Curatorial Programme
Curatorial Programme

The Curatorial Programme Curriculum

Experience teaches us that the curriculum of the Curatorial Programme must redefine itself each year in order to respond to an ever-changing world. The structure of seminars, travels, and various learning moments is defined by the personalities of the different contributing advisors (including artists, curators, museum staffers, freelance cultural practitioners, critics, community makers and activists). When we invite them to meet our participants and shape the curriculum, we offer them five principles to respond to.

Core principles for curriculum formation

Grounding: This means connecting to local wisdoms in our neighbourhood, in Amsterdam and the surrounding region, as well as in each destination to which the CP participants travel.

Alliance with artists: We work for greater involvement of artists as advisors and teachers to curators; and when commissioning, framing (thematically, physically) and mediating artworks for the public, we always start with the question: “How to do this on the artists’ own terms?"

Resourcefulness: We look beyond exploitative and destructive models, and imagine every project to be an opportunity for putting emergent economic and ecological strategies to work. These include economies (ways of understanding and exchanging resources and values) that are voiced and practiced by Indigenous communities, social reformers and visionary cultural producers.

Rethinking collections: We pay attention to the profound redefinitions of cultural property in public and private hands, including repatriation efforts. Within de Appel, the lively materials in our Archive, including what we call the Collection (Unintended) remain inspiring and open to interpretation.

Poetry as policy: In other words, we strive for a conscious use of language, which embraces feeling and precision. We believe in saying it all with lyrics that connect, invite and respect.

Values & Evolution of the Curatorial Programme

Over the past 27 years, de Appel’s CP has evolved to embrace values that set it apart from other curatorial learning initiatives worldwide. We prioritize full integration within de Appel’s distinctive three-part institutional structure (Archive, Curatorial Programme, Education Initiatives), which means hands-on experience and real-life stakes -- not to mention bursts of pure pleasure. Each participant gains access to a strong network of diverse, visionary and agile practitioners (our alumni and advisors). We choose people who imagine new ways of making exhibitions, nurturing communities and building institutions. When given the chance to shape de Appel’s public offerings, participants gain an opportunity to cooperate and find ways to learn from each other as much as from the advisors and mentors they meet along the way. The responsibility for determining an entire season of de Appel’s programming is a unique chance to consider how (art) history is made, mediated and archived.

de Appel’s Curatorial Programme is supported by the Stichting Hartwig Foundation.