Curatorial Intensive programmeLotte Arndt, Tabakalera International Center for Contemporary Culture, San Sebastian

Tabakalera International Center for Contemporary Culture in Donostia/San Sebastian calls for applications to its 2018 Curatorial Intensive, developed by writers and curators Lotte Arndt and Natasha Marie Llorens in conjunction with Tabakalera’s current exhibition, L’Intrus.

L’Intrus is an exhibition about how difficult it is to make an ethical, complex, picture of the stranger; the one who, by their presence, challenges the pre-established assumptions of the place in which they are strange. L’Intrus takes Jean-Luc Nancy’s eponymous essay as a point of departure. He pictures the one who is intruding, the stranger, as a transplanted heart. The body, his body, needs the stranger but it is also always in danger of rejecting that stranger and, as a consequence, of dying. The implication of Nancy’s text is this: not only is the stranger already of the social body, the social body depends on their presence and on the fact of their difference.

With a double focus on the current exhibition and the regional context for contemporary art, participants in the curatorial intensive will engage with key local and international curators, arts administrators, and artists whose practices have an active relationship to the ideas and artwork presented in L’Intrus.

The Intensive is a five-day pedagogical program designed to immerse a small group of participants in both the practical and conceptual aspects of the curatorial process. It provides the opportunity to think the exhibition as a text, to read it closely together, and to deconstruct it through dialogue. A rigorous schedule includes seminars focused on theoretical texts and graphic design research, a movement workshop in the exhibition, and screenings and presentations by artists and invited curators that include, among others:

Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga: researcher and curator based in Madrid, where she directs La escuelita at the CA2M-Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo. Her curatorial research project Canibalia is a visceral exploration of the figure of the cannibal, gathering artists from North and South America, Portugal and Spain. 

Dages Juvelier Keates: a writer, mover, and teacher, deeply influenced by psychoanalytic theories who conducts queer feminist embodiment research, and conceives of bodies as accretions of unanswered questions, ephemeral archives of inter- and intra-personal memories. 

Samir Ramdani: an artist and filmmaker based in Paris whose work oscillates between media and is centered on the body’s capacity for metaphysical experience, especially socio-political minorities, or those trapped in symbolic power games.

Elvira Dyangani Ose: a curator and the new director of the Showroom in London. Most recently senior curator at Creative Time, she also worked closely with the Tate’s African Acquisitions Committee to develop the museum's holdings relating to the African Diaspora. Her work engages frequently in transnational collaborations across the disciplines, researching a broad field of artistic production, reaching from monographic exhibitions (like Ibrahim al-Salahi, A visionary Modernist, 2013) to group shows and biennals (Picha, Lubumbashi, 2013; Göteborg, 2014).

Tabakalera’s curatorial intensive is a unique opportunity to experiment collectively with an exhibition’s impact, and to discuss in concrete terms what it can do and what it cannot do. This program aims to engage a productive dialogue with young curators, other art professionals, as well as interested persons, working independently or within institutions, whose aims are collaborative knowledge production on the basis of artistic research.


Application Guidelines

10–12 applicants already working professionally at an international level will be selected. The applicant should be experienced and engaged in the field of curatorial, artistic, writerly, or cultural work, and be able to commit exclusively to the entire period of the intensive. AS the programme will be conducted mainly in English, participants should be fluent in this language. The participants will be announced 26th, November, 2018.


Required materials include:

  • a current 250-word narrative biography
  • a 500-word letter of intent addressing the relevance of L’Intrus to your work
  • a 300-word text that describes a recent curatorial, editorial, or artistic project illustrating this interest
  • up to five images of this project

Please send your application as a A4 PDF document to pgaraikideak @

Application Deadline: November 23th 2018


Participation Costs

The 60€ participation fee will cover the opening dinner and everyday lunch.

A number of partial scholarships for accommodation are available that would reduce the cost of accommodation to 10€/night for 7 nights (Sunday-Saturday). Please include a 200-word statement with your application should you require assistance.


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