The 6th Asian Museum Curators' Conference (October 19 to Friday, October 22.)

The Japan Foundation has organized its first Asian Museum Curators' Conference in FY 2005, and has since held a series of conferences in different cities in Asia, to provide an opportunity for information sharing and exchange among the junior curators who work in the Asian region. The conference functions as a place for discussing curatorial practices, collection and conservation of artworks, and other issues that concern their profession.
In our 6th edition, India Foundation for the Arts joins us as co-organizer and as host to our conference to be held in two cities in India, New Delhi and Bangalore, from Tuesday, October 19 to Friday, October 22.


1. Conference Theme

"Curatorship: From Empire to Republic"

A. Curation Overview

  • Introduction and overviews
  • Where are we
  • How did we get here
  • What might the future be in the present

B. Political Curation: Audiences vs. Publics
What are the practices, possibilities and limits of political curation?

  • Describing institutional agendas and spectator communities
  • New institutional models including participatory museums
  • Assessing contexts for curation and reception
  • Audiences and Publics: curatorial initiatives and audience responses
  • Spectator engagement - documentation and assessment methodologies
  • Autonomy and the appropriation of curatorial work

C. Historicizing Art Events, Archives and Collections
Who is historicizing, archiving and collecting today and for whom?

  • What are the politics involved in the historicization and making of collections?
  • How does a curator today contend with the historical archive?
  • What are some possible curatorial interventions and what are their potential consequences for viewers?
  • Collections have implicit narratives - how does the curator use or dislocate these narratives to create variant histories and multiple narratives?

D. Design and the Spaces of Curation
Design as a part of curation

  • The "look" of analytical thought - what does design do for curation?
  • How does curation engender hierarchies of design, content development and viewer participation?
  • Design is an artistic process; curation is an exercise in creativity. How do design and curatorial agendas coincide and conflict?
  • Professional expertise, disciplinary boundaries and curation
  • Design imagines an ideal user while political curation seeks an engaged spectator. How do consumerism, usability, spectatorial pleasure and engaged participation connect?
  • Design and the spaces of curation: iconic buildings and visual blockbusters
  • New frontiers and guerilla curation: design on the go in virtual and the hinterland spaces

E. Alternative Art and Curation
What is alternative art space and curation in Asia?

  • Alternate, emergent and marginal - differences in form, representation, imagination, spectatorship
  • How does one version of the alternative gain legitimacy over another?
  • Are oppositional practices and positions possible?
  • Mainstreaming the alternative - are there choices?
  • Does stability and institutionalization contribute to vibrant alternative art and curation or does it hinder it?
  • If ephemerality, portability and obsolescence are courted by alternative art movements in developed countries, what happens when these are the everyday conditions for art making and curating as they are in many parts of Asia?

2. Conference Timetable and Agenda

*All sessions will be conducted in English

Dates: Programme: Venue:
Mon 18 Oct Arrival at New Delhi New Delhi
Tue 19 Oct
9 am - 10 am: Welcome and Opening Address
10.30 am - 6 pm: Site visits to museums/galleries to help contextualise current curatorial practice in India.
*Transfer to Bangalore
Japan Foundation, New Delhi.
Wed 20 Oct
9.00 am - 11.00 am: Introductory Session
Curation Overview - Indian and Japanese Resource persons
11.00am - 1.00pm: Response and Discussion
1.00 pm- 2.00 pm: Lunch
2.00 pm- 6.00 pm: Session 1. Participant Presentations - Responses and Discussions
6.30 pm - 8.00 pm: Site Visit
Venue: TBD
Thu 21 Oct
9.00 am - 1.00 am: Session 2. Participant Presentations - Responses and Discussions
1.00 pm- 2.00 pm: Lunch
2.00 pm- 6.00 pm: Session 3 - Participant Presentations - Responses and Discussions
7.00 pm- 11.00 pm :- Networking Dinner hosted by Japan Foundation
Venue: TBD
Fri 22 Oct BANGALORE 9.00 am - 1.00 pm: Session 4 - Participant Presentations - Responses and Discussions
1.00 pm- 2.00 pm: Lunch
2.00 pm- 5.00 pm: Collaborations/Academic Overview
5.00pm - 6.00pm: Closing Remarks and discussion between all participants End of Conference
Venue: TBD

3. Eligibility

Curators, theorists, and critics of age 40 or under, with expertise and experience in the area of modern and contemporary visual arts, with minimum academic qualifications and English proficiency, necessary to carry out presentations and discussions. The participants should have interest in networking with their peers in Asia and undertaking co-curatorial researches and projects in the future.

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