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by Richard Meckien - published Aug 29, 2012 08:55 AM - - last modified Jul 23, 2018 02:15 PM

A curatorship is generally understood as the design and organization of an exhibit, or the creation of an artistic or cultural collection based on a thematic, temporal, national, regional or authorial focus (an artist or group of artists), among other possibilities.

It implies weaving together assorted discourses with a common thread, giving rise to a plural or composite discourse while preserving the uniqueness of each comprising element. But a curatorship can go beyond that and promote a dialogue among independent works, creating an environment that mediates art and audience, a milieu for reflections, re-readings, and re-creations.

If other attributes are added to this mediating role – e.g., articulation among several curators, interdisciplinarity and metalinguistic reflection –, we’ll have what might be called a meta-curatorship, an essential concept in the IEA’s current development project.

In the academic context, the notion of meta-curatorship translates into a self-critical mindset committed to scientific, cultural, and artistic renewal. This means challenging crystallized models, putting forward new topics, guiding discussions, raising questions, opening one’s self to the demands of society and helping to formulate public policies.

According Martin Grossmann, IEA director and author of the project, “the meta-curatorships represent a generational rite of passage – from the modernist framework that was established when the IEA was founded, dependent upon eminent men and women, to a postmodernist template structured on shared ideas and networked common processes, synched in real time with the ongoing changes in the global scenario and committed to establishing synergy between the various areas of knowledge, research groups and sectors that compose an institution the size of the University of São Paulo.”

Building upon this concept, the IEA’s institutional project for 2012-2017 contemplates organizing activities in four meta-curatorships, with experts from various fields of knowledge and devoted to the preeminent issues of our time.

These guiding themes are meant to revitalize the IEA’s innovative and interdisciplinary ethos, minimize author-centric individualism, and allow ample critical analyses of scientific, technological, cultural, artistic, institutional, and societal issues.

The IEA’s metacuratorships are as follows:

Commons. Dedicated to a possible culture of accessibility, well-being, democracy, human rights, social justice, and novel sociocultural ambiences/interfaces, among other things.

Transformational. Aims to explore the transformative nature of education and, simultaneously, reflect upon the frailty of public educational policies since the onset of the redemocratization process in Brazil in the 1980s, the lack of a national consensus necessary to establish such policies, and the inadequacy of the current educational/pedagogical structure in view of the country’s social inequality, its new sensibilities, and the new forms of producing and accessing knowledge made possible by technological innovation.

Glocal. Seeks to explore the paradoxes, contradictions, inequalities, impropriety, as well as the relevance of this neologism that alludes to the polarization/simultaneity of globalness and localness. The glocal metacuratorship, while focused on current geopolitical changes, will also investigate the shift from internationality to globalization (and, thus, the changes inherent in the concept of modernity), and characterize the bilateral and transnational processes that involve Brazil (providing critical analyses of the internationalization of the University of São Paulo as well).

Abstraction. Focused on the theoretical and critical aspects of new and renewed issues of leading edge thought (trends, ideas and concepts in the pre-application stage) and on creativeness in philosophy, the arts and science.