About CuratorLab

CuratorLab is a one-year international curatorial course. We are exploring radical approaches to engagement, contributing to the pertinent conversations of our times, practicing curating beyond exhibition making, having collective fun and applying horizontal learning.

One of our leading questions is how to understand - paraphrasing Audre Lorde - our interdependence in relation to our own individual power and creativity? Thus every year we work on one common topic where everyone contributes with their own sensibility. CuratorLab is open for all interested in collective work, thinking out of the box, and keen to form a solid curatorial research group sharing the language of art.

 

CuratorLab presents The Trial - II Processo, 2010-2017 of Rossella Biscotti at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2017


In recent years, we have tested advocacy as a curatorial form at the Visible Temporary Parliament; traced the topic of migration in the public collection of the Malmö Konstmuseum, co-edited a reader on love and revolution drawing on the legacy of the Bolshevik revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai together with the artist Dora García at Tensta Konsthall or re-staged the "Operaist Trial 1977-78" with the artist Rossella Biscotti.

CuratorLab is the oldest curatorial education in Sweden, established in 1999, and remains a platform open to everybody with curiosity to challenge and present new curatorial practices.

CuratorLab is the oldest curatorial education in Sweden, established in 1999, and remains a platform open to everybody with curiosity to challenge and present new curatorial practices.

Course Director / Senior lecturer Joanna Warsza is a Course Director of CuratorLab since 2014 and an independent curator and editor. Currently she is a co-curator of the Polish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. Together with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu she co-curates Die Balkone in Berlin, the 3rd and the 4th Autostrada Biennale in Kosovo, and the 12th Survival Kit in Riga. She is an editor of over 10 publications, recent ones including: Red Love. A Reader on Alexandra Kollontai (co-edited with Maria Lind and Michele Masucci; Sternberg Press, Konstfack Collections, and Tensta Konsthall, 2020), and And Warren Niesłuchowski Was There: Guest, Host, Ghost (co-edited with Sina Najafi 2020). Originally from Warsaw, she lives in Berlin and occasionally in Stockholm.

Guest lecturer: Maria Lind is a curator, writer and educator. She was the director of Stockholm's Tensta konsthall 2011-18, the artistic director of the 11th Gwangju Biennale, the director of the graduate program, CCS Bard College (2008-2010) and director of Iaspis in Stockholm (2005-2007). In 2020, Maria Lind was appointed councilor of culture at the embassy of Sweden in Moscow, where she is now based.

Curatorial assistant: Vasco Forconi is an independent curator and researcher based between Rome and Stockholm. He was visiting curator at V-A-C Foundation in Moscow, and recently co-edited the first Italian translation of The Undercommons (Archive Books/Tamu Edizioni, 2021).




Term 2021/2022

A year in which we curate The Konstfack Degree Exhibition 2022


The curators of The Konstfack Degree Exhibition 2022. Photo: Bitte Andersson


Topic

For the academic year 2021/2022, CuratorLab forms the team of curators for one of the most anticipated art events in Stockholm: The Konstfack Degree Exhibition 2022, which includes the Master's degree programmes: Fine Art; CRAFT! (Textile, Ceramics and glass, Jewellery and Corpus); Spatial Design; Individual Study Plan in Design, Teacher Education in Visual Arts and Sloyd, and Visual Communication. Through a mix of dialogues, studio visits, feedback, crit sessions, group work, field trips and seminars, we delve into the ideas and visions of over 85 graduates across these fields.

The Konstfack Degree Exhibition is one of the most important and widely attended art events of the Stockholm art community. It also produces a lot of hopes, aspirations and expectations - some of them impossible to fulfill. We explore questions around the possible ways of presenting this diverse educational setting and opening up the process rather than only celebrating its final results. How can we combine the intimacy of learning and failing and the array of materials and techniques within a situated context of a given space-time? How to understand - paraphrasing Audre Lorde — our interdependence in relation to our own individual power and creativity? How to negotiate between students' desires for self-expression and the curatorial impulse to identify narratives? How to refrain from the reenactment of old hierarchies and think of a unique place of art schools in the ecosystem of art and beyond it? How to combine large-scale production with a setting that benefits all graduates? How to work professionally, efficiently but critically within the frameworks of an established institution?

Participants : Chen Shuyu / Malmö, Una Mathiesen Gjerde / Oslo, Lovro Japundžić / Zagreb, Lauren Johnson / Stockholm / Elk Glade, Colorado, Matilda Kästel / Stockholm, Lina Louisa Kraemer / Mainz, Martin Ku / Berlin, Reyhaneh Mirjahani / Gothenburg / Tehran, Res / Stockholm / Brooklyn, Eleni Riga / Athens, Marta Świetlik / Warsaw, Krisztián Gábor Török / Budapest

Term 2020/2021

A year in which we edited two books on the archeology of our profession


A series of public art exhibitions, Construction in process, Łódź, Poland, early 80s


Topic
CuratorLab embarked on a year-long research tracing the professional archaeology of some of the senior ground-breaking curators. We dug into a number of instrumental exhibitions and other projects, which on the one hand introduced decolonial and other non-hegemonic approaches in Sweden, and on the other hand anti-monumental and anti-extractivist curating in the public realm in Europe and the US. We met and interviewed practitioners who have made a mark on both art and curating of their time, and still remain less known. This research conducted in the pandemic year lead us to publish two books honoring and problematizing their legacy.

Participants Anna Mikaela Ekstrand / Stockholm / New York, Giulia Floris / Rome, Edith Fung / Hong Kong / Derry, Julius Lehmann / Münster, Marc Navarro Fornos / Barcelona, Raluca-Simina Neagu / Bucharest / London, Hanna Nordell / Uppsala / Stockholm, Marja Rautaharju / Helsinki, Erik Sandberg / Stockholm.


Final publications, co-published by Sternberg Press and Konstfack Collection (winter 2022)


Archeology of a Profession in Sweden | The MIT Press
Book Cover: Gunilla Lundahl, Himla skönt.
Photo: Olof Wallgren/Riksutställningar. Design by Jozefina Chetko.

 

Assuming Asymmetries | The MIT Press
Book cover: Christian Boltanski, The Missing House,
Große Hamburger Straße 15/16, Berlin, 1990, Photo: © Werner Zellien / Endlichkeit der Freiheit. Design: Jozefina Chetko


Public program: An Archaeology of a Profession. Conversations with ground-breaking senior curators.

A two-day online program with: Valerie Smith, Mary Jane Jacob, Elisabet Haglund, Carlos Capelán, Jan-Erik Lundström.

 



Term 2019/2020

A year in which we tested advocacy as a curatorial form

2019 Visible Temporary Parliament, Hôtel de Ville, Paris, photo by Benoit Laurent


Topic

In autumn 2019 CuratorLab participants acted as advocates for socially engaged practices shortlisted for the 2019 Visible Award. We tested advocacy as a form of care and responsibility defending artistic projects of Richard Bell, Cooking Sections, Luke Ching, Forensic Architecture, Daniel Godínez-Nivón,Trampoline House, Emily Jacir, Marisa Morán Jahn, Otobong Nkanga, Jasmeen Patheja. This experience made us raise the question of how can art institutions and practices be reformatted beyond display towards agency and engagement? Over the course of the Covid-19 crisis, our frenzied world has morphed into a global stagnation. The sweet fruits of connectivity, cheap travel, and breakneck production and consumption have been put on hold overnight. In this turbulent time, we ask ourselves: what is indispensable for Translocal solidarity and collective action? Which materials, ways of doing, and values can be prioritized over national or supranational apparatuses, and which strategies of curation, activation, and conservation can we craft as artists and curators? 

Matteo Lucchetti: guest lecturer
Curator, art historian, and writer. His main curatorial interests are focused on artistic practices that redefine the role of art and the artist in society. Since 2010, Lucchetti is chief curator, with Judith Wielander, the Visible project, a research endeavor and the first European biennial award devoted to socially engaged artistic practices in a global context, initiated and supported by Pistoletto Foundation, Biella and Fondazione Zegna, Trivero.

Judith Wielander:  guest lecturer
An independent curator based in Brussels. Her main curatorial research is focusing on the intersection of Art and Social Engagement. She has been curator at Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto from 2002 to 2010. Judith Wielander has initiated in 2009 in dialogue with Michelangelo Pistoletto the Visible Project and co-curates it since 2010 with Matteo Lucchetti.

Participants: Alba Martinez Folgado / Uppsala, Benjamin Thomas / Bristol / London, Carlota Mir / Vienna / Stockholm, Carolina Lio / London, Claudia Stübi / Basel, Pia Würthwien / Berlin, Sara Alberani / Rome, Sofia Steinvorth / Lisbon, Tal Gilad / Stockholm.

Democracy and Dramaturgy, Notes on Curating Socially Engaged Art

CuratorLab final online program 3-4 June 2020

 



Term 2018/2019

A year in which we worked on traces of migration in the art collections


Sonia Delaunay, Rythme couleur, Migration: Traces in an Art Collection, Tensta konsthall


Topic

Throughout the academic year, 2018-2019, CuratorLab participants worked alongside the curators Maria Lind, Cecilia Widenheim and Joanna Warsza developing the mediation and public programme for the exhibition, Migration: Traces in an Art Collection, shown at Tensta konsthall and Malmö Konstmuseum in spring and autumn 2019. The starting point of the research was a question of how to work curatorially with public art collections by responding to notions of the public, publicness, the commons, the counter-public, the private, the shared, and the owned. Every participant was engaged in conceptual and hands-on research on the third biggest collection of 'Nordic' art in Sweden, from visiting its storage, having a conversation with the conservators and technicians, to develop their own projects.

The research began by considering an event in 1945, when the staff of Southern Sweden's largest museum, Malmö Museer, transformed the institution into a refugee center for those who had survived concentration camps in Germany and had come to Sweden on so-called 'white buses'. From there, the participants outlined research topics and readings, asking what the role of the curator is in actualising and problematising collections, while also developing the exhibition's programme, which considered exile, migration, displacement, and art travels in the globalised world.

Participants: Jeong Chae / Stockholm & Seoul, John Heffernan / Hull, Vasco Forconi / Rome, Lotte Løvholm / Copenhagen, Jari Malta / Malmö, Raquel Villar Pérez / London, Eva Seijas / La Coruña, Kasia Sobczak / Lisbon / Gdańsk

CuratorLab final public program, May-June 2019, Tensta konsthall

 



Term 2017/2018

A year in which we read Alexandra Kollontai writings on comradely love and revolution

Dora Garcia, Red Love, exhibition view, Tensta konsthall


Topic
CuratorLab 2018-2017 participants together with writer Michele Masucci, collectively revisited the ideas of a Russian revolutionary and feminist, Aleksandra Kollontai, exploring topics such as sexual politics, free love, and motherhood. Kollantai was a prominent Russian revolutionary, a commissar of Social Welfare after the October revolution in 1917, and a long-term Soviet ambassador to Sweden. As a cofounder of the Zhenotdel, the ‘Women's Department’ in the communist party, she introduced abortion rights, secularized marriage, and provided paid maternity leave. Kollontai considered ‘comradely love’ to be an important political force and foundational to shaping social bonds beyond the limitations of property relations.

As a result our research we published a reader on the subject, titled Red Love, stemming from their year-long collaboration with Tensta konsthall, leading to Dora García's exhibition, Red Love. We also developed a related public programme to the show. A number of artists and thinkers revisited Kollontai's ideas throughout the book, on the politics of love and their relation to current political, social, and feminist struggles. The publication also includes the biographical play, Kollontai, written in 1977 by distinguished Swedish writer, Agneta Pleijel.

Michele Masucci: guest lecturer
Artist, researcher and Ph.D. candidate at Karolinska Institutet and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, as well as translator of Italian political philosophy into Swedish, including Paolo Virnos 'Grammar of The Multitude'.

Participants: Federico Del Vecchio / Naples, Alexandra Grimes / Birmingham, Nicholas Jones / Oslo, Alessandra Prandin, Paris/Venice, Dimitrina Sevova, Zurich/Sofia, Malin Sujeewa Huber / Stockholm, Sofio Tabatadze, Tbilisi/Berlin, Martyna Nowicka-Wojnowska / Krakow, Hannah Zafiropoulos / London


Final publication: 
Red Love: A Reader on Alexandra Kollontai / Kollantai: A Play by Agneta Pleijel (Sternberg Press and Konstfack Collection, 2020)

Open access file available on DiVA

 



Term 2016/2017

A year in which we re-staged an Operaist Trail with an artist Rossella Biscotti

 

CuratorLab presents The Trial - II Processo, 2010-2017, Rossella Biscotti at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2017, photo by Maeshelle West Davies


Topic

Throughout the academic year 2016/2017 we have been working together with curators Maria Lind, Joanna Warsza and artist/writer Michele Mascucci on re-staging The Trial / Il Processo (2010/2017), a performative piece by Italian artist Rossella Biscotti, based on the original courtroom recordings from the 1982–84 trial of members of Autonomia Operaia in Rome. CuratorLab organised related research, reading groups, and meetings, prepared the transcripts and finally enacted The Trial at Tensta konsthall in Stockholm first as an open rehearsal, and then as a performance at the Hamburger Banhof in Berlin.

Guest lecturers:  Petra Bauer, Rossella Biscotti, Doreen Mende, Suhail Malik, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Annika Eriksson.

Participants: Florin Bobu / Iasi, Domna Gounari, Tessaloniki / Madelene Gunnarsson / Stockholm, Nikki Kane / London, Jérôme Malpel / Paris, Christine Langinauer / Helsinki, Saima Usman / Stockholm

 



Term 2015/2016

A year in which we curated the Open House of  IASPIS

Iaspis Open House Spring 2016


Topic

Iaspis Open House Spring 2016 curated by CuratorLab. This edition of the Open House took on the concept of openness, hospitality, transparency and vulnerability, making access not only to the artists' studios, but the institution as such and bringing the new public in-house. In a series of day and night events Open House presented the work in progress of Iaspis artists in residence program, as well as hosted the performative interventions of the Stockholm emerging scene, with its collectives contributing with food, self-made publication on demand, and a music repertoire.

The main idea was to refer to the Swedish tradition of so-called Open House, when people organize a party open to everybody, an exhibition of their domicile, bringing the world into their life, and their life to the world. When the Iaspis programme opens the doors of its studio residencies for a day, it is an invitation to take part in the on-going artistic processes. The Iaspis studio programmme's focus is 'research based'; a place of investigative activity that offers time off from the production line of making. The grant holders can spend their time at the residency to reflect, explore and enter into unconditional processes without the need for results. They initiate new projects in local partnerships or work on on-going projects.The studio and the context created by the Iaspis programmme is in itself a platform for informal and formal meetings with Swedish and international artists, curators, writers and with professional audiences. The programme's residence activities are therefore about process itself, with the aim to add to a greater internationalization of the applied and visual art scene in Sweden.

Anna Tomaszewska: visiting lecturer
Curator, producer, researcher, former deputy director of the Polish Institute in Stockholm, where she was responsible for visual arts, architecture and design. Board member of Swedish organisation Mossutställningar, which focuses on public art.

Participants: Rowan Geddis, Thomas Hare, Sookyoung Huh, Carin Kallenberg, Alexandra Laudo, Raquel Benito Machtus, Sheena Malone, Maryam Omrani

Advisors: Sara Arrhenius, Behzad Khosravi, Camilla Larsson, Magdalena Malm, Martí Manen, Robin McGinley, Maria Lind, Niclas Östlind, Jacek Smolicki, Anna van der Vliet, Malin Zimm


Iaspis Open House Spring 2016 curated by CuratorLab

 


 

Term 2014/2015

A year in which we worked on Frederick Kiesler’s retrospective

Frederick Kiesler: Visions at Work at Tensta  konsthall, photo by Jean-Baptiste Béranger


Topic

Frederick Kiesler: Visions at Work Annotated by Céline Condorelli and Six Student Groups including CuratorLab at Tensta konsthall

In winter 2015 Tensta konsthall showed the first exhibition in Sweden of Frederick Kiesler's genuinely transdisciplinary work. Kiesler (1890–1965) was an architect, artist, scenographer, pedagogue, theorist and - not least - a groundbreaking exhibition designer. CuratorLab participants developed own public program of the show spanning from an exhibition in the shop windows in the shopping mall nearby, via reading groups on friendship to the selection of the reading material at the library.

The exhibition featured models and documentations of Kiesler's designs for exhibitions, buildings, interiors, shop-windows, etc. from various periods. The exhibition also included prototypes, including those of his Mobile Home Library and the mass-produced so-called correalist furniture, among others. The focus was on Kiesler's interest in the intersection between art and life and how this manifests in his works. The artist Céline Condorelli, who has a long-time interest in exhibition design and modes of presentation, contributed to the spatial design of the project.

Student groups from KTH Tensta, KTH School of Architecture, Mejan Arc at the Royal Institute of Art, Interior Architecture & Furniture Design and CuratorLab at Konstfack, and a fifth grade at Askebyskolan in Rinkeby were all involved with the exhibition.

Participants: Chiara Nuzzi / Venice, Dorota Michalska /Warsaw, Jacob Hurtig / Goethenburg, Josefin Vargö / Stockholm, Kalliopi Tsipni Kolaza / Athens, Kim Mcaleese / Birmingham, Patrik Haggren / Goethenburg, Samuel Perry / London, Valentina Sansone / Napels, Valeria Mancinelli / Venice

Individual advisors: Roger Connah, Celine Condorelli, Hadrian Garrard, Marina Grzinic, Luigi Fassi, Laura Hatfield, Peter Köhler, Nina Möntmann, Andre Lepecki, Maria Lind, Emily Pethick, Olivia Plender, Jenny Richards, Fredrik Svensk, Claire Tancons

Working groups on:
- Contributing to the creation of Frederick Kiesler's exhibition at Tensta Konsthall
- A study trip to St. Petersburg including a project in the Winter Palace
- Collaboration with Creative Time Summit in Stockholm

CuratorLab 2014 blog

 


 

Collaborations

In the past years CuratorLab has collaborated with: Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; Index - The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm: Moderna Bar, NLH Space, Copenhagen, Form Museets Vänner, Stockholm, National Museet, AndPublishing, London, Stockholm Rumanian Cultural Institute, Stockholm, Vessel, Bari; Filmhuset/Svenska Filminstitutet; Andquestionmark, Stockholm, Konsthall C, Stockholm; The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, Stockholm, Cigarrvägen 13; Stockholm; Konstapoteket, Stockholm; Leaders in Software and Art, New York; CoCAin Art Review, Poland; Mobile Art Productions, Stockholm; Röda Sten, Gothenburg; Point Ephémère, Paris; Platform Garanti, Istanbul; Onomotopee, Eindhoven, Apexart, New York; Botkyrka Konsthall, Stockholm; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; les presses du reel, Paris; Riksutstallningar, Gotland; Färgfabriken, Stockholm; Slakthusateljeérna, Stockholm, Open Arts Foundation, Plovdiv, Manifesta7, Bolzano, Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg, Creative Time Summit Stockholm


Visiting Lecturers

Beatrice von Bismarck, Petra Bauer, Jonna Bornemark, Eva Gonzalez-Sancho, Lena Jonson, Janna Graham, Jesper Nordahl, Rasmus Nielsen, Tone Olaf Nielsen, Emily Roysdon, Maria Lind, Binna Choi, Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Marta Kuzma, Marta Edling, Annika Enqvist, Warren Neidech, Kim West, Barbara London, Mark Fisher, Olivia Plender, Annie Fletcher, Lars Bang Larsen, Nina Möntmann, Goldin + Senneby, Mattin, Charlotte Bydler, Raimundas Malašauskas, Paul O'Neill, Martí Manen, Andre Lepecki, Rick Lowe, Andrea Philips, Maria Lantz, Marc Herbst, Chris Dercon, Gabi Ngobo, Carol Tulloch, Chus Martínez, Søren Grammel, Gavin Wade, Anthony Huberman, Lívia Páldi, Diana Baldon, Andrea Phillips, Elena Tzotzi, Gabi Ngobo, Stealth.unlimited, Martin Schibli, Lisa Rosendahl, Laurel Ptak, Sofia Victorino, Abdellah Karroum, Staffan Lundgren, Mats Sternstadt, Power Ekroth, Azat Sargsyan, Sinziana Ravini, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Petra Bauer, Fredrik Liew, Rebecca Gordon Nesbit, Ewa Majewska, Helena Selder, Edi Muka, Markus Degerman, Zoran Eric, Magdalena Malm, Fredrik Svensk, Sofia Wiberg, and many others.