Experimenter Curators’ Hub: South Asia's leading debate on contemporary art
Experimenter Gallery has announced the speakers of the 8th edition of the Experimenter Curators’ Hub (ECH). The three-day programme of talks and debates will take place at Experimenter Gallery, Hindustan Road in Kolkata, India, on 26-28 July 2018.
During ECH, the gallery will also announce full details for the Experimenter Learning Program (ELP), an exciting extension to its educational programme.
Each year ECH brings together ten leading curators from around the world to present and reflect on their work in the presence of their colleagues and peers.
During this unique event artists, writers, critics, historians, architects, designers and art enthusiasts come together to debate and critique the latest concerns and positions on the process of exhibition-making. Since it was founded in 2009, ECH has hosted 59 leading practitioners.
Last year’s speakers included curator, writer and Arts Manager, Pedro de Almeida, Associate Curator at Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Reem Fadda, Director of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Roobina Karode, Curator and Co-Director of Swiss Cultural centre in Paris, Olivier Kaeser, Head of Research and Programming at Art Asia Pacific, Hammad Nasar, Curator and Art Historian, Barbara Piwowarska, Curator at Sculpture Centre, Ruba Katrib, Director of Graduate Programme at Bard College, Lauren Cornell and Former Curator at Tate Modern, Nada Raza.
2018 will once again see the art world descend on Kolkata with speakers including documenta 14 2017 Artistic Director, Adam Szymczyk, curator at Shanghai Biennale 2016, Jeebesh Bagchi, and cultural critic and Director of Global Art Forum Shumon Basar. Completing this year’s esteemed group are: Erin Gleeson, Prasad Shetty and Rupali Gupte, Kavita Singh, Sabih Ahmed, Leuli Eshraghi, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. Moderated by Natasha Ginwala.
Participants will be invited to share a short presentation on their recent projects that will act as a springboard for debate and exchange between the audience and the presenting curators. The Hub will be streamed live, breaking down traditional constraints of location and opening up the debate to people around the world.
Online audiences will have the chance to interact with, and question the curators in real time. In 2017, over 18,000 people were connected to the Hub via web-streaming.
The Experimenter Learning Program (ELP) is envisioned as a long-term, sustainable and multifaceted learning and education programme that keeps visual culture at its root to build discourse around it. The ELP will be the kernel on which Experimenter will expound its continued interest in enabling dialogue, discussion and debate in fields of contemporary and performing arts, curatorship, film, writing, language and social culture. ELP will have a year-long schedule that will include the annual ECH, workshops, salon-style classrooms, symposia,
lecture performances and Experimenter Juniors Program.
Prateek and Priyanka Raja, Experimenter co-founders said: ‘The Experimenter Curators’ Hub was organised out of a crucial need to critically discuss and debate curatorial practices across the world, to learn, converse and thereby possibly throw open possibilities of understanding what lies behind significant contemporary exhibition making.
The ECH is a unique setting that allows for a certain intimacy, letting curators open up in a way that no other forum allows. The one-on-one closeness of the conversations and the possibilities that emerge from having some of the most fertile minds in the world of contemporary art is palpable. The energy in the room augments criticism and theory as a starting ground’.
Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programming at Art Asia Pacific and ECH 2017 participant said: ‘Experimenter Curators’ Hub is a well of collegiality. It is critical, supportive, and generous, and is a welcome pause to reflect and share’ All presentations by curators will be added to the Experimenter website, offered as a resource to enable further audiences to experience the event.
The Experimenter Curators’ Hub is free to attend. Places at the event will be offered on a first come, first served basis. The Hub will take place at Experimenter: 2/1 Hindustan Road, Kolkata.
Experimenter was co-founded by Prateek & Priyanka Raja in 2009. With a multidisciplinary approach, the gallery is an incubator for an ambitious and challenging contemporary practice. The program represents some of the most critical contemporary artists worldwide. Considered to be a ‘pace-setter’ for its region, the program extends from exhibition-making, to knowledge creation, through regular talks, performances, workshops and most importantly, through it’s much acclaimed, annual curatorial intensive, Experimenter Curators’ Hub. In 2016, its artist-book publishing wing, Experimenter Books was launched. Experimenter’s program is rooted in dialogue and dissent.
About Experimenter Curators’ Hub
The Experimenter Curators’ Hub brings together some of the foremost minds in curatorship from all over the world. Founded in 2009 by Priyanka and Prateek Raja, the event is a crucial platform for developing and sustaining discourse on curatorial practice and exhibition making. Each year, ten curators, artists, designers and architects are invited to present and discuss their practice in depth through presentations on recent exhibitions they have personally conceived. Experimenter Curators’ Hub presentations and ensuing discussions are extensively video documented and archived as an online, freely-accessible resource offered to fellow curators, researchers, scholars, artists and members of the public.
The work of the well-known Delhi-based trio Raqs Media Collective, which has been exhibited widely in major international spaces, locates them at the intersection of contemporary art, historical inquiry, philosophical speculation, research and theory– often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters. Curators of Manifesta 7 (Bozen) and of the 2016/17 edition of the Shanghai Biennale. Raqs's solo show Everything Else is Ordinary is ongoing at K21 Museum, Dusseldorf.
Erin Gleeson (b.1979, Minneapolis) is an independent curator, researcher and writer. Based in Phnom Penh since 2002, her work has focused on knowledge and practices in and related to Southeast Asia. Select exhibitions include On Attachments and Unknowns, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh (2017), Enter the Stream at the Turn, Satellite Program 8, Jeu de Paume and CAPC, France (2015-2016); 4th Singapore Biennale (2014), and Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, ifa, Berlin and Stuttgart (2013). As part of the Asia Cultural Centre Gwangju initiative Exhibition Histories in Asia, she curated and authored the study Displaying Change and Continuity: Exhibition Histories in Cambodia 1945-1979 (2016). Erin is a guest speaker with numerous partners, including most recently the symposiums Flight from the Empire, House of World Cultures, Berlin (2017), SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia from 1980-Today, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); Thinking Practice, Field Meeting, Asia Society, NY (2016); Keynote for St Paul St Curatorial Symposium, Auckland (2014), and Art in Cambodia: An Historical Inquiry, Museum of Modern Art, NY, for which she was a co-organizer (2013).With a critical interest in the notion and practice of fieldwork, Erin co-founded with Vera Mey, FIELDS, a triennial gathering-residency rooted conceptually in the unknown and physically in Cambodia. She was a curator in residence with Villa Vassilief, Paris (2016), Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2015), and received an Artis research grant, Tel Aviv (2014). She contributes to numerous publications, most recently to ArtAsiaPacific, Mousse and Bezalel Academie Journal. She is a member of the Prize Council for the Vera List Prize for Art and Politics, and a Juror and Guest Advisor to Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, and Rijksacadmie-ACC, Gwangju. From 2015-2018, Erin was an Alphawood Scholar, MA, Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa, at SOAS, University of London. Her dissertation investigates the evolution and legacy of Tang Tok, a modern exhibition form in Cambodia. From 2011-2018, she was the co-founding director of SA SA BASSAC, a nonprofit exhibition space, reading room and resource center in Phnom Penh.
Born 1970 in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland. Adam is Artistic Director of document 14. He was a co-founder of the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, at which he worked as Curator from 1997 till 2003, when he assumed his new post as Director at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland. In Basel, he organized exhibitions including Piotr Uklanski: Earth, Wind and Fire (2004); Tomma Abts (2005); Gustav Metzger: In Memoriam and Lee Lozano: Win First Don't Last Win Last Don't Care (both 2006); Micol Assaël: Chizhevsky Lessons (2007); Danh Vo: Where the Lions Are (2009); Moyra Davey: Speaker Receiver (2010); Sung Hwan Kim: Line Wall (2011) and Adriana Lara: S.S.O.R. (2012), Michel Auder: Stories, Myths, Ironies, and Other Songs: Conceived, Directed, Edited, and produced by M. Auder (2013) and Naeem Mohaiemen: Prisoners of Shothik Itihash (2014) as well as group shows including Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession) (with Salvatore Lacagnina, 2010), How to Work/How to Work (More for) Less (both in 2011). In 2008 he cocurated with Elena Filipovic the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art under the title When Things Cast No Shadow and in 2012 he curated Olinka, or Where Movement Is Created at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. He is a Member of the Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Member of the Advisory Committee of Kontakt. Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation in Vienna. In 2011, he was recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement at the Menil Foundation in Houston.
PRASAD SHETTY and RUPALI GUPTE
Rupali Gupte (b.1975) and Prasad Shetty (b.1974) are urbanists based in Mumbai and teach at the School of Environment and Architecture (sea.edu.in), which they co-founded as an experimental academic space for architecture and urbanism. In 2003, they co-founded an urban research network, CRIT (crit.in). Rupali and Prasad are both architects and specialise in urban design and urban management respectively. Their works include research on Indian urbanism with focus on architecture, urban culture, urban economy, property, entrepreneurial and tactical practices, housing and urban form. Their cross disciplinary works take different forms - writings, drawings, mixed-media works, storytelling, teaching, walks and spatial interventions. Some of their joint works include Multifarious Nows (an art installation for Manifesta 7, Bolzano - 2007); Studies of Housing Types in Mumbai (for the Urban Age initiative of London School of Economics - 2007), Being Nicely Messy - a proposition for the future of Urban Mobility (for Audi Urban Future Initiatives, Istanbul - 2012); Gurgaon Glossaries - a methodology to read cities (for Sarai 09 Delhi - 2013, Mumbai Art Room and the Sao Paolo Architecture Biennale - 2014); Transactional Objects (an art installation for the 56th Venice Art Biennale - 2015), R and R: a library and community centre built in a rehabilitation colony in Mankhurd in collaboration with CAMP and Khanabadhosh (2016), Spatial design for the Shanghai Biennale (2016); Systems and Madness, (an installation at the Seoul Architecture Biennale 2017) When is Space? (curation of an architectural exhibition at Jaipur - 2018).
Sabih Ahmed is a Researcher at Asia Art Archive based in New Delhi. He conceptualises and leads research initiatives on modern and contemporary art, has led projects digitising artist archives and creating digital bibliographies of art across multiple languages, and has organised colloquia and seminars around archiving and educational resources. Ahmed has been a Visiting Faculty at School of Culture and Creative Expression, Ambedkar University, Delhi. His recent writings have been published by Mousse Publications, The Whitworth, and Oncurating. He was a member of the Curatorial Collegiate of the 11th Shanghai Biennale curated by Raqs Media Collective.
Shumon Basar is a writer, thinker and cultural critic. He is co-author of The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present with Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist. His edited books include Translated By, Cities from Zero, The World of Madelon Vriesendorp, With/Without, Did Someone Say Participate? and Hans Ulrich Obrist Interviews Volume 2. He is Commissioner of the Global Art Forum in Dubai; Editorat-large of Tank magazine and Contributing Editor at Bidoun magazine; Director of the Format program at the AA School, London; a member of Fondazione Prada’s DzThought Council,dz Milan; and part of Art Jameel’s Curatorial Council.
Léuli Māzyār Lunaʻi Eshrāghi is a Visiting Curator (with Freja Carmichael, Lana Lopesi, Tarah Hogue and Sarah Biscarra Dilley) at the Institute of Modern Art, just north of Mianjin, in 2018. He is a curator, artist and Monash University PhD candidate visiting Kulin Nation lands and waters. Léuli hails from the Sāmoan villages of Āpia, Leulumoega, Siʻumu, Salelologa, and other ancestries. His work centres on ceremonial political practices, language renewal, and Indigenous futures. Residencies include Sovereign Words (Office of Contemporary Art Norway with Artspace Sydney at the Dhaka Art Summit), Para Site Hong Kong, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and University of British Columbia - Okanagan. He serves on the board of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (Canada), editorial advisory committee for un Magazine, and the Pacific advisory group to Melbourne Museum.
BONAVENTURE SOH BEJENG NDIKUNG
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD is an independent art curator and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and editor-in-chief of SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art. He is currently guest professor in curatorial studies at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He was curator-at-large for Adam Szymczyk's documenta 14, and is a guest curator of the 2018 Dak'Art Biennale in Senegal. Recent curatorial projects include: Azin Feizabadi, Once Upon A Time, Once Upon No Time, Galerie Wedding, 2018; That, Around Which the Universe Revolves: On Rhythmanalysis of Memory, Times, Bodies in Space, SAVVY Contemporary, Hebbel am Ufer, Kampnagel, a.o., 2016-18; El Usman Faroqhi Here and a Yonder: On Finding Poise in Disorientation, SAVVY Contemporary, 2017; Every Time A Ear di Soun — a documenta 14 Radio Program, SAVVY Contemporary, 2017; The Conundrum of Imagination, Leopold Museum Vienna/ Wienerfestwochen, 2017; An Age of our Own Making in Holbæk, MCA Roskilde and Kunsthal Charlottenborg Copenhagen, 2016-17; Unlearning the Given: Exercises in Demodernity and Decoloniality, SAVVY Contemporary, 2016. Selected lectureships and talks at a.o. Reykjavik Museum of Art, 2018; Cités des Arts, Paris, 2018; Tensta Konsthall Stockholm, 2017; Bergen Assembly, 2017; University of the Arts London, 2017; Gwangju Biennale, 2016; Pluriversale, Akademie der Kunste der Welt, Köln, 2016.
Kavita Singh is Professor of Art History and is currently the Dean of the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where she teaches courses on the history of Indian painting, on curating, and on the history and politics of museums. She has published essays on issues of colonial history, repatriation, secularism and religiosity, fraught national identities, and the memorialization of difficult histories as they relate to museums in South Asia and beyond. She has also published essays and monographs on Mughal painting. Her books include the edited and co-edited volumes New Insights into Sikh Art (Marg, 2003), Influx: Contemporary Art in Asia (Sage, 2013), No Touching, No Spitting, No Praying: The Museum in South Asia (co-edited with Saloni Mathur, Routledge, 2014), and Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales from the Crypt (co-edited with Mirjam Brusius, Routledge 2017). Monographs include Museums, Heritage, Culture: Into the Conflict Zone (Amsterdam University of the Arts, 2015) and Real Birds in Imagined Gardens: Mughal Painting Between Persia and Europe (Getty Research Institute, 2016). She has curated exhibitions at the San Diego Museum of Art, the Devi Art Foundation, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the National Museum of India.