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  3. Curating Contemporary Art

Curating Contemporary Art (ACUR90008)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeACUR90008
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will introduce students to the various practices of curating contemporary art. The professional context for curating contemporary art has evolved from curating exhibitions and conserving collections in art museums. Now, however, contemporary art curating is practiced both within and beyond art institutions and has undergone massive global expansion. The subject will develop the skills unique to curating contemporary art by analyzing these shifts, by explaining recent theories of contemporary art curatorship, by surveying innovations and developments that have taken place in recent contemporary art curatorship including in laboratory-format public programs, as well as by defining and exploring the dedicated professional networks of freelance and emerging contemporary art curators.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • have an understanding of the key issues in current debates regarding the curating of contemporary art in exhibitions and biennials;
  • have an understanding of the knowledge and skills relating to freelance curating practices, ranging from commissioning and selecting new works of art to mentoring artists, including the curating of non-object-based art, time-based art and performance art;
  • have an understanding of the knowledge and skills relating to contemporary art exhibition catalogue writing, the production of substantial public programs and other exhibition tools;
  • gain an understanding of the types of institutions and organisations that produce programs of contemporary art exhibitions, including collectives, biennials and artist-run venues, and their varying requirements.
  • be familiar with the skills and methods to produce the new models of public programs and platforms that blend exhibition, performance and symposia;
  • have an overview of recent theories about curating contemporary art;
  • understand the role of curating contemporary art in preparation for a career in the contemporary visual art industry;
  • be able to understand the major debates on contemporary art curatorship, and be able to relate these to curators in Australia; and
  • gain a knowledge of the changing nature of curating contemporary art, including nomadic, peripatetic, free-lance models and the professionalization of contemporary art curatorship.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:

  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgments and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision; and
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.

Last updated: 27 July 2019