Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
This study departs from the observation that since the late 1980´s educational programmes for curators have been established and since then expanded greatly. The programmes are part of a process of institutionalization and professionalization of the role of the curator within the international contemporary art field where the role as such has gained much power. Even though many statements have been made about this relatively new phenomenon of curatorial studies, there is a lack of sufficient research. The intention of this study is therefore to examine the educational programmes as such. The selection of 15 programmes has been made with the purpose to include early as well as newly established and to cover a wide geographic area. The starting point has been to ask what kind of knowledge and role of the curator the programmes are given prominence to. Using Michel Foucault´s and Norman Fairclough´s theory and methods on discourses I examine the programmes as a discursive practice. The analysis shows that there is a strong coherence within the field of the programmes and certain ideals, conventions and procedures are shared among them. The programmes are highly dependent on the professional field of curators – individuals as well as institutions are frequently being invited to lecture and support the students. The application procedures make sure that students who are willing to adopt to given ideals and norms, are being accepted. Furthermore the ideal role of the curator has been defined with the following concepts – new institutionalism, an expanded working field and discursive curating. The curator is highlighted as creative, critical and independent. These concepts have been singled out and made explicitly unique for the role of the curator by the programmes although aspects have clearly been taken from the role of the artist and the critics. The result has been a stronger competition between these positions. The programmes are institutions that promote the curator as an important and irreplaceable agent and to claim even a stronger position new assets have been singled out in the form of a theoretical and academic capital.
Educational programmes included in the study: École du Magasin, Grenoble, Whitney Independent Study Program, New York, Curating Contemporary Art, Art Royal College of Art, London, De Appel Curatorial Programme, Amsterdam, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, MFA Curating, Goldsmiths, London, CuratorLab - Curatorial Program for Professionals in Arts, Crafts and Design, Konstfack, Stockholm, Curating Art - International Master Programme in Curating Art, including Management and Law, Stockholm university, Curatorial practice, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, Post-graduate Programme in Curating, Zürich University of the Arts, PhD-programme Curatorial/Knowledge, Goldsmiths, London, Cultures of the Curatorial, Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, CuMMA - Curating, Managing and Mediating Art, Aalto University, Helsinki, PhD-programme Curating, Zürich University of the Arts in collaboration with the university of Reading, Praxis Master’s Programme, Finnish Art Academy, Helsinki.
2012. , 75 p.
contemporary art curator, curatorial study programmes, curatorial practice, role of the curator, discourse analysis, Michel Foucault, Norman Fairclough