Art & Curating

The international Spring Academy of the BERLIN ART INSTITUTE takes place from April 27 30, 2020The program of the Spring Academy is developed in cooperation with artists and theorists. This year it is about Art & Curating. We are currently planning it as an online course!


Monday, April 27, 2020
Introduction to the topic and Q&A by Dr. Elena Agudio, art historian, curator & artistic co-director at S A V V Y Contemporary

“One could understand curatorial practice as a form of troubling, a space to foster the insurgency of alternative epistemologies and of heuristic disturbances. Here troubling should be understood positively: troubling canons, hegemonic knowledge systems, and confronting the difficult legacies in the present society. It is the trouble-maker, the killjoy that we need. There is too much curating and too much political thinking that is not concerned with questioning the logics by which we do things, and instead focuses on getting more things done in a bigger and more efficient ways. This talk grapples with the understanding of curating to use troubling as a form of public acting. Curating trouble could in fact mean ‘putting together’, ‘selecting’, ‘choosing’ the kinds of troubles we wish to enact, the gears we wish to grind. Curators as killjoys interrupt the happy, affirmative narrative about the present and past. In this talk I will elaborate on possibilities of interrupting narratives of white supremacy, and confronting the presumed happy progressive criticality of the contemporary art world, by naming its tokenistic essentialisms, its sexist reductions, and belittling patronisms. (Text by courtesy of Dr. Elena Agudio)

Elena Agudio is a Berlin-based art historian and curator. She studied Art History at the University of Venice – Ca’ Foscari and in 2010 she received her PhD in Contemporary Art and Design. She is interested in curatorial practices as forms of troubling, with a focus on its performative and relational aspects. Since 2013 she has been artistic co-director of SAVVY Contemporary, where she curates and co-curates exhibition projects, discursive programmes and series, among which recently: Speaking Feminisms/We Who Are Not The Same dedicated to an exploration of current feminist practices and alliances, That, Around Which The Universe Revolves investigating rhythmanalysis and the interrelations of space and time, memory, architecture and urban space, How Does The World Breathe Now, a film screening series critically reflecting on our now and the role of art in the society. She is also artistic director of the non profit association Association of Neuroesthetics (AoN)_Platform for Art and Neuroscience, a project in collaboration with the Medical University of Charité and The School of Mind and Brain of the Humboldt University encouraging both a dialogue and lasting cooperation between contemporary art and the cognitive sciences. She is member of *foundationClass at the Weissensee School of Art in Berlin, where she teaches art histories and runs seminars. In 2017 and 2018 she was Guestprofessor at HfBK (Kunsthochschule für Bildende Künste) in Hamburg and Resident Fellow at Helsinki University of the Arts.

Among the last curated and co-curated projects: Exlamating Still! On the Noise of Images (Rencontres de Bamako – African Biennale of Photography); Ultrasanity. On Madness, Sanitation, Antipsychiatry and Resistance (SAVVY Contemporary); Soil is an Inscribed Body. On Sovereignty and Agropoetics (SAVVY Contemporary); Ecologies of Darkness. Building Ground of Shifting Sands (SAVVY Contemporary); Whose Land Have I Lit On Now? Contemplations on the Notions of Hostipitality (SAVVY Contemporary); yet incomputable. Indetermination In The Age of Hypervisibility And Algorithmic Control (Sammlung Falckenberg, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg) SAVVY FUNK. An iteration of Every Time A Ear di Soun — a documenta 14 Radio Program (SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, in collaboration with Documenta 14 and Deutschlandfunk); Ivana Franke: Retreat into Darkness. Towards a Phenomenology of the Unknown (Schering Stiftung, Berlin), Amos Gitai. The Law of the Pursuer (Forum Expanded, Berlinale 2017, SAVVY Contemporary); The Incantation of the Disquieting Muse. On Divinity, Supra-Realities or the Exorcisement of Witchery (SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin), What the Tortoise murmurs to Achilles. On Laziness, Economy of Time and Productivity  (SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin), Feeback Control Mode (HALLE 14, Leipzig), Giving Contours to Shadows (Neuer Berliner Kunstverein n.b.k., Maxim Gorki Theater, SAVVY Contemporary, VANSA Johannesburg, Kër Thiossane Dakar, Marrakech Biennale), The Ultimate Capital is the Sun. Metabolism Metabolismus in Art, Politics, Philosophy and Science (nGbK Berlin), In other Words. The black market of translations – negotiating contemporary cultures (nGbK Berlin and Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien).

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Lecture and Q&A by Övül Durmusoglu, curator, writer & visiting professor at the Graduate School at the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Scienes (BAS) of Berlin University of the Arts

Övül Ö. Durmusoglu is a curator and writer living in Berlin. Her interests lie in the intersection of contemporary art, critical and gender theory, politics and popular culture. As a curator, she acts between exhibition making and public programming, singular languages and collective energies, material and immaterial abstractions, worldly immersions and political cosmologies. Currently, Övül is mentor and program leader in the Graduate School in University of the Arts in Berlin; section curator for ARCO Madrid and guest curator in CA2M Madrid. Her very recent curatorial project ‘Stars Are Closer and Clouds Are Nutritious Under Golden Trees’ has taken place in the MMAG Foundation, Amman. In the past, Övül was curator for steirischer herbst festival in Graz; curator/director for YAMA public screen in Istanbul; curatorial advisor for Gülsün Karamustafa’s ‘Chronographia’ at Hamburger Bahnhof, artistic director for the festival Sofia Contemporary 2013 titled as ‘Near, Closer, Together: Exercises for a Common Ground’. She curated programs within 10th, 13th and 14th Istanbul Biennials; coordinated and organized different programs and events at Maybe Education and Public Programs for dOCUMENTA (13). She has taught in Nuremberg Academy of Fine Arts, Linz University of Arts, and Muthesius Arts University in Kiel. With her writing Övül contributes to different publications, online platforms and magazines such as Texte zur Kunst and Frieze.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Lecture and Q&A by Krist Gruijthuijsen, curator, art critic & director KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Krist Gruijthuijsen speaks about his curatorial mission, the structure, programmatic approach and current programm of KW.

Krist Gruijthuijsen (born in 1980, NL) is curator, and director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art since July 2016. At KW he has curated exhibitions with, among others, Hanne Lippard, Ian Wilson, Adam Pendleton, Ronald Jones, Hiwa K, Willem de Rooij, Beatriz González, David Wojnarowicz and Hreinn Friðfinnsson. 
Gruijthuijsen has been artistic director of the Grazer Kunstverein in Graz from 2012 until 2016 and has been course director of the MA fine arts department at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam from 2011 until 2016. He is one of the co-founding directors of Kunstverein in Amsterdam and has organized numerous exhibitions and projects over the past decade, including Manifesta 7 (Trentino-South Tyrol, IT), Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center (Istanbul), Artists Space (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Belgrade, RS), Swiss Institute (New York), Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo, BR), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, NL), Arnolfini (Bristol, GB), Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City, US), and Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane, AU). 
Gruijthuijsen has produced, edited and published extensively in numerous collaborations with JRP|Ringier Kunstverlag, Sternberg Press, Mousse Publishing Printed Matter, Inc., Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and Kunstverein Publishing. Recent publications are amongst others MIERLE LADERMAN UKELES – SEVEN WORK BALLETS (Sternberg Press, 2015), VINCENT FECTEAU (Sternberg Press, 2015), WRITINGS AND CONVERSATIONS BY DOUG ASHFORD (Mousse Publishing, 2014), LISA OPPENHEIM: WORKS 2003–2013 (Sternberg Press, 2014), THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FICTIONAL ARTISTS AND THE ADDITION (JRP|Ringier, 2010), and several others under the umbrella of Kunstverein Publishing. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020
Lecture and Q&A What ever happens we must be prepared* by Maria Isserlis, curator, art historian & a co-founder of the curatorial platform A:D: based in Berlin & Dresden

*Alban Muja

The lecture by Maria Isserlis will offer some insights into creative exhibition making and her recent projects: Dreams of Freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany, Albertinum, Dresden and Solo Show of Alban Muja at the National Gallery of Pristina, KO.

Whilst studying Art History and Media Science at the Friedrich-Schiller-University, Maria Isserlis (born 1986, Kyiv, UA) became an assistant curator in the Contemporary Art Department of the State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, RU), where she realised numerous shows including End of Fun by Chapman Brothers, while also working parallel as a freelance curator for the Goethe Institute St. Petersburg

After returning to Germany she was based in Berlin and organised the exhibition Home of Future at the Haus am Waldsee Museum. Since 2013 Maria has been working as the General Coordinator of MANIFESTA 10 (St. Petersburg, RU). Following Manifesta 11 (Zurich, CH) Maria joined the curatorial team of the biennial and curated part of new productions including Maurizio Cattelan, Mario Garcia Torres and Aslı Çavuşoğlu new works. In 2016-17 Maria was an exhibition director at the V-A-C Foundation Zattere (Venice, IT) and produced the exhibition Space Force Construction in collaboration with Chicago Art Institute (USA). In 2017 and 2018 she was a co-curator of the first and second edition of  aresearch program, AKI AORA (Tulum, MEX). From Sept. 2019 Maria joined the curatorial team of the museum Albertinum (Dresden). Currently Maria curates the solo show of Alban Muja at the Pristina National Gallery (Pristina, KO).

The participation fee is 140 € per person. As a participant of the BAI Studio Program in block 05 or the BAI Friends Program the spring academy is free of charge.

The fee is VAT-exempt by the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery Higher Education and Research pursuant to Paragraph 4 No. (21) (a)(bb) UStG (German Value Added Tax Act).

April 27 – 30, 2020 | International Spring Academy