Call for participants, Curatorial Study Group, Liverpool Biennial

By bringing together a diverse collection of voices, Liverpool Biennial 2021 acts as a healthy stomach with a rich diversity of bacteria and cultures. Through this Curatorial Study Group, we will go through a process of fermentation, digesting different perspectives and practices to aid the production, absorption and transformation of ideas – supporting our collective gut intelligence in response to the Biennial.

A working group of 15-20 Curators, Educators and other practitioners will be formed through an open call and invited to participate in 2 online gatherings. With Curator Manuela Moscoso, in collaboration with anthropologist Pedro Cesarino, we will discuss the contemporary crisis of global capitalism through an anthropological perspective, and with Curator Keyna Eleison will look at the form of publication as an expanded form of the exhibition, specifically challenging the catalogue format, taking an experimental approach and overarching ideas inherent in this Biennial edition.

Each session will have a duration between 2-3 hours. Participants will be invited to engage with one form of reading material for each session and are encouraged to digest freely the content (commissions, film program, podcasts and performances) offered online on the liverpoolbiennial2021.com website.

Session 1: Tuesday 1 June, 3 – 6pm BST

Manuela Moscoso and Pedro de Niemeyer Cesarino

In this first Liverpool Biennial 2021 Curatorial workshop, Pedro de Niemeyer Cesarino will lead a discussion on the contemporary crisis of global capitalism through an anthropological perspective.

Theoretical perspectives of Western scholars such as Anna Tsing, Donna Haraway and Marilyn Strathern will be connected to reflections developed by American native intellectuals on shamanism, exchange and kinship, offering potential alternatives to the understanding of the body and its relations. The discussions will be based on the text “Kinship and the Collapse of Civilisation: Bodies and Skins from the Forest”, produced by Pedro de Niemeyer Cesarino for Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port and available to read online.

Session 2: Tuesday 8 June, 3 – 6pm BST

Manuela Moscoso and Keyna Eleison with Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz and Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

How do we think of a Curator’s book? How do we create a Biennial? How do we think from within practice? How do we work with the choices that artists have made? How do we make a vulnerable book? How do we assume the error? How do we stop compartmentalising? What do we imply by saying decolonizing thinking? How do we make a curatorial book that includes non-academic ideas?

These are some of the questions that Moscoso and Eleison asked while producing the curatorial reader – as a catalogue for this Biennial edition. In this workshop we will focus on curatorial methodologies, processes of production and the exhibition format in an expanded form. The workshop will include Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz and Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung as respondents who will explore and open these questions for discussion.

Biographies

Pedro de Niemeyer Cesarino

Pedro de Niemeyer Cesarino is an anthropologist and writer, specialising in the relations between anthropology, literature and the arts. He has conducted fieldwork among the Marubo of Brazilian Amazonia and has published several articles and books about mythology, shamanism and Amazonian systems of knowledge. He was professor at the Department of Art History at the Federal University of São Paulo and is currently professor at the Department of Anthropology at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz is a Bolivian-German writer, curator and philosopher. He was the director of Bolivia’s National Museum of Art (Museo Nacional de Arte, MNA) in La Paz until 2020. Between 2008–2011 he was curator of the exhibition and publication project Principio Potosí / The Potosí Principle (Museo Reina Sofía Madrid / Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin / Museo Nacional de Arte and MUSEF La Paz, together with Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann). From 2014-2016 he was coordinator of São Paulo’s Seminário Público Micropolíticas and Programa de Ações Culturais Autônomas (P.A.C.A., together with Suely Rolnik, Tatiana Roque and Amilcar Packer). He is the author of the book Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida: Block-Experiments in Cosmococa — program in progress (Afterall / MIT Press, 2013, together with Sabeth Buchmann).

Keyna Eleison

Keyna Eleison is a curator, writer, researcher, heiress griot and shaman, narrator, singer and ancient chronicler. She is a regular contributor to Contemporary&, Professor of the Free Learning Program at Parque Lage School of Visual Arts, Rio de Janeiro and co-Artistic Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro with Pablo Lafuente. She lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Manuela Moscoso

Manuela Moscoso is Curator of Liverpool Biennial 2020. She previous held the position of Senior Curator at Tamayo Museo, Mexico City. Originally from Ecuador, Moscoso is part of Zarigüeya, a programme that activates relations between contemporary art and the preColumbian collection of the Museo de Arte Precolombino Casa del Alabado, Ecuador. She was the Adjunct Curator of the 12th Cuenca Biennial and the Co-Curator of the Queens International Biennial 2011. In 2012 she was appointed Co-Director of Capacete, a residency programme based in Brazil where she also co-ran the curatorial programme Typewriter. Her work and research focuses on artistic production that can articulate critical present endeavors, interrogating a linear history and univocal perspectives.

Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is an independent art curator, artistic director and consultant on exhibitions, projects and festivals internationally. He is the artistic director of sonsbeek20-24, a quadrennial exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands, and founder and artistic director of the art space SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and editor-in-chief of the journal SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art. Ndikung was curator of Documenta 14 in 2017 across Athens and Kassel and a guest curator for the 2018 Dak’Art biennale in Dakar.

Who can apply

We are looking for a group of enthusiastic Curators, Educators or Practitioners who are looking for an opportunity to develop their curatorial knowledge and skills, through discussing different approaches and making valuable peer connections.

Applicants must:

  • Be with a minimum of 2 years experience in Curatorial practice, which may include putting on your own shows
  • Have access to a computer or laptop, a strong internet signal and Zoom

Those of any age or based in any location, UK or internationally, are eligible to apply.

How to apply

To apply to join the Curatorial Study Group, please send a short cover letter (in a PDF format) with the subject line Application for Curatorial Study Group to Kezia@biennial.com – outlining your contact details, and responses to the 2 prompts below:

  • Tell us about your curatorial practice (max. 100 words)
  • Tell us why you would like to take part (max. 150 words)

Please let us know in your application if you have additional access requirements and what support you require, e.g. live captioning on zoom.

Please submit your application by Monday 24 May at 9am / Applications will be assessed by the Liverpool Biennial 2021 curatorial team. Those selected will be contacted on Tuesday 25 May.

Please note: Due to the number of applications, we will be unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.

If you have any questions before applying or would like to apply in another format, please contact: Kezia@biennial.com