Barbara Mahlknecht

Theme: Practice as Research

Curating Research, Staging Education, Learning at Former West

In the last decade, education became a major format within curating and a subject within curatorial discourse (see: educational turn). In the context of Former West (2008–2016) – a research, education and exhibition project employing curatorial formats between the discursive and the immersive – Boris Buden conceptualized a “Learning Place” for the Research Congress at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, in 2013. In my contribution, I will scrutinize the idea of Former West’s Learning Place as a curatorial model as an effect of the “educational turn in curating.” Moreover, I will examine Buden’s dramaturgy and discuss both its potential and its blind spots. 

Barbara Mahlknecht is a researcher, curator and art educator. She currently holds a position as Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her work in research, curating and art education strongly relates to feminist curatorial practices, socially/politically engaged art, the exhibition as performative space and critical art education. She has (co-)conceptualized and (co-)realized a variety of projects, most recently A Proposal to Call (exhibition, Kunsthalle Exnergasse Vienna, 2015).