August  21 – 24, 2017
Bari, Italy

Applications due by July 23, 2017

Applications are now open for the sixth edition of Vessel’s International Curatorial Workshop.
ICW 2017 will be articulated around the notion of para-institution and how the process of instituting from a grass-root perspective challenges, complies with, and/or imitates traditional institutional forms.

The workshop follows on from Vessel’s investigation into the legacy of institutional critique, and its ongoing institutional and organisational experiments. It is inspired by the notion of ‘instituent practices’ understood as practices that “invent new forms of instituting” (Raunig, 2009) without necessarily crystallizing into pre-fixed structures and procedures. Research questions include:

  • What is the potentiality of an instituent practice in the contemporary context of Southern Europe?

  • What are the specificities of such an endeavour from a Southern perspective?

  • What are the organisational and operative tools that self-initiated organisations such as Vessel should provide themselves with, in order to responsibly address the social, political and cultural fabric in which they operate?

During the workshop Vessel will function as a case study, a common terrain where together with the participants and the tutors we will imagine new futures and new configurations for the organisation. Indeed, the theme of the workshop is stimulated by an important shift in Vessel’s path: we have received the support of the Italian government in order to secure 18 months of activity. What does the transition from a nomadic, flexible, and intermittent condition, to a physical, temporarily stable headquarter entail?

We are aiming at testing out new pedagogical processes, and at structuring such processes through an informal learning process which for the first time will have a physical presence in Bari, the capital city of the region.

Parallel activities will include artist talks, screenings, and tours.

Tutors: Andrea Phillips, pantxo ramas, Vessel curatorial team (Viviana Checchia, Nicoletta Daldanise, Anna Santomauro)


Andrea Phillips is PARSE Professor of Art and Head of Research at the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. Phillips lectures and writes about the economic and social construction of publics within contemporary art, the manipulation of forms of participation and the potential of forms of political, architectural and social reorganization within artistic and curatorial culture.

Recent and ongoing research projects include: Curating Architecture, a think tank and exhibition examining the role of exhibitions in the making of architecture’s social and political forms (AHRC 2007-2009). Actors, Agent and Attendants, a research project and set of publications that address the role of artistic and curatorial production in contemporary political milieus (in collaboration with SKOR 2009-2012), co-director with Suhail Malik, Andrew Wheatley and Sarah Thelwall of the research project The Aesthetic and Economic Impact of the Art Market, an investigation into the ways in which the art market shapes artists’ careers and public exhibition (2010-ongoing), Public Alchemy, the public programme for the Istanbul Biennial 2013 (co-curated with Fulya Erdemci), Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures (in collaboration with Grant Watson and Iniva, AHRC 2013-2014), How to Work Together (in collaboration with Chisenhale Gallery, Studio Voltaire and The Showroom, London 2014-ongoing).

Francesco Salvini, or pantxo ramas, is an activist and researcher, based at the Kent Law School, Canterbury (UK); pantxo also works in Barcelona, where collaborates with Barcelona en Comú and the Museum of Contemporary Arts. In Italy is also member of Conferenza Permanente per la Salute Mentale nel Mondo in Trieste, and collaborates with the blog

pantxo’s research and activism deal with the issue of precarity and public policies in the fields of health, care and urban rights, in contemporary contexts: with the research group Entering Outside, they are addressing the transformations of the healthcare public provision in southern European cities, in collaboration with local institutions – such as National Museum Reina Sofia and the Council of Madrid in Spain, and the Regional Healthcare System of Trieste. At the Kent Law School in Canterbury, Francesco is research associate for the Wellcome Trust funded research project “Law, knowledges and the making of ‘modern healthcare’: regulating traditional and alternative medicines in contemporary contexts”. pantxo is also collaborating in policy design and radical municipalism networking in the frame of the political platform Barcelona en Comú.

How to apply

The participation in the International Curatorial Workshop is subject to a payment of 350 €. This covers all expenses for meals and residency, including a shared room at Campus Hotel Selected applicants will be responsible for return travel from their place of residence to Vessel.

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

Artists, curators, researchers, academics and practitioners with an interest in social and political engagement and in grass-roots organisations are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants of any nationality may apply. No study certificate or academic degree is required.

The course will be delivered in English.

The screening committee for selecting applicants consists of Vessel’s curatorial team, composed by Viviana Checchia, Nicoletta Daldanise, and Anna Santomauro.

Please send completed applications to: by 23rd July, 2017.

Applicants will be notified of the results by the end of July.

The applications must include:

1. Application form


Last Name:

Date of birth:

Place of birth:



Postal address:



2. Please attach your detailed resume including projects and/or texts that are particularly relevant for the subject of the workshop

3. A motivational statement illustrating the applicant’s interests and explaining the reason for the application. In this section please describe a case study that you would like to discuss during the workshop (max. 5.000 characters)

Vessel is a platform for the development of 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, their geographies and psychogeographies, and 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.