140611_OpenCall_Talk_PlakatA3 Kopie


/ecm discourse 18:

A conversation with Can Gülcü, Hanna Rosa Oellinger, Joshua Simon

Welcome and Introduction: Beatrice Jaschke
Moderation: Katja Stecher

Thursday, 10 July 2014, 7.30 pm
Künstlerhaus Wien, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna

Free admission
How open are Open Calls? Are they a democratic tool or a mechanism of competition? Could we think of alternatives for them in order to develop a fair and open practice?

In the field of art and culture these supposedly open biddings are frequently used to acquire and support “young talents“. Artists are offered possibilities to participate in exhibitions, festivals, residencies and workshops or receive awards and grants. Everybody is welcome to take part – but in the end there is only one winner who is selected by a committee of experts, while the remaining proposals hardly get any attention. Upon closer inspection the Open Call proves to be a neoliberal practice that pretends to follow democratic principles. As Joshua Simon points out in his book Neomaterialism: “the real winner of this competition are the institutions because they regulate the market. The single artist who gets chosen in an Open Call articulates for the institution its notion of social and individual value.“

Although the Open Call is a commonly used model in the art field it’s inherent power structures and competitive setup has hardly been reflected on. This lack makes it crucially significant for the curatorial practice to examine this mode of operation critically. We would like to reflect on and discuss this topic together with different “players“ in the art field.

The talk is part of The Essence 14, the annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

Can Gülcü
is artistic director and manager of WIENWOCHE together with Petja Dimitrova and Radostina Patulova. This new cultural project was founded in 2011 and initiates Open Calls on a regular basis (www.wienwoche.org). Gülcü has taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna as well as at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz and was part of the curatorial team of the Shedhalle in Zurich. His artistic practice is situated between fine arts and political-participatory cultural work. Focal points of his work are questions relating to societal, political and social power relationships.

Hannah Rosa Oellinger
is part of the artist collective oellinger/rainer. Together with Alice Neusiedler they have participated in the “Open Call on Undisciplined Knowledge Production“ with their lecture performance „Die Regeln der Kunst – ein Echtzeit–Fragebogen”.

Joshua Simon
is director and chief curator of MoBY – Museums of Bat Yam, Israel. He is a co-founding editor of Maayan Magazine, Maarvon (Western): New Film Magazine, and The New & Bad Art Magazine, all based in Tel Aviv–Jaffa. In his book Neomaterialism, published in 2013, he points out the competitive structure of open calls and the economy surrounding them.


ORGANISATION /ecm 2012 – 2014

The post-graduate master programme /ecm – educating, curating, managing at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna combines theory and practice in the expanded field of museums and exhibitions. Part of the exhibition “Out of the Box. 10 Questions about Artistic Research“, curated by the current participants, was an “Open Call for (Lecture–) Performances on Undisciplined Knowledge Production“ that gives reason for this discussion.

Annette Leber, Katja Stecher (/ecm 2012–2014)

Graphic Design
Isabel Prugger (/ecm 2012–2014)

Max Gurresch (Artistic Bokeh)

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