Detroit Art Week
Young Curators, New Ideas V
July 16-21, 2019
Application deadline: March 31
Trumbull & Porter Hotel Detroit
1331 Trumbull Ave
48216 Detroit, MI
After a six-year hiatus, the ground-breaking, experimental initiative returns in search of 12 independent curators.
Detroit Art Week, an annual self-guided tour and citywide celebration of contemporary art in Detroit, is now accepting applications from national and international curators for the 5th iteration of Young Curators, New Ideas (YCNI V). In 2008, Detroit Art Week Founding Director, Amani Olu, established the series to promote and support emerging curatorial voices. After a six-year hiatus, YCNI V will take place from Wednesday, July 17 to Sunday, July 21, 2019 at Trumbull & Porter Hotel Detroit.
No age restrictions apply. Visit detroitartweek.org to apply.
Featuring 12 independent curators selected from an international open call, YCNI V will shine a light on the cultural, artistic, social and political transformations initiated by women, LGBTQ and gender-non-conforming individuals through their creative, and at times independent, curatorial practices. With a sense of relevance and urgency, these multifaceted and dynamic micro-exhibitions will consider contemporary issues that exist at the intersection of curatorial practice and artistic production. Within a 256 square-foot hotel room, each curator will present one or two artists whose work is a thoughtful and provocative discussion on the most pressing issues of our time.
Since its inception, Young Curators, New Ideas has presented exhibitions by 31 independent curators featuring 104 artists.
YCNI alums include: Karen Archey, Curator of Contemporary Art for Time-Based Media at Stedelijk Museum; Erin Dziedzic, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; Stamatina Gregory, Associate Dean of the School of Art at The Cooper Union; Jenny Jaskey, Director of The Artists’ Institute; Larry Ossei-Mensah, Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Laura Ptak, Executive Director and Curator of Art in General; Stephanie Roach, Director of The Flag Art Foundation;Jose Ruiz, Director of the MFA in Curatorial Practice program at the Maryland Institute College of Art; Legacy Russell, Associate Curator at Studio Museum in Harlem; Andrew Russeth, Executive Editor of ARTnews; Lumi Tan, Curator at The Kitchen; and Cleopatra’s (Bridget Donahue, Bridget Finn, Kate McNamara & Erin Somerville) to name a few.
Past participating artists include: Michele Abeles, A.K. Burns, Talia Chetrit, Tyler Coburn, Craig Drennen, Bryan Graf, Hugo McCloud, Erin Jane Nelson, Jessica Ann Peavy, Alex Prager, Josh Reames, Asha Schechter, Adam Parker Smith, Jaret Vadera, Jeffrey Vallance, Hannah Whitaker, Bryan Zanisnik and AIDS-3D to name a few.
In 1998, Michael Brenson famously wrote in Art Journal that “the era of the curator has begun.” And so, it seems that everyone is calling themselves a curator these days. Over the past ten years especially, the reference to the curator has exploded in popular culture and as a consumer buzz-word. While everyone is busy curating playlists, drink menus and Pinterest boards, it seems that the art-world curator is still a title reserved for the few who can successfully finesse or appease institutional and commercial gatekeepers. Resources, power and influence, are just as consolidated as they ever have been, and perhaps more so as individuals and institutions react to the democratizing forces of social media with claims of expertise and connoisseurship. What is the process by which one becomes a curator? This question is especially relevant for young curators coming from intellectual, cultural and/or artistic traditions that have been seen as backward, primitive, minor or inconsequential to the history of art and ideas; as they attempt to break through entrenched structural and institutional barriers to assert themselves as curators and experiment with or destabilize contemporary curatorial practices.
The question of how one becomes a curator–and whose labor is recognized as curatorship–is also especially relevant to women, LGBTQ communities and gender non-conforming people. Elke Krasny puts forth that “firstly, independent curating was crucial to transforming modern art into contemporary art [and that] secondly, many of the independent curators who were profoundly shaping this transformation were feminists, active as feminist artists, art historians, activists, thinkers, and public intellectuals.” Yet, in 2018, according to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, women are a long way off from achieving parity in the arts. For example, women working across arts professions make an average of 20,000 USD less per year than their male counterparts. With this historical knowledge in mind, we must presently attend to the kinds of labor that go unnoticed and undervalued. Further, Krasny writes, “we need to raise the question: what are the current transformations initiated by feminist and queer-feminist curating whose politics and practices we witness today telling us?” Though many may not explicitly identify with the label feminist, women, LGBTQ communities and gender non-conforming people are undoubtedly concerned with questions of power, domination and social control, concerns with which feminist social critiques also share. “Young Curators, New Ideas” will shine a light on the cultural, artistic, social and political transformations initiated by women, LGBTQ and gender-non-conforming individuals through their creative, and at times independent, curatorial practices. With a sense of relevance and urgency, these multifaceted and dynamic micro-exhibitions consider contemporary issues that exist at the intersection of curatorial practice and artistic production.