Call for applications: The 2015 Vessel / MADA International Curatorial Retreat

May 9-13, 2015
Bari, Italy

Applications due January 10, 2015

Vessel and MADA are pleased to announce the 2015 International Curatorial Retreat, which will take place May 9-13 in and around Bari, Italy.

After three editions of Vessel’s self-organized International Curatorial Workshop, in 2015 Vessel collaborates with the Curatorial Practice Program at MADA (Monash Art Design and Architecture) in Melbourne, Australia to host a new event, the International Curatorial Retreat.

The retreat will gather together Curatorial PhD candidates from MADA, a small number of curators selected by open call, a group of invited tutors, and Vessel and MADA staff. The four day short course takes as its subject curatorial writing, and will be comprised of workshops, seminars, and presentations led by arts professionals engaged in the theory and practice of writing. For many of us, writing is an active negotiation of issues of translation and knowledge production. The retreat will explore the process of writing when related to the ‘epistemologies of the South’, a term adopted from Portuguese sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos. The event is designed to be a short course, but also a space for retreat. It takes place in Puglia, itself a very special environment, and will encourage conviviality, hospitality and speculative thinking.

The tutors include Latitudes, an independent curatorial office initiated in 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, that works in an international context from and in Barcelona, Spain; Tara McDowell, Associate Professor and Director of Curatorial Practice at MADA; Alexandra Ross, postdoctoral fellow, Centre for Curating the Archive at Michaelis Art School, University of Cape Town; and Tirdad Zolghadr, a curator and writer currently affiliated with Al Quds Bard College and the International Academy of Art in Ramallah; Fucking Good Art, a travelling artists’ magazine or editorial project for research in-and-through art; Vít Havránek, a theoretician and organizer based in Prague, co-founder of Tranzitdisplay, a resource center for contemporary art.
Additional tutors to be confirmed.

How to apply

The participation in the International Curatorial Retreat is subject to a payment of 350 €. The amount will cover all the expenses for meals and residency including a single-bed hotel room and 2015 vessel’s membership. Selected applicants will be responsible for travel from their place of residence to Vessel as well as the return trip. The workshop itself is offered free of charge.

The material sent for the application will not be returned.

According to regulation of the Retreat, personal data of the applicants is exclusively used for selection procedures and will not be communicated to others.

Interested applicants of any nationality may apply. No study certificate and academic degree required. The course will be delivered in English.

The screen committee for selecting applicants consists of Viviana Checchia, Nicoletta Daldanise, Tara McDowell and Anna Santomauro.

The application form must be sent to by January, the 10th 2015.

Applicants will be notified of the results in early February 2015.

The applications must include:

1. Application form


Last Name:

Date of birth:

Place of birth:



Postal address:



List of studies/work experiences:

(Please attach your detailed resume to this form.)

2. A copy of the most relevant published texts and reports of realized curatorial projects.

3. A motivational statement illustrating the applicant’s interests and explaining the reason for the application (max. 5.000 characters)

4. A short statement describing the case study that would be brought to the workshop (max 1,000 characters)

Vessel is a platform for the development of a critical discourse related to cultural, social, economic and political processes taking place in the South of Italy and in the Euro-Mediterranean area. Vessel is interested in exploring socially engaged practices in relation to their context of emergence, to their geographies and psychogeographies, to their imbrication into fixed political ideologies; Vessel investigates how social imagination could be enhanced and how its concrete products could articulate strategies of critical resistance against the current dominant representation.

Launched in March 2014, the Curatorial Practice Program at MADA plans to develop as an international centre for curatorial models that reflect critically on how we engage with our cultures, our cities, and our world. It fosters curatorial projects that test the limits of arts institutions. It supports advanced scholarly work on exhibitions and their histories, conditions of art’s public appearance, and the politics of display. The program nurtures spaces of retreat to allow forms of research other than those that normally occur within the framework of educational institutions.