Who is a curator? What is their role in the dynamics of the art world? When and where did this ever present protagonist emerge and what exactly do they represent today? These are a few of the fundamental questions that curatorial practices seeks to answer as a means to inform students about the crucial role curators play in today’s cultural landscape.
This course is both theoretical and practical. It outlines a genealogy of curatorship in the 20th and 21st centuries. It considers the evolution of curatorship: its differences and similarities with other roles (i.e. museum director, critic of art). Lessons will focus on pivotal exhibitions, biennials and other cultural events which contributed to help define the meaning and function of the curator. Special attention will be devoted to the latest evolution of counter narratives of curatorial activism.
The practical side is about curatorial strategies, practices and attitudes: to write a concept, to deal with artists, gallerists and institutions, to put up an exhibition, to write a press release etc. All the subject matter will be treated through open discussion and assignments. The course includes several day trips to contemporary art galleries, non-profit spaces and museums in Florence and its surroundings. The conclusion of the course consists in a group show collectively curated.