Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Students learn about a range of theories, philosophies, and articulated positions from which curatorial approaches can be constructed. Students are introduced to some basic concepts and frameworks of curating within the field of contemporary artistic praxis and gain insight into different curatorial and artistic strategies from the viewpoint of political transformation. The course enhances the students' abilities for self-actualisation and critical thinking.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 15.01.2021 - 19.02.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Patrizia Costantin, Bassam El Baroni, Pia Euro

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Patrizia Costantin

Contact information for the course (valid 12.10.2020-21.12.2112):

Patrizia - Patti - Costantin

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    This course traverses theory in general in order to extract from it modes of thinking, operation and intervention that contribute constructively to curatorial discourses. The course works towards constructing a speculative framework through which topics as diverse as subjectivity, spatiality, collaboration, participation, institutional & technological infrastructures, e.g. can be examined and reconsidered in relation to current curatorial and artistic practices.   

  • Applies in this implementation:

    We will look at:

    • key ideas and approaches to curating,
    • how curating can be understood as a tool to pose questions/reveal issues and themes that are defining the contemporary condition,
    • the notion of curatorial activism and how curators can engage audiences in creative forms of protest. 

    Sessions 1 (15/01/2021) and 2 (22/01/2021)

    We will look at key ideas that have emerged within the field of curatorial practice include: exhibition making, the curatorial, the research exhibition, the curatorial constellation, curating in the educational turn, curating contemporaneity, audience and participation.

    Sessions 3 (29/01/2021) and 4 (5/02/2021)

    We will look at how exhibitions and curatorial processes can be understood as a tool for investigating the contemporary condition. In this context, we will look at the debate surrounding decolonizing the museum, the canon, biennials (and their ecological impact), relational aesthetics and institutional critique.

    Sessions 5 (12/02/2021) and 6 (19/02/2021)

    We will discuss how curatorial practice and curating can have a radical potential within contemporaneity and the era of post-truth.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Coursework and course participation.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Course participation (80% attendance)

    In-class exercises and discussions and a critical essay. Details of the assessments methods will be introduced at the first session on January 15th 2021.

    Essential readings will be assigned before of each session. The morning lecture will be followed by a case-study analysis and a group exercise. In the afternoon, we will discuss the assigned reading in the seminar.

    If possible, we will also go and visit some exhibitions in the afternoon. In this case, the seminar discussion will take place in a museum of gallery.

    Please find below the extended reading list. You are also encouraged to find tour own texts.

    The marking matrix can be found in the materials section - under slides.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    55 hours of contact teaching, 80 hours of individual work. Requirement of all schedules activities a minimum of 80%.


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Will be provided in syllabus

  • Applies in this implementation:

    • Bishop, C. (2006). Participation. London : Cambridge, Mass.: Whitechapel ; MIT Press. 
    • Bourriaud, N. (1998) Relational Aesthetics, Paris: Les Presse Du Reel. 
    • Bourriaud, N. (2009) The Radicant, New York: Lukas & Stemberg.
    • Contemporary Art Biennials–Our Hegemonic Machines in Times of Emergency. On curating, Issue 46. 2020.
    • Cox, G. and Lund, J. (2016) The Contemporary Condition: Introductory Thoughts on Contemporaneity and Contemporary Art, Berlin: Sternberg Press
    • Curating in Feminist Thought, On Curating, Issue 29. 2016.
    • Decolonizing Art Institutions, On Curating, Issue 35. 2017.
    • Foster, H. (2020). What comes after Farce? London: Verso.
    • Hoffmann, J. and Lind, M. (2011) ‘To Show or Not to Show’, Mousse Magazine, 31 
    • Latour. B. and Weibel, P. (eds.) (2006) Making Things Public. London; Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
    • Madoff, S. H. (2019). What about activism? Berlin: Sternberg Press. 
    • Marchart, O. (2019). Conflictual Aesthetics. Artistic Activism and the Public Sphere. Berlin: Sternberg Press.
    • Martinon, J. (2015). The curatorial: A philosophy of curating. London: Bloomsbury.
    • O'Neill, P. (2012). The culture of curating and the curating of culture(s). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    • O'Neill, P. & Wilson, M. (2010). Curating and the educational turn. London: Open Editions/De Appel.
    • O’Neill, P. (2012) ‘The Curatorial Constellation and the Paracuratorial Paradox’. The Exhibitionist, No.6, pp. 55-60.
    • Reilly, M. & Lippard, L. R. (2018). Curatorial activism: Towards an ethics of curating. [London]: Thames & Hudson. 
    • Sheikh, S., Wilson, M. t., Steeds, L. t. & O'Neill, P. (2019). Curating after the global: Roadmaps for the present. Feldmeilen, Switzerland : Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Luma Foundation.
    • Sjöholm, J. (2016). Curating differently: Feminisms, exhibitions and curatorial spaces. Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    • Smith, T. (2015). Talking contemporary curating (First edition.). New York: Independent Curators International.
    • Sheikh, S. (2013) ‘Towards the Exhibition as Research.’ In O'Neill, P. and Wilson, M. (eds.) (2015) Curating Research. London; Amsterdam: Open Editions; de Appel, pp. 32-46.
    • Transmediale (2012) The Afterglow. Issue 2 [Online] [Accessed on 12/03/2015]
    • Whitechapel Gallery & Steeds, L. (2014). Exhibition. London : Cambridge, Massachusetts: Whitechapel Gallery 

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:


SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education

    5 Gender Equality

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    10 Reduced Inequality

    17 Partnerships for the Goals