May 27, 2020

CuratorLab final on-line public programme: Notes on Curating Socially Engaged Art

Democracy and Dramaturgy, Notes on Curating Socially Engaged Art  

CuratorLab final on-line public programme with:
Matteo Lucchetti and Judith Wielander (Visible Project), live conversation
Wednesday, 03 June, 6 pm-7:30 pm CET

Andrea Phillips, common seminar
Thursday, 04 June, 6 pm-7:30 pm CET


Organised and curated by
CuratorLab 2019/2020 at Konstfack University of Arts in Stockholm Sara Alberani, Pia Chakraverti-Würthwein, Tal Gilad, Carolina Lio, Carlota Mir, Sofia Steinvorth, Claudia Stübi, Benjamin G.J. Thomas

In collaboration with Visible Project (Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto/Fondazione Zegna), Public Art Agency Sweden, and Italian Cultural Institute in Stockholm

In Fall 2019 CuratorLab participants acted as advocates for socially engaged practices shortlisted for the 2019 Visible Award. We tested advocacy as a form of care and responsibility defending artistic projects of Richard Bell, Cooking Sections, Luke Ching, Forensic Architecture, Daniel Godínez-Nivón, Trampoline House, Emily Jacir, Marisa Morán Jahn, Otobong Nkanga,  Jasmeen Patheja. This experience made us raise a question of how can art institutions and practices be reformatted beyond display towards agency and engagement? 

Over the course of the Covid-19 crisis, our frenzied world has morphed into a global stagnation. The sweet fruits of connectivity, cheap travel, and breakneck production and consumption have been put on hold overnight. In this turbulent time, we ask ourselves: what is indispensable for translocal solidarity and collective action? Which materials, ways of doing, and values can be prioritized over national or supranational apparatuses, and which strategies of curation, activation and conservation can we craft as artists and curators? 

Together with the curators of the Visible Project (Matteo Lucchetti and Judith Wielander) and the scholar Andrea Phillips, we look back and from there forwards at the advocacy as a curatorial practice and at ways of advancing the discourse around curating socially engaged art.

From an Award to a Long-Term Support Structure?
Live conversation Matteo Lucchetti and Judith Wielander (Visible Project) with CuratorLab

Wednesday, 03 June, 6 pm CET

What’s the role of art institutions? How to question their programs and methodologies by addressing socially engaged art practices? The conversation unpacks key questions specific to the art institutional and curatorial field and the possibility to create support structures that can think beyond extraction and move towards long-term engagement. 

Democracy and Dramaturgy: Modern Justice and Socially Engaged Artistic Practices 
Andrea Phillips, part of Konstfack common seminar in rethinking research practices in Art, Technology and Design

Thursday, 04 June, 6 pm CET

What is an ‘award’ and can it be decided on the basis of social architectures that mimic Western democratic decision-making processes? Andrea Phillips reflects on her mediation of The Visible Award, where the decisions are made through a public jury in the form of a temporary parliament. 

This parliament proposes democracy as a purposive cascade of power; its architectural logic being not egalitarian but rather directional. Phillips will discuss the contradictions at the heart of democratic dramaturgies, with regard to the Visible Project, in which a radical translation of political cultural practice into the realm of contemporary art meets the tiers of judgement ascribed to the roles: nominee, advocate, speaker, jurors, and the people.

link to the event

The two live events will be FB-live-streamed from CuratorLab Facebook page. It is possible to intervene with questions through the use of comments on the live video. 


Matteo Lucchetti and Judith Wielander are the curators of the Visible Project (Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto and Fondazione Zegna). Visible researches, produces and sustains socially engaged artistic projects in a global context. It examines the spatial relationships within which different players, from different cultural backgrounds and with different temperaments, generate meaning and form alliances. The alliance between actors and spectators brings to life the space of action of cultural and social relationships. Visible brings to light and gives strength to artistic actions which have a real capacity to experiment and produce visions that can have an impact on the social and cultural imagination of our contemporary world. www.visibleproject.org

Andrea Phillips is BALTIC Professor and Director of BxNU Research Institute, Northumbria University & BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Andrea lectures and writes about the economic and social construction of public value within contemporary art, the manipulation of forms of participation and the potential of forms of political, architectural and social reorganization within artistic and curatorial culture.

CuratorLab is a one-year international curatorial course at Konstfack University of Arts, Stockholm, under the program direction of Joanna Warsza. We are expanding the ideas of curating and the curatorial beyond the exhibition format, exploring radical approaches to engagement, debating pertinent issues of our times, having collective fun, and practicing horizontal learning.