Curatorial development in Scotland

Nikolett Eross, Sarah McCrory and Anna McLauchlan

19.03.2016, 4:00 - 6:00 pm - CCA Glasgow (1st floor, Creative Lab)

‘The biennial occupies the art field in the same way pizza occupies the culinary landscape’ *

Recent writing on curating and exhibition histories has positioned the large-scale biennial curated exhibition as a primary mode of analysis for contemporary art as a networked, global phenomenon. This hasn’t precluded the biennale from being adapted at local level to very specific social, political and economic conditions that affect the production and presentation of art.

This event diverts attention from the ubiquity of the biennale as a phenomenon towards close consideration of the relationship between politics and place in two biennial European festivals of contemporary art: OFF-Biennale Budapest (est. 2015) and Glasgow International (est. 2005).

Both are infrastructures rather than institutions, where the focus is on diversity of curatorial input rather than a holistic conceptual exhibition. Although their approaches differ, their curatorial rationales and structural apparatus have both grown directly from what is and isn’t present in their respective local infrastructures.

These presentations are the starting point for a wider discussion about art, curating, politics and self-organisation.

Nikolett ErossOFF Biennale

Since 2011 political and subsequent legislative changes in Hungary have caused dramatic changes in the programmes and curatorial leadership of Budapest’s visual art institutions. The first edition of OFF-Biennale in 2015 was both a consequence of, and a civil response to, these changes.

This grassroots initiative brings together artists, collectives, curators, gallerists, art collectors and other stakeholders locally and from abroad, with the aim of establishing base for a sustainable, independent art scene in Hungary. Operating as a network without institutional affiliations, OFF-Biennale doesn’t receive government funding, occurs outside state-run arts venues and relies on pro bono work from internationally-active arts professionals. Occurring across and beyond the city OFF proclaims the importance of independent thinking and action, breaking away from clichés and habitual routines.

Sarah McCrory: Glasgow International

As Director McCrory oversees four strands of festival programme that are variously visible or invisible. Although her first instalment of the festival in 2014 refuted the idea of a unifying curatorial theme, the 2016 edition centres around a group exhibition at Tramway reflecting on Glasgow as a post-industrial, post-imperial built environment.

The loose curatorial thematic considers the relationship artists have to making, production and craft; looking at a range of subjects including feminist practices. Influenced by the visual juxtaposition of domestic and industrial scale in an archive photograph of the ‘Empress of Britain’ docked in Clydeside, the exhibition expands ideas of how the occupation of space by sculptural works can be considered to be gendered. Presented across the city’s major venues: GoMA, Tramway, Mitchell Library and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, GI Director’s programme reinforces the city’s promotion as a major site of cultural production by the agencies who are principle funders of the festival.

Anna McLachlan

Responds to the presentations and will initiate questions and open discussion amongst the audience and speakers.

Speakers’ Biographies

Nikolett Eross is an independent curator based in Budapest. As a founding member of the curatorial team of the OFF-Biennale, Budapest she has been involved in the critical and creative development of this new city-wide project that aims to offer artists and audiences an alternative to the network of government-funded art institutions. Eross was formerly curator at Ludwig Museum (2011-13) and the Trafo Gallery (2006-2011) in Budapest. She is a member of the working group for Curatorial Dictionary, a long-term collaborative research project initiated in 2012 by

Sarah McCrory is the Director of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. The seventh edition of Glasgow International takes place from 8th – 25th April 2016 and is the second of three organized by McCrory. She joined the Festival in 2012 after three years curating the projects and film programme at the Frieze Art Fair, where she oversaw Frieze Projects East, which included the production of six new public art projects situated throughout east London as part of the London 2012 Festival. Prior to this she was co-curator of Studio Voltaire, London.

Anna McLauchlan is Lecturer in Critical Human Geography at the University of Leeds and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde. She studied Time Based Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, served on the committee of Glasgow’s Transmission Gallery and maintains collaborations with other artists. She teaches classes related to cultural geography and human environment geography, communicating diverse ways to interpret the interaction between people and their environments. Her recent research explores connections between environment, health and physical practices and is informed by a Diploma Certificate in Hatha Yoga Teaching.

Free but ticketed due to limited capacity
Tickets from CCA box office online, in person or by phone +44 (0)141 352 4900

 * From the introduction to Localised/Lokalisert by Anne Szefer Karlsen and Arne Skaug Olsen, 2009. Ctrl+Z publishing, Bergen, Norway

Image: Dan Perjovschi drawing for OFF-Biennale 2015 (c) the artist