Curatorial Research in
Exhibition Studies – Module 2
Guest: Mick Wilson

Curatorial Options and Co-options: On Decolonial Misgivings 

For the contemporary art field, the decolonial option appears to have become a central horizon within which to imagine, sense and act. The widespread adoption of decolonial terms within the contemporary art field, and within the question of the curatorial knowledge and enquiry, may also be seen as a long-overdue engagement with the racialized, colonial and oppressive logics that for some are seen as intrinsic to the field. However, the dynamics of such engagements may tend to honour the decolonial option or they may tend instead to its co-option, and to its reduction to a merely professional jargon. Is there a non-cynical way in which these dynamics may be considered? What is at stake in the current moment of curatorial work that seeks to operate the decolonial option?

Mick Wilson
is an artist, educator and researcher based in Gothenburg and Dublin. He is currently Professor of Art. and Director of Doctoral Studies, at HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg. He has worked in a wide variety of roles and institutions, including as: former Director of Valand Academy, Gothenburg (2012-2018); Fellow at BAK, basis voor aktuele kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands (2018/2019); Editor-in-chief PARSE Journal for Artistic Research (2015-2017); Dean of the Graduate School of Creative Arts & Media, Ireland (2007-2012); Chair of the SHARE network of 40 higher arts education institutions across 30-plus countries (2010-2014); and Head of Research, National College of Art & Design, Ireland (2005-2007). He co-edited, among others, the publications Curating after the Global (MIT Press, 2019), How Institutions Think (MIT Press, 2017), The Curatorial Conundrum (MIT Press, 2016) or Curating Research (Open Editions/De Appel, 2014). 

Curatorial Frameworks for a Decapitalist Option
Cătălin Gheorghe in collaboration with Mick Wilson

The workshop proposes to discuss reactions towards different forms of colonial practices, understood as being dominant capitalist in a disrupted socio-economical territory. These reactions can be arranged in liberatory exhibition formats based on artistic investigations oriented towards relational practices as processes of re-socialisation.

Cătălin Gheorghe
is a theoretician, curator and editor living in Iași (Romania), but travelling mostly in the deep non-spherical space of the Internet. As Associate Professor, he teaches Theories and Practices of Artistic Research, Curatorial Studies and Practices, and Applicative Visual Studies at “George Enescu” National University of the Arts in Iași. He is the editor of Vector – critical research in context publication series (that participated to documenta12magazine in Kassel), editing the books: “After the educational turn” (2017), “Post-photography” (co-editor Matei Bejenaru) (2015), “Critical Theories and Creative Practices of Research” (2014), “Exhibiting the ‘Former East’: Identity Politics and Curatorial Practices after 1989” (co-editor Cristian Nae) (2013), “Trial” (artist’s book: Dan Acostioaei) (2012), “Exhibition as [micro]city” (2011), “Vector – critical research in context” (pilot edition co-edited with Livia Pancu) (2010). In 2021 he is co-editing, with Mick Wilson, the reader “Exhibitionary Acts of Political Imagination”, a partnership between Vector (Iași) and PARSE (Gothenburg). He is also the curator of Vector – studio for art practices and debates (since 2007), which is a platform for critical research and art production based on the understanding of art as experimental journalism. He held curatorial talks to a series of art schools and institutions in Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Europe. His explorational interests are elaborated around critical artistic research, curatorial critical practices, art as experimental journalism, contemporary art (political) theories, xeno-spaces, xeno-practices, trans(ex)positions, post-capitalism […]