Each day has an overarching theme, which is then subdivided into more precise topics and questions:

Thursday March 5 – Expectations, looking at not only the personal expectations of individual curators, but also those of audiences and of artists and how these expectations might influence curatorial practice.

Friday March 6 – Positions, focusing on the daily practice of curating, the importance of building a reputation, the power of curators to shape the canon, and the influence of the market on curating.

Saturday March 7 – Contexts, exploring the history of the profession, conditions and ideas underlying curating, and the increasingly international practice of exhibition making.


On Sunday 8 March, a curatorial masterclass will be given for young professionals and postgraduate students by Jan Hoet. Hoet was founding director of SMAK in Ghent from 1975-2001, and director of MARTa Herford in Herford, Germany, from 2001 until his recent retirement. In 1992 he was artistic director of Documenta IX, Kassel, and in 2001 of Sonsbeek, Arnhem. Hoet will speak from his own practice and extensive experience, putting key questions to the masterclass participants for them to resolve together during the course of the afternoon.


From Wednesday 4 to Saturday 7 March, Raimundas Malasauskas will give a workshop in curating for a group of (invited) students. Malasauskas was curator at CAC Vilnius from 1995 to 2006, and currently curates at Artists Space, New York. Elaborating upon some of the questions raised by the symposium in a practical, hands-on manner, Malasauskas will give these students an insight into the day to day issues faced by contemporary art curators.


Elements of each symposium comprising Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists will be compiled in a publication to appear in fall 2009. It will feature contributions by many of the speakers, by invited observers and by participants in the workshops and masterclasses.

Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is conceived by Nicolaus Schafhausen, Zoë Gray and Ariadne Urlus.


Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, VSBfonds and SNS REAAL Fonds. De Groene Amsterdammer is our mediapartner for The Curators.