Curating without a System
Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 9 pm
With Viktor Misiano (curator, art writer, and editor), Silvia Franceschini (curator, researcher, and art writer), and Nataša Peterešin-Bachelez (interdependent curator, editor, and art writer)
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin, and the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory, Ljubljana, present a discussion in conjunction with the book launch of Curator without a System. Viktor Misiano: Selected Writings (ed. Silvia Franceschini, Sternberg Press, 2022, part of the Glossary series edited by Georg Schöllhammer and tranzit.at). The book brings together a rich variety of essays – now available for the first time in English translation – written by curator Viktor Misiano between 1988 and 2015. Reaching well beyond the contexts of Russian culture and art, his curatorial projects and writings comment on global dynamics after 1989 – a period haunted by unresolved contradictions between East and West, institutions and communities, art and society. As Georg Schöllhammer writes in his introduction to the book, Viktor Misiano’s texts “are extraordinarily informative for helping us to understand retrospectively the development of the recent geopolitical rupture in Europe in which the new Russia plays a central role, as well as providing insights into the new audiences and the institutional fabric of the contemporary Russian art establishment.”
While the book project started several years ago, it has taken on new relevance with the outbreak of war in Ukraine, particularly Misiano’s reflections on attitudes within the Russian and global art systems toward past conflicts in the region, as analyzed in essays such as “The War in Chechnya Did Not Take Place.” The discussion between Viktor Misiano, Silvia Franceschini, and Nataša Peterešin-Bachelez will address the problems of colonialism in the Soviet Union and their impact on the post-Soviet condition. Furthermore, special attention will be paid to the multiple relations between art and its systems, and the possibility of forging transnational networks of collaboration and solidarity.
Viktor Misiano is a curator, art writer, and editor living in Moscow and Italy. He was a curator of contemporary art at the Pushkin National Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow from 1980 to 1990 and served as director of the Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) in Moscow from 1992 to 1997. He curated Russia’s participation in the art biennials in Istanbul (1992), Venice (1995, 2003), Valencia (2001), and São Paulo (2002, 2004). In 2005, he curated the first Central Asia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He was a member of the curatorial team for Manifesta 1 in Rotterdam in 1996. In 1993, he founded Moscow Art Magazine and served as its editor-in-chief. In 2003, he co-founded Manifesta Journal: Journal of Contemporary Curatorship and was an editor there until 2011. From 2010 to 2014, he served as chairman of the International Foundation Manifesta. Misiano received the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory in 2016.
Silvia Franceschini is a curator, researcher, and art writer working across the fields of visual arts, design, and architecture. She is currently a curator at the museum CIVA in Brussels. From 2018 to 2021, she served as curator at Z33 House for Contemporary Art Design and Architecture in Hasselt / Belgium. She curated The Politics of Affinity: Experiments in Art, Education, and the Social Sphere, Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella / Italy (2016–2018); and co-curated The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial (2015) and The Way of Enthusiasts, V-A-C Foundation, Moscow (2012). Franceschini co-edited The Politics of Affinity: Experiments in Art, Education, and the Social Sphere (Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, 2018) and co-authored Global Tools 1973–1975: When Education Coincides with Life (Nero Publishing, 2019).
Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez is an interdependent curator, editor, and art writer. She curated Contour Biennale 9: Coltan as Cotton, Mechelen / Belgium (2019) and Not Fully Human, Not Human at All, Kadist, Paris (2017–2021). She co-curated Defiant Muses: Delphine Seyrig and the Feminist Video Collectives in France, 1970s–1980s, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid (2019) and Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2022); and Let’s Talk about the Weather, Sursock Museum, Beirut (2016) and Times Museum, Guangzhou (2018). Petrešin-Bachelez was chief editor of the Manifesta Journal (2012–2014) and L’Internationale Online (2014–2017). Since 2021, she has been the cultural programs manager at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.