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Gunalan Nadarajan and Irina Aristarkhova: Moscow Curatorial Summer School

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Gunalan Nadarajan and Irina Aristarkhova recently took part in the second annual Moscow Curatorial Summer School, a 3‑week program on theory, history and curatorial practice.

The intensive development of the contemporary art system in Russia has turned the curator into one of the most important and at the same time problematic figures within the Russian cultural context. What are the professional boundaries and competences of a curator? What are his/​her author’s rights and professional duties? What are the levels of knowledge and skills that define this new sphere of professional activity? How should this specialized experience be applied and portrayed professionally?

The Moscow Curatorial Summer School aims to become an important step towards answering these questions. In 2012, the V‑A-C Foundation began an annual, 3‑week programme designed to engage leading international and Russian experts in theory, history and curatorial practice. The theoretical and practical course studies focus on one specific topic, which becomes the central theme of the school and of an educational project, directed by an established curator.

The theme of the second Moscow Curatorial Summer School is This is the Show and the Show is Many Things,” referring to Belgium curator Bart de Baere’s pioneering 1994 exhibition.

This year, under the direction of Viktor Misiano, contemporary art curator, critic, and theorist, the school explores examples of curatorial practise that go beyond the traditional exhibition structure, with a series of seminars and lectures that aim to prove that a curatorial project can be many things” – social and political activism, collective research, intellectual discussion, group travel, par institutional activity, and much more. An educational project was developed as part of the programme by curatorial and artist group Raqs Media Collective (New Delhi, India).

Participating ecturers include Bruce Altshuler, Irina Aristarkhova, Bart de Baere, Pascal Gielen, Mary Jane Jacob and Russell Lewis, Vivana Checchia, Gunalan Nadarajan, Erik Hagoort, IRWIN Group, Stephanie Smith, Grant Kester, Madina Tlostanova and Valery Podoroga.

V‑A-C Foundation is a not-for-profit private institution founded in Moscow in 2009 committed to supporting contemporary art in Russia. Our focus is directed towards contemporary art and cultural practice with the aim of providing a platform for creativity in the wider sense of the word. We strive to be actively engaged in artistic production, rather than the patronage or sponsorship of ongoing artistic processes. V‑A-C is deeply committed to the growing importance of art made in Russia as well as the new generations of artists from around the world.

Moscow Curatorial Summer School
July 2013
Presnya Museum, Moscow