The Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Archives and Collections Intensive offers an exploration of the latest curatorial approaches to working creatively and critically with archives and collections. Drawing upon contemporary developments in curatorial thinking and practice, this course asks how archives and collections invite experimental approaches, rethinking what it means to produce knowledge using objects, images, and diverse forms of documentation.
Archives and collections of art and design present complex configurations of material culture. As sites of individual and collective memory, they allow us to explore our relationship to time through the artefacts and ephemeral traces of the past, present and future. Rather than serving as static repositories, archives and collections offer creative opportunities for curatorial interaction, collaborative investigation, and trans-disciplinary experimentation. Through critical modes of engagement with archives and collections, established histories can be troubled and re-interrogated through the lens of the current moment. By bringing the residues of the past into dialogue with the present, alternative narratives can be constructed and urgent new questions can be articulated.
This online course invites you to explore different curatorial modalities and to test experimental approaches through interactive sessions. During the course, you will engage directly with the RCA Special Collections, which holds distinctive, rare and unique materials, including archives, photographic collections, artworks and rare books. Taking the form of an expanded workshop, the programme features curatorial research exercises; object ‘handling’ activities; guided visual analysis; and conversations that pose questions about interpretation, mediation, classification and display practices. Throughout the course, curatorial research, theory and practice are taught as symbiotic methods for investigating the contents and structures of archives and collections.
Through the Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Archives and Collections Intensive you will encounter experimental approaches from across the sector, presented by leading curators, archivists and researchers working in different organisational contexts, including museums, galleries, studios, archives, libraries, and other cultural institutions. The programme combines analytical debate with practical activities, taught from the world’s leading art and design university and delivered online in an interactive learning environment.
The course is led by Dr Rosie Ram, Visiting Lecturer in MA Curating Contemporary Art and Course Leader of the Curating Contemporary Art and Design: Theory and Practice Summer School, and Dr Ben Cranfield, Senior Tutor in MA Curating Contemporary Art. It is delivered by tutors from across the School of Arts and Humanities as well as invited guests from leading institutions.
New invited guest speakers announced!
Applications are now closed.
Listen again to the IN SESSION talk: Contemporary Pasts: Curating Archives and Collections for the Present with Ben Cranfield, Patrick Flores & Rosie Ram that took place on 19 October 2022 | 12.00–1.00pm BST.