Suzana Milevska: Collaborative Curating

Laboratorium of Curatorial Practices
Season 11: 2007/08

Seminar – Workshop No.3

11th – 12th February, 2008

The frequent and successful presence of collaborative curatorial teams today on the international art scene come as no surprise when taking into account the evident shift in artistic practices from individual towards collaborative and participatory projects, or towards community research based activism. Pairs, couples, trios, collectives, elected teams and other form of collaborative groups became an inevitable part in most of the international art projects. Collaborative Curating will attempt on both promoting and questioning the new collaborative curatorial formats and other open models of professional interaction among curators. Is collaboration only a newly developed tool that is frequently used in the highly competitive field of curating as a pragmatic means or is it a theoretically justified practice?

Starting from the deconstruction of various concepts of authorship and moving towards various constructive concepts of collectivism and Starting from the deconstruction of various concepts of authorship and moving towards various constructive concepts of collectivism and community as a tool for agency of social change the workshop pondered in the challenges of collaboration. Collaborative Curating workshop focused on both justifying and questioning the potentiality of collaboration in theoretical and practical terms. The project contributed towards developing of new kinds of curatorial knowledge while reflecting on intersubjectivity, communitarianism or multitude.

Collaborative Curating was concipied as a two day workshop consisted of series of differently structured discussions on collaboration. Especially important was the focus on application of critical thinking exercises by putting a particular emphasis on the assignments:

a) to evaluate exhibitions’ proposals by contextualising them in contemporary theoretical frameworks
b) to conceptualise a real space curatorial projects.

The experiment of making a project designed especially for a chosen real space located in other city at the same time united and combined interdisciplinary skills of all participants and enabled the potentiality for remote curatorial collaboration.


Monday, February 11th

10.00-11.30 Introduction: Collective Curatorial Body
The staring theoretical point of this workshop is Jean-Luc Nancy’s warning that we forgot the importance of being-together, being-in-common and belonging and that we live our present time without relations. We discussed the philosophical concept of ‘being singular plural‘ as it is formulated by Nancy. His concept of being is always already being with. According to him being always entails “with” as an inevitable conjunction that links different singularities. Nancy goes as far as saying that ‘there is no “self” except by virtue of a “with,” which, in fact, structures it.’ In order to attain this knowledge and the praxis of “we” according to Nancy it is important to understand the aporia of intersubjectivity: that “we” is not a subject in terms of self-identification, neither is that “we” composed of always the same subjects or components.

11.30 – 12.00 Break

12.00 – 13.00 Discussion
The participants divided in two groups tried to develop argumentative debate in favour of either individual or collective curating.

13.00 – 14.30 Lunch

14.30 – 15.30 Presentation of particular collaborative projects
Besides the introductory presentation of the workshop leader to the internationally known collaborative curatorial practices, the participants were also expected to present local collaborative projects from their own context that they attended or curated.

15.30-16.00 Break

16.00-17.30 Evaluation of two collaborative projects’ proposals
that were made available to the participants in advance.


Tuesday, February 12th

Morning session:

Collaborative work
on two different proposals: proposals for two collaborative structures to be built either in virtual or in real space.
Participants were divided in two groups and each of the groups proposed a new original format of collaborative curating (exhibition, conference, network, TV show, publication, etc.)

Afternoon session:

14.30 – 15.30 Presentation
of the projects of the groups (30 min. each)

15.30 – 17.30 Evaluation
of the projects by each of the groups and closing discussion.


Workshop was held in English language.


Jean-Luc Nancy. Being Singular Plural.
Trans. Robert D. Richardson and Anne O’Byrne. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000, 73-99 (pdf 3,4 MB)

Suzana Milevska (1961)
Born in Bitola, Macedonia. She is a curator and visual culture theorist based in Skopje. Currently she is a Lecturer in Visual Culture and the Director of the Visual and Cultural Research Centre, “Euro-Balkan” Institute. She earned her PhD in 2006 from the Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths College – University of London where she was teaching from 2003 to 2005.

Suzana Milevska - delavnica
Suzana Milevska - delavnica
Suzana Milevska - delavnica
Suzana Milevska - delavnica
Suzana Milevska - delavnica
Suzana Milevska - delavnica
Suzana Milevska - delavnica