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Jane and Louise Wilson. Monument (Apollo Pavilion, Peterlee), 2003, still. Courtesy the artist and 303 Gallery

The opportunity

We are seeking one curator from each of the Western Balkans countries to respond to the themes explored by UK-based artists in the moving image exhibition, FUTURE ECOLOGIES. In collaboration with the British Council and LUX, you will introduce artworks by contemporary artists from the Western Balkans whose works resonate with the themes in FUTURE ECOLOGIES to show in parallel with the UK-based works. You will also create an audience engagement programme that attracts audiences, both familiar with, and new to contemporary artist films.

This is a designdevelopment and exchange opportunity for curators in the Western Balkans to co-curate FUTURE ECOLOGIES in their respective countries and develop a public engagement programme. Selected curators will travel to the UK for a week-long curatorial intensive hosted by LUX where they will meet with UK-based artists and arts organisations as well as refine their curatorial concepts for presenting FUTURE ECOLOGIES in the Western Balkans.

About FUTURE ECOLOGIES 

FUTURE ECOLOGIES is part of WE ARE HERE: Artists’ Moving Image from the British Council Collection and LUX, a series of artists’ film programmes that interrogate how contemporary artists explore themes like storytelling and heritage, social inclusion, gender identity, urbanisation and sustainability, and diverse voices through biography, documentary, poetry and fiction in film. 

Through a mix of documentary, (science) fictional and poetic modes, the works in FUTURE ECOLOGIES bring together incisive views on the environment, ecologies and cosmologies, climate change, the Anthropocene, colonisation and extractive industries, urban futures and sustainability.

Curatorial Intensive: Working with Artists’ Moving Image

As part of this co-curatorial opportunity, successful applicants will travel to the UK for a curatorial intensive study week. Facilitated by LUX, the curators will explore the practice of curating artists’ moving images in contemporary art and cinema and will embrace a broad conception of curating as the treatment of works from their acquisition, archiving, preservation, restoration, and reformatting, through to screening, programming, installation, circulation, translation, and interpretation. There will be a focus on refining the curatorial concepts for FUTURE ECOLOGIES in the Western Balkans where curators will have the opportunity to view the UK-based works.

At the heart of FUTURE ECOLOGIES is a curated compilation of four works by Uriel Orlow, Louis Henderson, Charlotte Prodger and Ben Rivers. In addition to the compilation, there are a series of time-based media installations by artists like Lawrence Lek and Jane and Louise Wilson that can also be displayed with the compilation. Please see the Future Ecologies Exhibition Specifications document on the bottom of the page for further details about the works and their installation requirements. 

IN THIS SECTION IS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE OPEN CALL: 

What will happen during Curatorial Intensive?

The programme will consist of a series of seminars, talks and screenings with LUX staff, UK based curators and programmers and contemporary artists plus visits to the British Council Collection, key institutions and galleries in London, and a day research trip to Bristol where we will attend an exhibition opening at Spike Island. 

Throughout the week, curators will have the opportunity to network with the professional sector. There will also be the chance to connect with fellow curators, artists and programmers at a talk where successful applicants will be expected to give short presentations introducing themselves and their work. Included in the week is a series of discussions with some of the UK-based artists in WE ARE HERE and curators working with moving image.

The programme will be led by Benjamin Cook, founder Director of LUX and LUX Scotland who has been professionally involved in visual arts and independent film sectors in the UK for the past 22 years as a curator, producer, archivist, writer and teacher.

What are we looking for with this Open Call?

In collaboration with the British Council and LUX, you will respond to the themes explored by UK-based artists in FUTURE ECOLOGIES by submitting a unique curatorial proposal that includes contemporary artists’ works from the Western Balkans to show in parallel with the UK-based works. These works do not necessarily have to be film-based works.

You will also create an audience engagement programme that will attract audiences, both familiar with, and new to contemporary artist films. The audience engagement programme should involve other stakeholders like civil society organisations, activist groups, artist collectives and academics who are active in the thematic areas of FUTURE ECOLOGIES to facilitate a wider social dialogue within the exhibition space. You may also wish to think about programming aimed at professional development for artists, curators, filmmakers, programmers and students.

What does this opportunity offer?

  • access to the British Council and LUX collections of the best of contemporary UK-based artists’ films and introduction to UK-based artists
  • the chance to co-curate an exhibition in collaboration with the British Council and LUX
  • week-long curatorial intensive study visit hosted by LUX in London with a group of regional curators/collaborators including workshops and site-visits in the UK
  • to collaborate with other in-country and Western Balkans partners
  • opportunity to exchange knowledge and skills around shared models of practice with support from experts in the field of moving image
  • the chance to develop new audiences and broker connections with the UK and Western Balkans professional sector.

How to Apply?

Further details about the opportunity and how to apply can be found in the Guidance Notes (document on the bottom of the page).

Applications must be submitted as a single PDF file and a maximum of 5 MB to programmes@britishcouncil.rs no later than 12.00, midnight (CET) 8 March 2020. Applications submitted in any other form will not be accepted.

Key information:

  • Open to: Curators from the Western Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) with a proven track record of curating exhibitions
  • Application Deadline: 12.00 midnight (CET) on 8 March 2020
  • Curatorial intensive study week: Successful applicants will be required to travel to the UK from 25 April – 3 May 2020
  • Costs to cover travel, visas, accommodation and subsistence for the UK curatorial intensive week trip will be covered in addition to the bursary below
  • Bursary: 1,000 GBP net.

Application requirements:

  1. Must be a curator in the Western Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) with a proven track record of curating exhibitions
  2. Must submit the application in full
  3. Confirm availability and commitment to travel to the UK for the Curatorial Intensive study week (25 April - 3 May 2020)

In addition to the three essential criteria, the selection panel will assess applications based on the clarity, strength and imaginative quality of the curatorial proposal; how it meets the open call brief; it’s feasibility for delivery within the given timeline; proposed budget; why the applicant wishes to participate, demonstration of their willingness to collaborate; proven partnership with exhibition space(s). 

Shortlisted applicants may need to be available for a follow-up conversation between 9 – 14 March.

About our Partner

LUX is an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices and the ideas that surround them. Founded in 2002 as a charity and not-for-profit limited company, the organisation builds on a long lineage of predecessors (The London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, London Video Arts and The Lux Centre) which stretch back to the 1960s. 

If you have any questions, please email  programmes@britishcouncil.rs. We look forward to receiving your proposals.