Pro Helvetia, Johannesburg, South Africa
Deadline: 01 August 2015


International Arts Exchange Programme Atelier Mondial, located at Christoph Merian Stiftung in Basel, and Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, have established a new exchange programme for curators in collaboration with independent art space “Ausstellungsraum Klingental”, located in Basel.

Now one of the pre-eminent international centres of the contemporary art world, Basel and the surrounding region function as a dynamic nexus of people, ideas and work, which at the same time has a creative life outside of the major contemporary art events that are convened annually. In 2016, this residency will target the Southern African region, and the call will be managed through the Johannesburg office of Pro Helvetia.

Call for applications

The call for applications is open to (freelance) curators, art mediators and art critics from Southern Africa who are interested in immersing themselves in the Swiss art scene, doing some deeper research about art in the heart of Europe and establishing a show which includes regional and Swiss artists, in collaboration with the team of “Ausstellungsraum Klingental”. Applicants can be from any of the following countries in the Southern African region:

Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Submissions should reach Pro Helvetia Johannesburg by August 1 2015.

What we expect

For art space “Ausstellungsraum Klingental” the main goal of the curator’s exchange programme is to build more knowledge about the philosophy and practice of curating in other countries and contexts. We are interested in a critical view from the outside of our local art scene; for a curator to articulate his/her perception and position on our way of “doing art”. “Ausstellungsraum Klingental” offers the curator from Southern Africa the opportunity to realise an exhibition or event as part of the annual “Regionale” – this is a big exhibition featuring local artists and taking place in/around 16 venues in the tri-national region of Basel (Switzerland), Alsace (France) and Südbaden (Southern Germany).

We expect from the applicant:

?An open mind; a willingness to network and cooperate with different people from the regional and more broadly Swiss art scene

?An interest in the Basel and wider Swiss art scene as a context for creative work and inquiry

?Commitment to set up a show or a project/event at “Ausstellungsraum Klingental” in late November 2016

?A willingness to re-invest the Swiss/Basel network into a project or projects in Southern Africa after coming back

?A basic fluency in written and spoken English is essential

To apply please submit:


?A letter of motivation

?A preliminary outline/abstract of your research/project/exhibition at “Ausstellungsraum Klingental”, ideally including some preliminary consideration of lines of inquiry that you would want to pursue through the residency, as well as any artists/networks you would specifically want to engage with.

?A rough budget, indicating in a very preliminary way how you might deploy the CHF 5000 production budget for the exhibition

What we provide to the incoming curator:

?Accommodation in one of the Atelier Mondial Studios

?Living and travelling costs: CHF 12’000.- (5 months)

?Networking-dinner with curators from Basel in September 2016

?The opportunity to set up an exhibition or project/event at art space “Ausstellungsraum Klingental” in November 2016 (during the “Regionale”), with the support of local volunteers

?A contribution to exhibition costs up to maximum CHF 5’000.- plus provision of technical equipment, invitation cards and other support for the promotion of the event

?a motivated, active and curious host team with a lot of connections and experience in non-institutional artistic initiatives

Submissions should be mailed to with “Klingental Residency: [your name]” in the subject line by August 1 2015.

Jury: The Johannesburg and Zurich offices of Pro Helvetia, the board of the “Ausstellungsraum Klingental” and the jury of Atelier Mondial will together determine the successful candidate.

For generations Ausstellunsgsraum Klingental has served as a platform to discuss and present visual art projects developped in the region of Basel. It presents four to five exhibitions every year, alongside a variety of spontaneous events, concerts and performances. The program is run by artists and art historians and feeds on the ideas and initiative of its many volunteer contributors who like to move with ambition, diligence and limited budgets.
Ausstellungsraum Klingental is focused more on experimental and artistic research than presenting established positions. It is a rather unique model of how to renew and sustain a city gallery on a high level. Guest curators can benefit from its widespread and hospitable networks. They will be invited to participate in Ausstellungsraum Klingental’s creative machinery /environment – which could be inspiring to all involved and inform the curators about the field where they will present their project towards the end of their residency.

Atelier Mondial is an International Arts Exchange Program which offers visual artists from the region of Basel, Southern Germany and Alsace (France) the opportunity to spend a number of months working abroad. Atelier Mondial has nine studios in the tri-national region of Basel and currently arranges exchanges with ten partner organizations abroad.

Important Deadlines
Open call June 2015
Deadline August 1 2015
Pro Helvetia shortlist August 15 2015
Atelier Mondial-Jury August 26, 2015
Residency in Switzerland August 1 to December 30, 2016 (5 months)


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