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Suzana Milevska and Ruth Noack on “How to become a curator?” at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

12. November 2013

In recent times, Suzana Milevska, an Endowed Professor of Central and South Eastern European Art Histories at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, has observed that writing the art history of curating has provided a point of interchange between the two distinguished professions, the art historian and curator. In her presentation “Art Historian Becoming-Curator”, she will focus on the event(s) of “becoming-curator” and particularly intends to discuss the Deleuzian concept of “becoming” in the context of the self-differentiation and self-reification of an art historian as an art curator. For her, “the main challenge is how a person knows what he or she knows as a curator, and how one reconciles the contradictions and conflicts stemming from `being-art historian’ and `becoming-curator’.”

Ruth Noack will present ethical and pedagogical considerations. Her lecture “After the Royal College” is based on her experiences as the head of the Curating Contemporary Art programme at the Royal College of Art in London. “There is not much of a career to be had in the profession of exhibition making,” says Ms Noack. “Money is scarce and there are few opportunities to work in circumstances that are not alienating. Nevertheless, curatorial courses are popping up everywhere.” Therefore she frankly asks: “Are these courses feasible, considering that there may already be enough professional curators to satisfy demand? And might it be possible to evade the supply and demand system all together?”

How to become a curator?
Educational approaches to curating contemporary art
Friday, 15 November 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Atelierhaus of the Academy of Fine ArtsVienna
Lehárgasse 8, 2nd floor
1060 Vienna, Austria

Lectures in English by Suzana Milevska and Ruth Noack with an introduction by Christine Böhler (director of the Culture Programme, ERSTE Foundation). The following discussion will be moderated by Georg Schöllhammer (editor and curator).

Free entry.
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Suzana Milevska is an art historian, curator and theorist of art and visual culture. She completed her PhD at GoldsmithsCollege in London. In 2004 she became Fulbright Visiting Scholar, and in 2001 P. Getty Curatorial Research Fellow. From 2006 to 2008, Suzana Milevska was Director of the Center for Visual and Cultural Research of Skopje, Macedonia. Since 1992 she has curated more than 70 international exhibitions. Her texts on the construction of national identity and gender difference in Balkan art and visual culture have been widely published. Her long-term interdisciplinary project, The Renaming Machine (2008-2010), consisted of a series of exhibitions and conferences (Ljubljana, Skopje, Pristina, Zagreb, Vienna, etc.) and a publication. Milevska also published the book Gender Difference in the Balkans (Saarbrucken: VDM Verlag, 2010). She worked as a researcher for the projects Gender Check (ERSTE Foundation/Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien) and Call the Witness (Roma Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition,Venice Biennale, Collateral Event, 2011) and curated the exhibitions Call the Witness (BAK, Utrecht) and Roma Protocol at the Austrian Parliament. For her work as a curator and theorist of art and visual culture, which focuses on research of art in post-socialist and transi-tional societies, collaborative and participatory art practices, feminist and queer contexts, she re-ceived the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory and the ALICE Award for political curating in 2012. Ms. Milevska was appointed first Endowed Professor for Central and South Eastern European Art Histories at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from October 2013 to July 2014.

Ruth Noack trained as a visual artist and art historian, and has worked as an author, art critic, university lecturer and exhibition maker since the 1990s. She curated documenta 12 (Kassel, 2007) and her other exhibitions include Scenes of a Theory (The Depot, Vienna, 1995), Things We Don’t Understand (Generali Foundation, Vienna, 2000), Organisational Forms (Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lüneburg; Škuc, Ljubljana; Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, 2002 to 2003) and The Government (Witte de With, Rotterdam; MAC, Miami; Secession, Vienna, 2005). In 2012, she provided Garden of Learning (Busan Biennale) with its exhibition layout. She is currently working on Sleeping with a VengeanceDreaming of a Life (2015) and on Fragments and Compounds (Ethnological Museum, Berlin; Neue Galerie, Kassel; Johann Jacobs Museum, Zurich, 2014). During the 2012/2013 academic year, Noack headed the Curating Contemporary Art programme at the Royal College of Art, London and acted as Research Leader for the EU project MeLa – European Museums in an age of migrations. In 2013, she published Sanja Ivekovic: Triangle for Afterall Books and Agency, Ambivalence, Analysis. Approaching the Museum with Migration in Mind for the Politecnico di Milano.

Photo: Suzana Milevska (left), Ruth Noack, © ERSTE Stiftung

ERSTE Foundation, Communications: Maribel Koeniger
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