bb11 Curatorial Workshop: How now to gather

11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
Deadline: 14 August 2020

© Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

© Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

bb11 Curatorial Workshop for early career curators, educators and other practitioners, on the occasion of the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Application Deadline: 14.8.2020
Workshop Dates: 8 gatherings throughout October, 2020
One weekday evening per week (3 hours) and 4 Saturdays (6 hours, including lunch)

The Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art commits to providing:
– A 4-week program of exhibition visits, gatherings, screenings, discursive events, meetings, meals, talkshops and workshops. Amendments to the program may occur, according to pandemic gathering guidelines at the time of the Workshop.
– 1,500 Euro honorarium.
– Access to all workshop and exhibition venues.

Directed by Pip Day, in collaboration with institutions and people across the city of Berlin
bb11 Curatorial Workshop is realized through the cooperation between Allianz Cultural Foundation, BMW, Goethe-Institut, Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), and the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Organized by the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Taking place in close dialogue with the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, the bb11 Curatorial Workshop will be reconfigured this year. In response to current limitations on travel, as well as to the urgency of strengthening support structures, networks and safety nets, the bb11 Curatorial Workshop call for applications will not go out internationally, but to Berlin-based early career curators, educators and other practitioners (regardless of age), who are first-generation or second-generation newcomers to Berlin and who come from the Rising Majority or from situations characterized by a lack of support. Recognizing the specificity of lived conditions and situated knowing, we will come together to consider How now to gather (here). We make a call to those interested in movement-building and in workshopping new protocols for gathering, for practicing solidarity and for enacting systemic change. The context of the pandemic and the growing Rising Majority, BLM, #LeaveNoOneBehind, #unteilbar and other movements will inform all aspects of our work together.

In cooperation with Allianz Cultural Foundation, BMW, Goethe-Institut, and Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), the bb11 Curatorial Workshop will take place over 8 evening and Saturday sessions during the month of October 2020. Committed to building a network of cultural practitioners and institutions across Berlin, the Workshop will proceed with an eye to generating longer lasting, cross-institutional alliances and support structures. Participants will receive a 1,500 Euro honorarium. The Workshop will take place in close dialogue with the 11th Berlin Biennale exhibitions, programs, curators, artists, participants and other collaborators.

How now to gather:
(The language we use. The actions we take.)
As words and actions, concepts and practices come to take on new inflections during the pandemic – and again as movements for racial justice and systemic change surge – the language and strategies in use are clearly no longer adequate. When being in solidarity is to be physically distanced, at a moment when support structures and network-building are most essential; when fugitive action comes to mean possible contagion for fragile others and for one’s self, precisely when tactics of fugitivity must be brought to the fore to combat systemic racism; when making one’s self vulnerable can mean illness, but is also central to the work of systemic change; when to seek refuge is to be alone and is a privilege, but is also to march, to gather, to risk; how can we newly articulate action and theory in the face of the inherited and ongoing legacies of nationalism, colonialism, racism and anti-immigrant and anti-refugee violence in Germany?

In the Workshop, we will attempt to come together, with deliberateness. We make a call to those interested in movement-building, in considering new protocols for gathering, practicing solidarity and enacting systemic change.
In solidarity. Trouble this.

The bb11 Curatorial Workshop will look to the tenets of solidarity enacted in the curatorial and artistic propositions for the 11th Berlin Biennale (in exhibitions, publications, discursive events, and approaches to mediation that have already taken place, and those to come in Autumn 2020) through the prism of the tenets of solidarity being enacted. As we gather, we will work together to establish working processes and new protocols for gathering from two starting points:

1) Participants in the bb11 Curatorial Workshop will be invited to share, develop and adapt tools for engagement that consider the changing tenets of solidarity and reciprocity. The group will be encouraged to consider practical methods of movement-building and accountable research protocols and ethical relation-building, as they inflect on curatorial practice. Participants will be invited to share and reflect on these methodologies in light of the uncertain social, political and economic changes currently underway. How to be vigilant towards the co-option of language and strategies by right wing populist or neo-fascist groups who, at the height of the quarantine in Berlin, attempted to occupy the vacuums produced by the physical emptying of public space? How has Berlin’s public space been re-occupied? How have our digital platforms been put to use? As reflections inform the group’s core working protocols adopted for the Workshop itself, they will be fine-tuned and documented over the course of the month of gatherings.

2) Starting from the principles and practices of solidarity and reciprocity embraced by the 11th Berlin Biennale, the Workshop will look at the mode of curatorial collaboration implemented by the curatorial team, as well as the exhibitions and the extended biennial format. Tracing propositions, learnings, re-calibrations, community collaborations and the deepening of relations of the 11th Berlin Biennale with the city, as well as its tentative digital and physical re-emergence into the public sphere within the pandemic, the Workshops will focus on material from the early experiences (1, 2, 3) at the ExRotaprint venue (June 2019 – July 2020), as well as the Epilogue exhibitions to be held across the city (September 5–November 1, 2020).
Workshops will include conversations, interviews and visits – where possible – with participants, curators, administrators and other collaborators of the 11th Berlin Biennale, reflecting on the curators’ engagement with the artistic and socio-political fabrics of the city over time and on the particular situated curatorial and artistic methodologies that have emerged. Meetings with cultural practitioners based across Berlin will also take place. The final contours of the Curatorial Workshop program will take into consideration the materials suggested by the Workshop participants and contributors. We will collaborate with large and small institutions across the city.

The bb11 Curatorial Workshop is being developed by curator, educator and writer Pip Day at the invitation of the 11th Berlin Biennale’s curatorial team. Her projects as curator and museum director, such as Spatial Practices in Revolution, Sovereignty, Non-Extractive Listening and Study, are characterized by long-term research and collaborative action within the settler colonial contexts of Tiothia:ke/Mooniyaang/Montréal and Mexico City. She has recently moved to Berlin.

– The application is open to Berlin-based early career curators, educators, writers, organizers and other practitioners. There is no age restriction for applicants.
– The application is open to first-generation and second-generation arrivals (newcomers) to Germany who come from the Rising Majority or from situations characterized by a lack of support.
– Some initial experience in presenting contemporary art (such as exhibition curation, art writing, organizing discursive events, mediation, etc.) is expected.
– While not a requirement, priority will be given to applicants with movement-building experience or interest.
– Participants should be available to attend eight Workshop sessions during the month of October.
– Spoken and reading level English are needed.
– We encourage applications from people with accessibility or childcare needs.

Timeline & Application Guidelines:
Please send all your application materials by E-mail as ONE pdf document (max. 1 MB) no later than 23h59 on August 14, 2020. Your application should include the following documents, in English:
– A short text articulating how you imagine this Workshop may impact on your practice and, conversely, what your practice may bring to the group, e.g. your ideas – as they broadly relate to curating – on working, gathering, solidarity, building research policies, etc. (max. 250 words)
– A brief reflection on a participant, project or other aspect of the programming of the 11th Berlin Biennale that you would like to pursue as a Workshop study node (max. 250 words). See the website for information on participants and past programming.
– Key sentence – synopsis of your application – max. 30 words.
– CV (max. 1 page)
– Contact information: full name (with preferred gender pronoun), e-mail, phone number, postal address, first language and/or ethnicity, and any other relevant information about yourself you may want to share.

If you need assistance in submitting your application, please contact Sara Smet, Curatorial Workshop Project Manager: with ACCESSIBILITY in the subject line.

Applications will be reviewed with an eye to forming a group of ten to twelve participants. All candidates will be informed about their participation by early September. At the moment, the dates of the bb11 Curatorial Workshop are throughout October 2020. The dates are subject to change in response to eventual public health conditions.

The application should be sent to:


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