http://nmllorens.website/files/gimgs/th-28_CLASS_authority.jpg
Esther Levy, Paper Curating Assignment, Fall 2014.
 

PRACTICING CURATING : AUTHORITY FIGURES
Fall 2014
Eugene Lang College / The New School
authorityfigures.net

Practicing Curating was a thematically structured, hands-on course about the theory and practice of contemporary curating. It was planned in three parts: site visits to exhibitions and guest lectures by curators, history and theory of curatorial practice analyzed through in-depth class discussions, and a collectively curated exhibition from the New School’s collection entitled “Authority Figures,” which was installed in the Skybridge Art and Sound Space, located on the third floor between the Lang and New School buildings. In fact, the students voted to put together a second exhibition on the 4th floor of the Skybridge Art Space at the end of the term from their own studio-visit research, "Traced Bodies."

Authority Figures was exhibition-as-pretext for research and documentation. Its binding premise was direct, yet open-ended—what does it mean to make a picture of the forces that subordinate subjects, willingly or not? The artwork chosen by students from the New School University Art Collection appears to answer this question, to figure forth authority as masculinist, nationalist, capitalism, abstract, cultural, religious, etc. The project consists of students’ answers to this question, which they articulate through their encounter with an artwork.

To their credit, students did much of the work themselves: art handling, installation, writing wall-labels, communication with artists, planning the reception and a concurrent performance, and documentation.

Authority Figures was the first version of curatorial practicum I taught at Eugene Lang between 2014 and 2016. This series of classes is the initial phased of a project to flesh out the stakes of critical curatorial pedagogy for undergraduates. You can see a lecture at Hordaland Kunstsenter on some the conclusions drawn from the work in video documentation here.


EXCERPTED SYLLABUS
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Maria Lind, “The Curatorial” in Maria Lind, Brian K. Wood, and Beatrice von Bismarck, Selected Maria Lind Writing (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010)
Irit Rogoff, “Smuggling – An Embodied Criticality,” 2006. Available on the website of the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies
Mary Walling Blackburn, “XOXO Insanity, Institution”, e-flux Journal #26, June 2011
Christian Rattemeyer, “‘Op Losse Schroeven’ and ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ 1969” in Christian Rattemeyer, and W A. L. Beeren, Exhibiting the New Art: 'op Losse Schroeven' and 'when Attitudes Become Form' 1969 (London: Afterall, 2010)
Harald Szeeman, “How Does An Exhibition Come Into Being?” in Christian Rattemeyer, and W A. L. Beeren, Exhibiting the New Art: 'op Losse Schroeven' and 'when Attitudes Become Form' 1969 (London: Afterall, 2010)
Maria Lind, “Learning From Art and Artists” in Maria Lind, Brian K. Wood, and Beatrice von Bismarck, Selected Maria Lind Writing (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010)
(Conversation) On Curatorial Residencies, in Anna Ptak, Re-tooling Residencies: A Closer Look at the Mobility of Art Professionals (Warsaw: Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle and A-I-R Laboratory, 2011)
Aneta Szy?ak, "What to do with the Mobility Fetish: Notes for Future Artist Residencies" in Anna Ptak, Re-tooling Residencies: A Closer Look at the Mobility of Art Professionals (Warsaw: Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle and A-I-R Laboratory, 2011)
Foundland, Escapes and Waiting Rooms, published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (Brooklyn, NY: ISCP, 2014)
Mary J. Jacob and Michelle Grabner, The Studio Reader: On the Space of Artists (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010)
Cornelia Butler, “Women – Concept – Art: Lucy R. Lippard’s Numbers Shows” in Cornelia H. Butler, From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows, 1969-74 (London: Afterall Books, 2012)
Griselda Pollock, “A Response to ’26 Conceptual Artists in London’” in Cornelia H. Butler, From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows, 1969-74 (London: Afterall Books, 2012)
Massimiliano Gioni, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Natalie Bell, Negar Azimi, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Media Farzin, and Rashidi Y. El, Here and Elsewhere (New York, N.Y: New Museum, 2014)
Lucy Steeds, “‘Magiciens de la Terre’ and the Development of Transnational Project-Based Curating” in Lucy Steeds, Making Art Global: Part 2 (London: Afterall, 2013)
Benjamin Buchloh, “The Whole Earth Show: An Interview with Jean-Hubert Martin” in Lucy Steeds, Making Art Global: Part 2 (London: Afterall, 2013)
Rasheed Araeen, “Our Bauhaus Others’ Mudhouse” in Lucy Steeds, Making Art Global: Part 2 (London: Afterall, 2013)
Jessamyn Fiore, 112 Green Street: The Early Years (1970 – 1974), (New York: David Zwirner, 2012)
Lawrence Alloway, “SoHo as Bohemia,” in Rene? Block, Ursula Block, and Kurt Tho?richt, New York, Downtown Manhattan, Soho: Ausstellungen, Theater, Musik, Performance, Video, Film : 5 September Bis 17 Oktober 1976 : [katalog], (Berlin: Akademie der Ku?nste, 1976)
René Block, “Square Map SoHo, Alex – Spirit of SoHo” in Rene? Block, Ursula Block, and Kurt Tho?richt, New York, Downtown Manhattan, Soho: Ausstellungen, Theater, Musik, Performance, Video, Film : 5 September Bis 17 Oktober 1976 : [katalog], (Berlin: Akademie der Ku?nste, 1976)
Excerpts: introductions, in Martha Rosler and Brian Wallis, If You Lived Here: The City in Art, Theory, and Social Activism (Seattle, Wash: Bay Press, 1991)
Rosalyn Deutsche, “Alternative Space” in Martha Rosler and Brian Wallis, If You Lived Here: The City in Art, Theory, and Social Activism (Seattle, Wash: Bay Press, 1991)
Martha Rosler, “Fragments of a Metropolitan Viewpoint” in Martha Rosler and Brian Wallis, If You Lived Here: The City in Art, Theory, and Social Activism (Seattle, Wash: Bay Press, 1991)
Branden W. Joseph, “Orchard Dossier: Introduction,” Grey Room 35, Spring 2009, pp. 90–91
David Joselit, “Institutional Responsibility: The Short Life of Orchard,” Grey Room 35, Spring 2009, pp. 108–115
Andrea Geyer and Ulrike Muller, “An Idea-Driven Social Space,” Grey Room 35, Spring 2009, pp. 116–127
Thema Golden, “My Brother,” in Thelma Golden, Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1994)
Elizabeth Alexander, “’Can you be BLACK and look at this?’ Reading the Rodney King Video(s),” in Thelma Golden, Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1994)
Kobena Mercer and Isaac Julien, “True Confessions*” in Thelma Golden, Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1994)
Thelma Golden and Glen Ligon, “With our faces to the rising sun …” in Paula Marincola, What Makes a Great Exhibition? Philadelphia (PA: Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, 2006)
Peggy Phelan, “The Return of Touch: Feminist Performances, 1960 – 80,” in Cornelia H. Butler and Lisa G. Mark, Wack!: Art and the Feminist Revolution (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007)
Richard Meyer, “Hard Targets, Male Bodies, Feminist Art, and the Force of Censorship in the 1970s,” in Cornelia H. Butler and Lisa G. Mark, Wack!: Art and the Feminist Revolution (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007)
Maura Reilly, “Global Feminisms Introduction: Toward Transnational Feminisms,” in Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin, Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art (London: Merrell, 2007)
Rosalyn Deutsche, Aruna D’Souza, Miwon Kwon, Ulrike Muller, Mignon Nixon, and Senam Okudzeto, “Feminist Time: A Conversation,” Grey Room (Spring 2008) No. 31, pp. 32–67
Elizabeth Sussman, “Coming Together in Parts: Positive Power in the Art of the Nineties,” in Elisabeth Sussman, Thelma Golden, John G. Hanhardt, Lisa Phillips, Homi K. Bhabha, Coco Fusco, B R. Rich, and Avital Ronell, 1993 Biennial Exhibition (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, in association with Harry N. Abrams, 1993)
Homi K. Bhabha, “Beyond The Pale: Art in the Age of Multicultural Translation,” in in Elisabeth Sussman, Thelma Golden, John G. Hanhardt, Lisa Phillips, Homi K. Bhabha, Coco Fusco, B R. Rich, and Avital Ronell, 1993 Biennial Exhibition (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, in association with Harry N. Abrams, 1993)
Avital Ronell, “Finitude’s Score: Ectopia” in Elisabeth Sussman, Thelma Golden, John G. Hanhardt, Lisa Phillips, Homi K. Bhabha, Coco Fusco, B R. Rich, and Avital Ronell, 1993 Biennial Exhibition (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, in association with Harry N. Abrams, 1993)
Raqs Media Collective, “Digressions From the Memory of A Minor Encounter,” in Barbara Vanderlinden and Elena Filipovic, The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005)