THE CURATORIAL UNKNOWN
Considering curatorial fees. A workshop with Kris Dittel and Katia Krupennikova
30 April and 1 May 2021
The workshop aims to analyse and articulate the need of freelance curators to secure fair working conditions and compensation.
During the workshop we will introduce the current situation with fees in the cultural field in the Dutch context, where we are both based, and were amongst the founding members of the ‘Working Group for Fees and Conditions of Freelance Curators and Art Workers’ (2018-20).
Participants of the workshop will discuss and share with each other what is meant when talking about curatorial labour, questions of transparency, unpaid work, and how to calculate and advocate for honorariums. We will also look into best practices of affiliated groups and associations. Finally, we will attempt to draft some starting points for approaches and guidelines to formulate our working conditions for the future.
The workshop is open to (independent) curators and art workers who are interested in collective organising and advocating for improved working conditions in the art field at large.
Participants are welcomed to read prior to our meeting the “Preliminary Statement Freelance Curators”, co-written by the Working Group in the Netherlands: https://www.platformbk.nl/en/preliminary-statement-freelance-curators/
Kris Dittel is an independent curator and editor, based in Rotterdam. Dittel’s work centres on clusters of research informed by my background in economics and social sciences, as well as by an ongoing interest in the (failure of) communication, and performativity in relation to the body and language. Her most recent curatorial work engages with the subject of code switching (To Be Like Water, Sculpture International Rotterdam, 2020/21) and the material substance and performative potential of the human voice (Post-Opera, TENT Rotterdam, V2_, Operadagen Rotterdam, 2019). Previous curatorial and editorial projects explored questions of social and economic value in art and the value of artistic labour (The Trouble with Value, 2017–20), and the relationship of language and economics (The Economy is Spinning, 2016). She is the editor of The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation (Onomatopee, 2020), Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter (Onomatopee, 2018), The Economy is Spinning (Onomatopee, 2017), and Antonis Pittas: Road to Victory (co-edited with Clare Butcher, Mousse Publishing and Hordaland Kunstsenter, 2017).
Katia Krupennikova is a docent at HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht (NL), and a curator at large at V-A-C Foundation, Moscow (RU). In 2019/20 she was a fellow at BAK—basis voor aktuele kunst, Utrecht (NL), where she started her ongoing research project States of Anxiety, Minds for Care, in which she analyzes the political dimension of anxiety. The research trajectory traces links between rising right-wing sentiments as well as social and economic precarity, and proposes ways of countering fascist trends by reactivating practices of care. Krupennikova was the curator of the 11th edition of Survival Kit Festival in Riga (LV), Being Safe Is Scary, 2020. In 2019 she was a member of the core curatorial group of the Bergen Assembly, Actually, The Dead Are Not Dead, Bergen (NO). In 2015, she won the Akbank Sanat International Curator Competition. The exhibition Post-Peace, intended to take place in Istanbul (TR), was censored by the host institution; it subsequently opened in extended form at Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (DE), 2017, and Nest, The Hague (NL), 2017. Recent projects include Imogen Stidworthy. Dialogues with People, co-curated with Hans D. Christ and Iris Dressler, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (DE), 2018–2019; and It Won’t Be Long Now, Comrades!, co-curated with Inga Lāce, Framer Framed, Amsterdam (NL), 2017.
The Curatorial Unknown is a series of meetings dedicated to curatorial practice initiated by Temporary Gallery. Centre for Contemporary Art in Cologne and prepared in collaboration with a group of curators and institutions from Cologne and the region. The meetings are open to everyone interested in curating.
The workshop is a part of the project “and only the birds fly first class...“, which invites reflection on the structures of the art system and possible reactions to them. Its aim is to go beyond ordinary criticism of the mechanisms of the art scene and present progressive ideas and solutions. The title of the project comes from the song “Mr. Nichols“ by Coldcut and Saul Williams, which is a very apt description of the emotional state of despair, disorientation and the need for turnaround in order to achieve a world in which “only the birds fly first class“, i.e. a world without inequalities. The project is curated by Aneta Rostkowska, director CCA of Temporary Gallery.
Funding and support:
Kulturamt der Stadt Köln
Deltax Wirtschafts- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH