30-31 May 2012
Venue: Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
Finnish Association for Museum Education Pedaali
CuMMA - Curating, Managing and Mediating Art - Aalto University
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
SKY - Finnish Society for Curators
It's all Mediating – outlining and incorporating the roles of education and curating
The conference focuses on the two core functions of museums: the exhibiting of the content (art or other cultural material) and the educational activities directed to audiences. The functions are as old as the museum institution itself, but as the result of the professionalisation of the museum field, they are now the responsibility of specialised professional staff. Curator and educator are both relatively new titles in museums (museum) here referring to museums and galleries or any other venues presenting art and culture), and in many countries, Finland included, the professional education for these occupations is young or yet to be established.
The conference looks at how the professional field is outlined at present: How do these aspects the responsibility to foster and present the content of the museum, and the responsibility for its audiences and visitors relate to each other? What is the division of labour between curators and educators? What kind of interests and values guide their work? What are the current models and what would be the ideal ways of organizing their relations and collaboration?
The focus is also on the individual level of how the specialists incorporate their roles: What are the specific skills of a curator or an educator? How (and why?) do we develop a professional identity? While the specialisation has brought focus and quality to the practice, have the fields also drifted apart from each other? What is gained and lost?
On a wider scale, museums work under economic, social and political pressures, and the expectations of the various stakeholders artists, academia, funders, politicians, sponsors, audiences, managers... can be manifold and even mutually contradictory. How do these demands affect the work of curators and educators?
Lindsay Fryer, U.K.
Valérie Lagier, France
Maria Lind, Sweden
Carmen Mörsch, Switzerland
Nora Sternfeld, Austria
Sally Tallant, U.K.
Adela Zelesznik, Slovenia