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Announcement
September 24, 2018

MA Curatorial Practice

School of Visual Arts (SVA)

MA Curatorial Practice fellow Natalia Viera Salgado thesis exhibition, 2018.

The MA Curatorial Practice program at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to announce the recent launch of a special issue of OnCurating.org, "We Would Prefer Not To," focused on political resistance and sanctuary.

None of us can doubt that we are now facing firestorms that have risen from older brutalities of fascism, nationalism, and of a deeply devaluing neoliberalism that brings with it the dilution, suppression, detour, and destruction of civil liberties. Our recent media landscape is overwhelmed with outrageous packages of lying tweets, of YouTube videos showing men cutting off the heads of other men, of insidious acts of political subterfuge, and of the news every day of the moral implosion of our governments that weigh us in the balance of what we will tolerate as bare life and make us mourn for a higher decency. What does it mean to be a citizen now, what has been lost and what still remains? What do we do now in response to our struggle for that decency and equity? What do we do to address the ways in which society has become a stranger to itself? What do we do in recognizing that each of us is pulled further from our sense of self? What do we do to find our own forms of reparation?

Within the field of curating, there have been such extraordinary exhibitionary examples of a kind of learning about how and how not to be together. Okwui Enwezor’s remarkable 2001 survey, The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, for instance—or Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s 2012 Documenta, in which the very notion of the social subject is dilated radically, “to see the world not from the point of view,” as she put it, “of the detached subject, but from within so-called objects and outward.” Or more recently, the portent of our darkening moment given historical weight in Anselm Franke and Tom Hollert’s Neolithic Childhood. Art in a False Present, c. 1930, with its examination of the moment when Europe and Germany dipped further into crisis, presented last summer at Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

Within the task of curating is the task of ethics that couldn’t be more important a calling than in our time’s compression of economic, political, social, and cultural forces. That is why we produced this issue of OnCurating, with our program’s curatorial fellows producing most of the issue’s content, and that a forthcoming book from Sternberg Press based on our summit titled Curatorial Activism and the Politics of Shock will also delve into, with contributions from an international gathering of leading curators and contemporary thinkers about exhibition making. Of course, curating is a broader enterprise than activism. Yet a thinking of the world—as these milestone exhibitions and, we hope, our own work here at MA Curatorial Practice demonstrates—inevitably marries the crafts of expression with the expression of our urgency of being, of the weight and rising of what is to be done and, as the curator Gabi Ngcobo has eloquently said, what must be undone.

To find out more about our program and what we teach and do here, please visit macp.sva.edu.

Contact: T 212 592 2274 / macp [​at​] sva.edu

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