CURATORSHIP AND EXHIBIT CURATORIAL PRACTICES
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide students, according to the Dublin Descriptors for the Bachelor's degree (First cycle - European Qualification Framework Level 6), with adequate knowledge and understanding of the role of curator, its basic functions through the history of curatorship (1° Descriptor - Knowledge and understanding).
At the end of the course, the student must be able to:
• demonstrate, by applying knowledge and understanding, to be professionally able to solve through the creation of arguments, different kinds of issues relating to curatorship (2° Descriptor - Applying knowledge and understanding);
• have the ability to independently collect and understand the sources on curatorial practices and curatorship through different case studies, including the consideration on connected social, scientific or ethic issues (3° Descriptor - Making judgements);
• communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions in the field of curatorial practices to both specialist and non-specialist audiences (4° Descriptor - Communication skills);
• improve the learning skills that are necessary to continue undertaking further study with a high degree of autonomy in the field of curatorial practices and curatorship, with specific attention to the history and to the role of the curator (5° Descriptor - Learning skills).
The threshold learning minimum outcomes are the student's ability to recognize different kinds of curatorial practices, by applying the knowledge of the history of the curatorship, its origins and characters with attention to different historical and cultural contexts, in Italy and abroad.
Course contents summary
The course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge by applying an historical approach to curatorship, through the history of the profession during the 20th century till today.
The Introduction - Part One will investigate the evolution of the role of curator with particular attention to the double meaning of curatorship: the curator in charge of permanent collections and museums, or the contemporary art curator working for biennales and major art hall installations (i.e. Harald Szeemann and Rudi Fuchs). This evolution could be understood by studying the art world and its history, as well as the evolution of the art market, the phenomenon of collecting, the rise of the art exhibitions, the history of art criticism connoisseurship, and last but not least, the history of cultural and artistic heritage management. For every aspect the course provides case studies and the terms in Italian and others European languages. Attention will be given to a wide range of curatorial practices in the large field of Creative and Cultural Industries.
The Single Subject course - Part Two explores, through two case studies in the field of history of curatorship, the progressive emancipation of the curator during the 20th century, the rise of new curatorial practices and of new patterns exhibition. The case of Fernanda Wittgens (1903-1957), will allow students to learn more about the curatorial practices in Italy before, during and after the Second World War (1939-1945), through the project of reconstruction, preservation and valorization of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. This history will consent to observe the evolution of the curator in the Italian frame of Museum professions before and after the reform of superintendencies in postwar period. On the other hand, the case of the Tate Modern in London will disclose to us a new approach to exhibitions, through the history of a museum and of its curatorial practices.
Introduction - Part One
History of curatorship.
Single Subject course - Part Two
Curators and curatorial practices during the 20th century. Case studies.
• [Part One and Part Two]: A DIGITAL DOSSIER: Powerpoint slideshows containing images and sources shown during frontal lessons (available at the end of the course on the platform for blended learning Elly DUSIC);
• [Part One]: J. Taylor, Visual arts management, London, New York, Routledge, [Collana Mastering Management in the Creative and Cultural Industries, ed. by R. Rentschler], 2018, or, as an alternative, Become a curator, a cura di G. Romano, Milano, Postmedia Books, 2019;
• [Part Two]: G. Ginex, Sono Fernanda Wittgens. Una vita per Brera, Milano, Skira, 2018;
• [Part Two]: V. Rossi, Le pratiche curatoriali prima e dopo la Tate Modern, Milano, Postmedia Books, 2019.
The list of recommended readings above, plus A CHOSEN BOOK according with the teacher.
Classroom lectures, with powerpoint projections (sources, works of art, video, documentaries). Powerpoint slideshows containing images and sources shown during frontal lessons are available at the end (and not before) of the course on the platform for blended learning Elly DUSIC).
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam (20/30 minutes max) concerns the entire course and aims to test the student knowledge on the first and on the second part of the course.
Students who don't attend the classes on regular basis must refer to the list of recommended reading.
In Italian Universities grades are given on the basis of 30 points (30/30). When the student's performance is considered outstanding, a laude can be added. The minimum passing grade is 18/30. Grades below 18 are a fail and are not registered.
A fail is determined by: 1. a lack of understanding of the basic content of the course; 2. the inability to express oneself adequately; 3. by a lack of autonomous preparation; 4. the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and its decoding; 5. the inability in making judgements independently.
The minimum passing grade (18-23/30) is ascribed when the student's performance is acceptable, according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above. Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to students who show more than a sufficient level (24-25/30) or a good level (26-27/30) according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above. High scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are assigned to students who show a very good or an excellent level according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above.