Curator’s Perspective: Aneta Szylak

Aneta Szylak
Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Segal Theater, The Graduate Center
CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Aneta Szylak (Director of Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdańsk, Poland) will present on the developments of the independent art scene in Poland, as well as on her own practice, as part of The Curator’s Perspective—ICI’s itinerant public discussion series featuring international curators who give New York audiences new insights on contemporary art practices around the world by sharing their research, interests, and curatorial projects. This is a rare opportunity to hear from Szylak about the history of the independent art scene in Gdańsk, a city that fostered the very notion of independence in Poland as the birthplace of the Solidarity movement that was instrumental in ending the country’s Communist rule.

Szylak will present the Wyspa Institute of Art, located in the Gdańsk Shipyard; the programs she has developed there, including the international visual arts festival, Alternativa; and how the notions of labor, leisure, materiality, palimpsest, and polyphony that stem from everyday life in the Baltic port have entered and shaped her own practice as a curator. In this context, many of the artistic and curatorial projects presented by Szylak engage directly with their immediate surroundings, and appear to have trespassed the limits that separate artistic and curatorial gestures.

This event is organized in collaboration with The Graduate Center, CUNY. This event is free and open to the public. To attend please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with ANETA SZYLAK in the subject line. The talk will be preceded by a reception at The James Gallery at CUNY, 5–7pm.

As part of International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP)‘s exhibition program, Aneta Szylak has curated The Field is to the Sky, Only Backwards (September 4–October 18, 2013). ISCP is holding an exhibition reception on Wednesday, September 4 at 7–9pm at 1040 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211.

The Curator’s Perspective is a free, itinerant public discussion series ICI developed as a way for international curators to share their research and experiences with audiences in New York. These talks provide ICI the opportunity to assemble documentation on and disseminate information about a wide variety of international perspectives on art today. This year audiences have heard perspectives on art, culture, and exhibition-making from curators based in Dakar, Jakarta, and Melbourne. In fall 2013, practitioners based in Toronto and Brussels will talk about what they’re most interested in at the moment, including the artists and the sociopolitical contexts that are shaping practices now.

The Curator’s Perspective series has been made possible, in part, by grants from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and by generous contributions from the ICI Board of Trustees and ICI Access Fund. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw, and the Municipality of Gdansk has generously supported Szylak’s travel to New York.


September 5, 2013

CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016


Aneta Szylak

Aneta Szylak is a curator, writer, and the co-founder and current Director of Wyspa Institute of Art. Since 2010, Szylak has been Artistic Director of Alternativa, a series of exhibitions and events, which seeks new directions for art and its social role. After co-founding and running the Laznia (Bathhouse) Centre for Contemporary Art (1998-2001), she continued her career as an independent curator and researcher. Since 2004, Szylak has been responsible for programming Wyspa—the intellectual environment for contemporary visual culture—in the Gdańsk Shipyard. In 2005, she received the Jerzy Stajuda Award “for independent and uncompromising curatorial practice.” Szylak has a long interest in located practice, and her exhibitions are characterized by a strong response to cultural, political, social, architectural, and institutional particularities. She has taught and lectured at many art institutions and universities including Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, New School University, Queens College, New York University, Florida Atlantic University, Goldsmith College, Copenhagen University, and worked as a guest professor at the Akademie für Bildende Künste in Mainz, Germany. Currently she is finalizing her PhD thesis entitled “Curating Context. The Palimpsest” at Goldsmiths College in London and Copenhagen Doctoral School, Copenhagen University.

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