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Maria Lind and Apolonija ušteršič: Contemporary Collaboration: Pleasures and Discontents

Free School for Art Theory and Practice

The Free School for Art Theory and Practice launched by tranzit.hu continues in 2007. The school functions in the form of regular weekend seminars, held by invited curators, theoreticians and artists, allowing for the specificities of the contemporary Hungarian art scene and local discourses.

Focus of the first seminar weekend 2007 is on the continuous and successful collaboration between an artist and a curator.

Application deadline: January 7, 2007
Send applications to: tranzit@enternet.huMaria Lind and Apolonija ušteršič
Contemporary Collaboration: Pleasures and Discontents

We would like to discuss how, in a variety of contemporary art projects, the form and basis of collective activities have been presented, examined, and called into question recently. We are interested in how people work on a short-term basis, as well as on more long-term bases; how they spread their attention across various subjects, methods, lifestyles, different political orientations; how they hope for some kind of emancipation; and last but not least, what sort of satisfaction – or frustration - results from working in a group. At the same time the seminar deals with how these collaborative efforts often constitute a response to specific, at times local, situations, and how they constantly run the risk of being swallowed up and incorporated into the very systems against which they are reacting. The collaborations include those between artists and artists, artists and curators, artists and others, such as activists and architects. The seminar also aims at exploring the future prospects for the kinds of collective action in the art world that are geared towards long-term research and production of knowledge.
The seminar will based on case studies. Therefore we will bring up one project on which we have collaborated (Non Stop Video Club in Ljubljana in 1998), one project which Maria Lind has worked on (Totally Motivated: A Sociocultural Maneuver at the Kunstverein München in 2003) and one of Apolonija Sustersic’s projects (Community Research Office in London in 2004).

Maria Lind
born in Stockholm. Since 2005 director of Iaspis (International Artist Studio Program in Sweden) in Stockholm. 2002-2004 she was the director of Kunstverein München where she together with a curatorial team – consisting at different times of Sören Grammel, Katharina Schlieben, Tessa Praun, Ana Paula Cohen and Judith Schwarzbart - ran a programme which involved artists such as Deimantas Narkevicius, Oda Projesi, Bojan Sarcevic, Philippe Parreno and Marion von Osten. The format of a retrospective, or survey, was explored in a one-year long retrospective with Christine Borland 2002-2003, only ever showing one piece at a time and a retrospective project in the form of a 7-day long workshop with Rirkrit Tiravanija. The group project Totally motivated: A sociocultural maneouvre was a collaboration between five curators and ten artists looking at the the relationship between ”amateur” and ”professional” art and culture. From 1997-2001 she was curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm and, in 1998, co-curator of Manifesta 2, Europe’s biennale of contemporary art. Responsible for Moderna Museet Projekt, Lind worked with artists on a series of 29 commissions that took place in a temporary project-space, or within or beyond the Museum in Stockholm. There she also curated What if: Art on the Verge of Architecture and Design, filtered by Liam Gillick. Lind was one of 10 contributing curators to Phaidon’s Fresh Cream book, and she has contributed widely to magazines including Index (where she was on the editorial board), and to numerous catalogues and other publications. She is the co-editor of the recent books Curating with Light Luggage and Collected Newsletter, as well as the report European Cultural Policies 2015. She has been teaching and lecturing at different art schools since the early 90s, including at the University Colleges of Fine Art in Umeå and Stockholm, The Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths College in London, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies in Annandale-on-Hudson, The Emily Carr Institute of Art in Vancouver and The Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and Munich.

Apolonija ušteršič
born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. ušteršič graduated 1992 in architecture, School of Architecture at the University of Ljubljana, in 1994/1996 postgraduate study, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. From 2003 she is professor at the Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm.
Selected Solo exhibitions / projects: 1999 Ligth Therapy, Moderna Museet Projekt, Stockholm 2001 Home Design Service, CASCO Projects, Utrecht 2002 Visual Cookie - Simulation Cafe, Visual Carlow, Cralow 2002 Eintritt, Kunsteverin München, München 2003 Community Research Project, Ibid. Projects, London. Selected group exhibitions: 1997 Social Space, Marian Goodman, Paris 1998 Manifesta 2, Luxembourg 2000 Unlimited nl.-3, De Appel, Amsterdam 2000 What if, Moderna Museet, Stockholm 2001 Shopping, Generali Foundation, Vienna 2001 Berlin Biennale 3, Berlin 2003 Form Specific, Ljubljana 2003 Skulptur Bienale Münsterland, Ostbevern 2005 Our Environment, Dundee Contemporary Arts Center, Dundee 2005 Tirana Biennale 3, Tirana 2006 Protections, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz 2006 Learning from Art, Muhka, Antwerp.

The Free School for Art Theory and Practice

The Free School for Art Theory and Practice considers as the basis of its philosophy the concept that contemporary art and culture produce an excess of knowledge and experience, which can be recycled and used in broader social discourse, beyond their own primary context. The aim of the Free School is to increase the theoretical and practical arsenal of the local art scene based on active participation and dialogue in seminars, and also by analyzing artistic positions, critical aspects and the institutional system. With its name, the school marks community gatherings for people to meet with a view to exchange knowledge and learn from one another.

Goals are:
- To examine the current phenomena of contemporary visual culture in artistic and curatorial practice;
- To enhance critical thinking and dialogue within the art field
- To define the role of art theory and art criticism, to analyse critical concepts and study the possibilities for their adaptation to different contexts
- To discuss the identity /role of the curator and the artist in an international context.

Subjects covered:
- The role of context in cultural production
- The interplay of theory and praxis
- The public domain between the institutional system and forms of self-organization
- Constructive interplay between curatorial and artistic practice

Target audience: Artists, curators, students and anyone interested in contemporary art

How to apply
Artists, curators, students, who undertake to prepare for and to take an active part in the seminars (as is relevant to the lecturers), are invited to send a letter of motivation.
One seminar may be attended by maximum 15 participants.
Application deadline January 7, 2007
Send applications to: tranzit@enternet.hu

Planned Schedule
Thursday Public lecture by invited lecturer (s), afterwards discussion;
Friday-Sunday (Fri-Sat 10-13, 14-18 , Sun 10-13) seminar for the closed seminar group with the lecturer.

Attendance at the free school is free. On request we can help in organization of accommodation.