Project launch and lecture by Niels Van Tomme / The Walking Institution

In collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, the first lecture within the series of public programs about contemporary curatorial practices will be held by Niels Van Tomme
(director and chief curator at De Appel – an Amsterdam-based contemporary art institution with a pioneering curatorial program) and will serve as a preface to the curatorial course WCSCD. The final list of enrollees will be publicly announced on the day of the presentation, as well as more information about the workshop, program, and international and local mentors.

In the ever-evolving presentation “The Walking Institution”, Niels Van Tomme considers his work at De Appel as an act of curatorial care, and as an ongoing process of thinking alternative ways of
instituting, both on an ethical and structural level. On the occasion of the launch of What Could/Should Curating Do?, Van Tomme will elaborate on the prominent role the Curatorial Programme takes within De Appel’s institutional context since 1994. On this occasion Niels Van Tomme answers the question – What Could/Should Curating Do? “In curating one plus one should equal three. Curating departs from a what if, which it firmly positions towards what is. Curating takes scientific methods such as speculation and experimentation as its ruling principles, even though it is not a science. Curating is that which happens when something is about to become known. Yet it should always be done with the full knowledge that it might get things wrong.”

Niels Van Tomme is the director and chief curator at De Appel in Amsterdam. As a curator, lecturer and critic, he works at the intersections of contemporary culture and critical awareness. His exhibitions and events have been presented at The Kitchen (New York), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), Gallery 400 (Chicago), National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), and P! (New York). In 2016 he curated the Bucharest Biennale 7: What are we building down there? He is a contributing editor at Art Papers magazine. His texts, in which he connects contemporary art, popular culture, literature, and music to broader societal issues and cultural contexts, are published in Art in America, The Wire, Camera Austria, Afterimage, and Metropolis M, among others. He has published the books Where Do We Migrate To? (2011), Visibility Machines: Harun Farocki and Trevor Paglen (2014), Aesthetic Justice: Intersecting Artistic and Moral Perspectives (2015) and Muntadas: About Academia: Activating Artifacts (2017). Together with film scholar Sonja Simonyi, he is the parent of two young children: Jens and Nico.

Saša Tkačenko, Flags from the WCSCD series, 2018. Photo by Ivan Zupanc

The WCSCD curatorial course and series of public lectures are initiated and organized by Biljana Ciric together with Supervizuelna. The lecture by Niels Van Tomme is made possible with the help of MoCAB and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the additional support of Zepter Museum and Zepter Hotel.

Project partners: The Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade; GRAD—European Center for Culture and Debate; EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial, ’Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation and Zepter Museum.

The project is supported by: the Goethe Institute in Belgrade; Istituto Italiano di Cultura Belgrado; the Embassy of Sweden; the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the Embassy of Ireland in Greece; the Embassy of Indonesia; the EU Info Centre; Pro Helvetia – Swiss Art Council; and galleries Eugster || Belgrade,
HESTIA Art Residency & Exhibitions Bureau, and Zepter Hotel, Royal Inn Hotel and CAR:GO.

Media partners: EUNIC Serbia, RTS3.

*Cover photo by Ivan Zupanc


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