"My models are those artists who strengthen the bonds between art, audience, and context. They tend to be interested in the narrative landscape, understanding place and history to include people, forming the grass roots of much interactive or 'new genre' public art." - Lucy R. Lippard, The Lure of the Local, 1997
Artwork by Maya D’Costa; Charcoal on paper (2018)
Curatorial practice entails the selection and representation of cultural objects, ideas and artifacts by organising and promoting art projects and exhibitions. At its core, this practice is rooted in the understanding and inculcation of values associated with social and cultural history, and a sensitivity to multiple forms of spectatorship. At Srishti Manipal we consider curatorial practice to be not only about exhibition, selection and display, but an endeavor towards reflecting cultural practices that address contemporary social concerns.
The MA in Curatorial Practices is founded on the premise that there is no separation between practice and theory in curatorial work. Curators operate across a vast ecology of contexts and spaces - from the museum, to the commercial gallery, to the artist-led space, to the festival, to the lab, to new creative ventures and academic projects. The role of the curator often blends in with that of the researcher, the artist, the publisher, the activist, the archivist, and the creative entrepreneur. The program foregrounds an inquiry based approach to learning, where students can explore and develop personal discourse, artistic visions and ideas through their chosen lines of inquiry, navigating through frames of thought nurtured at Srishti Manipal.
The students of the MA in Curatorial Practices will acquire the criticality, skills and flexibility to work in the ever-changing context of the contemporary art world and cultural production. They will develop an awareness and understanding of international and national socio-cultural and political discourses in the field.
- Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary studios
- Lines of Inquiries (Field work, Case Studies, Investigations, individual or Group Projects, Transdisciplinary Research)
- Theory and Understanding
- Independent Study
- Open Elective
- Culminating Performances of Understanding (Portfolio, Transdisciplinary research, Projects, Colloquium, Capstone/Dissertation)
- Knowledge Enhancement (ability or skills)
Learning is driven by lines of inquiries that are enacted through studio based learning, workshops, theoretical reflections and field work. This approach cultivates a creative practice through engagement in diverse contexts, collaborative and participatory approaches leading to knowledge development.
Program learning components include:
- A theoretical and conceptual engagement with relevant topics and discourses in the humanities and art practice.
- Using transdisciplinary research methods to explore and articulate one’s understanding and position
- Collaboration amongst peers, practitioners and the community.
- Independent learning with close guidance from mentors
- Conception, development and production of curatorial projects
Nobody Desired You (2022) – Online exhibition curated by Namita Avriti as part of the Studio entitled ‘Field Practice’
Datalands - Creative Engagements with Archives (2020); online event to conclude the Studio entitled ‘Framed-Unframed: Working with Archives.’
- Ability to analyse relevant critical discourse across the humanities, art and cultural fields
- Ability to understand and imbibe contextual perspectives and synthesise individual positions
- Ability to to engage with the artistic, cultural and social contexts of curatorial practice in South Asia and other parts of the world
- Asking relevant questions and using appropriate methods of research
- Developing an independent curatorial practices that is rooted in research and inquiry
- Ability to structure thoughts in writing and present a sound understanding of a context
- Articulating and shaping one’s practice in relation to diverse contemporary contexts
Unconditional Self – video installation by Harshada Khandale
- You can work on art and design exhibitions, events and programmes for museums, galleries, festivals and biennales in fields spanning visual art, performance, new media, film & video, sound art & music
- You can initiate creative ventures and independent projects in the arts and cultural sector
- You can pursue arts management at arts organisations, cultural institutions and foundations
- You can work with archives and art collections
- You can pursue your research and advanced study in any area allied to contemporary art and cultural practice
The disciplines that inform this program are:
Research and Collaboration
Art in Transit
Center for Education, Research, Training, and Development (CERTAD)
Center for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA)
Center for Public History (CPH)
The Kabir Project
Odde Research Center
The UNESCO Chair in Culture, Habitat, and Sustainable Development
The post graduate course is a two-year, full-time, programme in Curatorial Practice focused on developing a line of inquiry and producing curatorial projects as research outputs. Students are encouraged to locate themselves within one or more lines of inquiry and develop projects that take their practice forward. Expertise, faculty and inputs are available to support different research methodologies driven by the student’s particular interests and inquiry. They can also choose to work in contexts overlapping with other post-graduate courses at Srishti Manipal.
Bangalore has a thriving art scene, well-known for the variety of art spaces and approaches to curating art, film and media. The cultural life of the city is shaped by the activities of various artist-run spaces, residency programmes for artists, writers and designers, independent film and dance festivals, commercial galleries, and sound & music organisations. Bangalore also has a long and established history of research organisations dedicated to the sciences, and a number of organisations working in the fields of urban studies, digital culture, law and social activism. The variety of the local cultural, artistic and research ecosystem will offer you the opportunity to develop an interdisciplinary practice, and enrich your interests and research outside the boundaries of contemporary art history.
You will be encouraged to build upon your existing research interests and practices across disciplinary borders—from art, to design, to humanities, to media studies, to the sciences, to anthropology. You will explore the work of mediating between artworks/ artifacts / narratives and an audience through studios which will offer you the theoretical frameworks, criticality and field work experience that you can apply to your own existing education and work. Through this, you will develop a context-specific, sustainable and professional curatorial practice, while benefiting from learning from the activities of the research centres, projects and labs already housed at Srishti Manipal, such as Art in Transit, ArtScience Bangalore, the Center for Education, Research, Training, and Development (CERTAD) and the Center for Experimental Media and Arts (CEMA).
The programme supports the development of an independent practice through inquiry based learning. It will offer you a combination of studios, taught seminars and workshops, along with the opportunity to engage in indepth research towards producing curatorial projects, while being mentored. The programme will also include talks with professionals in the art and cultural sectors and site visits, and you will benefit from the connections you will establish with artists, curators, gallerists and creative entrepreneurs.
We seek motivated candidates who are excited about experimenting, innovating and discovering their own voice and personal expression. The programme caters specifically to art professionals, artists and critics with backgrounds from diverse disciplines (from writing, to journalism, anthropology to humanities, education to social sciences). The candidate must demonstrate a strong interest and previous experience with curatorial practice and exhibition-making. If you have an undergraduate degree in any discipline, you are eligible to apply to the programme. Please see the Admissions section on our website for admission procedures.
The course at Srishti Manipal gives high importance to context-based work. The context will pertain to social, cultural or environmental themes, and/or to the personal and the content of one’s own experience and practices in relation to published lines of inquiry. The program is designed to help students be better learners and pursue their own goals and areas of investigation. Situated in a multidisciplinary environment, there are good possibilities of comparing, acquiring and appropriating methods and practices from other disciplines into one’s own practice.
Yes, you will be able to pursue an MPhil or PhD in any place of study whether in India or in another country of your choice.