Curatorial Directions: Art Making and Curating in Times of Crisis
This November will see the third iteration of the MAC’s curatorial development programme Curatorial Directions which will take place across Belfast, Philadelphia and New York.
Over its last two iterations in 2015 and 2017, Curatorial Directions has developed into a distinctive and innovative model of curatorial development that nurtures emerging talent, creates supportive and creative networks between curators in Northern Ireland and further afield, and provides a fantastic forum for in-depth thinking around particular elements of contemporary curatorial practice.
Set within the context of On Refusal: Representation & Resistance in Contemporary American Art, curated by the MAC’s Assistant Curator Clare Gormley and featuring artists Paul Stephen Benjamin, Elliott Jerome Brown Jr, Aria Dean, Troy Michie, Arcmanoro Niles and Sable Elyse Smith, this year’s Curatorial Direction’s programme will draw upon the exhibition’s core themes of resistance, social change and the collective conception of radical futures.
The programme invites eight emerging, early-career curators/programmers to engage in an intensive schedule of lectures, discussions, workshops and excursions examining certain key issues and ideas regarding contemporary curatorial practice around the theme of Art Making and Curating in Times of Crisis.
This programme has been made possible with the generous support of the John Ellerman Foundation and the British Council.
Curatorial Directions 2019 – Participant Bios:
Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell is curator for the Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive. In this role she works with artists, musicians and film makers to give the public access to the UTV collection. Recent projects include Practised Hands a live cinema event featuring performances by Alice Clark and Jayne Cherry, funded by Film Hub NI for the Linen Biennale 2018. Sinéad is also an artist and committee member of Bbeyond. Over the past ten years she has participated in a wide range of international exchanges and artist collectives.
Siobhán Kelly is a visual artist and curator based in Belfast. Kelly recently completed a Co-Directorship with Catalyst Arts. She is a recipient of the 2018 SIAP award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and a member of Flax Art Studios. Kelly holds a BA Hons in Fine Art Sculpture and Visual Culture from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. In 2015 she completed an Erasmus Semester in the In Situ3 Department at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium. She is currently undertaking a Masters in Arts Management at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Alessia Cargnelli is a visual artist, curator, programmer and researcher based in Belfast. Former co-director of artist-led initiative Catalyst Arts, Alessia is currently a PhD researcher at the Belfast School of Art, with a project on contemporary artist-run initiatives dedicated to social justice, civil action and activism in the island of Ireland. Along with artist Emily McFarland, she is co-founder and co-director of the artist run initiative Soft Fiction Projects. Alessia is also a member of Array, a collective rooted in Belfast, dedicated to create collaborative actions in response to the sociopolitical issues affecting Northern Ireland.
Camara Taylor is an artist and curator based in Glasgow who works with their various selves and others to produce sound and image-based works, events, exhibitions and texts. Camara was previously a committee member at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2016-2018) and a participant in Constellations, an artist working group programme conceived by UP Projects and Flat Time House. They have completed commissions and projects for organisations including Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Glasgow International 2018; Scottish Queer International Film Festival and the National Theatre of Scotland. Currently, they programme the Race, Rights and Sovereignty series (The Glasgow School of Art & GSA Students’ Association).
Clarissa Aidar is an artist and writer from São Paulo. Her work is concerned with queer comradeship and the creation of shifting identities and alliances to deceive state vigilance and the commodification of subjectivity.
Bilal Akkouche is originally from Cambridge but has lived in London since 2015. He finished his MSc Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics having written his dissertation on the current Algerian protests named: “Thawra al-Ibtisam” (The Revolution of Smiles): An Analysis of the Protest Songs, Slogans and Symbols of the 2019 Algerian Hirak. Currently, Bilal is working at Tate Britain as a Curatorial Intern, focusing on the rehang of the permanent collection, diversifying acquisitions and an upcoming photography exhibition which focuses on Britain’s role in colonialism and the effects it had on migration to the UK. Recently, Bilal was awarded the INIVA Scholarship to study MA Curating and Collections at the Chelsea College of Arts (UAL). He aims to focus on further politicising curation as a practice and focusing on representing artistic forms of protest and contestation in gallery spaces as well as public spaces.
Jane Morrow is an independent visual art curator and PhD researcher with a specialism in artist and organisational development. She is interested in infrastructure; working across network, studio and production contexts, and formal and informal learning environments for practitioners. Now based in Belfast, Jane has undertaken strategic, programming and fundraising roles for galleries, initiatives and individuals around the UK and Ireland. She writes, for herself and others, and runs a b&b for artists visiting the city.
Caimin Walsh is an Independent curator, visual artist and events organiser from Limerick, Ireland. He graduated from Limerick School of Art & Design in 2013 with a BA in Fine Art. He is the founder of Anywhere Projects, co-founder of Limerick Noise Collective and Prima Volta Music & Arts Festival. He is a culture team member of Ormston House and board member of spacecraft artist studios.