Who is it that develops festival programmes, series, or an organisation’s artistic profile? And how does bringing those concepts into being come about? Alongside the artistic direction, it’s freelance curators who carve out space in which artists and audiences can encounter one another, who assume critical vantage points and who seek out new forms for the presentation of artistic creation in public spaces.
“Encounters” is the inaugural dialogue format at radialsystem for grappling with curatorial practice at the start of 2021: “Encounters” devotes time and space to realising, enlarging, and developing curatorial concepts – and reaches beyond the pressure of implementing a specific project. Sandhya Daemgen, Raphael Hillebrand and Martha Hincapié Charry have been invited as guest curators; they are three artists from the field of dance and choreography, who, alongside their work for the stage, are active freelance curators and have already worked at radialsystem. Here, the focus of their research lies in the interplay between choreography and the practice of curation – the point of departure is the idea that the concept of choreography is not limited to dance, and rather describes the interrelation of movement of bodies in time and space.
During each of their three-month-long residencies as guest curators until August 2021, Sandhya Daemgen, Raphael Hillebrand and Martha Hincapié Charry have the opportunity to develop their work in dialogue with radialsystem’s artistic direction and with international partners from differing spheres of knowledge and artistic disciplines, and to reflect their own perspectives in transdisciplinary exchange. At the same time, they cast a critical gaze over radialsystem’s artistic work. Focus lies in broadening fundamental curatorial lines of enquiry: how are we able to expose cultural hierarchies in programming? How can interpretive authorities be interrogated and changed with the help of curatorial work? Which social groups are addressed and which are excluded? Within the framework of public discussions, workshops or other formats, the three guest curators’ research can be presented in both radialsystem’s analogue and virtual spaces.
“Encounters” closes a gap in funding for the development of curatorial choreographic concepts. As (pre)conceptual work independent of specific projects typically seldom receives funding, the focus of this project does not fall on the realisation of an existing artistic intention. “Encounters” has been made possible by “Tanzpakt Reconnect”, a country-wide programme that aims to strengthen dancers’ artistic working conditions and structures in the long-term during the coronavirus pandemic.