September 13, 2023

Lecture and Workshop
The Anatomy of Crises in Curating: Politics of Display and Neoliberalism
Guest: Carolina Rito

This seminar examines the current situation of curating and institutions of display (museums, galleries, etc.), situating these practices at the intersection of two ongoing crises: colonial and neoliberal. Since the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, critiques of the colonial legacies of museums and exhibitions and demands for a decolonial role for these institutions have increased internationally. At the same time, museums have undergone a restructuring based on neoliberal business models that measure value in terms of growth in funding, programmed activities and audience numbers. This shift has steered programming away from risk-taking and critical experimental practices. This seminar examines these two scenarios and explores their implications for contemporary exhibition making.

The afternoon workshop builds on these discussions to explore new functions and possibilities for the future of institutions of display.

Carolina Rito is Professor of Creative Practice Research, at the Research Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities (CAMC), at Coventry University; and leads the centre’s Critical Practices research strand. She is a researcher and curator whose work explores ‘the curatorial’ as an investigative practice, expanding practice-based research in the fields of curating, visual arts, visual cultures and cultural studies. Rito is a member of the European Artistic Research Network’s Curatorial Studies Working Group; Executive Board Member of the Midlands Higher Education & Culture Forum; Research Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary History (IHC), Universidade NOVA de Lisboa; and Founding Editor of The Contemporary Journal. Rito is the co-editor of Institution as Praxis – New Curatorial Directions for Collaborative Research (Sternberg, 2020), Architectures of Education (e-flux Architecture, 2020), and FABRICATING PUBLICS: the dissemination of culture in the post-truth era (Open Humanities Press, 2021). Rito is editor of “On Translations” (2018) and “Critical Pedagogies” (2019) issues (The Contemporary Journal). She has published in international journals such as King’s Review, Mousse Magazine, and Wrong Wrong. From 2017 to 2019, she was Head of Public Programmes and Research at Nottingham Contemporary, leading the institution’s research strategy with Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham. She holds a PhD in Curatorial/Knowledge from Goldsmiths, University of London, where she taught from 2014 to 2016.

Cooperative Workshop
Reimagining the function of museums today
Carolina Rito and Cristina Moraru

Reading for the workshop

Sternfeld, Nora. 2020. ‘Take a Deep Breath In: “Museum as Praxis”, Inaugurated in October 2035’. In Institution as Praxis: New Curatorial Directions for Collaborative Research, edited by Carolina Rito and Bill Balaskas, 124–35. Berlin: Sternberg Press

Cristina MORARU is a researcher, curator and editor from Iași, Romania. She is currently an Assistant Professor at “George Enescu” National University of the Arts in Iași, and a researcher in a project on curatorial contexts funded by ICMA (Research Institute of UNAGE Iași). She is a member of TPP Research Forum supported by TU Berlin, Universität Bonn, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg and LMU München. She is co-editor of the academic publication Studies in Visual Arts and Communication, a founding member of Center of Contemporary Photography in Iași, and a member of International Association of Art Critics. She participated in international studies programs, research residencies, and workshops at NEC Institute for Advanced Studies (Bucharest), NCCR University of Basel, CRC “Affective Societies” Freie Universität Berlin, Aarhus University, University of Vienna, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver), Valand Academy for Art and Design (University of Gothenburg), University of Copenhagen, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Universität Hamburg, Loughborough University, Birmingham City University, Pedagogical University of Krakow, European University at St Petersburg, Danube University Krems, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, MTFA Academy Chișinau, EEPAP Lublin, LCCA Latvia, CCA Prishtina, The Cvito Fiskovic Centre in Split, Institute of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Fondazione Arthur Cravan in Milan and other independent institutions.