Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Presnya Museum Hosts Moscow Curatorial Summer School

The intensive development of the contemporary art system in Russia has turned the curator into one of the most important and at the same time problematic figures within the Russian cultural context.

What are the professional boundaries and competences of a curator? What are his/her author’s rights and professional duties? What are the levels of knowledge and skills that define this new sphere of professional activity? How should this specialized experience be applied and portrayed professionally?

The Moscow Curatorial Summer School aims to become an important step towards answering these questions. The initiative was conceived by the V-A-C Foundation in 2012 as an annual programme to open every July and last for three weeks. It engages leading international and Russian experts in theory, history and curatorial practice. Every year, the theoretical and practical course studies focus on one specific topic, which becomes the central theme of the school and of an educational project, directed by an established curator.

Students selected to take part in the summer school are chosen on the basis of their applications, and the class consists of 20-25 people. Students are involved in the preparation of curatorial projects and seminars, while the lectures are open to the public.

The theme of the first Moscow Curatorial Summer School was “Doing Exhibitions Politically,” underlining the creative nature and sociopolitical sense of curatorial statements. Together with curatorial group WHW (Croatia), students developed three virtual exhibition projects that were represented in the design of exhibition posters.

In March 2013, the first Moscow Curatorial Summer School was short-listed for the Innovation Prize (a Russian national prize for achievements in contemporary art) in the “Theory, criticism and art history” nomination.

The theme of the second Moscow Curatorial Summer School is “This is the Show and the Show is Many Things,” referring to Belgium curator Bart de Baere’s pioneering 1994 exhibition.

This year, the school explores examples of curatorial practise that go beyond the traditional exhibition structure, with a series of seminars and lectures that aim to prove that a curatorial project can be “many things”—social and political activism, collective research, intellectual discussion, group travel, par institutional activity, and much more.

For this second edition of the summer school, the outstanding curatorial and artist group Raqs Media Collective (New Delhi, India) were invited to develop an educational project as part of the programme.

The programme director is contemporary art curator, critic, and theorist Viktor Misiano.

The author of this year’s programme concept is Raqs Media Collective.

Lecturers taking part this year include Bruce Altshuler, Irina Aristarkhova, Bart de Baere, Pascal Gielen, Mary Jane Jacob and Russell Lewis, Vivana Checchia, Gunalan Nadarajan, Erik Hagoort, IRWIN Group, Stephanie Smith, Grant Kester, Madina Tlostanova and Valery Podoroga.

The 2013 Moscow Curatorial Summer School honours the memory of Seth Siegelaub.

V-A-C Foundation is a not-for-profit private institution founded in Moscow in 2009 committed to supporting contemporary art in Russia. Our focus is directed towards contemporary art and cultural practice with the aim of providing a platform for creativity in the wider sense of the word. We strive to be actively engaged in artistic production, rather than the patronage or sponsorship of ongoing artistic processes. V-A-C is deeply committed to the growing importance of art made in Russia as well as the new generations of artists from around the world.

Moscow Curatorial Summer School July 2013
Presnya Museum, Moscow