2017-2018 COOP study group: Curating Positions: Practising Organisation Under Present Conditions ~ Marwa Arsanios, Emily Pethick, Leire Vergara ~ Partner: The Showroom in London.



Participating students: Areumnari Ee, Leon Filter, Irati Irulegi, Ellen Nunes, Eric Peter, Polly Wright, Katarina Sarkissova, Yen Noh (on instagram:island thinking). 


Curating Positions will explore discursive artistic, curatorial and organisational practices that challenge conventional artistic and exhibition thinking and formats.

Through the seminar series the group will work closely together on collectively building body of curatorial research and on developing an organisational platform/practice. We will create generative framework as a productive site that can facilitate, mediate and communicate the research and practices of the group and other guests, collaborators and publics, developed over the course of the DAI itinerary.

The project will be guided by Emily Pethick, Leire Vergara and Marwa Arsanios, three tutors who have each directed small organisations: The Showroom, London, Bulegoa z/b, Bilbao, 98 Weeks, Beirut

The study group

  • departs from the idea that the curatorial can function as way to configure a dialogic public sphere, where art and knowledge are shared in polyphonic experience
  • will be composed of intersecting strands of research, reading, exercises and guest presentations, through which to produce new forms that critically examine the institutionalised protocols that frame artistic practice

The course will pay close attention to the politics of organisation, informed by diverse range of practical and theoretical references, drawing from diverse forms of knowledge‐ production that will inform practice, in relation to (but not limited by):

minoritarian politics, feminism, intersectionality, queer theory, ecology, post‐ colonialism, decoloniality, race and labour.

With such diverse elements we will activate a discussion and way of working that challenges hegemonic representation and the habitual conventions of exhibition display and knowledge production.

Through joint research, we will invent set of practical and conceptual tools and produce an experimental ground for presenting and connecting different kinds of knowledge, practices and positions.

The idea of “practicing organisation” is thus about forging generative framework that can be a productive site for the practices and research interests of the group and others.

Each seminar will generally consist of the following components:

  •   Presentations by tutors and guests •  Reading group
  •   Visits to organisations/meetings with local artists/ curators who are practicing in ways that are relevant to our research
  •   Research assignments will be set that will be conducted in pairs and presented to the group in the following session
  •   Curatorial research
  •   Development of curatorial/organisational platform(s)
  •   One‐on‐ones and support for individual project development