International Symposium (Produced by : Igor Zabel Association for culture and theory)

Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October 2010
Every day between 10.00 am - 3 pm and between 6 pm - 7.30 pm, free entrance
Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art, auditorium, Tomšičeva 14, Ljubljana

Exhibition as the Artistic Medium, Curator of Contemporary Art as the Artist.
The Changing Statuses of the Exhibition and the Curator in the Field of Contemporary Art.

Concept & programme: Beti Žerovc

Produced by Igor Zabel Association for culture and theory,

Partner Erste Foundation,

Co-produced by Moderna galerija, Ljubljana,
Contact: Dunja Kukovec,, mob: 00386 (0)31 33 00 72

We are yet to find the answer as to whether and how is an exhibition a form of art and the curator an artist, however, the debates surrounding these issues, and especially criticisms and reproaches have become a permanent fixture in the discourses linked to contemporary art. As it seems that persisting in the elementary debate and the rejection of such development on the basic level merely hinder the actual research and understanding as to how do the medium of the exhibition and its author function and what influence do they have, the symposium will try to actively confront these issues. Twelve lecturers will attempt to shed some light on these two phenomena, most of them will perform this by treating and analysing actual contemporary or historical examples.

Participants: Alfred H. Barr Jr., Martin Beck, Beatrice von Bismarck, Michael Fehr, Bogdan Ghiu, Søren Grammel, Paul O'Neill, Kerstin Stakemeier , Mary Anne Staniszewski, Philip Ursprung, Jelena Vesić, Beti Žerovc and Marko Stamenković as moderator.

- If the exhibition itself is becoming a work of art, what are the main features of such a work of art? Can we define its structure? Can we define why is it or isn't it a work of art?
- What makes or doesn't make the curator an author? What makes or doesn't make the curator an artist?
- Do we still view and enjoy individual artworks within exhibitions or do we increasingly view, appreciate and contemplate exhibitions themselves? Can or must we view and enjoy these two things separately or simultaneously? Or should they merge as in a theatre play or film?


10.00 - 10.15 welcome note: Zdenka Badovinac, Christiane Erharter, Dunja Kukovec
10.15 - 10.55 Alfred H. Barr Jr.: Abstract Cabinet and the Modern Art Narrative
10.55 - 11.30 Paul O'Neill: Co-productive Exhibition-Making and Three Principal Categories of Organisation: the Background, the Middle-ground and the Foreground
11.30 - 11.45 debate moderated by Beatrice von Bismarck
11.55 - 12.30 Søren Grammel: An Autobiographical Exhibition. On "Grandfather - A Pioneer Like Us", 1974, curated by Harald Szeemann
12.30 - 13.05 Beti Žerovc: Exhibition as An Art Medium, Curator as an Artist - Comparison with Theatre
13.05 - 13.20 debate moderated by Mary Anne Staniszewski
13.35 - 14.10 Philip Ursprung: The World as Museum: Harald Szeemann
14.10 - 14.45 Bogdan Ghiu: Curator or Producer? The Exhibition as the Production of Meaning
14.45 - 15.00 debate moderated by Michael Fehr

18.00 panel: Alfred H. Barr Jr., Bogdan Ghiu, Søren Grammel, Paul O'Neill, Philip Ursprung, Beti Žerovc, moderator: Marko Stamenković


10.00 - 10.35 Martin Beck: The Band Members and the Band
10.35 - 11.10 Beatrice von Bismarck: Hosting
11.10 - 11.25 debate moderated by Paul O'Neill
11.35 - 12.10 Michael Fehr: Curating the Museum as a Collective Artwork
12.10 - 12.45 Kerstin Stakemeier: Against Curating - Historical and Contemporary Disintegration of Art
12.45 - 13.00 debate moderated by Bogdan Ghiu
13.15 - 13.50 Mary Anne Staniszewski: A Curation Declaration!
13.50 - 14.25 Jelena Vesić: PPYUart - Collective Curating and Struggles Through History
14.25 - 14.40 debate moderated by Philip Ursprung

18.00 panel: Martin Beck, Beatrice von Bismarck, Michael Fehr, Kerstin Stakemeier, Mary Anne Staniszewski, Jelena Vesić, moderated by: Beti Žerovc

Symposium video archive

At the same time we would like to remind you that Piotr Piotrowski, honoured as outstanding art historian of the Central Eastern European region, is the recipient of this year's Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory. Additionally to the award four working grants are given to the Croatian-British writers and curators Maja and Reuben Fowkes, to the interdisciplinary Peace Institute from Ljubljana, to the Romanian curator Raluca Voinea, and to the Bratislava based art historian Daniel Grúň.

The award ceremony will be held in Barcelona, Spain between 9 and 12 December 2010 accompanied by a conference on Writing Art History at the Museum of Contemporary of Art (MACBA). More at

Društvo Igor Zabel za kulturo in teorijo
Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory
Jamnikarjeva ulica 16 SI-1000 Ljubljana

press_simp_2010_eng.pdf51.72 KB
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