CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
Curating, Care and Community
A seminar organised by the British Art Network’s Early Career Curators Group
Tuesday 9 June 2020 11.00–16.00 (approximate timings)
Venue: MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA
Deadline for proposals: Tuesday 24 March 2020, 09.00
Download this Call for Contributions [PDF]
This seminar will seek to explore how we, as curators, care for others both within and beyond the curatorial community. Together with an examination of the professional context in which we operate, the seminar will provide an opportunity to investigate issues such as mental health and wellbeing, funding and resources, our relationships and representation, and how these affect those connected with museums and galleries; from staff and colleagues to participants and visitors.
The word ‘curator’ derives from the Latin word curare, ‘to care’. As curators, we are charged with the physical and intellectual care of collections – the artworks, objects and narratives found within our cultural institutions. However, it is evident to us as a group of early career curators from a range of disciplinary backgrounds that the concept of care within our sector must stretch beyond the guardianship of cultural heritage, to the care of and concern for those around us.
And so what role does ‘care’ play in a more holistic sense in our work? How do we care for each other, both within our institutional communities but also in those that look outward? Is the role of the Curator being recast to include expanded responsibilities, or does the act of curating now encompass a variety of non-traditional activities, pursued by people who may not be identified specifically as Curators?
At a time when an increasing sense of responsibility within the profession is confounded by ever-greater cuts to funding and resources for our cultural institutions, is it possible for our organisations to care sufficiently for staff, artists and collaborators, as well as the audiences and public they serve? We do not seek consensus in searching for answers to these questions – rather we hope to provoke substantive, productive discussion.
We invite contributions from across a range of disciplines which seek to explore these questions and challenges. We welcome contributions in the traditional format of presenting a paper, but also those of a more discursive nature, prompting open discussion based on recent, ongoing or potential projects and case studies. We also welcome contributions in other forms such as performance and time-based media.
Subject areas and proposed discussions can include, but are not limited to: mental health and wellbeing, financial and collaborative partnerships, socially engaged exhibitions and curation projects, creating a legacy of ‘care’, representation within collections, disability and practice. We encourage proposals and interdisciplinary case studies from museum and gallery professionals, artists, health professionals, academics and independent scholars. Contributions, which can be submitted individually or in collaboration, should be a maximum of 15 minutes in length.
Contact for enquiries: Rachel Smith email@example.com
All potential contributors will be contacted by mid-April regarding their submissions.