Office of Useful Art Workshops: Curating as a Civic Practice

Salt Galata

February 1 – February 2, 2019

3 Arte Útil [Yararlı Sanat] Arşivi'ndeki "New Linthorpe" (Birleşik Krallık, 2014-süregelen) projesinden
From the project “New Linthorpe” (United Kingdom, 2014-ongoing) included in The Arte Útil Archive
Exploring the possible uses of art in negotiating social issues, SALT’s Office of Useful Art research will expand to regions in geographical and cultural proximity to Turkey, including the Eastern Mediterranean countries as well as Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia. This year’s first workshop—conducted by Miguel Amado with researchers Giorgi Rodionov, Nare Sahakyan, and Laila Shariff’s contributions—will analyze the art practices for social transformation from a curatorial and art historical perspective through theoretical implications.

The two-day workshop aims to discuss curating as a civic practice to contribute to the development of communities and active citizenship while offering solutions for issues such as inequality, discrimination, and injustice. Unlike the mainstream art historical narratives, which are centered upon aesthetic parameters arising from a relation of spectatorship, this “post-artistic” model for museums problematizes the representational dimension of art.

Open to artists, designers, architects, activists, social workers, and scholars, the program will question art’s ability for social impact and related practices by collaborative thinking around following themes: genealogy, criteria, case studies, critical terminology, manifestations, implementation, and local examples. Participants will also examine the useful art cases from neighboring regions of Turkey.

The sessions are free and open to the participation of all.


14.15 Presentation: Miguel Amado, Useful Art, or Art Without Art
15.00 Break
15.15 Group Discussion

14.00 Talk: Miguel Amado, Curating as a Civic Practice
15.15 Break
15.30 Presentations: Cases of Useful Art
Giorgi Rodionov – Georgia
Nare Sahakyan – Armenia
Laila Sharif – Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria

Miguel Amado is a curator, researcher, and critic. He is currently the Director of Cork Printmakers, Ireland. He was formerly Senior Curator at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, England, where he contributed to the institutions’ transformation into a “useful museum.”

Giorgi Rodionov is an artist, curator, and researcher. He was the director of the first gallery dedicated to photography founded in Tbilisi. He is currently conducting research on cases of useful art in Georgia in collaboration with SALT’s Office of Useful Art.

Nare Sahakyan is a researcher and curator. Currently, she is pursuing her graduate studies in Art History and Curating at the American University of Beirut. She is currently conducting research on cases of useful art in Armenia in collaboration with SALT’s Office of Useful Art.

Laila Sharif is an artist, designer, and researcher. As a part of Mophradat’s Art Fellowship program and in collaboration with SALT’s Office of Useful Art, she is currently conducting research on cases of useful art from various countries located in the Arabic speaking regions.