Posted on March 1, 2015
ICI was founded in 1975 by two art world pioneers, Susan Sollins and Nina Castelli Sundell, who together defined the vision behind one of the first organizations in the world to be dedicated to curators. Their work together shaped their understanding of how an international network of curators, artists, and art spaces could emerge through collaboration. In 1990, they co-curated the ICI exhibition Team Spirit, which reflected on their own history of working together and focused on “the growing phenomenon of collaborative art.” At the cusp of a new era of collaborative practice ushered in by Colab, the Guerrilla Girls, Gran Fury, and others, the exhibition drew a genealogy of international collaborations as a mode of production going back to the mid-1960’s, including, Equipo Cronica, General Idea, Gilbert & George, and Komar & Melamid, creating a foundation of and imperative towards collaboration that continues to this day.
Collaboration remains at the core of ICI’s approach to supporting curators and creating access to contemporary art and discourse for broad audiences. As they travel to art spaces internationally, many ICI exhibitions are the basis of collaborations with the hosting venues and curators that generate new content, even new publications, and new experiences with local audiences in mind.
ICI’s training and research programs for curators also rely on the power of working together, sharing knowledge, and learning from one another. The Curatorial Intensive is the first-ever professional development and training program to build a growing, active network of peers for continued learning among curators. Each Intensive held outside of New York City is developed by ICI with a partner institution, around ideas selected by both for their relevance to the local, regional and international contexts. Even ICI’s Research Fellowships allow curators to conduct the research that is critical to their practice in conversation with ICI staff, and with access to ICI’s international network of collaborators.
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