Course on Curating: Peio Aguirre


Thursday 6 July 2017 – 17:00
Friday 7 July 2017 – 10:30

In 2007, Bulegoa z/b is setting up a course on curating through a series of encounters. Each of these will be divided into two sessions and directed by a person who we invite to interrogate the term “curating”. Peio Aguirre will be conducting the first of these encounters.

Bulegoa z/b is an office of art and knowledge. We have often wondered what curating can mean – if the umbrella term could cover sensibilities and ways of working in different areas; if we can speak of curating in the specific sense of making exhibitions, but also in an expanded sense.

From there, curating can be seen as an impulse that responds to a desire – a desire to see something where before there was nothing; to give rise to an exhibition, an artefact composed by objects that share time and space; to generate thought through the relationships that come about between the objects; and also, to quote artist Luca Frei, a desire to produce a moment of attention.

Current and past history of display as an exhibition method. Thursday 6 July, 17:00
To display is to exhibit, show or unfold. In curatorial jargon, the term refers to the mounting or design of exhibitions, which is an essential part of current curatorial studies and practices. This session analyses the origin of display and its evolution in some of the major exhibitions of twentieth century. The history of display is intersected by interaction and collaboration between different actors: museum workers, historians, artists, designers and architects. Exhibitions such as Film und Foto, Stuttgart 1929, and The Family of Man, at the MoMA, New York, in 1955 are landmarks that revolutionised the exhibition as a medium. A place will also be given in the session to another exhibition, the seminal Italy: The New Domestic Landscape (1972), organised by architect and then curator at the MoMA, Emilio Ambasz, where “radical” or utopian experiments in Italian design and architecture of the time (Superstudio, Archizoom, Sottsass and others) were shown. The session will include some examples of contemporary display, as well as examples of it conceived by Aguirre for different exhibitions.

Fortunes of So-called “Relational Aesthetics”. Friday 7 July, 10:30
Few concepts in art have been so extensively used in the past two decades as “Relational Aesthetics”. Since the publication in 1998 of Nicolas Bourriaud’s Esthétique Relationelle (Les Presses du Réel), the expression has become a category or defining label for a period in time and a set of art practices and ways of making. The main novelty in relational aesthetics is that it led to a change of paradigm in art, where the spectator’s active interpretation, interaction, participation and conviviality became inescapable aspects. Associated with a number of artists who emerged in the nineties such as Rirkrit Tiravanija and Dominique González Foester, relational aesthetics as a category often invites misunderstandings. In this session, rather than taking for granted the clichés associated with it, we will try to inquire into the spirit of the concept in the early nineties and how it gained weight in a number of exhibitions in France. Among these was Traffic, curated by Bourriaud himself at the CAPC, Bourdeaux in 1996, which was where “the relational” was catapulted into curatorial practice. We also look at the work of some of the artists who contributed to the change in paradigm, such as Liam Gillick and Angela Bulloch. The session will end with a comment on the influence and repercussions of “the relational” on the Basque and Spanish art context.

Peio Aguirre is an art critic, writer, independent curator, editor and writer of the book La línea de producción de la crítica (consonni, 2014). He has published in national and international magazines and newspapers such as Cultura(s) of La VanguardiaMugalari of GaraExit, A-desk, Afterall, A Prior Magazine, Exit Express, Flash Art, El estado mental, e-flux journal, Concreta, Babelia of El País, and Campo de relámpagos. He is the curator of the exhibitions Imágenes desde el otro lado, CAAM, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (2007); Arqueologías del Futuro, sala rekalde, Bilbao (2007); Asier Mendizabal, MACBA, Barcelona (2008); Néstor Basterretxea, Forma y Universo, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao (2013); Una modernidad singular. “Arte nuevo” alrededor de San Sebastián 1925-1936, Museo San Telmo, Donostia-San Sebastián (2016); 38 de julio-37 de octubre de Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Artium, Vitoria-Gasteiz (2017), and others.Since 2006, he has been writing cultural critique in his blog Crítica y metacomentario