MA CURATING

MA Curating at Aarhus University offers a new two-year, part-time, low-residency, seminar-based, international study programme that fosters transference of curatorial knowledge and skills to broader interdisciplinary contexts.

Description of the Master's programme

Today, curating is not just concerned with visual arts; it is a cultural practice that spans numerous disciplines and cultural fields in contemporary society. MA Curating at Aarhus University reflects this diversity by promoting an interdisciplinary approach to curating which provides students with broad competences in cultural analysis, communications, management and enterprise.

The first of its kind in a Danish context, MA Curating supports the development of people who ‘curate’ in the widest interpretation of the term and aims to further develop curating as a new knowledge domain. It allows students to operate within and across a range of contemporary institutions that organise, manage, administer and disseminate exhibitions and events to the public. Providing an experimental space for the exchange of ideas and critical reflection, MA Curating combines methods drawn from the domains of art and design, criticism, aesthetics, cultural studies, information and media studies, sociology and philosophy.

MA Curating is designed to be flexible to ease participation while maintaining a full-time job, and to enhance your career opportunities through exposure to new ideas, techniques and networks. To this end, internationalism is key – both as a response to the globalised contemporary art and cultural fields, and to further internationalisation of institutional practices. For this reason, the programme is conducted in English and places special emphasis on external partners and on-going collaborative professional relationships between the cultural and academic sectors both in Denmark and abroad.

Underpinning this ambition is our partnership with Liverpool John Moores University’s MA Exhibition Studies, which has close links to Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg, Transmediale – Festival for Art and Digital Culture Berlin, Kunsthal Aarhus and ARoS Aarhus Art Museum are also among our core institutional partners. The programme is furthermore closely associated with the research project The Contemporary Condition at Aarhus University.

Video: Curating is a cultural practice

Who should take the programme?

The programme is designed for curators working institutionally or independently who wish to develop their professional practice in an international and transdisciplinary environment. It is relevant to those working in or wanting to work in cultural institutions in the broadest sense, including but not limited to galleries, museums, archives, festivals, events, publishing and online platforms.

Applicants are required to possess both traditional academic experience as well as practical experience in related areas of work.

Admission requirements

  • A relevant Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, for example in the social sciences or humanities, or
  • A relevant professional or vocational higher education (e.g. school teacher or educator), or
  • A relevant diploma (e.g. Diploma in Management - Arts and Culture), and
  • At least B level in English, and
  • At least two years of relevant work experience after completing the study programme on which admission is based

English level

All applicants with a non-Danish qualifying degree must document English language qualifications comparable to an ‘English B level’ in the Danish upper secondary school (‘gymnasium’).

English language qualifications comparable to an ‘English B level’ in Denmark can be documented as follows:

  • TOEFL: English B – Test result of at least 560 (paper-based) or 83 (internet-based). Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. The Aarhus University TOEFL code is 8935.
  • IELTS: English B – Test result of at least 6.5 points. Cambridge ESOL examinations.
  • English B – Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or First Certificate with a grade A as a minimum. Applicants must upload their Confirmation of Entry stating candidate ID number and candidate secret number, which are not indicated on the test result itself.
  • CEFR-validated English language course. English B – C1 level.

For further information, please read the description English Language Requirements.

Organisation

MA Curating is delivered through four modules of 15 ECTS that can be taken individually or sequentially over 2 years of part-time study. The courses are entitled Curatorial Theories, Curatorial Practice, Curatorial Knowledge and Curatorial Project (the Master's project). The courses examine the theory and practice of curating from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives drawing on the staff group’s research expertise, and involve lectures, seminars, group work, self-study and peer-learning, further supported online. The core teaching consists of extended weekend seminars in Aarhus and at key partner institutions (see Partners below).

All courses are taught in English. Discussions, assignments and exams will also be in English.

Content and structure

Curatorial Theories /15 ECTS /1st semester

The course establishes the transdisciplinary field of curatorial studies by building on the participants’ previous academic and professional experience, and introduces formative theoretical ideas from cultural theory, art history, digital aesthetics, cultural policy and education theory, with a thematic focus on three key issues: contemporaneity, participation and collaboration.

Curatorial Practice/15 ECTS/2nd semester

The course includes visits to relevant institutions and projects based on which the student prepares a report that examines practical aspects of curatorial work (including the ways that decisions are made, schedules are developed, problems are identified and solved, and compromises are agreed upon in order to balance the competing agendas of the various actors involved). It is expected that the report will include documentation and supporting material (such as interviews). This aspect of the course is supported by a number of workshops that introduce students to technical and communication skills (e.g. conducting studio visits and interview techniques).

Curatorial Knowledge/15 ECTS/3rd semester

The course is organised around the planning and delivery of an international symposium, produced in collaboration with similar curatorial initiatives and/or with other partner institutions. Participants will be expected to take an active role in panels, papers and the organisational aspects of the event. Thematic strands will arise from the concerns of the group and the interdisciplinary discourse around curating and research, with a particular focus on the production of knowledge in and through curatorial forms.

Curatorial Project (Master's Project)/15 ECTS/4th semester

The course concentrates on the production of a documented curated project understood in its broadest sense (e.g. an exhibition, performance, symposium, book, online project), supported by the production of a fully referenced written paper. Overall it draws upon aspects of the praxis of curating as developed through the study programme in general, including conceptual development and planning, management and organisation, selection of works, negotiations with artists/producers, and audience engagement, education and communication strategies and so on.

Time and place

The first course ‘Curatorial Theories’ will be taught in the autumn semester of 2018 over three long weekend sessions, two of which will take place in Aarhus and one in Liverpool in the context of Liverpool John Moores University’s MA Exhibition Studies and Liverpool Biennial. The other courses will also include visits to other locations, e.g. Berlin, Gothenburg and Humlebæk.

Staff and partners

MA Curating core group:

  • Trine Friis Sørensen (Coordinator), Curator & Postdoc Fellow, Kunsthal Aarhus/Aarhus University
  • Jacob Lund, Associate Professor, Aarhus University
  • Geoff Cox, Associate Professor, Plymouth University/Aarhus University
  • Lise Skytte Jakobsen, Associate Professor, Aarhus University
  • Jette Gejl Kristensen, Teaching Assistant Professor/Artist, Aarhus University

 

Associated external staff:

  • Jacob Fabricius, Artistic Director, Kunsthal Aarhus
  • Joasia Krysa, Professor of Exhibition Research, Liverpool John Moores University, with joint appointment at Liverpool Biennial, and Honorary Associate Professor in Curating, Aarhus University
  • Judith Schwartzbart, Curator/Rector, The Jutland Art Academy
  • Lars Bang Larsen, Curator, Moderna Museet/Lecturer, Center for Art, Culture and Technology, MIT/Visiting Professor, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm
  • Marie Laurberg, Curator & Head of Research, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
  • Louise Wolthers, Curator/Research Manager, Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg 

 

Key institutional partners:

  • ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark 
  • Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark
  • Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Lab, in partnership with Liverpool Biennial, UK 
  • Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
  • Transmediale/Festival for Art & Digital Culture, Berlin, Germany

The programme will include substantial interaction with the key institutional partners.    

 

Associated staff at Aarhus University:

  • Helga Just Christoffersen, Curator & PhD Fellow, Kunsthal Aarhus/New Museum/AU
  • Karina Lykke Grand, Associate Professor, AU
  • Johanne Løgstrup, Curator & PhD Fellow, AU
  • Peter Ole Pedersen, Curator & Assistant Professor, AU
  • Lotte Philipsen, Associate Professor
  • Winnie Soon, Assistant Professor, AU
  • Magdalena Tyżlik-Carver, Assistant Professor, AU
  • Anette Vandsø, Postdoc Fellow, AU/ARoS

 

Relevant visiting lecturers at Aarhus University in recent years:

Franco Berardi, Accademia di belle Arti in Milano; Ina Blom, University of Oslo/University of Chicago; Ivet Ćurlin/What, How and For Whom/WHW, Zagreb; Mathias Danbolt, University of Copenhagen; Knut Ebeling, Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee Wolfgang Ernst, Humboldt University, Berlin; Brian Holmes, Independent Scholar, Chicago; Maria Lind, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; Nina Möntmann, Curator and Professor, Hamburg; Peter Osborne, Kingston University, London; Raqs Media Collective/Monica Narula, New Delhi; Gertrud Sandqvist, Malmö Art Academy; Michael Schwab, Journal for Artistic Research, London; Simon Sheikh, Goldsmiths, University of London; Terry Smith, University of Pittsburgh; Hito Steyerl, University of the Arts, Berlin

Academic regulations

Costs

The participation fee for the Master’s programme is DKK 70,000 (DKK 17,500 per course/module).

The participation fee is charged per module and covers the classes in the relevant semester and three examination attempts per module.

In addition to the participation fee, students will be expected to contribute to the costs of their studies when travelling to other locations, as several sessions will be arranged elsewhere in Europe. Visits to other events and institutions are considered to be an important part of the programme, both to share experiences and to extend networks.

All non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens (including students holding a British national overseas passport) are liable to pay tuition fees in addition to the standard participation fee. The participation fee corresponds to EUR 9,400 for the Master’s programme in total (EUR 2,350 per course/module).

Contact

Questions regarding application, enrolment and invoicing 

Continuing Education, Arts
Faculty of Arts
Tåsingegade 3, building 1443, 2nd floor
8000 Aarhus C
Phone: +45 8716 1097
E-mail: evu.arts@au.dk


Questions regarding academic content 

Programme coordinator, Trine Friis Sørensen (trinefs@cc.au.dk)