• Course 4: Curating as the Mode of Organization of Experience
Course 4: Curating as a Mode of Organization of Experience: Where, how, why and with whom after the end of attention?
Course 4: Curating as a Mode of Organization of Experience:
Where, how, why and with whom after the end of attention?
by Jelena Vesić
5 – 10 August, 2019

Course Description
If curating is seen as a mode of organization of experience then the curatorial process unfolds as a process of collaging artistic works, exhibition narratives, bodies of the viewers, spatial situations and gazes. This course will look at different models of organization of experience in historical and contemporary spaces crowded with content, meanings and a multitude of social-spatial sensations: from medieval churches and the linearity of reading images (biblia pauerum) to baroque illusionism and the spectacle of collective extasis; from bourgeois salons and their native subjects driven by desire to see and be seen; to modernist white cubes and their architectural preservation of the autonomy of contemplation 1:1; from alternative art spaces and the cancelation of the demarcation between the audience and producers to collective creativity of contemporary platforms and networks.

Where to look, how to look, why and with whom? These are the ultimate questions flanking the impossibility or pale attempts of the curatorial organization of experience today. Artistic works, exhibition narrative, bodies of the viewers, spatial situations and gazes are increasingly de-collaged and scattered in space and time. It seems impossible to collage them together under the present epistemological doubts and multitudes of alternative truths. Galleries and exhibitions have turned into cathedrals without congregations or supermarket-art-restaurant-caffe-office-protest-communication-freewifi-whatever++ and many more conglomerates of absentmindedness, disorientation and incredible consumption.

While in previous times paying close attention to something meant reaching the necessary point of focus in order to observe, follow and contemplate, today attention is tightly coupled with its inverse other – distraction. Attention is extracted from the domains of knowledge and human relations – the domain of politics – and incorporated into the financial flow of contemporary capitalism. The struggle for attention becomes haunted and colonized both from inside and outside.

The reality of our post-attention times is the reality of distraction and anxiety as the consequence of overexposure to the requests for attention coming from all around. The continuum of the self – “the immersive self”, “the absorbed self” or “the introspective self” – is broken into pieces. The sovereignty of contemplation is canceled in favor of existence under constant interruptions.

Where, how, why and with whom after the end of attention?
This course is composed of lecture and workshop series and includes theoretical and practical inputs from the course leader as well as exchange and discussion with students.

Jelena Vesic is an independent curator, writer, editor and lecturer. She is active in the field of publishing, research and exhibition practice and intertwines political theory and contemporary art. Her most recent exhibitions are Story on Copy (Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart) and We are Family (with Natasa Ilic) presented in Pawilion, Poznan, part of www.d-est.com. Vesić also curated Lecture Performance (MoCA, Belgrade and the Kölnischer Kunstverein, with Anja Dorn and Kathrin Jentjens) as well as the collective exhibition project Political Practices of (post-) Yugoslav Art, which critically examined art historical concepts and narratives of Yugoslav art after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Her recent book, On Neutrality (with Vladimir Jeric Vlidi and Rachel O'Reilly) is part of the Non-Aligned Modernity edition of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade.

10 participants will be selected to participate in this course. Eligible participants must read the Terms, fill out the application form, upload the required documents and submit the application form. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Scholarships are available for participants from Kosovo.
A limited number of scholarships, that cover the participation fee, are available for international participants.