Walking the Deadline - a conversation with Britta Peters
22 April 2021

Online (Zoom), please register at the following link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUocuqtrTkrHdPqHhPKWnJQBU27tgOL05mP

A conversation with Britta Peters about practical solutions regarding the living and working conditions of female curators in the art scene.

In times of a pandemic, planning cultural events and setting dates has become obsolete. For the past year, many events have been canceled, postponed, or have had to be rescheduled, restructured, and digitized with an enormous, often underpaid workload. Deadlines, however, only partially dissolve as a result. Now more than ever, it's about availabilities, visibility, digital resonance, individual capacities from the home office – the pressure has shifted.

Starting from the topic of "deadline", we ask ourselves what resources and potentials develop when a deadline is waived or postponed, in an industry that is continually marked by an imbalance in terms of remuneration and equal opportunities, as well as by the general precarious existence of many artists, cultural workers, initiatives and cultural venues? What does a deadline do to an artistic work, to the collaboration between artist, institution and curator? What does it mean in relation to the working conditions of the mostly underpaid actors to renounce the pressure of a deadline in a capitalist society? Which deadlines can be postponed or waived and which projects are nourished by the driving force and the arc of tension of these deadlines? Who actually sets which deadlines and under which circumstances we ourselves are able to postpone, cancel or justify postponement?

The event offers space for questions, individual accounts and attempts atsolutions. It will be moderated by Lisa Klosterkötter and Aneta Rostkowska.

Art critic and curator Britta Peters has been the Artistic Director of Urbanen Künste Ruhr, a decentralized institution for contemporary art in the Ruhr region, since January 2018. Previously, she was part of the curatorial team of Skulptur Projekte Münster and directed Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof. She taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg and as a guest professor at the Kunstakademie Münster. In 2007 she curated the public art project "Wilhelmsburger Freitag" in Hamburg. In collaboration with the cluster of excellence "Normative Orders" she realized in 2012 the exhibition "Demonstrations. Vom Werden normativer Ordnungen" at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, which was followed in 2014 by the project "Krankheit als Metapher. The Mad in the Garden of Species" at various venues in Hamburg.

The Curatorial Unknown is a series of meetings dedicated to curatorial practice initiated by the CCA Temporary Gallery and prepared in collaboration with a group of curators and institutions from Cologne and the region. The meetings are open to anyone interested in curating.

The events are 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.

Funding and support:
Kunststiftung NRW
Kulturamt der Stadt Köln
Hotel Chelsea
Deltax Wirtschafts- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH

Image credits: Portrait Britta Peters (2020), Copyright: Heinrich Holtgreve