LAZNIA 1 LAZNIA 2 Congress of IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art)
10–13th May 2018
Gdansk–Sopot–Gdynia

Coordinator of the Congress in Triciity: Jolanta Woszczenko
Coordinator of the symposium: Zofia Maria Cielątkowska
 
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Each year, the IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art) Congress takes place in a different country. Its main initiator is the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT), which unites over 500 art curators around the world. In 2016 the association voted to hold its 2018 congress in Gdańsk. Since 1973, when it was founded, IKT visited Central and Eastern Europe only three times (Hungary in 1998, Poland in 2005 and Estonia/Finland in 2009). The congress in Tricity (Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia) is co-organized by the ŁAŹNIA Centre for Contemporary Art. Guests of the congress will meet with artists and visit cultural institutions in the Tricity area, including the Gdańsk City Gallery, State Art Gallery in Sopot, NOMUS – New Art Museum (branch of the National Museum in Gdańsk under construction), and City of Gdynia Museum. Another important congress event is the two-part symposium titled The Common Grounds: Learning from Contexts and Communities. The first part of the conference is addressed exclusively to IKT members and will take place on 11 May (Friday) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. The second part, open to a broader audience, is scheduled to be held on 13 May (Sunday) at the European Solidarity Centre.
 
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Symposium. The Common Grounds: Learning from Contexts and Communities

The idea that art has fluid borders and works at the edges of different disciplines, contexts, and communities is not new. However, the way it appears in contemporary practices and theories requires a fresh analysis. Such concepts as engagement, participation or interdisciplinarity in art projects are usually considered as enriching, educating or breaking the rules.

What do participative and interdisciplinary projects give us? What are we really learning from them? Is the idea of engaging with specific areas of knowledge and with specific communities a mere rhetorical concept, or does it contribute to significant changes? If so, what constitutes this ‘new’ value? What is it based on? How has this situation changed in recent years? Is there a need for new tools, directions or ideas to describe the aforementioned phenomena? And, last but not least, how can we define these common ground(s)?

The symposium is dedicated to Leonardo/ISAST, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018. Leonardo is the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (new media) that operates within the global network of distinguished scholars, artists, scientists, researchers and thinkers through programmes focused on interdisciplinary work, creative solutions and innovation. For an organization that defines itself like that, the question of common grounds seems crucial.

One of the symposium’s topics will cover art and science, and more specifically the potential connections between these areas, curating and art practice. The conference will focus on such themes as the impact of technology and digitization on the art world (in both its positive and negative aspects) – its influence on financing, art platforms, models of curating and the nature of presented works. The question of the relevance of film, video and ‘media art’ will also be discussed.

The Sunday part of the symposium at the European Solidarity Centre will also include a showcase of the Ego Meter by Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau. The Ego Meter is made from a vintage ammeter, the type once used at schools as a physics teaching aid. The artists modified the instrument, adding sensors that measure various parameters of the user’s body. The level of ego is measured on a scale from 0 to 100, with the artists’ portrait visible in the background. When the user touches two sensors on the device, the pointer begins to move energetically to the accompaniment of  a mysterious sound. Each user generates a different measurement, showing just how much he or she likes the artists. When the process is done, the machine adds an additional ‘ego’ number. Each exhibition and each interaction boost the artists’ ego.

Registration for the European Solidarity Centre conference on 13 May 2018 will open soon.
 
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About IKT

IKT is the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art. It is a members organization that brings together curators from across the world to meet, share knowledge, exchange ideas and broaden their professional networks. IKT represents the professional interests of contemporary curators worldwide, and is the equivalent of international organizations such as ICOM, CIMAM or AICA.

IKT was founded in 1973 and its early members included prominent curators such as Eberhard Roters, Eddy de Wilde and Harald Szeemann. The aim of the organization is to stimulate and extend debate concerning curating. In practical terms, IKT offers its members the opportunity to find partners for the co-production of exhibitions, publications or other events. At a time when the art world is increasingly structured around biennales and art fairs, IKT’s annual congresses provide a moment for reflection and in-depth discussion amongst colleagues.

IKT is represented by a board of six people and a president, elected from amongst its members by its members every three years, at the general assembly of the annual congress. IKT has over 500 members from across Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The members include curators and artistic directors of non-profit exhibition spaces and museums, as well as freelance curators of contemporary art. Members benefit from an annual membership card that provides free entry to numerous contemporary art institutions across the world. IKT hosts an annual conference held each time in a different place, which acts as moment to come together and to discover the cultural scene of that location.
 
The President of the Association is Dr. Julia Draganović.
 
More information: www.iktsite.org
 
 
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