The 7th Summer Seminars for Art Curators
To Perform And To Curate: Between Practices of Constitution
August 12-18, Yerevan, Armenia

Institute for Contemporary Art, Yerevan


With its origins in the visual arts of the 20th century, the curatorial practice in today’s understanding has evolved within the discipline of visual arts, from exhibiting works to designing art educational initiatives and organizing archives and libraries. However, it has also expanded to other domains to the extent that in the 2000s one can speak of curating poetry, music and performing arts as a whole.  

The roots of these expansions can be sought not simply in the synchronization of creative industries with the development of information technologies that result in the proliferation of administrative and managerial mediation between art and its audiences. Arguably, the expansion of curatorial work to include other spheres of creative practice is also due to a performativity embedded in curatorial work that inevitably works within and (re)produces certain social and cultural constructs. Ultimately, curating is a constitutive practice that participates in the construction of artistic and receptive subjects.  

The curator neither fully identifies with the creative practice of the artist, nor with the public. Instead, she occupies a discrete but shifting place between the artist and the audience while performing the tasks of mediation, translation and representation with tools and methods that she implicitly or explicitly employs for the re-constitution of subjectivities.  

The 7th edition of Summer Seminars for Art Curators in 2013 explores the double notion of performativity, on the example of curatorial practices: curating as a constitutive practice that deals with desires, identities, subjectivities as well as curating performance art — a practice that has emerged and institutionalized in the sphere of multidisciplinary art only recently. We would like to investigate the intersections of the two modes of performativity and some of the possible emancipatory implications of such intersections.

The Summer Seminars invites art theoreticians, artists and curators of various artistic disciplines to discuss different performative practices both inside and outside of the boundaries of art institutions. The program combines lectures with seminar discussions and performative events.