Extension of Open call for the conference "Contemporary thinking about exhibitions and curating"

Under what conditions do contemporary art exhibitions become spaces of public debate? What potential do exhibitions and their institutions have in relation to the canons of art history, established hierarchies, or how do they participate in their revision or reproduction? What tools do they use and what social roles do exhibition creators play in relation to the creation of civil society and a living art scene? Where are the interfaces between artistic research and curating?

Important dates:

  • Submission of annotation: EXTENDED UNTIL 31/08/2023

  • Confirmation of acceptance of your contribution: 17/09/2023

  • Conference: November 29 - 30, 2023


Please send abstracts of max. 1 standard page by e-mail to the address: konferenciavsvu@gmail.com



These are the questions posed by the conference entitled "Contemporary thinking about exhibitions and curating", which will take place on the grounds of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava on November 29-30, 2023. Nowadays, thirty years after the establishment of independent Slovakia, we are still searching a clear delineation of the position of the discipline of curatorship within the framework of visual arts and the entire societal discourse. Mediation and interpretation of themes through the distribution of images and visual material in space - this is the potential of curatorial practice and its ability to stimulate not only the artistic environment, but also to enter into broader interdisciplinary discussions.

The conference is designed as a two-day discussion platform with the intention of reflecting on the transformations of exhibition formats and curating in relation to public space from 1993 to the present. It has the ambition to reflect the long-term increasing interest in the issue of curatorial studies and the so-called exhibition histories, as new art studies disciplines in our environment. Last but not least, it is also a reaction to the creation of the History and Practice of Contemporary Art study program at the AFAD.

Contributions in the form of theoretical reflection of the medium of the exhibition and curating, contributions critically evaluating important local or ground-breaking international exhibition projects are welcomed, as well as those marginalized or less visible exhibitions that emphasized relevant, poorly covered themes. We summarized the thematic frameworks of the conference into the following methodologically created concepts: Archive, Performative, Narrative, Dispositive.


ARCHIVE - under this term, we include curatorial approaches to exhibiting historical and archival materials, possibilities of working with available archives of public institutions, as well as private archives of artists. The term refers to an important turn in curating and art history after 1989, which is referred to as archival or documentary turn in contemporary art.

PERFORMATIVE - with this term we characterize the exhibition as an event and a process, given by the interaction of bodies (artists and viewers), and thus also as an analysis of the norms and conventions of social behaviour, which also includes researching, testing and exceeding established standards. With the term, we open up the issue of how to exhibit performative art, we discuss the theme of documentation (live events versus the medium of recording in the exhibition space), we explore concepts of exhibitions that change over time.

NARRATIVE - the term refers to curatorial projects problematizing current social issues. The term includes ways of constructing an exhibition as a narrative structure based on working with collection objects or works of contemporary art. In this case, the exhibition is understood as a framework for the revision of turning historical periods, social stereotypes, politically oriented topics and events.

By DISPOSITIVE we mean the analysis of material, psychological and physiological conditions in the relationship between the work and the viewer. By dispositive we understand the various approaches by which the artefact is presented to the viewer, including communication design and exhibition architecture as a way of shaping a view. In recent years, the architecture of the exhibition has come more and more to the fore as a frame for the exposition; it is even used as part of the artwork.


Through these concepts, we will try to gain an insight into and anticipate at least some of the important currents of thought that shape the work in the field of curating and critical reflection of exhibitions. The outcome of the conference will be the publication of a publication with selected studies on the issue of contemporary thinking about curating and exhibitions in a wide range of represented positions.



  • Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava



The organizers: Assoc. prof. Mgr. Daniel Grúň, PhD., Mgr. Ján Kralovič, PhD.


The conference will be realized from the Kega grant 001VŠVU-4/2022 Contemporary thinking about exhibitions and curation