SEPTEMBER 6-11, 2021

Critical perspectives in curatorial
and artistic research

The first edition of our art summer school is organized by the National University of Arts „George Enescu”, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design from Iași.


The Iasi Arts Summer School, generically entitled “Critical perspectives in curatorial and artistic research”, aims to generate debates on relevant topics for today’s research in visual arts, while providing international networking opportunities. Our goal is to foster critical thinking about curatorial and artistic research today in an informal, more relaxed and stimulating environment.


We offer the opportunity to enroll for free for a series of advanced courses and workshops designed for MA and doctoral students, as well as early career art professionals. Held in conjunction with renowned international guest professors, these learning units combine the traditional lectures format with workshops and portfolio reviews and discussions.

The Summer School is structured in six days, each day being dedicated to one topic chosen by the invited professors who will be in direct contact with the participants. The students will be enrolled in two groups: one dedicated to curatorial and exhibition research, the other focusing on artistic research. However, all participants from the two groups are invited to assist to all presentations and working sessions. Participants from the two groups are expected to work on a project to be presented during the summer school.


Embracing the geo-historical location of Iasi from the perspective of networked global peripheries, this year’s topic, “Decolonial praxis”, aims to question the epistemic frameworks and processes of curatorial and artistic research, selection, aggregation and display from a decolonial perspective. We are interested to critically scrutinize the universalizing patterns of thought and formats of social action that are embedded in curatorial and artistic practices, to unearth their rootedness in the Western colonial matrix, and to explore ways in which making art and exhibitions today may not (only) produce objects and experiences to be consumed, but also reconstruct otherwise our social relations, imaginaries, and subjectivity formations. “Decolonial praxis” also questions the distinction between theory and practice, understanding theory as a type of practice and practice as a theorizing process.

Following Walter Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh, we are interested in the questions of “how, with whom and what for?” do artists and curators work? Can art practices help us visualize a pluriversal world? How can we integrate indigenous knowledge in our professional practices? What is the role of artistic pedagogy in the increasingly precarious and uneven world we inherit today? Can critical design address social injustice? What politics of vision can be mobilized while working from a historically disadvantaged position?

This year’s artistic research classes are dedicated to photography, social design and socially engaged art in public spaces.


Located in Iasi, the most northeastern city in Romania, only 20 kms far from the Eastern border of the European Union, The National University of Arts in Iasi is the oldest art academy in Romania.

Despite its peripheral location, Iasi is the former capital of the Kingdom of Moldavia, a city rich in history and with a rapidly evolving economy and cultural life. During the 2000s, it was the home of the first biennial of contemporary art from Romania, Periferic.