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ST PAUL St Gallery 2014 Curatorial Symposium

In practice: models of cultural exchange and reciprocity



18-20 June 2014

Keynote presentation: 5.30pm Wednesday 18 June
Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium

The third in a series advocating for dialogue around contemporary curatorial practice in the Asia Pacific region, this year’s Symposium focuses on models of cultural exchange. The two-day programme initiates a critical look at existing platforms for exchange, with an emphasis on the implications for, and obligations of contemporary practitioners in the field. A range of presentations are offered in order to both interrogate the prevailing institutions of curatorial practice, and to contemplate alternative practices that promote international exchange between curators, artists, and the institutions they affiliate with. The Symposium seeks to frame a proposition, or number of propositions, for how the contemporary institution can operate productively, perceptively and proactively as a site of exchange.

Three questions underpin the Symposium’s framework. These are: what are our roles and responsibilities as institutional workers, and as both guests and hosts? What can the contemporary institution do to further effective exchange? How do we avoid repeating dominant narratives? Indigeneity and how it is represented and afforded agency is a fundamental aspect of this conversation. Mindful of prescient current discussions around the legacy of institutional critique, this framework demands an examination of how we define the institution/s of contemporary curating – to include not just public galleries and exhibition-making, but also modes of representation such as the biennial, the archive, the academic text, the conference, the residency and the research trip – and of the responsibilities of the cultural producer as individual in these social and professional contexts.

Keynote speaker Erin Gleeson, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, will present a paper, The Problem With Sunset, reflecting on mediating a culture that is not originally one’s own, and on problematising the political institution of cultural exchange through curatorial agency. Highlighting the role of dynamic individuals in effective institutions, a range of international speakers from different backgrounds will provide case studies of collaborative and discursive projects that cross different cultural contexts, or broader reflections on models of exchange in practice. These include Meiya CHENG, Taipei Contemporary Art Center; CHE Kyongfa, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; Candice Hopkins, National Gallery of Canada; Alia Swastika, independent curator, Jakarta, and HSU Fang-Tze, PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore.

For this Symposium ST PAUL St Gallery is partnering with Asia New Zealand Foundation and Creative New Zealand, who have together facilitated an annual 'curator tour' of New Zealand curators to Asia for the past four years. The first day of the Symposium will involve discussion led by former tour participants around the outcomes and challenges of this type of programme, as well as presentations from local curators and artists whose projects specifically engage the notion of cultural exchange. These include Ngahiraka Mason, Indigenous Curator, Māori Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Megan Tamati-Quenell, Curator Modern & Contemporary Māori and Indigenous Art, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Bruce E Phillips, Senior Curator Te Tuhi; Fiona Amundsen artist and Senior Lecturer Visual Arts, AUT University; Natalie Robertson, artist and Senior Lecturer Art + Design, AUT; and Rebecca Hobbs, artist and Lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology. The second day adopts a wider scope for critical reflection on alternative models for the institution, with speakers representing a range of institutions and individual practitioners which self-reflexively promote cultural exchange.


ST PAUL St Gallery 2014 Curatorial Symposium
In practice: models of cultural exchange and reciprocity

All sessions will be held in the Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium, corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland

Wednesday 18 June

5.30pm Registration

5.45 – 6.05pm Mihi whakatau: Elizabeth Ellis, Haerewa Chair, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

6.05 – 6.15pm Conveners’ welcome: Abby Cunnane and Charlotte Huddleston.
6.15 –7.30pm Keynote: Erin Gleeson: The problem with sunset.

Thursday 19 June: Exchange and engagement in practice, guests and hosts
9.30am Registration

9.45am Opening comments from Asia New Foundation
10am -10.30am Charlotte Huddleston: Introductory remarks: Reciprocal agency.
10.30 – 11am Ngahiraka Mason: Cultural awakening.

11am Hanna Scott (2010 curator tour participant).
11.10am Aaron Kreisler (2010 curator tour participant).
11.20am Stephen Cleland (2010 curator tour participant).

11.30am – midday Rebecca Hobbs and Lucreccia Quintanilla: A series of calls and responses.

Midday – 1pm Lunch

1 – 1.30pm Fiona Amundsen: See you at Yasukuni.

1.30 – 2pm Ahilapalapa Rands: Winter sun: Strategies for staying warm.
2 – 2.30pm Natalie Robertson: Food, water and shelter: Fundamental sites of exchange.
2.30 – 3pm Vera Mey (2012 curator tour participant).
3pm Andrew Clifford (2012 curator tour participant).
3.10pm Mark Williams (2012 curator tour participant).
3.20pm Kerry Ann Lee (Asia New Zealand Foundation residency participant).

3.30pm Karl Chitham (2011 curator tour participant).
3.40 – 4.10pm Sakiko Sugawa: Accompaniment

4.15 – 4.45pm What are the roles of guest and host? Roundtable moderated by Erin Gleeson, with Karl Chitham, Stephen Cleland, Rebecca Hobbs, Aaron Kreisler, Kerry Ann Lee, Vera Mey, Lucreccia Quintanilla, Hanna Scott, Mark Williams.

Friday 20 June: Alternative modes of practice: roles and responsibilities of individual and institution

10 – 10.30am Abby Cunnane: Introductory remarks: We, the institution.

10.30 – 11am Kyongfa CHE: The texture of othernessready to savour it?
11 – 11.30am Meiya CHENG: Taipei Contemporary Art Center, institutional critique in practice.
11.30 – midday Nick Spratt and Taarati Taiaroa: Artist run space as open office.


Midday – 12.30pm What can the institution do? Roundtable: Fiona Amundsen, Kyongfa CHE, Meiya CHENG, Charlotte Huddleston, Nick Spratt and Taarati Taiaroa, Sakiko Sugawa.


12.30 – 1.30pm Lunch

1.30 – 2pm Candice Hopkins: The consequence of participation: ten reflections on curating Indigenous art.
2 – 2.30pm HSU Fang-Tze: Identity as an articulation – reconsidering the categorisation of Indigenous artistic practices in Taiwan based on the case of the Ideology Tribe.

2.30 – 3pm Jenny Fraser: The Other APT
3 – 3.30pm Bruce E. Phillips: Re-examining What do you mean, we?

3.30 – 4pm Alia Swastika: Curator as institution
4 – 4.30pm Megan Tamati-Quennell: Global imaginings and survivance4.30 – 5pm Resisting resolution: How do we feed this discussion into our practices, and the operation of our institutions? Roundtable moderated by Ngahiraka Mason, with Candice Hopkins, HSU Fang-Tze, Aaron Kreisler, Vera Mey, Natalie Robertson, Alia Swastika, Megan Tamati-Quennell.

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