Curating and the Commons

EXPO CHICAGO and Independent Curators International (ICI) are pleased to invite you to Curating and the Commons, the organizations’ first-ever free, public curatorial conference happening on-site at EXPO CHICAGO 2024. Over the course of two days, the curatorial conference will explore both the civic nature and possibilities of art and curatorial practice, kicked off with a keynote lecture from Miguel A. López, co-curator for the 2024 edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art. 
Following the lecture there will be three panel discussions entitled Common Knowledge, Common Space, and Common Future, each conceived around key questions and organized on a loose temporal framework. Common Knowledge will reach into the past, and explore how archives, collections, and libraries can shape a collective memory. Common Space is invested in how communities physically shape the present. And lastly, Common Future will examine the civic role that the arts can play in not only imagining, but actively creating a better future.
Please follow the link below to officially register for the two-day conference. Space is limited. Those who can attend both days of the conference will be given preferential entry. Confirmed attendees will join invited curators from the Curatorial Forum and Curatorial Exchange to participate in Curating and The Commons, and will be presented a list of fellow attendees two weeks ahead of the conference. 

Register Here


Thursday, April 11, 2024

10:00am – 11:15am
Keynote Lecture by Miguel A. López

Join us for a keynote lecture by writer, curator and co-curator of the 2024 edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art, Miguel A. López. His practice focuses on the role of art in politics and public life, collective work and collaborative dynamics, and queer and feminist rewritings of history.

11:45am – 1:00pm
Common Knowledge 
Panelists: Felipe Mujica, Artist; Savannah Wood, Executive Director, Afro Charities
Moderator: Sampada Aranke, Associate Professor of Art History and Comparative Studies, Ohio State University

Common Knowledge reaches into our past to explore the power that archives and collections have to shape our collective memory, history, and the lessons that we derive from them. The conversation will range from the personal, thinking about artists and artist spaces as archives unto themselves and the importance of writing your own history, all the way to the communal, looking at the archive as a public service. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

9:30am – 10:45am
Common Space
Panelists: Ange Loft, Artist; Jay Pather, Professor / Director, Institute for Creative Arts at University Cape Town
Moderator: Risa Puleo, Independent Curator, Co-Curator COUNTERPUBLIC Triennial 2023

Common Space is invested in how we physically shape our present. How can curatorial work reframe how we think about public space in an increasingly privatized environment? Against the backdrop of a growing number of biennials, triennials, public art commissions, and the like, panelists will discuss how artists and curators navigate their relationship with shared space and the public, and dissect the sociopolitical complexities of who we even mean by that term. 

11:15am – 12:30pm
Common Future 
Panelists: Joseph Cuillier, Co-Director/Creative Director, The Black School; Michele Horrigan, Founder and Director, Askeaton Contemporary Arts; Shani Peters, Co-Director/Managing Director, The Black School.
Moderator: Megha Ralapati, Program Director Fellowships, CEC ArtsLink

Common Future examines what may lie ahead, and the civic role that the arts can play in not only imagining but actively creating a better future. It is evident all around us that the world is at a critical juncture point. We all need to decide what values we want to pass on to future generations, and how to encode those into the work that we do and the spaces we create. Drawing on their own projects, panelists will discuss notions of value-based organizations, the role of education, and what it takes to build community.

The 2024 Curatorial Forum is co-produced by EXPO CHICAGO and ICI, and made possible, in part, by the generous support of 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, and the Joyce Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Hartfield Foundation; with additional support by UAP | Urban Art Projects; Terry Dowd, Inc; and Gallagher. It is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide collaboration initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art that highlights the city’s artistic heritage and creative communities.