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The Performa Intensive: Biennials and Curatorial Ambivalence

The Performa Intensive
Jens Hoffmann: Biennials and Curatorial Ambivalence

Public Lecture, Monday, October 17, 6:30 pm — 8:00 pm

NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Einstein Auditorium
Barney Building

In a major new initiative, RoseLee Goldberg has established the Performa Intensive, an important new curatorial and arts administration course for graduate studies, to coincide with Performa 11, the fourth visual arts performance biennial, which runs from November 1-21, 2011. In this unique program a select group of students are given unprecedented access to the inner workings of the biennial and hands-on experience, resulting in a radical new approach to curatorial education.

As part of a Performa Intensive, leading international curators will deliver public lectures on the topic of biennials and the future of culture in the twenty-first century. The second lecture in this series is by Jens Hoffmann, a writer and exhibition-maker based in San Francisco where he is the director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of the Arts. In his talk, Hoffmann will discuss the increasing tendency of deskilling in the field of exhibition making, despite the growth of curatorial MA programs, and the disappearance of expertise in much of the non-exhibition-based curatorial work that is particularly prevalent in Biennials. On the background of his recently-curated 12th Istanbul Biennial, he will explore what standards of quality and professionalism in curatorial practice can be and point towards the problematic absorption of normative codes without the creation of thorough and innovative practice.

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