Call for applications

Underline Show Johannesburg

Underline Project, Johannesburg, South Africa
Deadline: 01 July 2019

Underline Show Johannesburg

UNDERLINE projects is a new organisation, founded by curators, dedicated to supporting independent voices in contemporary art.

The main initiative is the UNDERLINE show – an exhibition platform for independent curators. Through an open call process, the show offers independent curators in Africa and the diaspora an opportunity to present an exhibition, free of charge, within a larger curated show. We provide accepted applicants with no-cost exhibition space and logistical support, in exchange for their visionary perspectives on established, overlooked, and unknown artists.

The inaugural edition of the UNDERLINE show will be open to the public from 12- 15 September 2019 at the Museum of African Design (MOAD) in Maboneng, with the space being generously provided by the GSA (Graduate School of Architecture) at the University of Johannesburg. The event is strategically timed to happen during Johannesburg’s official Art Week.


The call is open to all curators to apply to present an exhibition within the inaugural UNDERLINE show.



• Applicants do not need to have any formal curatorial training or experience, selections will be made based on the strength of each proposal.
• Curators can apply as individuals, as collectives or in association with an organisation, but preference will be given to those operating independently.
• Preference will be given to curators either based on the African continent or in the Diaspora.
• Specific attention will also be paid to previously marginalised groups in the interest of redress and those working outside of the established gallery circuit, with little access to opportunities within these circles.
• If also an artist, curators cannot feature only their own work.



• Each application must be submitted by a lead curator, who will work collaboratively with an artist/group of artists.
• There can be more than one curator per project, however there must be one lead curator and point of contact.
• We accept applications for solo and group exhibitions, single artist installations, and performance art.
• Due to space restrictions, the maximum number of artists allowed in a group show is 5.
• We encourage curators to propose single or two- person exhibitions.
• Applicants will not be charged an application fee, and if accepted will not be charged a participation fee.
• Selected curators are provided with an exhibition space free of charge.
• The UNDERLINE show will offer to all accepted applicants extensive mentorship and guidance in realizing their exhibition.
• The UNDERLINE show will offer to all accepted applicants, within reason, logistical support such as hanging and installation.
• If applying from outside of Johannesburg, curators and artists will need to fund their own transport and travel.
• Curators, or their designated representatives, must be available and on-site during the show, including, installation and de-installation dates, opening, and daily show hours.
• The UNDERLINE show is scheduled to take place at the Museum of African Design (MOAD) in Johannesburg.
• Installation will take place 9-10 September 2019.
• Opening night and preview will take place 11 September 2019.
• The show runs from 12-15 September 2019.
• Deinstallation will take place 16-17 September 2019.


Submission Requirements
(please fill out the form on the

• Curator’s contact details
• Proposed artist/s
• Project/Exhibition Title
• Curatorial statement: (maximum 500 words) describing your concept and a brief description of each artist’s work.
• Curatorial Tagline: (maximum 60 words) This should be one sentence that describes/summarises your selection of artist(s) and your curatorial concept. This tagline will be used in press and marketing materials. Example text: Jane Doe is excited to present a solo show of new work by John Doe that examines experiences of hybridity.
• Approximately how much space you require.
• What kind of logistical and/or technical support you require.
• What kind of technical equipment your exhibition requires.
• CVs and biographies of curator/s and artist/s in PDF format.



• Please provide images for each artist’s work that you are proposing.
• We strongly suggest providing images of artworks that will actually be shown during your exhibition/project/ installation.
• Upload a selection of 5-10 images (must be in jpeg format and no bigger than 2MB each).


The Fine Print

• There is no fee for participation, but all artworks are for sale and curators are required to sign a consignment agreement with UNDERLINE projects.


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