Curatorial Studies

Masterclass: Embodied Curating

KCA Master Dance & Curatorial Studies

17–18.02.2023, 19:00–23:00


Parallel Programme to Radiant Nights curated by Please Add Color

DeSingel International Art Center⁠

Live performance gains more and more terrain with the visual arts world. Although during the twentieth century there have been many moments of live arts within visual arts contexts, it’s only since the 2000’s that its influence became widespread and structural within established visual arts institutions. How do live arts influence museums’ modes of operation? And how does the context of the museum offer new possibilities for the development of live arts? During a one-week exchange between the residents of the Master Dance and the curators-in-development of Curatorial Studies, the participants delve into the history of curation and live arts, different points of view and curatorial practices are examined, and the participants take the modernist building of Arts Centre deSingel as a playground to organise a live art exhibition.

During this exchange week between the Master Dance and Curatorial Studies we will focus on the crossroads between live arts and the curatorial. How to create curatorial frames for live arts? How different is the economy of live arts in relation to curating objects? How do live arts respond to the attention economy? These and more questions form the base of this week.

Radiant Nights

The result of these collaborations is presented during the first evening of the Radiant Nights platform at deSingel.

On the occasion of Radiants Nights #7 curated by PLEASE ADD COLOR at DeSingel, a group of emerging curators and dancers propose a series of interventions addressing the body as a site for experiencing a different relationship with the art institution. These interventions are the outcome of the Embodied Curating masterclass organised by the Master Dance at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and the postgraduate programme Curatorial Studies at KASK & Conservatorium in Ghent.

Over the span of one week of lectures and workshops, the participants wove together their skills and ideas to imagine ways to engage with this year’s edition of Radiant Nights dedicated to contemporary black art and African diasporic culture, while also taking into account the modernist architectural setting of DeSingel. Rather than adding extra content to the curated programme, the participants proposed to work in the vacant spaces and time slots of the festival to facilitate various encounters: between the audience and the works; between the artists, the curators and the staff; as well as between the spectators' bodies, the building and the temporary curatorial collective the participants are forming on this occasion.

The group created an ensemble of “scores”, which act as concrete invitations to activate the visitors' bodies, thoughts, and movements in space, while also allowing for a more relational, intimate series of interactions with the context, whether artistic, spatial or human.

Stair Scores

At the entrance of the building, texts in vinyl letters are placed on the steps of the imposing staircase to welcome the visitors: open instructions, personal questions, or choreographic scores. These texts connect the outside and the inside, the institutional framework and the festival's political engagement, the public and the inner space.

Nice To Meet You, I’m Your Personal Guide

The second score is focusing on hospitality, and invites DeSingel's hosting team to start an individual conversation with the visitors. Starting from information about the programme, an advice about the festival's setting, an anecdote about one the artist or the content of what is to be experienced, they follow the audience and guide them personally to the next space.

Let me Ask You Something

In the Expoplein space, meeting point, the third score is interpreted. There, at the core of the event, performers discreetly distribute small pieces of paper among the audience. On these little bills, evoking secret notes, questions are printed that reflect and elaborate on the critical issues of identity, diversity and racism, addressed by PAC and on which the programme is based upon.

Your body moves around the room

Available in various places within the festival, a brochure, entitled Your body moves around the room, has been edited by the group: it comprises specifically written instructions and scores, texts and poems written and collected by the participants, and drawings made while working and performing during the preparation of the project. All these elements act as invitations for the viewers to feel, behave and act their own way in the space, find their own path, and be guided in their modes of navigation through the event, actively interact, find their rhythm, be able to breath, and reconnect with their own body and mind.

Performative and poetic at the same time, as discreet as they are critical, these interventions aim at deepening a collective, inter-individual experience of the context. Made out to be interpreted, activated or performed on site, they also exist in a written form. The brochure published by the group, then, is in the meantime a score and a document, that acts on a longer term, and can be displaced, translated and read elsewhere, in a museum or theater, in a train or in a room, wherever one wants, whenever one needs.

Ema Crnić, Francesco D'Amelio, Carijó, Victor Dumont, Agnese Forlani, Loïs Martens, Sergi Parés (MA Dance), Laura Sofía Arbeláez, Yehbonne Bien, Jiao Feng, Sophie Fitze, Hannah Keirsse, Jessica Meuleman, Davide Musco, Sepehr Sharifzadeh Golpaygani, Milana Starklova, Laurine Tribolet (CS)

Organised by the Master Dance at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and the Postgraduate Curatorial Studies at KASK&Conservatorium in Ghent
Michiel Vandevelde, Renata Lamenza Epifanio, Iris Terclaevers, Sander Misplon (MA Dance), Laura Herman, Anna Stoppa (CS)
Guest lecturers: Kevin Kotahunyi (PLEASE ADD COLOR), Ula Sickle, Joel Valabrega
Curatorial guidance: Yann Chateigné Tytelman