Online Courses

Curating and Ethics

Lecturer: Martin Fritz

Fee: 280 CHF
Maximum participants: 20

Course dates: new dates to be announced

Like any other field of human behaviour, curating art and managing art organisations need ethics. Once we enter into our respective working relationships with artists, communities, colleagues, staff (and the objects), we need to take decisions about how to behave professionally and ethically. Be it as team-leaders, co-workers, and/or representatives of institutions, curators need to not only care for the conceptual and scientific integrity of their projects: their responsibilities increasingly often include the task of confronting the manifold ethical controversies in the field of art and culture.

The course “Curating and Ethics” will address ethical concerns in a practice-oriented manner, focusing on the artists-curator relationship, labour relations, payment, institutional governance, fundraising, conflicts of interest, and politics. We will revisit some of the major controversies of the last decade (P.A.I.N, Whitney Museum, Liberate Tate) and we will look at examples of controversially discussed projects and artworks. The participants will be encouraged to share examples from their own professional practice. Based on the historical groundwork of initiatives such as “The Art Workers Coalition,” the group will develop its own contemporary “Statement of Demands.”


Martin Fritz studied law in Vienna from 1981 to 1986. Since then, he has worked in the field of contemporary art production in Vienna, New York, and Germany. Among many other assignments, he has worked as Director of Operations for the re-opening of PS1 Contemporary Art Center (today: MoMA PS1) in New York; Managing Director of In Between – The Art Project of EXPO 2000 in Hanover; General Coordinator of Manifesta 4 – European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Frankfurt am Main; and as Director of the Festival der Regionen in Upper Austria. From 2001 to 2007, he was a member of the Board of the International Foundation Manifesta. From 2016 to 2020, Martin Fritz headed Merz Akademie Hochschule für Gestaltung, Kunst und Medien, Stuttgart as its Rector. As a writer, consultant, and researcher, Martin Fritz specializes in site-specific art, institutional critique, arts administration, cultural policy, and institutional governance. Martin Fritz is a corresponding member of the Vienna Secession and a member of the permanent jury for visual arts at the Austrian Ministry of Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.


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 Saturdays, 2–6pm CET. Please prepare a very short introduction of yourself. 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.