Curating the Image of The People

Curating the Image of The People

Date/time: Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 4–8 pm (Bergen time, aka CET, or UTC +1)
Place: Physical/Streaming from the Auditorium at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design,University of Bergen.

Curating has undoubtedly gained more and more prominence in the last decades as a practice determining what enters the public space of discussion within and beyond art institutions. With an increasing number of schools and independent study programs, it acquires more importance in specialized discourse. Yet it remains in the hands of few, the few who include or exclude narratives, the ones who hold decision making..

Art rarely fits the promise of being an immediately rewarding economic sector providing stability. Searching for a pursuable future, many young people, therefore, engage with art too late, determined by where one comes from in society.

Inclusion and exclusion are prevalent in society. In the aesthetic sphere mastered under the aegis of neoliberalism, the curator emerges as a dominant figure when it comes to what enters the visual discourse and what’s left out. If the exhibition space (especially museums) aims at being for “the people,” what’s the “image of the people” on display in exhibition spaces through curatorial work? Isn’t that mainly the mainstream narrative that the bourgeois has fabricated to impose it on the people themselves?

Curating is a practice, and in its approach and execution, it has the potential to advance the future. In this public conference we speak about curatorial practices and with practitioners that may change the reign of visibility in small institutions and subsequently in large ones. Through this gathering, we look at young practitioners and programs facilitating entrance into an otherwise vetoed space. We ask, with them, how we can engage more narratives than one within a field promising to provoke social change.

Confirmed Speakers:
Naz Cuguoğlu is a curator and art writer based in San Francisco and Istanbul.

Sandrine Honliasso is an independent curator and head of exhibitions and editions at FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims.

Noah Hunter Love Johansen is an artist running Dops gate 4, Oslo, and Fotogalleriet Curatorial Fellow, 2022.

Renée Mboya is a writer, curator and filmmaker based in Nairobi.

Anushka Rajendran is an independent curator, art writer and curator of Prameya Art Foundation, New Delhi.

Grace Tabea Tenga is a psychology student, African-aesthetic dancer in Tabanka, activist, writer and art critic, Oslo.

Amina Sahan, Producer, Nøkkel til byen (Keys to the City, program by TrAP, Oslo, for mirroring society in the cultural field through inclusion of young adults in its structures).
Silja Leifsdottir, Chair of the Board, Norwegian Association of Curators.

Preceding this public conference, Fotogalleriet’s artistic director Antonio Cataldo has engaged students of the BA and MA Fine Art programs at The Art Academy – Department of Contemporary Art at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music, and Design, the University of Bergen in a reading group. They have focused on the idea of rebellion as a tool of emancipation through radical texts by Dipesh Chakrabarty, Okwui Enwezor, and Jacques Rancière. These authors invite us to move away from servile labor tensions and open the path to creating new peers communities.

The conference Curating the Image of The People is a collaboration between Fotogalleriet and the MA in Curatorial Practice, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen.