Shapeshifters: New Forms of Curatorial Research

Shapeshifters: New Forms of Curatorial Research

  • 13–14 March 2019
  • MADA Gallery, Building D
    Monash University, Caulfield campus
    900 Dandenong Road
    Caulfield East, VIC


Register your interest
Images: Dust to Dust, Castlemaine Gaol, Dja Dja Wurrung, 19 May 2018, curated by Fayen d'Evie, resonant sculptures by Aaron McPeake, performance by Benjamin Hancock, photo by Pippa Samaya. Brian Fuata, Care disfigurements (soft hands), 2018, live performance for All Ears: A listening party, 2018, Campbelltown Arts Centre, photo by Catherine McElhone. Shannon Te Ao: my life as a tunnel, 2018, installation view, The Dowse Art Museum, New Zealand. Eavesdropping, installation view, Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, 2018, photo by Christian Capurro.

Shapeshifters is a two-day public symposium presenting research at the cutting edge of curatorial practice, including work on indigenous land rights, the threat and potential of eavesdropping, beholding through blindness, queering the curator and a biography of the nymph Daphne.

Monash Curatorial Practice doctoral candidates Frances Barrett, Fayen d’Evie, Camila Marambio, Mihnea Mircan, Melanie Oliver and Joel Stern will present their research throughout the two days.

Marking the fifth anniversary of the Monash Curatorial Practice PhD, the event reconsiders the nature of curatorial research and the genre of the symposium, a familiar but often unsatisfying format. The program incorporates artists commissioned to invigorate and challenge the event, examining its values and peculiar sociability, and introducing elements that include nurture, myth, embodiment, nature, and self-reflection.

Commissioned artists include Caitlin Franzmann (Brisbane); Brian Fuata (Sydney); Lucreccia Quintanilla (Melbourne); Snack Syndicate (Andrew Brooks and Astrid Lorange, Sydney); and Charlie Sofo (Melbourne).

Symposium Keynote – 13 March, 6pm

Los Angeles based art historian and editor J. Myers-Szupinska will give a keynote address titled “Forms of Being Together”. The lecture sketches out a new crisis of the group-form in art, arguing that the Romantic forms of group association that have governed art’s worlds for the last two centuries—cults, clubs, avant-gardes, and subcultures—ceased to function in the early 2000s, under the pressure of new economies of space, time and socialisation.

A symposium reception will be hosted by the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), whose exhibition Shapes of Knowledge will be on view.

Wednesday 13 March MADA Gallery
10.00am Registration
10.30am Welcome to Country followed by welcome by Tara McDowell
11.00am Camila Marambio, Dear Translator
12.00pm Lunch 
1.00pm MADA Art Forum Asia Art Archive (G1.04)
2.00pm Mihnea Mircan, Anahuman
3.00pm Afternoon tea
3.30pm Joel Stern, Earwitness: Listening to Manus Island Recording Project’s how are you today? and Joel Spring’s Hearing, Loss
4.30pm Brian Fuata, No chair left unturned
5.00pm Symposium reception at MUMA
6.00pm Keynote lecture J. Myers-Szupinska (G1.04)
Thursday 14 March MADA Gallery
9.30am Acknowledgement of Country by Brian Martin and welcome by Helen Hughes
10.00am Frances Barrett, cLUB bENT: A staged history
11.00am Melanie Oliver, Singing our histories: Shannon Te Ao’s my life as a tunnel
12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm Fayen d’Evie, Hallucinating the Absent Exhibition
2.00pm Lucreccia Quintanilla, A rhythm so steady and consistent
2.30pm Closing afternoon tea

The event is organised by Tara McDowell, Director of Curatorial Practice, with the support of Dr Helen Hughes and a design program by Beaziyt Worcou.

Expressions of interest from prospective international applicants seeking scholarships close 15 July 2019. Application details here.