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The Politics of Display


Module description

In this module we explore key aspects of art curation, display and communication. Site-based learning is a central element, with three field visits giving you access to ‘insider’ knowledge through interactions with curators or other sector professionals at nominated art galleries.

During the module we will be responsive to current events, exhibitions and opportunities. You will develop a portfolio through group critiques, giving you useful professional skills and the ability to reflect critically on the politics of display. Skills sessions cover topics such as: how to create, research and pitch an exhibition proposal; how exhibitions are made (and by whom); what kinds of spaces are required; how new digital tools are changing the nature of exhibitions and engaging new audiences; and how exhibition design can impact on meaning and interpretation.

If you are interested in developing a digital curation project, you will have access to our Virtual Reality and Immersive Learning resources.

Indicative syllabus

  • Object/Image/Exhibition: introduction
  • Art curating now: case studies of innovative exhibitions and curatorial practice (e.g Harold Szeemann, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Okwui Enwezor, Ute Meta Bauer)
  • Skills sessions:
    • Developing an exhibition brief
    • Digital curation
    • Exhibition design
  • Field visits
  • Project workshops

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad understanding of the role and responsibilities of the curator and exhibition designer within the art gallery context
  • select objects and create coherent narratives with them
  • understand the fundamental principles of object interpretation
  • engage constructively in current debates concerning curatorship and its changing nature
  • identify some of the challenges faced by the art gallery curator today
  • demonstrate critical awareness of curatorial techniques and strategies
  • apply theoretical arguments and research focused topics
  • write in a variety of different styles (e.g. exhibition pitch, critical review).