New Zealand | Curating under Pressure | symposium
An international symposium on the ethics of curating: Curating under Pressure
, takes place in Christchurch, New Zealand (5-8 November 2015). It is a collaboration between the Goethe-Institut, ifa (Institute for international cultural relations), Creative New Zealand and the University of Canterbury.
The topic of the conference will be the ethics of curating, discussed in the context of Christchurch, a city that has experienced a series of major earthquakes since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on 4 September 2010. In February 2011, another devastating earthquake destroyed parts of what was the second biggest city of Aotearoa / New Zealand. It took the lives of 185 people, caused extensive damage and the city still is in the slow process of recovery.
Christchurch’s SCAPE biennial for public art was due to be staged in 2010 but projects had to be postponed due to the disaster. Half a world away, a biennial had been founded in New Orleans in 2006 precisely because of the catastrophe caused by hurricane Katrina, and the ensuing political and social debacle. In both places two different concepts of what art can do in times of pressure and disaster are at work, but both instances raise questions about the role of art in extreme situations - whether caused by natural disasters, extreme political pressure, oppressive regimes or terrorist threats. This symposium will consider a range of concepts and contexts, and ask what they mean for an ethics of curating?
The Goethe-Institut, ifa (Institute for international cultural relations), Creative New Zealand and the University of Canterbury invite international theorists and curators to a symposium to discuss the role of art in times and circumstances of pressure.
The discussion will focus on the role of biennials as the most successful current model of international art exhibitions worldwide, and it will, more precisely, focus on the audience of biennials. Is there a responsibility towards the audience, and if so, how could it be described? What are art’s promises towards the audience? Does art have the power to heal trauma and to build resilience against hardship and disaster? Does art have the power to instigate change – political or social? And if not: What are the consequences for cultural producers, artists, curators and exhibition organisers? What are the consequences for an ethics of curating?
takes place in Christchurch 4 October - 15 November 2015. SCAPE Public Art installs public art in Christchurch all year round with a focus on the Christchurch Biennials.
Image: New Zealand's largest public sculpture, Fanfare, 2004/15 by Neil Dawson is a permanent landmark which can be seen standing tall over the Canterbury Plains at Chaney's Corner, Christchurch.