Trained as a curator and art historian, Claire Tancons practices curating as an expanded creative field and experiments with the political aesthetics of walking, marching, second lining, masquerading and parading in participatory processional performances. She has curated for established and emerging international biennials including Prospect New Orleans (2008); the Gwangju Biennale (2008); the Cape Town Biennial (2009); Biennale Bénin (2012); the Göteborg Biennial (2013); the first biennial edition of Printemps de Septembre (2016); Tout-Monde, Caribbean Contemporary Arts Festival, Miami (2018-2019), and was a guest curator for the BMW Tate Live Series at Tate Modern (2014). She is currently a curator for Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber (with Zoe Butt and Omar Kholeif), slated to open in 2019.
Since 2012, she has initiated a series of collaborations tackling different aspects of public ceremonial culture, civic rituals, carnival and processional performance including Far Festa: Nuove Feste Veneziane, about contemporary civic rituals inspired by the former Venetian Republic (with curatorial collective CAKE AWAY; IUAV University and Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, summer 2013), Public Practice, about New Orleans’ processional culture (with Delaney Martin; New Orleans Airlift, Fall 2014), Tide by Side, about processional performance’s ability to provide a framework for celebrating and reflecting on community (with the opening ceremony of Faena Forum Miami Beach, 2016), and EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean (with Krista Thompson; CAC New Orleans, 2014-15 and ICI New York 2016-18).
Tancons is the recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellowship (2008), a Prince Claus Fund Artistic Production Grant (2009), two Curatorial Research Fellowships from the Foundation for Art Initiatives (2007, 2009), an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award (2012), and was selected by Artsy as “One of the 20 most influential young curators in the US” in 2016.