Speculative Curatorial Strategies: Art in Non-Arts-Based Academic Settings
Collaboration and interdisciplinarity in artistic and academic enquiries are often automatically assumed to be a ‘good thing’ and often perceived as one and the same; with little reflection or analysis. From a curatorial perspective, this paper will give ‘first-hand’ consideration to exchanges that have happened in art projects and exhibitions that are collaborative and/or interdisciplinary in non-arts-based academic contexts. My curatorial role in interactive art processes within the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts (ICIA) at the University of Bath, UK; involves dialogue and facilitation, working with artists to negotiate the internal borders within the University of Bath’s ‘lived’ and physical terrain. Artists produce temporary exhibitions and site-specific artworks for ‘everyday’ spaces on campus. Through negotiated partnerships, ICIA is developing a series of galleries across the University.
Artists are invited to create work in response to individual University departments or the campus as a whole. Sometimes artists are asked to bring ‘work in progress’ that has relevance to groups or individuals at the University of Bath. Through a negotiated, dialogical process they use this context, and interaction with ICIA to refine their practice. The University of Bath is a top-ranked research University, which has established ICIA, a research centre that develops and commissions new and innovatory arts projects on local and national levels, as well as running public programmes of exhibitions, music and theatre. My curatorial approach is speculative and experimental. To speculate, implies investment in something without knowing quite what the outcome will be. These working methods can create anxieties, as well as satisfaction both for those directly involved in a project and those encountering it as an audience.
Keywords: Curating, Collaboration, Interdisciplinary
Dr. Daniel Hinchcliffe
Head of Visual Arts, Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts (ICIA), University of Bath
He co-edited Advances in Art and Urban Futures Volume 2: Recoveries and Reclamations (2002) (Bristol: Intellect Books).
As a curator, Daniel has worked on over 30 exhibitions with artists including Terry Atkinson, Bobby Baker, Ingrid Pollard, Stephen Gill, Becky Shaw, Chila Kumari Burman, Ana Bilankov, PLATFORM and Littoral.
He has devised, organised and chaired many international symposia, conferences and talks and is co-director of the forthcoming 8th International Conference on the Social Context of Death Dying and Disposal, University of Bath (2007).
Daniel is currently co-writing a chapter with Dr Jane Calow on places of memoria for The Book of Modern Death, edited by Glennys Howarth (Reaktion, 2007).
He leads on the development of ICIA’s publication series, for which he recently wrote the preface to The Nature of the Beast: Cultural Diversity and the Visual Arts Sector, A Study of Policies, Initiatives and Attitudes 1976-2006 by Richard Hylton, (2007) (ICIA).