Anti-Humanist Curating: a symposium with Anselm Franke, Roger M. Buergel and Bridget Crone at the Whitechapel

Thursday 25 November, 7pm

The University of Essex’s Centre for Curatorial Studies in collaboration with PoCA (The Political Currency of Art Research Group) present presentations and discussion between three international curators: Roger M. Buergel (art critic, curator, and Director of documenta 12, 2007), Bridget Crone (Director, Media Art Bath), and Anselm Franke (Artistic Director of Extra City Center for Contemporary Art in Antwerp, and co-curator of Manifesta 7 in Trentino-Alto, in 2008).

The symposium will focus on the limits and problems of liberal humanism, as it is manifest through the workings and ethos of contemporary curatorial practice, and will ask what other modes of ethics might regain more stringent political valence for curatorial activities.

That evening will also be a launch event for a special issue of JVAP (The Journal of Visual Arts Practice, Intellect Books), edited by Matthew Poole, which is dedicated to the theme of Anti-Humanist Curating. This issue of JVAP will include contributions from Amanda Beech, Roger M. Buergel, Bridget Crone, Jens Hoffmann, Andrew Hunt, Jaspar Joseph Lester, Maria Lind, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Paul O’Neill and Mick Wilson.


Roger M. Buergel is a writer, art critic, and curator based in Berlin . Buergel was artistic director of documenta XII, which took place in 2007. He has curated numerous exhibitions including ‘Things we don’t understand’, with Ruth Noack, Generali Foundation, Vienna (2000); ‘Governmentality. Art in conflict with the international hyper-bourgeoisie and the national petty bourgeoisie’, Alte Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2000) and ‘The Subject and Power – the lyrical voice’, CHA Moscow (2001). Most recently, he curated ‘The Government’ (2003–05) with Ruth Noack, which was presented at Kunstraum der Universität Lüneburg, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Miami Art Central, Secession, Vienna and Witte de With, Rotterdam . He has also written several books including Peter Friedl, Leipzig and Amsterdam , 1999 and Abstrakter Expressionismus. Konstruktionen ästhetischer Erfahrung, Leipzig and Amsterdam , 2000 and contributes regularly to Texte zur Kunst and springerin – hefte für gegenwartskunst.

Bridget Crone is an international freelance curator producing projects for museums and galleries such as the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces and 1st Floor Artists and Writers Space. Her exhibition for Ian Potter Museum of Art was the museum’s large-scale international exhibition for 2005, addressing the descriptive and experimental potential of the body’s relationship to contemporary events. Bridget has also held the position of visiting lecturer at the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College , University of London , as well as Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London . She is Director of Media Art Bath.

Anselm Franke is a curator and writer based in Brussels and Berlin . He is the Artistic Director of Extra City Center for Contemporary Art in Antwerp, and he was a co-curator of Manifesta 7 in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy, in 2008 (Trento). Previously, Franke acted as curator of KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin until 2006, where he organized exhibitions such as ‘Territories. Islands , Camps and Other States of Utopia’ (2003); ‘Image Archives’ (2001/2002); ‘The Imaginary Number’ (2005, together with Hila Peleg), and ‘B-Zone Becoming Europe and Beyond’ (2006), and he co-developed the project ‘No Matter How Bright the Light, the Crossing Occurs At Night’ (2006). He has edited and published various publications and is a contributor to magazines such as Metropolis M, Piktogram, and Cabinet.

Matthew Poole is Programme Director of the Centre for Curatorial Studies and Director of the MA in Gallery Studies & Critical Curating at The University of Essex. As well as lecturing, Matthew works as a freelance curator and collaborates with a wide variety of contemporary artists. He has experience working for a number of arts organisations and galleries both in the public and private sectors. Matthew is also a co-founder and currently a Director of PILOT, an international contemporary artists’ & curators’ forum and online archive [], is Director of PoCA (Political Currency of Art Research Group), and a founding Director of the research group Curating Video (

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 14th, 2010 at 11:48 pm
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