Curatorial Studies considers curation – from the latin ‘cura’, to care for – to be a vital link between cultural production and the wider social sphere. In this expanded definition the curatorial crosses the entire spectrum of cultural production, from historical and artistic research to the documentation and archives of displays and the organisation of events. Curatorial Studies students are confronted with the diverse possibilities of the curatorial – from the collection, conservation and study of modern and contemporary art to developing new ways of making art public through on- and off-line displays, publications, pedagogical, social and performative projects.
The Curatorial Studies programme not only encourages students to develop their personal curatorial practice through the making of exhibitions, publications and events – with a final project acting as a culmination point – it also lays emphasis on the history and theory of exhibitions. Through a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and independent research, students become conversant with the most up-to-date debates within the contemporary curatorial field, particularly as these intersect with social, political and ethical issues. Drawing on Ghent’s exceptional cultural history and present-day resources as well as its proximity to major European cities, the programme comprises a number of behind-the-scenes visits to key art institutions in Belgium and in neighbouring countries. The students’ experience is further enhanced by regular talks by prominent international speakers, including curators but also museum directors, artists, writers and theorists.