“There is an abc-ignorance that precedes knowledge, and there is another learned ignorance that comes after and that is created through ‘knowing’ and that will equally like the first be annihilated and annulled by knowledge.” –Michel de Montaigne  Initiated in 1994 as an in-house international training trajectory for young curators, the Curatorial Programme of de Appel arts centre offers its participants a condensed package of professional encounters, hands-on experiences and skills that can be seen as instruments for the further development of a professional career. Encompassing a wide array of sometimes contrasting voices, the programme pays attention to the various approaches that exist and arise in contemporary curating, thus mapping the dynamic professional field in all its complexity and confusion, its fragmentation and fluidity.
The Curatorial Programme is not a ‘school’: it does not grade or grant study credits, nor does it provide a singular school of thought. Based on a ‘learning by doing’ principle, the programme ‘assigns’ its participants with the collective development of a final project and creates a sub-environment for professional reflection within de Appel arts centre. In 2012-2013 the tutorial team consists of: Floris Alkemade (architect, NL) Liesbeth Bik (visual artist, NL), Ann Demeester (Director, de Appel arts centre; BE/NL) Charles Esche (Director, Van Abbe Museum; UK/NL), Annie Fletcher (curator, IR/NL), Elena Filipovic (curator/writer, US/BE), Ann Goldstein (Director, Stedelijk museum), Henk Slager (philosopher/curator, NL), Lisette Smits (independent researcher / curator, NL), Jan Verwoert (art critic, DE) and Barbara Visser (visual artist, NL). Guest/former teachers over the past years include: Mieke Bal, Teresa Gleadowe, Jan Hoet, Gerardo Mosquera, Simon Sheikh Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ulay, Tirdad Zolghadr, and many others.
Apart from regular sessions with the tutorial team, the programme also offers various excursions (including a research trip to a destination outside of Western Europe), practice-related assignments, and the opportunity to meet with a large number of artists, curators, critics and other international professionals, through thematic seminars, studio visits and other encounters. For more detailed information about the programme, please consult the programme’s website.
- A letter of motivation in which you state your personal drive as well as your expectations of the programme.
- A proposal for a project (maximum 4000 words, approximately 8 pages A4) including concept and location of the project (main focus, explanation of context and relevance), the participating artists (including some image material), a realistic budget, a publicity plan (not mandatory). Please note that this is a hypothetical project to help familiarize the jury with your interests, ideas and curatorial approach.
- A CV, including an extensive description of your relevant work experience.
- Two written references of (former) tutors, professors or employers, in English.
On the basis of the submitted documents, twelve candidates will be short-listed. These candidates will be invited to come to Amsterdam in the third week of March for an interview with an international jury, who will select the final six participants of the Curatorial Programme 2013–2014.
Send applications digitally to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline: January 14, 2013.
 Translated from Michel de Montaigne, ‘Essaies’ – Over nutteloze vernuftigheden – 2001. Uitgeverij Boom, Amsterdam, p 369.Call for applications: de Appel Curatorial Programme 2013–2014
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