Online Courses

Approaches to Feminist and Queer Curating

Lecturer: Laura Castagnini

⮕ Enrol here until 5 February 2022
Fee: 390 CHF
Maximum participants: 15

Course dates: 12 February + 26 February 2022, 10am–2pm (CET)

How do you curate as a feminist? How can you “queer” exhibition-making? How can we apply feminist and queer methodologies to our everyday working practices, given the practical and ideological constraints of the museum?

This course will encourage participants to explore these questions using examples from their own curatorial practice, past present or future. We will imagine new ways to challenge the historical absence of marginalised voices and critically engage with the way that principles of diversity and inclusion currently operate in art institutions.

Participants will examine new ways of thinking about exhibition-making and collection building that move beyond corrective approaches, from Helen Molesworth’s model of “elective mothers” to Nikki Sullivan and Craig Middleton’s notion of “queer ethics”. These suggested readings will be introduced by the course leader followed by reflection on examples from her own practice, from solo shows of female artists (Lubaina Himid, Tate Britain, London, 2019) to thematic group exhibitions (Backflip: Feminism and Humour in Contemporary Art, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2013) as well as current exhibition history research (Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take Photographs, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh and touring,1991-2). Thereafter, the group will collectively develop critical tools of self-assessment that can be applied to their own projects. The course will encourage critical self-reflection and provide a supportive space for participants to develop thoughtful and nuanced approaches to feminist and queer curating.

Laura Castagnini is a curator and writer interested in the histories of feminism and their current articulations, especially as they intersect with the politics of sexuality and race, and their expression in modern and contemporary art. She has over a decade’s experience working as a curator, most recently at Tate as Assistant Curator, Modern and Contemporary British Art, where she curated monographic displays on Lubaina Himid and Liliane Lijn as well as assisted on major exhibitions including Frank Bowling’s first retrospective and All too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life. In this role she also played an active role in diversifying the collection, conducting audit research into the representation of LGBT+ artists in the British collection as well as leading on major acquisitions by artists including Maud Sulter and Claudette Johnson. She has since moved into freelance work, with a particular interest in LGBT+ exhibition histories in Britain, and was recently awarded a Research Continuity Fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre to trace an exhibition history of the touring exhibition Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take Photographs (1991-2).

Preparation for the course:
Please use a headset (or headphones) and stay in a quiet place with a stable internet connection. Please read the texts which you will get access to once you have booked the course.

This intensive two-part direct live teaching course will be held over Zoom on two consecutive Saturdays, 10am–2pm CET. Please prepare a very short introduction of yourself and your project (3-5mins). The first session will be used for an in-depth introduction to the topic, and workshop research. Assignments will be given for the second session. Feedback and evaluation will be given in the second session. After successful completion, a certificate with 1 ECTS point will be handed out.

Technical instructions
Download the Zoom application. You will find a detailed installation guide here. Zoom can be also used in a browser window on a Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or Android phone. You will find a Zoom invitation with a link to access the workshop.