Art & Curating

The international Spring Academy of the BERLIN ART INSTITUTE takes place online from May 18  21, 2020. The program of the Spring Academy is developed in cooperation with artists and theorists. This year it is about Art & Curating. 


Monday, May 18, 2020
Collections, Histories, Speculations, and Myths
Lecture and Q&A by Özge Ersoy, curator, writer & public programmes lead at ASIA ART ARCHIVE

“What is the potential of collections in rethinking how knowledge is accessed, interpreted, and shared? What is the role of the curator in creating frameworks of discussion around collections and their users? Taking its cue from these questions, this talk focuses on two case studies: (i) collectorspace, an Istanbul-based nonprofit initiative that opens private contemporary art collections to the public and provokes discussions on collecting through its exhibitions, public programs, and publications, and (ii) Asia Art Archive, a Hong Kong–based nonprofit that was initiated in 2000 with the aim to document and preserve lesser visible histories of art in the region and to encourage participation and collaborative research through exhibitions, residencies, and public programs.” (Text by courtesy of Özge Ersoy)  

Özge Ersoy is Public Programs Lead at Asia Art Archive, an independent arts organization based in Hong Kong. Özge is also Research and Programming Associate for the 13th Gwangju Biennale (2020) and Managing Editor of, an online publication conceived as an artist-centered initiative. Her writings have been included in Curating Under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity (Routledge, 2020), The Constituent Museum (Valiz and L’Internationale, 2018), Erkan Özgen: Giving Voices (Sternberg, Fundació Han Nefkens and Fundació Antoni Tàpies, 2018), and Speculation, Now (Duke University Press and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, 2014), among others. She holds an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

Tuesday, May 19, 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. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Togetherness in Experiment, #DieBalkone
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 and Hochschule für Bildende Kunst Braunschweig & Joanna Warsza, curator & Program Director of CuratorLab at Konstfack University of Arts in Stockholm

“The driving question of “Die Balkone: Life, Art, Pandemic and Proximity” -the initiative that took place during the Easter weekend on the windows and balconies of Prenzlauer Berg- is a well-known one: How does art respond to our time? It was an urgency that put us into motion, to break the helplessness which is intensified by the media. The postponed exhibitions and events, fired museum educators, collapsing budgets, the feeling that whatever we do we can only do in the digital, and without asking who profits from it. And in the meantime when we lock ourselves in, some governments are taking dangerous decisions to consolidate their power that may change the course of the future after Covid-19. To be able to translate what Naomi Klein very recently phrased as “to kick the door of radical possibility open” to our field of contemporary art meant challenging exhibition/project making structures and codes of working. To go on the ground, to start from where we know best, to realize a response, a gesture in a short while, no budget, no commissioning frame, no commissioning at all, no funders, no opening, no spectacle, no fly in and out, no view and preview, no VIP and no champagne, no market in the way we usually exercise in the professional contemporary art world. The common concern we all had with the participants has been more substantial than the ‘normal’ codes of conduct.” (Text by courtesy of Övül Durmusoglu)

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 and a visiting professor for Art and Discourse in Hochschule für Bildende Kunst Braunschweig. She has very recently co-initiated “Die Balkone: Life, Art, Pandemic and Proximity” in Berlin with Joanna Warsza. Her other recent curatorial project ‘Stars Are Closer and Clouds Are Nutritious Under Golden Trees’ took 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). With her writing Övül contributes to different publications, online platforms and magazines such as Texte zur Kunst and Frieze.

Joanna Warsza is a Program Director of CuratorLab at Konstfack University of Arts in Stockholm, and an independent curator interested in how art functions politically and socially outside the white cubes. She was the Artistic Director of Public Art Munich 2018, curator of the Georgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale and associate curator of the 7th Berlin Biennale among others. In Spring 2020 together with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu she co-initiated ‘Die Balkone. Life, art, pandemic and proximity’ in windows and balconies of Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, where they both live.

Thursday, May 21, 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).

This year the BAI Spring Academy is free of charge.

May 18 – 21, 2020 | International Spring Academy