The Autumn School of Curating (1st edition) Cluj & Timișoara

Making Conversation pieces
20-27 October 2019, Cluj and Timişoara
Organized by Cluj Cultural Center and Art Encounters Biennial Timişoara

Cluj Cultural Centre and Art Encounters Foundation in Timișoara are looking for participants for the first edition of The Autumn School of Curating, taking place in Cluj & Timișoara between 20 and 27 October 2019, marking the closing weekend of Art Encounters Biennial.

Proud to have curator and writer Joanna Warsza as a course leader, The Autumn School of Curating proposes the conversation piece format as a trigger for a dialog, knowledge exchange, and learning tool. Over the course of one week, participants will be engaged in the artistic context that both cities have to offer, participating in activities focused on the theory and practice of speech and dialogue.

Target participants: young professionals in the field of curating and writing, with at least 3 years of experience in the field, fluency in English is required.

Course leader: Joanna Warsza
Guests and conversation partners: Apparatus 22, Boris Buden, Alexandra Croitoru, Maria Lind, Andrea Phillips, Anca Rujoiu, Anton Vidokle, and many others

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“Conversation pieces” were traditionally historical landscape paintings depicting people engaged in a dialogue. The expression later started to denominate objects, which would spark a verbal exchange, as well as artworks that use talking and chatting as a medium. The etymological root of conversation is the Latin convertere: to turn around, to go back and forth spontaneously. The Autumn School of Curating is conceived as a platform to discuss the notion of the conversation in, around, for and against, art. We will talk about the social aspect of conversation pieces, we will network and have small talks, we will construct and deconstruct arguments, we will create intimate settings and large digital networks of voices, and finally we will engage in making podcasts with artists, artworks, small art organizations in Romania, Biennial visitors and others. Throughout the week, while meeting different artists, curators,
art producers and journalists both in Cluj and Timișoara, we will think about how to use curatorial skills to become a good conversation partner and mediator, how to talk about art, how to “make things with words”, and how to use words to reach outside our own bubbles into the public sphere. One of the main differences between the field of vision and performing arts or music is that art often enables a conversation in real time, an opportunity for walking and talking while encountering art. So, let’s talk!

Joanna Warsza is curator and writer in the fields of visual and performing arts and architecture. She was the artistic
director of Public Art Munich 2018 and, since 2014, she has been running the curatorial program CuratorLab at
Konstfack University of arts. She also worked as head of Public Programs for Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg in 2014. In 2013, she was curator of the Georgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, and was the associate curator of the 7th Berlin Biennale in 2012

Cluj Cultural Centre is an organization for culture and urban development. The centre implements a comprehensive program addressing strategic challenges of society, building on the legacy of the city’s candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2021. One of its main ambitions is to establish the European Centre of Contemporary Art (ECCA) in Cluj as an art institution devoted to exhibiting, researching and documenting Romanian and international art productions, exploring a new institutional model and new connections between art and society. Through a multidisciplinary program including visual, new media and performing arts it aims to produce an important social impact in the local community, mobilizing contemporary arts as a channel and catalyst for education, knowledge and social networking.

Art Encounters Foundation is an independent cultural initiative, founded in 2015, oriented towards supporting the
contemporary art scene in Romania. The Foundation’s activities follow three main directions: organizing the Art
Encounters Biennial and the program of permanent exhibitions, fostering education and development of audiences through these public programs, and developing a solid repertory of artistic and curatorial residencies. The Art Encounters Biennial is a cross between an experimental art festival and a contemporary art biennial. It focuses on a curatorial research program which encourages the dialogue between the local historical inheritance and the sociocultural environment of the city of Timișoara.