Contemporary Curating (CAEL5032)


'If artists since Marcel Duchamp have affirmed selection and arrangement as legitimate artistic strategies, was it not simply a matter of time before curatorial practice - itself defined by selection and arrangement - would come to be seen as an art that operates on the field of art itself?' (Aaron Schuster, 2005). This unit of study focuses on contemporary curatorial practice and analyses emerging trends and new directions in curating. It considers the changing role of the curator, moving from traditional contexts in the art gallery and museum, to contemporary art spaces, artist run initiatives, public sites, community engagement, and into globalized and virtual settings. The unit considers a number of case studies of curatorial practice, both exhibitions and renowned international curators who have defined the contemporary scene, such as Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Catherine David, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Harald Szeemann.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2-hour seminar/week


curatorial case study presentation (30%) and research paper (70%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.