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07 Apr 2011

Postgraduate Program in Curating: Call for Applications

Master of Advanced Studies in Curating MAS
Certificate in Curating CAS
Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK), Switzerland


Application period: 1st April - 30th June 2011 (Date of postage) Course commences: End of September 2011

Dorothee Richter

Zurich University of the Arts
Further Education, Limmatstrasse 47
8005 Zurich

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The Postgraduate Program in Curating (MAS/ CAS) is a discursive platform designed to impart specialist knowledge of contemporary curating practices through practice-oriented projects.

(*New: Since the 2009 winter term all lectures are held in English due to our diverse international participants.)

The Postgraduate Program in Curating examines the key issues involved in contemporary exhibition making through taught modules, group activities, and practical project work. Coursework explores different areas of knowledge, and involves the development and production of projects through lectures and workshops delivered by an international selection of artists, curators, theorists, architects and designers. The program focuses less on the concept of the exhibition planner as an individual author, which has been a highly controversial topic since the 1990s, and more on cooperative, interdisciplinary working methods.

Curating means the creation of innovative structures for the presentation of cultural artefacts through interdisciplinary collaboration. In this field, art, digital media, design, and architecture relate in new ways to one another. The last few years have seen curators working in increasingly close collaboration with artists, architects, designers, and educationalists on the development of exhibitions, projects in the public sphere, the design of museum spaces, and the presentation of collections. Contemporary exhibitions are changing, with new interpretative strategies complementing the integration into exhibitions of innovative display structures, lounge areas, archives, reading rooms, and new media interfaces. We are witnessing a shift in the organisation of work processes throughout society. Within this shift , individual areas of action are coming together in new meta–levels, such as networks and know-how transfer. The Postgraduate Programme in Curating responds to these changes in the processes of the production of cultural meaning. It aims to address the significant changes affecting cultural production. It seeks to provide a model situation for course participants to gain practical curating experience, and to critically reflect on the issues involved. Modular course structure ensures that the programme remains timely and innovative. Areas of competence: The Postgraduate Program in Curating offers two study opportunities. The Postgraduate Diploma (CAS) is a one-year, part-time course providing participants with a basic qualification in key areas of curatorial practice, namely research, design, organisation and communication, in addition to basic theoretical knowledge. The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) is a two-year, part-time program leading to an advanced qualification. It provides participants with an in-depth enquiry into the key areas of curatorial practice and relevant theory. Students are guided in the development of projects and are given the tools to assess the context of their curatorial work, to critically appraise their own practice, and to establish a suitable network for this activity. The Master's program involves a major project and the submission of a written dissertation.

• Project work
• Aesthetic and cultural theory
• Recent art history
• Exhibition design
• Digital media
• Project management and Fine Arts administration
• Re-interpreting collections
• Communal discussions and excursions
• Language skills (German and English are required; written work can be submitted in either language)

Course commences End of September 2011

Information event:
14th April 2011 / 12th May 2011
Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
5th floor Ausstellungsstr. 60
CH - 8021 Zurich

Application period: 1st April - 30th June 2011 (Date of postage)
International applicants should apply as soon as possible because of visa procedures.

Course sessions:

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 10 units of contact teaching per week Flexibility is allowed in relation to project work

Course director:
Dorothee Richter, art expert, curator and writer. Ludwigsburg/Zürich
Course assistant: Siri Peyer

Teaching staff and guest lectures:
The Postgraduate Programme in Curating involves a wide range of international curators and theorists, from whom a pool of inspiring people is chosen each year to deliver guest talks and workshops on the theory and practice of curating:

→ Marius Babias, Director, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
→ Ursula Biemann, Artist and curator,
→ Beatrice von Bismarck, Author, curator, art historian, DOCK Projektbereich,
→ René Block, Curator of many biennials, collector
→ Lionel Bovier, Publisher, director of JRP-Ringier, Verlag für zeitgenössische Kunst,
→ Sabeth Buchmann, Art historian and critic, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
→ Sarah Cook, Media curator, Co-director of CRUMB, Curatorial Resource for New Media Curating,
→ Diedrich Diederichsen, Cultural Analyst, Pop culture critic
→ Barnaby Drabble, Freelance curator,,
→ Lillian Fellmann, Curator, Kunstpanorama Luzern,
→ Sønke Gau, Curatorial team Shedhalle (2004-09), researcher at the Institute for Critical Theory, ZHdK,
→ Jeanne van Heeswijk, Artist, urban curator ,
→ Annemarie Hürlimann, Art historian and curator, Praxis für Ausstellungen und Theorie, Berlin,
→ Therese Kaufmann, Project manager, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Vienna,
→ Oliver Kielmayer, Director, Kunsthalle Winterthur
→ Kino Apparatom, Artists and film curators, Simone Schardt und Wolf Schmelter
→ Moritz Küng, Director, Kunstzentrum de Singel exhibition programme, Antwerpen, Belgium,
→ Maria Lind, Curator, author and critic, Director Tensta Konssthall, Sweden,
→ Oliver Marchart, Philospher, Professor at the University of Lucerne,
→ Heike Munder, Director, migros museum,
→ Marion von Osten, Artist, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna;
→ Stella Rollig, Director, Lentos, Museum for Contemporary Art, Linz,
→ Beatrix Ruf, Director, Kunsthalle Zürich,
→ Anette Schindler, Director [Plug in] Art and New Media (2000–11),
→ Simon Sheikh, Curator, author and critic; Coordinator, Critical Studies Program, Malmö Art Academy
→ Support Structure, Gavin Wade and Celine Condorelli,
→ Szuper Gallery, Susanne Clausen and Pawlo Kerestey, S.C. Senior Lecturer, Reading Universty,
→ Adam Szymczyk, Director, Kunsthalle Basel,
→ Value, Christoph Lang and Stephan Meylan, artists and scenographers,
→ Marc-Olivier Wahler, Director, Palais de Tokyo, Paris,
→ Axel J. Wieder, Artistic director, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart; Co-founder, pro qm bookshop, Berlin;,

Cooperations until now: migros museum, Zurich; Kuenstlerhaus Worpswede; Kuenstlerhaus Bremen; Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart; Institute Cultural Studies in the Arts, Zurich; Institute for Critical Theory, Zurich; Kunsthistorisches Seminar, Zurich; White Space // Office for Curating/ Art/ Theory, Zurich; Kunstmuseum Thurgau; web journal; Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich; Kunsthalle Zurich; Fridericianum, Kassel.

Course aims: The aim of the Postgraduate Program in Curating is to examine changes in current cultural production and to develop innovative displays in relation to these. Aimed at participants from the fields of design, art, culture and media, the programme aims to open up new perspectives in the professional field. The programme also fosters the development of an international network, inviting an international selection of tutors and promoting opportunities for course participants to conduct projects locally, in Europe, and further afield.

For further information about the Postgraduate Program in Curating (certificate by ICOM), Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), and about the ZHdK Institute of Cultural Studies in Art, see: