Petja Grafenauer: How to write a text on an exhibition of contemporary art? (From a description to a context)

Laboratorium of Curatorial Practices
Season 12: 2008/09

Workshop in two parts

Saturday, November 14, 2009 (workshop)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 (discussion)

SCCA Project Room, Metelkova 6, Ljubljana

Application deadline: Monday, November 9, 2009

A work or a project of contemporary art is not bounded by a certain form, content or materials. As today, a work of art has not identifiable intrinsic properties and contemporary art is located in the hub of artistic, aesthetic, philosophical, sociological, political, media, science and many other discourses, those who would like to write about a project or an exhibition of contemporary art often find themselves in front of many seemingly insurmountable issues:

  • How should I visit the exhibition?
  • To what I have to pay attention?
  • Where and how to get information that I need and how to use it?
  • How to use this information?
  • How should I start writing?
  • Should I lean on the theory and in what manner should I use it?
  • How to conceive a text?

A workshop will lead participants from preparations for the visit and tour of the exhibition to writing and complete extended professional texts on the exhibition. The best text will also be published in the professional press.

The workshop will be conducted in Slovene.


Saturday, 14th November, 2009, 10:00-17:00

The first part of the workshop will start with the presentation of the participants. We will talk about their experiences with contemporary art and how these experiences could be used in writing the text.
The discussion will be followed by the lecture that will draw attention to the key elements of an exhibition which are to be taken under consideration before writing a professional text:

  • its concept
  • its intention
  • the installation of an exhibition
  • selection of artworks and other exhibited documents
  • formal and contextual analysis of the exhibited works in conjunction with the exhibition
  • broader social, political, cultural and institutional contextualization

Individual visits of the exhibition project
(Upon applying to the workshop, the participants will receive the materials about the exhibition and are expected to research them carefully before the beginning of the workshop).

Guided tour of the exhibition project, interviews with exhibiting artists and review of the materials generated at the exhibition.

Lunch break

In the second part of the workshop we will highlight the key points of the exhibition content and will start to prepare for writing the text. Afterwards the participants will write their texts at home.

Thursday, 19th November, 12:00
The participants send their texts to the mentor who goes through them, make corrections and give an opinion about each text. Later, the final texts are distributed among all the participants. They carefully read them and make comments.

Tuesday, 24th November, 10:00-14:00
The participants, together with the mentor, discuss each of the completed texts and choose the best one. In the following week the author of the chosen text prepares it for publishing in the specialized magazine.

Mentor of the workshop is Petja Grafenauer.


The price for the workshop is 10 EUR for individuals and 30 EUR for representatives of the institutions.

Application deadline: Monday, November 9, 2009

Attach to the registration:

  • a short biography
  • a short text about why you wish to participate

The registration form should be sent to the address or brought personally to the address SCCA-Ljubljana, Metelkova 6, 1000 Ljubljana by November 9, 2009 (office hours: 11.00-15.00).

SCCA, Center for Contemporary Arts – Ljubljana
Metelkova 6, 1000 Ljubljana
Contact persons: Sonja Zavrtanik
tel.: 041 367 425, fax: (01) 430 06 29