Conférence inaugurale 2015: Doreen Mende

Inaugural lecture 2015

The Curatorial
A lecture by Doreen Mende

Lundi 14 septembre 2015, 16h

Musée d’art et d’histoire
–  Auditoire
Boulevard Jaques-Dalcroze 9
1204 Genève

What if the curatorial is a hub of languages, geographies and time-zones as if it was an international airport, a non-place in super-modernity, in which the horizon of locality collapses into the abstraction of global transport networks? The lecture proposes to approach the curatorial through the notion of struggling, which comes with a double meaning: Socially speaking, to struggle means to look for a vocabulary, to be lost and disoriented, to miss friends, to search for words, to realize one’s own alienation in being defined as a human, to think a new thought… Politically speaking, to struggle means to take position for a political project, to speak up, to organize a movement, to become a subject through fighting for a cause, to live independence, to insists in decolonizing processes, to ask for thinking in a situation of knowing… The lecture will outline the notion of struggling as a possible frame for the curatorial. I propose that the curatorial is neither only a practice nor just a concept. It neither is only a theory nor a ready-made model. Rather, the curatorial is a set of conditions that inform our modes of living in globalizing times, from which to think, to question, to act, to make art and exhibitions that matter in society. The presentation will end with the introduction of exhibition projects, educational and collaborative work.

Doreen Mende is a curator and theorist, who works on geospatial politics in contemporary exhibiting processes. Recent exhibitions include KP Brehmer Real Capital – Production (2014, Raven Row, London); Travelling Communiqué (2014/13, Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin), Double Bound Economies (2013/12, Halle 14 in Leipzig, centre de la photographie in Geneva, ETH in Zurich), Right to Refusal (2012, Kunstverein Bregenz), KP Brehmer (2011, CAAC, Sevilla), Candida Höfer. Projects Done (2009, CAAC in Sevilla and MARCO in Vigo). Recent project-based collaborations in Ramallah, Beirut, Addis Ababa and Tehran. Mende is co-editor of eflux journal 59 Harun Farocki (2014) and editor-in-chief of the publication series Displayer at University of Arts and Design/ ZKM Karlsruhe (2006–09). She is co-founder of the collective project space General Public in Berlin (2005). Associate faculty member of the Dutch Art Institute. PhD in Curatorial/Knowledge, Goldsmiths, University of London. Since September 2015, responsible professor for the CCC research-based programme at HEAD Genève. Mende lives in Berlin and Geneva.