The Culture of the Curatorial master’s program at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (HGB; Academy of Visual Arts) was launched in the winter semester 2009–10. Based on an innovative concept, its goal is not just to teach curatorial practices and relevant scholarly discourses in a practice-oriented fashion but also and above all to introduce the curatorial itself, in all its facets, to scholarship, study, and research.
The background of this program is the observation that in recent decades the curatorial has developed as a particular method for generating and communicating knowledge (in the senses of a combination of aesthetic experience and discursive and performative knowledge), primarily in the visual arts but increasingly in neighboring disciplines as well, such as dance, theater, film, literature, music, and last but not least the natural sciences. The curatorial itself now seems to be one form of knowledge among other forms of knowledge in the arts and sciences, related to both those fields and influenced by the actors in those fields. In the process, there are shifts in position and processes of exchange, and the changes that have occurred in traditional role models. Practices, concepts, and strategies of the curatorial in the aforementioned disciplines touch upon, overlap, and permeate one another, and in the process they continue to evolve.
The resulting increasingly complex demands for competencies in the curatorial field are also connected to the fact that, especially since the early 1990s, exhibitions have become increasingly significant culturally, socially, and economically. The reasons for this lie in the constant increase in attendance figures and the increased mobility of people, objects, and information (reflected, for example, in the culture of biennials), the increased importance of culture in the economic development of regions and in restructurings of cultural policy, especially in Western countries.
The Cultures of the Curatorial master’s program has been established with this culture-oriented labor market in mind. It prepares students for the complexity of a professional activity with a global perspective. With this objective, it offers space and time for curatorial experiments and scholarly reflection on them. At the same time, it offers concrete, practical knowledge: conceptual, planning, and organizational skills on which everyday curatorial activity depends. Graduates of the program will be in a position not only to put the knowledge and competencies they have acquired into practice in various contexts of the art world but also to continue to pursue independent scholarly research into the curatorial and related subjects.
The Culture of the Curatorial master’s program is a continuing education program. It is conceived with an eye to the possibility of studying while pursuing a career. Students have the opportunity to be active professionally during their studies: within the framework of their own projects, as freelance curators, or in cultural institutions.
The course offerings are divided into modules that build on one another in terms of both subject matter and sequence. In the first semester, the students are provided with a common basis for addressing the cultures of the curatorial.
The Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig awards the academic degree of a Master of Arts for successful completion of the program.
The program offers an outstanding student-teacher ratio. Up to fifteen students are admitted each year, and there are three HGB teachers.
The HGB charges 400 euros tuition per semester for the program. Students should expect to have additional expenses for travel to and from Leipzig and for accommodations and board in Leipzig.
Immatrikulations- , Studien- and Prüfungsordnung (German only) for download.