Sepake Angiama is a curator and educator whose interest lies in seeing what lies beneath our social and political imaginary. What are the plates which shift beneath our feet? What are the structures that impose or interject upon our performed subjectivities? Sepake's pursuit for intelligent society is fostered in the belief that art, design, architecture, and dance permits us the opportunity to see the world from an altered perspective, to think in the 'otherwise' and to contribute to the growing need to do things differently. While in her position as Head of Education, documenta 14 she initiated the project Under the Mango Tree: Sites of Learning in cooperation with ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) which gathers artist-led spaces, libraries, and schools interested in unfolding discourses around decolonizing education practices that destabilize the European canon, through examining alternative epistemologies, notions of unlearning and indigenous knowledge. Previously she was the Head of Education for Manifesta 10 hosted by the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, a fellow for BAK, Utrecht (basis voor actuele kunst) where she addressed through her research, Her Imaginary, how science fiction and feminism may harness the perfect tools for capturing a pedagogy of political and social imagination. Currently, Sepake is one of the curators for the Chicago Architecture Biennial to take place in 2019 and an advisor for V-A-C Foundation.
Ato Annan works across painting, installation, sound, and video. His works are informed by the framework of his experiences of the city he lives in, its public spaces and social life. Annan has worked for many years with the Foundation of Contemporary Art-Ghana, where he has collaborated on curatorial projects for exhibitions, public art projects and workshops that supported artists in Accra and across Africa. In 2017, he worked as a collaborator on Independent Curators International (ICI) Curatorial Intensive— a weeklong professional development programme held in Accra.
(Basque Country/United Kingdom)
“I work as a curator, researcher and editor in art and visual culture, often collaboratively. In regards to how I work, I follow Haraway in her suggestion that, rather than having a fixed, pre-arranged method, one simply has “definite ways of working that [become] more conscious over the years.” In retrospect, I see my work to date as an attempt at articulating different knowledges and communities of practice, where I myself am implicated.”
Project: AIDS Anarchive
Chief editor at: The Against Nature Journal
Aimar Arriola, Goldsmiths University
I come from a long line of teachers. And growing up in independent Zimbabwe, the ruins of imperial maps still fluttering in classrooms raised questions around: How to deal with difficult knowledges on a one to one scale? Whose voices are we listening to when we listen to the past? Reorienting the work of education as an active force within artistic and collective processes, not only responding to pre-set coordinates and fulfilling funding requirements but working to disassemble and reformulate the parameters of what we do and how we do it, are matters of personal and political urgency.
Video: Men Are Easier to Manage Than Rivers
Book: aneducation – documenta 14
Article: The Principles of Packing
Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi
"As a curator, my role is primarily that of a mediator of human experience and history often centered on the art form. Whereas I consider curating as participatory politics and intellectual action, I am drawn to art that intervenes in the social space and rouses public consciousness. Such art must be transparent and elicit public good." Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi is an artist, art historian and curator."
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Usa
Article: 38 Curator of African Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, USA
"With the exception of a few external projects, Delfina Foundation is currently the main outlet for my curatorial practice and broader interests in institution-building and art infrastructures that can sustain collective, trans-disciplinary practices. As Director of Delfina Foundation, I have initiated a number of critical themes such as The Politics of Food, The Public Domain, Collecting as Practice and Performance as Process that has created opportunities for over 300 artists, curators, writers, collectors and thinkers from other fields through residencies, exhibitions and public programming."
Ekaterina Degot is the Director and Chief Curator of steirischer herbst–interdisciplinary festival for contemporary art in Graz, Austria. In her work, the Russian-born art historian, researcher, and curator focuses on aesthetic and sociopolitical issues in Russia and Eastern Europe from the nineteenth century to the post-Soviet era. From 2014 to 2017, Degot was Artistic Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne. Before that she was Senior Curator at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, art columnist for the newspaper Kommersant, and Senior Editor ofopenspace.ru/art. Amongst other shows, she curated the First Ural Industrial Biennial in Yekaterinburg (2010, with Cosmin Costinas and David Riff) and headed the first Bergen Assembly together with David Riff (Monday Begins on Saturday, 2013).
"Place has been at the heart of how I work for a couple of decades now. Influenced by the thinking of British geographers such as Doreen Massey and Tim Cresswell, I’m intrigued by the notion of place as in 'a constant state of becoming’. So when setting up a new public art commissioning agency back in 2002, I chose the word ’situations’ to describe the nature of artworks and encounters that grew out of place - a set of circumstances, social encounters or engagements rooted in a location but in a state of flux. Our work over 15 years at Situations was grounded in the specifics of place, but embraced the ability of artists to help us see the world ‘as if it might be different’ (as Professor Lynn Froggett, our embedded researcher described). Works informed publishing and research (From Studio to Situation, Documents of Contemporary Art: Situation and Public Art Now), which in turn informed the work. As Director of Arnolfini since August 2017, I’ve taken with me the Situations methodology - to start with place and grow the unexpected from there. I continue to be passionate about the capacity for arts organisations to play a vital civic role and question how we might use our resources as tools for change - establishing the Bristol Standard to change the working conditions for those who might choose to or aspire to work in the arts."
Arnolfini-Centre for Contemporary Arts
Public Art (Now)
Reem Fadda is an independent curator and art historian. She was the former Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project from 2010-2016. Between 2005-07, she was Director of the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA) and worked as Academic Director to the International Academy of Art – Palestine, which she helped found in 2006. She was appointed as the Curator for the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates of the 55th Venice Biennale, 2012. And was recently the curator of the 6th Marrakech Biennale 2016. She curated the inaugural exhibition Jerusalem Lives at the Palestinian Museum. Fadda was awarded the 2017 8th Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement awarded by the Menil Collection.
"Born in France, based in the UK, I am currently working on the term blackness in its conceptual, material and social implications. I am particularly trying to challenge the exhibition format as a device to deal with blackness beyond the use of representational strategies. Practitioners I am closely working with manipulating ideas such as non-performance, darkness/ opacity/transparency, knowledge disruption, and appropriation, among others. I am also developing ideas around the potential for art institutions to re-invent what an institution is and do, and how this can have an impact on the rethinking / abolishing of the carceral, legal, financial and psychiatric institutions."
The Karrabing Film Collective
The Karrabing Film Collective (2015 Visible Award Recipient) is a grassroots Indigenous based media group. Filmmaking provides a means of self-organization and social analysis for the Karrabing. Screenings and publications allow the Karrabing to develop a local artistic languages and forms and allow audiences to understand new forms of collective Indigenous agency. Their medium is a form of survivance—a refusal to relinquish their country and a means of investigating contemporary social conditions of inequality. The films represent their lives, create bonds with their land, and intervene in global images of Indigeneity.
The Karrabing Film Collective
(Hong Kong/The Netherlands)
Christina Li is a curator based between Amsterdam and Hong Kong. Until recently, she was the Curator-at-Large at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong where she served as the Director between 2015 and 2017. At Spring, she curated among other projects: Dismantling the Scaffold (2018), A Collective Present (2017); Wu Tsang: Duilian (2016), Wong Wai Yin: Without Trying (2016), Days push off into nights (2015), and Des hotes: a foreigner, a human, an unexpected visitor (2015). As a writer, she has contributed to catalogues and publications such as Artforum, Art Review Asia, LEAP, Parkett, Spike, and Yishu Journal of Contemporary Art.
Wietske Maas is an artist and curator based in Berlin and Amsterdam and is currently working as curatorial advisor for the European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam and as curator of Discourse and Publications at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Her interests gravitate toward (though not exclusive to) the potentials of the urban as a site of transformative assembly between human and nonhuman living beings and entities, and what part artistic inquiry can play in a more-than-human resistance to the stranglehold of the contemporary global, neoliberal condition.
BAK-basis voor actuele kunst
"My curatorial interest is based in curating context. Making new commissions (mainly in public space) where the artwork is in dialogue and develops in relation to its surrounding context. More specifically I take interest in artistic practices which involve the viewer as main subject of the artwork, where the audience is a protagonist – rather than an observer from the outside. Performative, durational and narrative works tend to attract me. In parallel to my curatorial interest, I am deeply concerned in how organisational structures enable various forms of artistic practice. At the moment focusing on how traditional public art agencies can be opened up in order meet the agency which art in public space holds today. This work is being developed with the realm om Public Art Agency Sweden, which is an example of how structures for public art can be transformed to meet what artists are actually working with and the urgent issues in society."
Public Art Agency Sweden
“Since several years I have been interested in the possibilities and limitations of curating political spheres, creating agonistic spaces and understanding art not just as a mirror to reflect society but as a tool to shape it. In terms of performing arts, the genre I am mainly involved in, this puts a focus on how theatre can establish temporary communities e.g. in form of assemblies and use the thin line between art and politics as a tool for empowerment as well as critical analysis.”
Truth is concrete
Artists Organisations International
Ahmet Öğüt (2013 Visible Award Recipient), born in 1981 in Diyarbakır, Turkey, is a sociocultural initiator, artist, and lecturer who lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. He is the initiator of the Initiator of The Silent University, which is an autonomous knowledge exchange platform by refugees, and asylum seekers. Working across a variety of media, including photography, video, and installation, Öğüt often uses humor and small gestures to offer his commentary on rather serious or pressing social and political issues. Öğüt is regularly collaborating with people from outside of the art world to create slight shifts in the perception of common.
The Silent University
"I am invested in research-oriented curatorship, and how contemporary art practice, exhibition histories and its theories are entwined. I am invested in working closely with other practitioners in exploring how art can be social, educational, collaborative, and where curatorial practice is a cooperative process towards a more critical public life for art. I have been fortunate to be Artistic Director of PUBLICS (formerly Checkpoint Helsinki) since Fall 2017, where it has been possible to develop a new small-scale discursive art institution committed to critical social thinking, alternative art education, and to the practices of publicness."
LU Pei-Yi is a curator, art critic, and scholar, based in Taipei. Her research interests are off-site art, museum studies, and curatorial studies. Through research and exhibition-making, she presents Taiwan socially-engaged art in the global context. Recent years, she focuses on exhibition histories in Taiwan as well as in Asia. Now, she is the program leader of MA International Program, Critical and Curatorial Studies of Contemporary Art in National Taipei University of Education.
(United Kingdom/The Netherlands)
Having led The Showroom (2008-2018) and Casco, Utrecht (2005-2008), Pethick has curated organisations that integrate long-term projects with artists, curators and thinkers and sustained forms of community engagement. Often generated through collaborative means with emphasis on process and exchange she is interested in how art spaces can play a civic role, approaches that she will take with her to her new position at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten.
The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam
Alessandra Pomarico is a sociologist and curator of international and multidisciplinary residency programs, writer and organizer at the intersection of arts, pedagogy, social issues, nano-politics, and community building. Mobilizing and bridging among institutions and artists' run intra-stitutions, communities, and activists from local and global perspectives, her practice is research-based, with a focus on experimental and transformative aesthetic processes, coalitional learning, agency, social and ecological justice. She is an editor on the online platform artseverywhere. Her recent projects include the creation of Ammirato Culture House, the ongoing artistic/ pedagogic initiative Free Home University and the Ecoversities Global Gatherings she co-hosted.
Article: "Experiencing Life in Common"
Article: "Learning Hope and Assembling sKin"
Helena Producciones (2011 Visible Award Recipient) is a collective dedicated to researching matters related to artistic and cultural production in relation to the economic and political conditions of the specific contexts. Its Festival de Performance de Cali has proposed strategies to promote the work of many artists and it has become a heterogeneous stage that is constantly transforming. Since 2005 Helena developed the Escuela Movil de Saberes as an educational platform in structures outside the formal education system around de-schooling ideas.
Ana María Millán
Claudia Patricia Sarria
Brigada Puerta de Tierra (Jesus Bubu Negron & Luis Agosto Leduc)
Brigada Puerta de Tierra (2017 Visible Award Recipient) is a grassroots artist collective formed in 2015 mostly by children and young community members of Puerta de Tierra (San Juan, PR), centering its activities on the preservation and well-being of the neighborhood, its history, and its people. We are interested in prefiguration through collaborative and regenerative cultural practices.
Brigada Puerta de Tierra
"My curatorial and pedagogical practice is driven by the desire to understand, experience, and question how art can inhabit and muddy our social and political spaces, and how it can enable a reading of the broader structures that shape our lived experiences. Currently, I am engaged in trying to think, with artists, on the current ecological disasters of the present moment and their future repercussions."
Guangdong Times Museum
Publication: Elements for a World
Performance: The World is flooding
Marina Reyes Franco
"I am curator living in San Juan and thinking from the Caribbean. At the moment, I am researching the impact of tourism on cultural production and the construction of ideas of paradise as it relates to art, exhibition-making, taxes, real estate, and the lives of artists and other cultural producers. I am also interested in the artistic and literary manifestations on the frontier of political action, new museology, and the creation of parallel institutions that better satisfy local needs."
Marina Reyes Franco
La Ene-El Nuevo Museo Energía de Arte Contemporáneo
"As curator and organiser my focus in collaborative practices, Arte Útil and radical pedagogy. I am interested in projects that seek the contribution of operators in other fields than art, for generating interdisciplinary interventions that are free from time constraints, context-driven with local constituencies who determine the guidelines. I believe art can be an agent and a tool for social initiative and cohesion in the most disparate settings. I am one of the co-founder of the art collective Aspra.mente (2006), and since 2014 I have been collaborating with the Asociación de Arte Útil as co-curator and archivist."
Shela Sheikh is a cultural theorist and editor. She is interested in an expanded understanding of witnessing that spans beyond the human and takes the form of activist, artistic, filmmaking and/or ecological practices. This has been developed recently through workshops and collaborative publications relating to colonialism, botany and the politics of the soil.
Shela Sheikh, Goldsmiths University
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD is an independent art curator and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and editor-in-chief of SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art. He is currently guest professor in curatorial studies at the Städelschule Frankfurt. He was curator-at-large for documenta14, and was a guest curator of the 2018 Dak'Art Biennale in Senegal.
Alia Swastika is an Indonesian-based curator and writer. Since 2008 she has worked as a freelance curator, writer and programme director with Ark Galerie in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Alia curated the Jogja Biennale XI (Indonesia, 2011), Shadow Lines: Indonesia Meets India and was Co-Artistic Director of The 9th Gwangju Biennale: ROUNDTABLE (Korea, 2012). She has curated major international group exhibitions including: The Past The Forgotten Time(Amsterdam, Jakarta, Semarang, Shanghai, Singapore, 2007-2008) and Manifesto: The New Aesthetic of Seven Indonesian Artists (Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, 2010) as well as solo exhibitions for Eko Nugroho, Tintin Wulia, Wimo Ambala Bayang and Jompet Kuswidananto.
Ana Teixeira Pinto
Ana Teixeira Pinto is writer and cultural theorist. She was born in Lisbon and moved to Berlin in 2006 to pursue a PhD degree under the supervision of the late Friedrich A. Kittler. Her research interests include affect theory, digital media, political economy, decoloniality and history of science. Currently she is a lecturer at Universität der Künste, Berlin, and a research fellow at Leuphana University, Lüneburg. Her writings have appeared in publications such as Afterall, Springerin, Camera Austria, e-flux journal, Mousse, Frieze, Domus, Inaesthetics, Manifesta Journal, or Texte zur Kunst. She also contributed to Alleys of Your Mind: Augmented Intelligence and its Traumas (edited by Matteo Pasquinelli, 2015) and Nervöse Systeme (edited by Anselm Franke, Stephanie Hankey and Marek Tuszynski, 2016) among several other edited volumes. She is the editor of The Reluctant Narrator (Sternberg Press, 2014) and, together with Eric de Bruyn and Sven Lütticken of a forthcoming book series on counter histories, to be published by Sternberg Press.
Meenakshi Thirukode's areas of focus and research is on the role of culture and collectivity in the sub-continent within the realm of a trans-nomadic, transient network of individuals and institutions, situated within different political conditions. My research, writings and curatorial work is invested in the role of re-imagining cultural and political spaces in the region through alternate methods of pedagogy, lost, erased and invisible art histories.
"I am a curator and writer. I work out of Philadelphia where I just took on a new job working with Harry Philbrick to erect a contemporary art museum in the city I love. I have written on art and politics, socially engaged art and various other forms of cultural criticism. Currently, my interests are in infrastructure and how we can build spaces of socially relevant equitable practice across the landscape of growing inequity. I continue to write books, love my friends and family, and do the good work."