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Angeles Ortiz

Criticism & Curating Summer School, 2017

This was my first time in London. Usually when I travel to a new city I have an established ritual where I visit a museum and consequently sit down in a specialty coffee shop – the smell of good coffee always reminds me of home.

In London, I couldn’t choose a single museum nor a single coffee shop. Combine London's fantastic collection of museums and galleries with a long list of cafes, and one of the best schools in art and design, and you still probably won't imagine what you are about to experience.

During my time on the Criticism & Curating Summer School  I was introduced to art experts, collectors, curators, social catalysts, and critics from the UK. The pedagogy used in the course reflected the vision of the institution, which encourages in-depth contextual analysis. Our mentors not only showed a vast knowledge of their fields, but a true passion to learn and teach.

The people I got to meet came from very distinct backgrounds in very different stages of their careers. This difference enabled interesting discussions that went from technology to philosophy, or even from politics to human rights just to mention a few.

The interdisciplinary programme curates a great combination of lectures panelist, exhibition visits and readings. Throughout the week, each of us worked in the development of a concept to pitch by the end of the week. The synergy between the course tutors, Dr Maya Oppenheimer and Dr Lauren Fried, was key during this process. Using a dynamic approach, they challenged each student to search for the best conditions of the public reception and to push the limits of the curatorial practice.

This intensive course gave me the tools to visualise the outcome for a project I had been constructing since I left my residency at Fabrica. Aligned with the the curatorial focus of the course, I am currently building a social initiative involving local crafts.

The project is based in Ecuador, a country where crafts aren’t really valued by the majority of Ecuadorians, including the artisans themselves. I am currently travelling around the Andean region compiling stories that can help me build the narrative. 

The course at the RCA gave me all the prerequisites to pursue my future in this field.

"Our mentors not only showed a vast knowledge on their fields but a true passion to learn and teach." Angeles Ortiz (Criticism & Curating Summer School, 2017)
Angeles Ortiz
Angeles Ortiz
Photographer: Photo: Samuel Leon