Curatorial Studies

Masterclass: Wide Ecologies

Learning from the garden in artist and institutional practices


Brussels (diverse locations)

In the framework of KASK’s spring project week, in collaboration with Netwerk Aalst and Curator Laila Melchior.

In times of the current sanitary crises, a growing necessity to invent new forms of interaction challenges how art institutions engage with audiences and local communities, also putting the architectural ensemble of the museum at stake. As an outdoor activity and a communitarian practice, gardening may offer many useful clues to twenty-first-century cultural practices, even beyond the defies imposed by the emergence of Covid-19.

Curatorial Studies will investigate the garden as a methodology that not only traverses artists' works but also can be found in new approaches for art initiatives. We will delve into the possibilities of artistic and curatorial practices departing from the terrain, as well as from the principle of cultivating as a gesture of awareness and care towards the surroundings.

One of this research's main goals will be to chart a network of agents, actors, and initiatives on the field to draw a better idea of how gardens can be inscribed into the contemporary art scene at a local level. The group will visit various initiatives experimenting with the garden format according to a comprehensive understanding of ecology.

Our field research and discussions are expected to contribute on a theoretical level to the deliberations and debate currently held by Netwerk Fabriek, in Aalst. Apart from the documentation of the research conducted during the week, a practical proposition curated by Curatorial Studies in the context of Netwerk Fabriek in the next few months would be a possibility for a tangible outcome of this project week.