The 4th Summer Seminars for Art Curators 
Towards Collaborative Curating: Contemporary Curatorial Education in the Age of the Global Art Market 
27 July – 2 August 2009; Yerevan, Armenia 

Project Description

The 3rd International Summer Seminars’ Program for contemporary art curators, took place from July 21-August 2 in Yerevan, Armenia. The project had been realized in collaboration with SCCA-Ljubljana in Slovenia, SCCA-Alma-Aty in Kazakhstan and Beral Madra Center for Contemporary Art in Istanbul. 

The program is comprised of a series of lectures, presentations and workshops that centre around issues related to the methodologies of curating, the role of the curator in the ever-increasing globalization of the art market, strategies of representation and institutional structures in the contemporary art world. The theme of the 2008 project Post-Socialism and Media Transformations: Strategies of Representation will focus on aspects of new media representation in the specific context of post-Socialism. The aim is to look at transformations in the uses of media for artistic production and the mechanisms of representation in the artistic scenes of former socialist countries, with an awareness of ideological connotations of new media utilization. We will look at the transformation of the media use historically, taking into account those larger social and cultural conditions that have shaped dominant modes of new media art production, representation and reception in the post-Socialist context. Coinciding with the 6th Giumry Biennale held in Giumry, Armenia, the participants of the program will have an opportunity to contribute to the Biennale. The format of the contribution will be developed throughout the workshop depending upon the workshop leader’s and participants’ initiative. The intensive two-week program will comprise of a theory and method courses, as well as a curatorial workshop. The courses will be combined with presentations by local and international artists, curators, art historians and cultural workers as well as with visits to artists’ studios, galleries and museums in Yerevan. The participants will gain knowledge not only about theoretical and methodological issues related to curatorial practices but will also get acquainted with Armenian artists, curators, critics as well as institutional structures in the field of contemporary art in Armenia. Throughout the past two years of the program, the participants have developed a lively forum of alumni networking through collaborating with each other on common themes in the form of exhibitions, symposia and publications. The courses and the workshop are conducted by internationally renowned academics and curators.


Description of courses


Olesya TURKINA | Curatorial Methods I: Post-Socialism and Media Conditions: Strategies of Representations 
Instructor: 10 sessions 
The course is dedicated to the history of the formation of art discourses and strategies of representations in Post-Socialist conditions since the beginning of the 1990s until nowadays. It consists of theoretical and practical parts. The course starts with an analysis of what I call the New Dis-order situation taking place in post-Socialist countries to the recent attempts to re-construct Grand Narratives. The course underlines approximately 3 periods in the strategies of representations that can be indicated as "Looking for the New Avant-garde", "Empire Strikes Back" and "The Message of the Media". The theoretical thesis will be illustrated by extensively drawing upon exhibition practices, including such significant events as the exhibition “After the Wall” and new biennials initiated during this period in the territory of post-Socialist countries. 
Olesya Turkina: Art critic, curator and Senior Research Fellow in Contemporary Art Department at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. Her international projects include Russian Pavilion at the 48th Venice Biennial (1999). She has written to various art magazines: Moscow Art Magazine, Paradoxa ( London ), Cultural Studies, Kabinet (St.Petersurg), Siksi (Nordic Art Review ), Flash Art International and catalogues: Europe, Kunst. Hannover, 1991; Manifesta 2, 1998; After the Wall, Stockholm, 1999; Manifesta 3, 2000, Berlin Moskau Kunst. 1950-2000 . Martin-Gropius-Bau. 2003 . She teaches Contemporary Art at Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University. Since 1999 she is a Member of the Russian Space Federation. 


Anthony AUERBACH | Curatorial Methods II: Relations of Representation 
Instructor: 5 sessions 
For Information about the course, follow the link below: 
http://vargas.org.uk/projects/yerevan/ 

Anthony Auerbach: Artist and theorist based in London and Maastricht, Anthony Auerbach is a research fellow at Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His projects, dealing with the issues of mapping memory and surveillance through video technologies, include Video as Urban Condition (ongoing) and INS Inspectorate Berlin.


Petja GRAFENAUER KRANC | Painting in the Era of the New Media 
Instructor: 5 sessions 
The focus of the workshop will be on two subjects: 
• contemporary painting and its relation and expansion through other media; 
• the questions regarding the ways in which the contemporary art discourse is taking shape and its role in art institutions as well curatorial practices in this process. 
The Course will be divided into the following sessions 
1. Stepping into the ‘Contemporary ' ( Painting and its ideology in socialism and post-socialism and its expansion through other media [video, installation, digital image…] -lecture 
2. How to Write about Painting – New Art History and Criticism - reading seminar 
3 . How to Think about Painting in the Age of New Media - field trip to an artist's studio 
4 . Writing about Contemporary Painting in the Age of New Media - workshop 
5 . Writing about Contemporary Painting the Age of New Media - workshop and conclusion 

Petja Grafenauer Krnc (1976, Ljubljana ) is a PhD candidate of Visual anthropology at Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis in Ljubljana. Currently, she is working as an independent curator at the Ganes Pratt Gallery. She lectures at Famul Stuart, School of Applied Arts and World of Art School at SCCA - Center for Contemporary Arts Ljubljana. She regularly contributes articles to several Slovene and international art periodicals; the themes she is dealing with being especially painting and the construction of the Slovenian art world discourse in the realm of modernism and contemporary art.


Dominique ABENSOUR| Practical Workshop 
10 Sessions and a field-trip 
In the frame of her workshop, Dominique Abensour will instruct the participants to prepare an exhibition project to be realized at the Biennale of Gumri. The implementation of the project will be conducted by the Armenian participants led by Nazareth Karoyan. During the first week, the participants will be introduced art pieces coming from different French public collections as well as that of Armenian artists. During the weekend the participants will have a field trip to Giumry. The second week will be dedicated to a construction of the project. The exhibition will be based on the topic of the Biennale- Parallel Histories. Its vocation is to illustrate the artistic apports with the story. 

Dominique Abensour is the director of the Quartier, a centre for contemporary art in Bretagne's city of Quimper, France. She has curated a number of exhibitions, including those of Pat Steir, Tania Mouraud, Gorges Adéagbo, James Hyde, Jean-Pierre Bertrand, Yuri Leiderman, Raphaëlle de Groot and etc. In 1990-1994 she was in charge of cultural activities of the National Gallery of Jeu de Paume in Paris, while also employed by Gorges Pompidou Center. She has extensively thought in various art schools in Valence, Dijon, Reims, Quimper. 


Presenters’ Abstracts and Biographies


Dušan Dovč: SCCA-Ljubljana, Slovenia 
July 23th, Wednesday, Mkhitar Sebastatsi Art College 
During a three-part presentation, I will take the audience to a journey with three main stops: curatorial education and practices; SCCA’s operation within the world of art; an overview of video art in Slovenia from the beginnings up to now. We shall make the first stop at World of Art, School of Contemporary Art: I am going to present the school's history and background, future plans, and its separate segments: the course for curators with a final exhibition, seminar in writing, series of lectures and a yearly anthology. The second stop is SCCA-Ljubljana as an organization, developing a platform for contemporary arts, which is of vital importance for the balance between the artistic production and practice, the critical and curatorial reflections, the expert reception and the respond by the general public in Slovenia. Finally, I will apply curatorial practice in a form of research and documentation to video art in Slovenia. Videokument_presents, a curated video program, will demonstrate how video art functions as a platform for social and cultural change in (post)socialist countries 
Dušan Dovč Studied Comparative Literature and Slovene language at the Faculty of Arts in 
Ljubljana. Since 1997 works in the field of culture and art. He is a production manager at SCCA, Center for Contemporary Arts – Ljubljana (2004--). His professional expertise and working practice are focused on cultural production in the field of visual and intermedia arts, as well as counselling, fundraising and public relations. 

Alena Boika, Umelec Journal, Prague 
July 24th, Thursday, 19:00, Gallery One 
Alena Boika will introduce the Journal Umelec as a critical platform for art writing. 

Karoyan and Abensour: D’Armenie – exhibition, presentation July 25th, Friday, 19:00, Mkhitar Sebastatsi Art College The presentation will combine an exposition of photo documentation of the exhibition D’Armenie which took place in Quimper, France, at the Quartier Center for Contemporary Art in 2007 and the presentation of the collected anthology published as a follow up project.

Nazareth Karoyan is an art critic, freelance curator and the president of AICA-Armenia. His critical articles deal with the problems of establishing an institutional system of art in Armenia and the challenges of artistic exchange between Post-Soviet and European countries. Educated as a philologist, he graduated from Yerevan State University. Since early 1990s Karoyan has curated numerous exhibitions and published more than a dozen of catalogues on contemporary art in Armenia. 


Utopiana and WOW (Women-Oriented-Women) Angela Harutyunyan and Arpi Adamyan 
July 28th, Monday, 19:00, Utopiana Association and Women’s Resource Center

The first part of the presentation will focus on introducing Utopiana as a cultural institution. The second part will focus on the project Queering Yerevan, which is a collaborative initiative of Armenian queer artists, writers and curators to be realized within the framework of the WOW [Women-Oriented Women] collective. It takes as its point of departure concrete mnemonic experiences of concrete queer artists in a specific time and space: Yerevan, the 2000s. It takes topography as both a material and medium, as a work of artistic symbolization and translation. Rather than offering a so-called “objective” mapping of the city space, the project of self-mapping can be imagined as a fabric woven from personal histories, half-forgotten, half-distorted memories, i.e., sites of remembering and erasure. During the meeting, WOW will present discuss this ongoing initiative.


Angela Harutyunyan/Vardan Azatyan: Interstices of History: Writing and/as Curating 
July 29th, Tuesday, 19:00, Open University 
In our talk, we will address some of the issues related to the writing of history, and particularly, art history. In the age of the destruction or deconstruction of the grand meta-narratives of modernity, how is it possible to narrate without presenting the writing as a groundless fiction? We will address the role of the writer’s subjectivity in the process of writing, the subject – as always already inserted into the very history s/he attempts to narrate. We will discuss the writing of history as a possible-impossible endeavour, as a selective/evaluative process that resembles the task of the curator. Finally, we will discuss the project Timeline of Socialist and Post-Socialist Art as an example in which the task of the historian is almost identical to that of the curator.

Vardan Azatyan is an art historian and translator. His research interests include various aspects of contemporary art and the methodologies of art history. He is a lecturer in art history at Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts. From 2002-2006 he has been the head and a chief curator of visual arts department and the head of art history and theory department of Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art. He is the vice-president and founding member of AICA – Armenia, as well as the founding editor of the online Armenian art history magazine Revisor.


Angela Harutyunyan is a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Studies at Manchester 
University. As an art curator, she has organized several solo and group exhibitions of Armenian and International artists, including the media art festival Public_Media_Space (ACCEA, 2004). She has published several scholarly articles in different journals, magazines and anthologies. She is the co-editor of the upcoming Public Spheres After Socialism (together with Kathrin Horschelmann, and Malcolm Miles, Intellect Press, 2008). 

Paweł Leszkowicz, “Sexuality in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture and the Question of Human Rights” In Collaboration with Utopiana, Yerevan-Geneva 
July 30th, Wednesday, 19:00, Utopiana Association The presentation will explore the expressions and constructions of queer sexuality and love in contemporary art and audiovisual culture from the international perspective. The discussions will concentrate on the relations between the visual and the sexual/amorous, the representation and the sexual rights in contemporary democratic societies. The representations of art, performance, media, advertisement and film would be considered from the perspective of the political theory of democracy, gender and queer studies.


Paweł Leszkowicz is a critic, essayist, and lecturer of contemporary art at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań. His research and writing focus on the intersections of queer studies, contemporary art and culture, and related critical theory. He published several essays and catalogues. He has also curated the exhibition “Love and Democracy” shown in Poznań in 2005 and in Gdańsk in 2006. 

Henri Igitian, Museum of Modern Art 
July 31st, Thursday, 19:00, Museum of Modern Art, Yerevan 
The director of the Museum of Modern Art in Yerevan will introduce the participants to the collection of the museum as well s talk about the establishment of this once unique institution in former USSR, the historical challenges it faced and the current goals. 
Cafesjian Museum Foundation, Presentation 
August 1st, Friday, 19:00, Mkhitar Sebastatsi Art College


Participants

Haizea Barcenilla (Spain), Nora Galphayan (Armenia), Karin Grigorian (Armenia), Lius Miguel Da Silva (Portugal), Julija Fomina (Lithuania), Marianna Hovhannisyan (Armenia), Rana Ozturk (Turkey), Yavuz Parlar (Turkey), Robyn Maree Pickens (New Zeeland), Milena Placentile (Canada), Elodie Royer (France), Anna Smolak (Poland), Yuliya Usova (Ukraine), Yuliya Vaganova (Ukraine), Ophelia Zakaryan (Armenia)