Academic year
2020/2021 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
EM3A14 (AF:339992 AR:180824)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
4th Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is scheduled among the core educational activities for art-historical disciplines in the degree course in Arts Management.
The main course objective is to provide students with the basic elements to understand the main functions of curatorship in the contemporary art system on the basis of a selection of exhibitions. Not only curators and artists, but also art professionals at large will be considered and presented as case studies: museum directors, gallery owners, registrar, project managers, etc.
On this purpose, webinar and talks with artists, curators, and related figures are planned within the course.
1. Knowledge
The topic will be investigated from a theoretical perspective in order to better understand what curatorship means. On the basis of case studies of exhibitions, the main topics will be analyzed within a global scope.

2. Communicative skills
Each student will be able to formulate the arguments of the course in a clear and reasoned way.

3. Critical skills
Students will be able to critically evaluate the historical evolution of exhibitions, to recognize and contextualize them within their geographical and historical framework, and to highlight their main features and contributions to the phenomenon of exhibitions.

4. Results
The learning outcomes will be assessed by an exam.
Basic knowledge of contemporary art history acquired through the fundamental teaching courses scheduled in the biennial degree course.
The course is aimed at investigating the main functions of contemporary art curatorship and specific exhibitions treated as case studies.
We will also consider players that contribute to the exhibition practice. Not only curators and artists, but also museum directors, gallery owners, registrars, project managers, etc. On this purpose, talks and webinars with artists, curators, and related figures are planned within the course.
The introduction will deal with the theoretical concept of curatorship and its current trends. It will provide the tools to frame the figure of the curator and his functions in the contemporary art system. A consistent part of the course will be devoted to relevant curators (including Alfred J. Barr, Harald Szeemann, Enrico Crispolti, Hans Ulrich Obrist) and to case studies of contemporary art exhibitions that have set milestones in this perspective. The final part is dedicated to the activity of Ca’ Foscari Esposizioni, which in the last ten years has developed an increasing expertise in this field.
Notes from the lessons.

Excerpts or chapters from the following texts, to be announced at the beginning of the course:

David Balzer, Curationism. How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, Pluto Press, London 2015 (or other edition)

Hans-Ulrich Obrist, A Brief History of Curating, JRP Ringier, Zürich 2008 (or other edition)

Hans-Ulrich Obrist with Asad Raza, Ways of curating, Allen Lane, London 2014.

Harald Szeemann, Selected Writings, eds. Doris Chon, Glenn Phillips, Pietro Rigolo, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles 2018

The following articles and short essays on moodle:

Alfred J. Barr, A New Art Museum; A New Museum, 1929, in Defining Modern Art: Selected Writings of Alfred H. Barr, Jr., eds. Irving Sandler, Amy Newman, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York 1986, pp. 69-76

Boris Groys, On the Curatorship, 2007, in Art Power, MIT Press, Cambridge 2008, pp. 43-53

Molly Nesbit, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rirkrit Tiravanija, What is a Station?, 2003

Paul O'Neill, The Curatorial Turn: from Practice to Discourse, 2007
The learning outcomes will be assessed by a written exam.
The use of books, notes, and electronic media is not allowed during the test.
Lectures with slides from Powerpoint-presentations.
Material shown during the lessons will be available on the Moodle e-learning platform together with additional bibliographical sources.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "International cooperation" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 11/02/2021