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Announcement
September 19, 2022

Commissioning and Curating Contemporary Public Art

HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design at University of Gothenburg

The LTH Fountain, Lund University, Sweden, 2021. Photo: Maddie Leach.

Distance course online with intensive workshops in: Riga, Latvia; Brussels & Charleroi, Belgium; Malmö, Lund and Copenhagen, Sweden and Denmark; and Gothenburg, Sweden.

A one-year, long-distance, part-time course, at advanced/masters level, introducing key practices and debates in working with art in the public realm. This is a continuing professional development course for curators, commissioners, policy-makers, artists, communities, activists, planners, architects and other professionals interested in the questions of commissioning, curating, and maintaining/de-commissioning contemporary public art. This international course, delivered in English is based on a combination of distance education and participation in at least two intensive workshops (from a set of four). Workshops in 2023 will be in Riga, Latvia (March 1–3), Brussels & Charleroi, Belgium (May 11–13), Malmö, Lund and Copenhagen, Sweden and Denmark (September 28–30), Gothenburg, Sweden (December 6–8).

The course is free within the EU/EEA area: No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students. Students are responsible for their own costs of attending the two selected intensive workshops. Admission is based on letter of intention in English stating why you wish to attend the course, 200 to 350 words in length, and an updated CV.

The teaching team includes: Jason E. Bowman, Kerstin Bergendal, Kjell Caminha, Dr Cathryn Klasto, Dr Daniel Jewesbury, Dr Maddie Leach, Suzanne Mooney, Professor Mick Wilson, and special guests.

In previous years guest contributors have included: Barby Asante, Inger Asper Hedemyr, Merve Bedir, David Beech, Bianco-Valente (Giovanna Bianco & Pino Valente), Kathrin Böhm, Beatrice Catanzaro, Viviana Checchia, Francesca Comisso, Julie Crawshaw, DAAR (Alexandro Petti and Sandi Hillal), Åse Eg Jørgensen, Jeannette Ehlers, Galit Eilat, Charles Esche, Patrik Faming, Lena From, Lia Ghilardi, Peter Hagdahl, Marika Hedemyr, Kristtina Ljokkoi, LOCALES (Sara Alberani and Valerio del Baglivo), Magdalena Malm, Marti Mannen, Paul O’Neill, Tone Olaf Nielsen, Henrik Orrje, Daniela Ortiz, Andrea Phillips, Esther Regueira, Lisa Rosendahl, Nuno Sacramento, Helena Selder, Jessica Segerlund, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Minna Tarkka, Daniel Terres, Catharina Thörn, transparadiso (Barbara Holub & Paul Rajakovics), Sarah Tuck, Jeanne van Heeswijk.

Content
What is the nature of public art? What do the policy-makers, commissioners, curators, artists and others working with public art need to know about this expanded field of practice? What are the processes and frameworks that operate when art is created in, and for, public space? How is public art implicated within spatial imaginaries of rural, urban, exurban, infrastructure, development and the touristic gaze? What do communities wishing to invite public art into their environments, or wishing to instigate public art commissions, need to know in order to pursue their desires and ambitions? Who can commission public art? Who is it commissioned for? What about decommissioning? What about failure? What are the spaces of "publicness" in an era of climate change, population displacement, digital networks, war, and the privatization of space? How can curators, commissioners, communities, artists, and other practitioners effectively move between ideas and ideals of public culture, and the pragmatic contexts of actual decision-making, production, procurement, installation, and planning processes? What, if any, are the possible relationships between public art, local democracy and the political imaginary? Is publicness just another Euro-centric construction of colonial-modernity?

These questions are approached through conflicting perceptions of public space, public culture, and the contested themes of "the public sphere". We emphasize the interaction of theory and practice, so as not to privilege theory over practice, but rather to look at how different perspectives—rooted in practice as well as informed by theoretical analysis—connect to different possibilities in realising art as an integral part of public life.

Practicalities
Please note: the online sessions run mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm Swedish time (CET). You will require a good reliable internet access and headphones. Content from the workshops will also be posted online for course participants to access. Participation in the workshops means that your contributions to the discussions may be recorded for this purpose. Students are responsible for their own costs of attending the workshops.

Intensive workshops
The intensive workshop, involving physical attendance, is chosen from two of four options. (It is possible to attend more if you wish, you are expected to attend at least two.) Workshops in 2023 will be in Riga, Latvia (March 1–3), Brussels & Charleroi, Belgium (May 11–13), Malmö, Lund and Copenhagen, Sweden and Denmark (September 28–30), Gothenburg, Sweden (December 6–8). Students are responsible for their own costs of attending the workshops.

Apply
Application period is September 15 to October 17, 2022. Admission to this course is based on a letter of intention (in English) stating why you wish to attend the course, 200 to 350 words in length, and an updated CV. In evaluating your application, we typically consider: (i) clarity of purpose in attending course, as evidenced in letter; and (ii) capacity to actively contribute to the group dialogue, evidenced in letter. Applications here: University Admissions (for international applicants) and antagning.se (for applicants based in Sweden).

Read more about the course: Commissioning and Curating Contemporary Public Art.

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