[artinfo] "How to become a curator?" at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

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Wed Nov 6 12:57:23 CET 2013

Suzana Milevska and Ruth Noack
"How to become a curator?"
Educational approaches to curating contemporary art
Friday, 15 November 2013, 7:30pm

Atelierhaus of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Lehárgasse 8, 2nd floor 
1060 Vienna, Austria


Lectures in English by Suzana Milevska and Ruth 
Noack with an introduction by Christine Böhler 
(director of the Culture Programme, ERSTE 
Foundation). The following discussion will be 
moderated by Georg Schöllhammer (editor and 

Free entry. 

On Friday, 15 November, the art historians and 
curators Suzana Milevska and Ruth Noack will give 
a public talk about "How to become a curator?" As 
part of the international "PATTERNS Lectures" 
conference, which will be held over two days at 
the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Both lecturers 
will share their experiences of training curators.

In recent times, Suzana Milevska, an Endowed 
Professor of Central and South Eastern European 
Art Histories at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 
has observed that writing the art history 
of curating has provided a point of interchange 
between the two distinguished professions, the 
art historian and curator. In her presentation 
"Art Historian Becoming-Curator," she will focus 
on the event(s) of "becoming-curator" and 
particularly intends to discuss the Deleuzian 
concept of "becoming" in the context of the 
self-differentiation and self-reification of an 
art historian as an art curator. For her, "the 
main challenge is how a person knows what he or 
she knows as a curator, and how one reconciles 
the contradictions and conflicts stemming from 
'being-art historian' and 'becoming-curator.'"

Ruth Noack will present ethical and pedagogical 
considerations. Her lecture "After the Royal 
College" is based on her experiences as the head 
of the Curating Contemporary Art programme at the 
Royal College of Art in London. "There is not 
much of a career to be had in the profession of 
exhibition making," says Ms Noack. "Money is 
scarce and there are few opportunities to work in 
circumstances that are not alienating. 
Nevertheless, curatorial courses are popping up 
everywhere." Therefore she frankly asks: "Are 
these courses feasible, considering that there 
may already be enough professional curators to 
satisfy demand? And might it be possible to evade 
the supply and demand system all together?"

Suzana Milevska is an art historian, curator and 
theorist of art and visual culture. She completed 
her PhD at Goldsmiths College in London. In 2004 
she became Fulbright Visiting Scholar, and in 
2001 P. Getty Curatorial Research Fellow. From 
2006 to 2008, Suzana Milevska was Director of the 
Center for Visual and Cultural Research of 
Skopje, Macedonia. Since 1992 she has curated 
more than 70 international exhibitions. Her texts 
on the construction of national identity and 
gender difference in Balkan art and visual 
culture have been widely published. Her long-term 
interdisciplinary project The Renaming Machine 
(2008-2010) consisted of a series of exhibitions 
and conferences (Ljubljana, Skopje, Pristina, 
Zagreb, Vienna, etc.) and a publication. Milevska 
also published the book Gender Difference in the 
Balkans (Saarbrucken: VDM Verlag, 2010). She 
worked as a researcher for the projects Gender 
Check (ERSTE Foundation/Museum Moderner Kunst 
Stiftung Ludwig Wien) and Call the Witness (Roma 
Pavilion at the 54th International Art 
Exhibition,Venice Biennale, Collateral Event, 
2011) and curated the exhibitions Call the 
Witness (BAK, Utrecht) and Roma Protocol at the 
Austrian Parliament. For her work as a curator 
and theorist of art and visual culture, which 
focuses on research of art in post-socialist and 
transitional societies, collaborative and 
participatory art practices, feminist and queer 
contexts, she received the Igor Zabel Award for 
Culture and Theory and the ALICE Award for 
political curating in 2012. Suzana Milevska was 
appointed first Endowed Professor for Central and 
South Eastern European Art Histories at the 
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from October 2013 to 
July 2014. 

Ruth Noack trained as a visual artist and art 
historian, and has worked as an author, art 
critic, university lecturer and exhibition maker 
since the 1990s. She curated documenta 12 
(Kassel, 2007) and her other exhibitions include 
Scenes of a Theory (The Depot, Vienna, 1995), 
Things We Don't Understand (Generali Foundation, 
Vienna, 2000), Organisational Forms (Kunstraum of 
Leuphana University of Lüneburg; ·kuc, Ljubljana; 
Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, 2002 to 2003) 
and The Government (Witte de With, Rotterdam; 
MAC, Miami; Secession, Vienna, 2005). In 2012, 
she provided Garden of Learning (Busan Biennale) 
with its exhibition layout. She is currently 
working on Sleeping with a Vengeance - Dreaming 
of a Life (2015) and on Fragments and Compounds 
(Ethnological Museum, Berlin; Neue Galerie, 
Kassel; Johann Jacobs Museum, Zurich, 2014). 
During the 2012/2013 academic year, Noack headed 
the Curating Contemporary Art programme at the 
Royal College of Art, London and acted as 
Research Leader for the EU project MeLa - 
European Museums in an age of migrations. In 
2013, she published Sanja Ivekovic: Triangle for 
Afterall Books and Agency, Ambivalence, Analysis. 
Approaching the Museum with Migration in Mind for 
the Politecnico di Milano.

In 2003, ERSTE Foundation evolved out of the 
Erste Oesterreichische Spar-Casse, the first 
Austrian savings bank. Currently, ERSTE 
Foundation is the main shareholder of Erste 
Group. The foundation invests part of its 
dividends in the development of societies in 
Austria and Central and South Eastern Europe. It 
supports social participation and civil-society 
engagement; it aims to bring people together and 
disseminate knowledge of the recent history of a 
region that has been undergoing dramatic changes 
since 1989. As an active foundation, it develops 
its own projects within the framework of three 
programmes: Social Development, Culture and 
Europe. In 2011 the foundation joined forces with 
WUS Austria to launch "PATTERNS Lectures," a 
programme to support university lectures in 
visual art and culture sciences at universities 
in Central and South Eastern Europe.

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