aboard the HMS Belfast and The Jurors, a National Trust commission. Whitley gave the group an in-depth look at her upcoming exhibition at Tate Modern, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which opened in July 2017 at Tate Modern and is co-curated with Mark Godfrey

Images courtesy Alex Burgess

Curating the International Diaspora: Barbados and Martinique

Curating the International Diaspora: Barbados and Martinique

November 28th – December 2nd

Curating the International Diaspora is a project that involves working with curators and artists from culturally diverse backgrounds across five countries between March 2016 and March 2017. By attending and participating in events in London, the Caribbean, Sharjah during the Sharjah Biennial and Gwangju during the Gwangju Biennial, a group of arts practitioners were able to experience and engage with some of most relevant projects and professionals addressing contemporary art and curatorial practice, and to network with a global artistic community, thus offering exceptional opportunities for professional development.

Curating The International Diaspora was an integrated 24-month programme that builds upon ICF’s expansive existing international networks, cultural partnerships and expertise. The project established new knowledge in the relationship between the study of cultural diasporas and contemporary curating, made possible by a programme of focused public events to be held in the UK, the UAE region, South Korea and the Caribbean between 2016 and 2017.

Curating The International Diaspora saw the development of different programmes at each site that took the shape of public conferences and programmes, exhibition and biennial tours, workshops and studio visits with artists to collectively explore three themes:

  1. What is the impact of cultural diasporas on the field of contemporary visual art curatorship in particular? 
  2. Which patterns of migration have been evident in the field of contemporary art curating? 
  3. How have contemporary curators represented diaspora through their projects?

After two successful conferences in London (June 2016) and South Korea (September 2016) around the topic of Curating the International Diaspora, ICF invited a group of curators and artists from the UK, the US and South Korea to take part in a series of networking events in the Caribbean islands of Barbados and Martinique.

Selected participants included:
Melanie Keen (Director of Iniva)
George Blacklock (artist and Dean of Chelsea College of Art and Design, London)
Ellen Gallagher (artist based between New York and Rotterdam)
JW Stella (London-based independent curator)
Haeju Kim (independent curator, writer and editor based in South Korea)
Jaewon Choi (Chief Curator at space*c, Coreana, Museum of Art, Chief Curator at Seoul Museum of Urban-Regeneration)
Hyejin Han (researcher at the Archive and Research Centre at Asia Culture Centre, Gwangju)
Jessica Taylor (ICF Head of Programmes) 

Professionals from these different regions came together to discuss emerging curatorial issues and to meet with practitioners based in both Barbados and Martinique. While in Barbados, the team group visited the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, Punch Creative Arena, the Barbados Community College and the private collection of Mervyn Awon, and attended studio visits with artists Sheena Rose, Ewan Atkinson, Ras Ishi Butcher, Mark King, Versia Harris, Ronald Williams, Winston Kellman and Russell Watson. While in Martinique, the group visited Foundation Clément, Le Foundres HSE, Tropiques Atrium and Habitation Saint-Etienne, and had studio visits with Ernest & Jean-Philippe Breleur, Henri Tauliaut & Annabel Gueredrat, Luc de Laguarigue and Ricardo Ozier Lafontaine.

Public programming held during the trip included a panel discussion with all of the programme participants at Foundation Clément, open lectures by Melanie Keen and Ellen Gallagher at the Barbados Community College and a critique session with Bachelor of Fine Arts 3rd year students led by George Blacklock and Ellen Gallagher. 

The Curating The International Diaspora programme will investigate how emergent cultural diasporas have impacted the curatorship of contemporary visual arts specifically and how new models of contemporary curating have developed as a consequence of these effects. The project will demonstrate how curatorial practice has been radically transformed by the diaspora of people, intellectuals, artists, and cultural workers.

For intellectual and cultural diasporas from diverse origins and disciplines, a new kind of curatorial practice has attempted to represent these changes by creating what Ute Meta Bauer has called ‘a space of refuge – an in-between space of transition and of diasporic passage’ for cultural workers across the world. Whereas increased global mobilities, displacement, and the vast emigration of cultural producers has had a profound effect on contemporary art and curatorial practice for the last three decades, focused research has not been conducted on the impact of these developments. Similarly, little attempt has been made to understand how curatorial practice in Asia has been influenced by cross-cultural diasporas or how the emergence of a more globalised art world has taken account of these new networks, flows and their dispersal, which increasingly operate at an international, trans-national, multi-national and global level, with the local and global in constant dialogue with one another.

Issues of cultural identity and representation are highly debated topics at the moment. In the current geopolitical and economic circumstances, the world is increasingly facing the rise of ‘nationalism’ as a dominant discourse, often justified as a sense of self-protection of ‘the people’ under an assumed homogenous collective identity against the heterogeneous ‘otherness’. There is growing concern in the international artistic community about censorship and the closing down of public opportunities to engage with international cultures, despite increasing globalization of cultural flows and practices, facilitated by the advent of digital technologies, social media platforms, and the increasing circulation of products and populations.

Beyond the Frame: Masterclass with Robert Storr

Beyond the Frame: Masterclass with Robert Storr

Chelsea College of Art and Design, London

In November 2016 ICF held the first professional masterclass for the Beyond the Frame curatorial programme. The masterclass was led by US-based curator Robert Storr at the Chelsea College of Art in London and chaired by ICF Creative Director David A. Bailey, who used Storr’s pivotal text ‘Show and Tell’ as a departure point from which to discuss Storr’s larger curatorial practice.

Storr is a renowned curator, critic, painter and writer, whose professional roles have included senior curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Dean of Painting at the Yale School of Art, contributing editor for Art of America and Director of Visual Art of the Venice Biennale 2007 – the first American to assume the position. Published in Art in America (NY), Art Press (Paris) and Corriere della Sera (Milan) as well as the New York Times, Washington Post and Interview among others, he’s also written numerous books, catalogues and articles, but making work in his studio has always been his first love. And be it making a painting or making an exhibition, the common thread that runs through them both is the same: the personal satisfaction he finds in putting everything in its place.

The Beyond the Frame cohort was jointed by David Dibosa and the students in the MA Curating course at Chelsea, all of whom were invited to partake in a Q&A with Storr after his discussion with David. 

Launch event: Diaspora Platform and Beyond the Frame


Launch Event: Diaspora Platform and Beyond the Frame

Chelsea College of Art and Design, London

On 9 November 2016 International Curators Forum in partnership with University of the Arts London launched two 22-month long projects tackling the under-representation of curators and artists from diverse backgrounds at senior levels in the visual arts in the UK. Ten curators and twelve artists based in the UK were selected as the result of an open call and will work closely with ICF Creative Director David A. Bailey and Head of Programmes Jessica Taylor. During the project, participants will take part in one-to-one mentoring with leading professionals, have the opportunity to take part in group masterclasses and forum, attend conferences and embark on international site visits. The twelve selected artists will showcase their work in the first ever Diaspora Pavilion during the 57th Venice Biennale (May 13th – November 26th 2017) alongside their mentors. A selection of works from exhibition will then travel back the UK so as to be accessible to local audiences. 

Selected artists: Larry Achiampong, Barby Asante, Libita Clayton, Kimathi Donkor, Ray Fiasco, Michael Forbes, Khadija Saye, susan pui san lok, Paul Maheke, Erika Tan, Barbara Walker and Abbas Zahedi

Mentors: Sokari Douglas Camp, Ellen Gallagher, Nicola Green, Joy Gregory, Isaac Julien, Dave Lewis, Hew Locke, Vong Phaophanie & Claire Oboussier and Yinka Shonibare MBE

Selected curators: Kat Anderson, Lisa Anderson, Azadeh Fatehrad, Enam Gbewonyo, Annie Jael Kwan, Sooree Pillay, Sunil Shah, Armin Shooshtari, Cynthia Silveira and Kasia Sobucka

Mentors: Adelaide Bannerman, Iwona Blazwick, Paul Goodwin, Skinder Hundal, Melanie Keen, Sally Tallant, Allison Thompson, Carol Tulloch and Zoe Whitley

Both programmes were presented in partnership with University of the Arts London and made possible with support from Arts Council England Elevate and International Showcasing grants. Additional support came from Bloomberg Contemporaries and the Art Fund. 

ICF x Liverpool Biennial 2016

ICF x the Liverpool Biennial 2016

6-9 October, Liverpool 

In October 2016 ICF launched an open call to curators and facilitators based in the UK from diverse backgrounds to join the ICF team and actively participate in a three-day long series of events at the Liverpool Biennial. This programme functioned as a pilot for the larger Beyond the Frame programme, that would be launched in November 2016. 

Participating practitioners: Ajamu, Beatriz Salinas, Bianca Manu, Cedric Fauq, Ian Sergeant, Liz Chege, Teresa Cisneros, Lasana Shabazz and Sharmain Forde.  

In partnership with Liverpool Biennial, ICF held a series of events, which included a tour of the Biennial, professional networking events, attendance at the Biennial conference, as well as a performance and masterclass by New York based artist Coco Fusco.

The masterclass enabled the selected curators and facilitators to speak to Fusco about her practice and upcoming performance, as well as her experience of exhibiting in Biennials. Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist and writer who explores the politics of gender, race, war and identity through videos, performances and installations. Her work often incorporates performances at cultural events that engage with the audience.  

This programme was supported by Arts Council England and University of the Arts London.           

Curating the International Diaspora: Gwangju

Curating the International Diaspora: Gwangju, South Korea

September 2016

Curating the International Diaspora is a project that involves working with curators and artists from culturally diverse background across five countries between March 2016 and March 2017. By attending and participating in events in London, the Caribbean, Sharjah during the Sharjah Biennial and Gwangju during the Gwangju Biennial, a group of curators were able to experience and engage with some of most relevant projects and professionals addressing contemporary art and curatorial practice, and to network with a global artistic community, thus offering exceptional opportunities for professional development.

Curating The International Diaspora was an integrated 12-month programme that builds upon ICF’s expansive existing international networks, cultural partnerships and expertise. The project established new knowledge in the relationship between the study of cultural diasporas and contemporary curating, made possible by a programme of focused public events to be held in the UK, the UAE, South Korea and the Caribbean between 2016 and 2017.

Curating The International Diaspora saw the development of different programmes at each site that took the shape of public conferences and programmes, exhibition and biennial tours, workshops and studio visits with artists to collectively explore three themes:

  1. What is the impact of cultural diasporas on the field of contemporary visual art curatorship in particular? 
  2. Which patterns of migration have been evident in the field of contemporary art curating? 
  3. How have contemporary curators represented diaspora through their projects?

After attending and participating in the Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting in March 2016, and executing a symposium in London at Chelsea College of Art in June of the same year, the project moved to Gwangju in South Korea where a public symposium entitled Is the Curator an Agent or Double Agent of Cultural Identity? was held at at Asia Culture Center (1 -2 September 2016) 

Participating speakers included: 
Sheikha Hoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi (President and Director, Sharjah Art Foundation)
Jeonhwan Cho (Research Fellow of Asia Culture Center)
Graeme Mortimer Evelyn (Artist; Independent Curator)
Melanie Keen (Director, Iniva)
Namsoo Kim (Art Critic; Former Curator, Nam June Paik Art Center)
Giuseppe Moscatello (Director, Maraya Art Centre)
Yongsung Paik (Philosopher; Artistic director of 2016 AASN project)
Kyong Park (Professor, UCSD; Director of ‘Imagining New Eurasia‘)
Sara Raza (Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East & North Africa for the New York museum)
Judith Greer (International Programmes Director, Sharjah Art Foundation)
JW Stella (Director of JAC; International Associate Curator of Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art)
Jessica Taylor (ICF Head of Programmes)
Mark Waugh (ICF Chairman; Head of Research and Innovation, DACS)
Jian Jun Xi (Artist; Director, UKCAA)

The symposium was curated by JW Stella and Mark Waugh and was presented as a collaboration between Asia Culture Center, Gwangju and International Curators Forum, London, with support from Arts Council England and University of the Arts London. 

The Curating The International Diaspora program will investigate how emergent cultural diasporas have impacted the curatorship of contemporary visual arts specifically and how new models of contemporary curating have developed as a consequence of these effects. The project will demonstrate how curatorial practice has been radically transformed by the diaspora of people, intellectuals, artists, and cultural workers.

For intellectual and cultural diasporas from diverse origins and disciplines, a new kind of curatorial practice has attempted to represent these changes by creating what Ute Meta Bauer has called ‘a space of refuge – an in-between space of transition and of diasporic passage’ for cultural workers across the world.

Whereas increased global mobilities, displacement, and the vast emigration of cultural producers has had a profound effect on contemporary art and curatorial practice for the last three decades, focused research has not been conducted on the impact of these developments.

Similarly, little attempt has been made to understand how curatorial practice in Asia has been influenced by cross-cultural diasporas or how the emergence of a more globalised art world has taken account of these new networks, flows and their dispersal, which increasingly operate at an international, trans-national, multi-national and global level, with the local and global in constant dialogue with one another.

Issues of cultural identity and representation are highly debated topics at the moment. In the current geopolitical and economic circumstances, the world is increasingly facing the rise of ‘nationalism’ as a dominant discourse, often justified as a sense of self-protection of ‘the people’ under an assumed homogenous collective identity against the heterogeneous ‘otherness’. There is growing concern in the international artistic community about censorship and the closing down of public opportunities to engage with international cultures, despite increasing globalization of cultural flows and practices, facilitated by the advent of digital technologies, social media platforms, and the increasing circulation of products and populations.

In celebration of it’s inauguration of the new Asia Culture Centre in Gwangju, South Korea, this symposium aims to explore the role of curatorial practice and art institutions of Asia in questioning the very notion of (collective) identity and creating a critical space for cultural cross-pollination and encounters within the current geopolitical context.

After the symposium, the group visited the 2016 Gwangju Biennial entitled The Eighth Climate: What Does Art Do curated by Maria Lind, and then travelled to Seoul to visit the Seoul International Media Art Biennale and MMCA Seoul. Ar

Curating the International Diaspora: London

Curating the International Diaspora: London

Chelsea College of Art 

ICF partnered with TrAIN (Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation) to present the London iteration of Curating the International Diaspora programme on 16 June 2016 at Chelsea College of Art. This symposium was the first of four international programmes held in the UK, the UAE, South Korea and the Caribbean to investigate how emergent cultural diaspora have impacted the curatorship of contemporary visual arts specifically and how new models of contemporary curating have developed as a consequence of these effect. The project demonstrated how curatorial practice has been radically transformed by the diaspora of people, intellectuals, artists and cultural workers. 

Panelists included:
David A Bailey (Artistic Director, ICF)
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Artistic Director, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin and Curator-at-Large, Documenta 14)
Jelle Bouwhuis (Curator, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam)
Elvira Dyangani Ose
(Curator, Göteborg International Biennial and Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, London)
Melanie Keen
(Director, Iniva)
Paul Goodwin
(Curator and Director, TrAIN Research Centre, University of the Arts London)

More than any other field of enquiry, contemporary art curatorship has felt the impact of diasporas. Since the late 1980s, contemporary curating has moved from being primarily associated with museum and exhibition display to a practice understood as the organisation, framing and circulation of ideas around global cultural production, its mediation and its dissemination. During this time, the world has experienced an increased movement of languages, cultures and identities. For intellectual and cultural diasporas from diverse origins and disciplines, a new kind of curatorial practice has attempted to represent these changes by creating what Ute Meta Bauer has called ‘a space of refuge – an in-between space of transition and of diasporic passage’ for cultural workers across the world.

During the past two decades there has not only been a proliferation of large-scale global exhibitions, but an exponential rise in trans-national curatorial projects taking diaspora as both their main focus and dominant theme. Since 1989, all large-scale global exhibitions in some way or another, from the first truly global exhibition ‘Les Magiciens de la Terre’ (1989) to Documenta 11 (2002), to the 11th International Istanbul Bienal (2009) have all engaged with and contributed to a widening of the issues as to how to present diverse cultural diasporas, and how their accompanying new networks of cultural co-operation have contributed to post-colonial models of curatorial practice that have explored beyond previously-established Western centres of artistic production.

 

Curating the International Diaspora: Sharjah 2016

Curating the International Diaspora: Sharjah

March 2016 

ICF selected eight UK-based curators to be delegates invited to participate in the 2016 Sharjah Art Foundation March Meeting as a professional development opportunity. 

Selected participants included: 
Paul Goodwin (Director, TrAIN) 
Marlene Smith (Artist) 
David Dibosa (Tutor, MA Curating at Chelsea College of Art) 
Allison Thompson (Curator and Delfina Foundation Resident)
Melanie Keen (Director, Iniva) 
Sophie Orlando (Independent curator) 
Yasmina Reggad (Independent curator) 
Jessica Taylor (ICF Team and Independent curator)

The group attended keynote lectures, panel discussions and screenings by notable professionals, and attended these events alongside colleagues from partner orgainsations such as the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Dubai Art Fair, using the Meeting as a networking opportunity to investigate the potential for future collaborations. This gathering of arts professionals is one of the key events in the arts calendar, and the 2016 iteration focused on Education, Engagement and Participation, exploring how institutions, initiatives, curators and artists have increasingly prioritised their relationships with audiences and communities through these three arenas. 

This trip formed part of the research and development for the Curating the International Diaspora programme, which involved working with curators and artists from culturally diverse backgrounds across five countries between March 2016 and March 2017. By attending and participating in events in London, the Caribbean, Sharjah during the Sharjah Biennial and Gwangju during the Gwangju Biennial, a group of arts practitioners were able to experience and engage with some of most relevant projects and professionals addressing contemporary art and curatorial practice, and to network with a global artistic community, thus offering exceptional opportunities for professional development.

Curating The International Diaspora was an integrated 24-month programme that builds upon ICF’s expansive existing international networks, cultural partnerships and expertise. The project established new knowledge in the relationship between the study of cultural diasporas and contemporary curating, made possible by a programme of focused public events to be held in the UK, the UAE region, South Korea and the Caribbean between 2016 and 2017.

Curating The International Diaspora saw the development of different programmes at each site that took the shape of public conferences and programmes, exhibition and biennial tours, workshops and studio visits with artists to collectively explore three themes:

  1. What is the impact of cultural diasporas on the field of contemporary visual art curatorship in particular? 
  2. Which patterns of migration have been evident in the field of contemporary art curating? 
  3. How have contemporary curators represented diaspora through their projects?

The Sharjah Art Foundation would become a partner for the Curating the International Diaspora programme, along with Asia Art Centre in Gwangju and University of the Arts London in London. 

Mirage, 20 Years On

Mirage, 20 Years On

ICA London

Mirage, 20 Years On was a symposium marking the 20th anniversary of the the groundbreaking exhibition Mirage: Enigmas Of Race, Difference & Desire curated by ICF Creative Director David A. Bailey and organised in partnership with Iniva. The symposium, which took place on 20 October 2015, set out to ask the questions:

‘If the 1995 exhibition marked a moment of considering the importance of Franz Fanon and ways in which his writings on post-colonialism, identity, cinema and psychoanalysis intertwined with artistic practices and race, then what should the contemporary moment reflect upon? Where are we now in relation to structural violence, de-colonising culture and relations, and the power of aesthetics and its explorations of complex formations of racial identities?’

The symposium was organised in three parts:
1. Platforms and the desire for institutional frameworks
2. Networks and circulations of agency and resistance
3. Mediated bodies and the techno-diaspora  

And the speakers included:
Greg de Cuir Jr. (Writer)
Evan Ifekoya (Artist)
Lyle Ashton Harris (Artist)
Allison Thompson (Independent Curator)
Morgan Quaintance (Independent Curator)
Melanie Keen (Director, Iniva)
Yasmina Reggad (Independent Curator)
Osei Bonsu (Independent Curator)

The symposium was organised by ICF in partnership with University of the Arts London, the Curating Contemporary Art Programme at the Royal College of Art, Live Art Development Agency and Tiwani Contemporary. Funding and support came from Arts Council England, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research Harvard University and Henry Louis Gates Jr.