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Recipients of the 2013 Research Awards for Curatorial Intensive Alumni

Posted on March 15, 2014

In 2012, ICI partnered with SAHA and The Dedalus Foundation to offer awards for Curatorial Intensive Alumni in order to encourage the development of collaborative projects and a stronger network for exchange among alumni. The awards help facilitate curatorial research projects proposed by 2 alumni working together. The research must have a public component and awardees will post intermittent updates on their project on ICI’s online research platform.


The first award is a collaboration between SAHA and ICI offering $3,000. The requirements to qualify for the ICI and SAHA Research Award for Curatorial Intensive Alumni are that the project involves a curator or artist from Turkey, or that research will take place in Turkey.

that research will take place in Turkey.

The winners of the 2013 ICI/SAHA Research Award are Gürsoy Doğtaş (Turkey) and Alejandra Labastida (Mexico), who participated in the Summer 2013 Curatorial Intensive in New York. Their proposal, Beklenen Şarkı (“The Expected Song”), aims to explore the results of the military regime in 1980s Turkish Republic. Doğtaş and Labastida are focusing on Zeki Müren (1931-1996), a poet, composer, and singer from Turkey, who was banned from performing on stage for several years. They are using his as an example of the unpublicized history of artistic repression during this time. This proposal was selected because of the international scope of the collaboration––the alumni will be working across countries and continents to explore this lesser-known history and the relationships between fine art, language, music, theory, and resistance. They will invite the public to help compile and contribute documents, notes, lyrics, and other archival materials from/about/against Müren. The public aspect of the grant involves a public program with presentations by artists, curators, and the public.

Gürsoy Doğtaş is a freelance curator, author, and artist. He is currently a PhD candidate in the transdisciplinary post-graduate program “Assemblies and Participation: Urban Publics and Performance” at the HafenCity University in Hamburg, Germany. In October, Doğtaş curated the exhibition Curated by Vienna. This exhibition series delves into the complex relationship between image, discourse, text, and perception. From 2010-12, he was part of the kunstraum München, an art association focusing on political and conceptual art, where he organized an alternative academy called “Forms of Informal Research” (2011), and curated the first solo exhibition on Palestinian-Jordanian artist Oraib Toukan, entitled Splice (2012). In 2010, Doğtaş served as Roger M. Burgel’s Curatorial Assistant for the Ai Weiwei exhibition Barely Something at DKM in Duisburg, Germany. Doğtaş has been an editor of Matt Magazine since 2006, an artist zine focusing on the tradition of conceptual art engaging with social and political action.

Alejandra Labastida is currently the Associate Curator at MUAC (University Museum of Contemporary Art) in Mexico City, where she has worked in the Curatorial Department since 2008. In 2012, she was the winner of the Akbank Sanat International Curatorial Competition. Her recent curatorial projects include The Life of Others. Repetition and Survival (Istanbul), You and Whose Army? (Zagreb), For the love of dissent (Mexico City), and A partir de mañana, todo (Mexico City). She was the Assistant Curator of the Mexican Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), and has authored numerous publications on contemporary art. Labastida holds a BA in History from the Universidad Iberoamericana and she is currently a Master’s candidate in Art History with a specialization in curatorial studies at UNAM (Universidad Autónoma de Mexico).


The second award is a collaboration between The Dedalus Foundation and ICI offering $4,000. The requirements to qualify for the ICI and Dedalus Foundation Research Award for Curatorial Intensive Alumni are that the project involves a U.S. curator or artist, or that research will take place in the United States.

The winners of the 2013 ICI and The Dedalus Foundation Research Award are Viviana Checchia (Italy) and Anna Santomauro (Italy). Checchia and Santomauro will conduct research in the United States, with the aim to investigate different curatorial approaches developed from the heritage of the exhibition Culture in Action, and to re-contextualize these curatorial practices within the European and Euro-Mediterranean perspective. Checchia and Santomauro will analyze a range of curatorial methodologies in order to envision new articulations of the notion of participation in contemporary art production. The research will take the written form of a blog as well as a seminar (presentations, talks, and workshops) in Puglia, Italy, with both U.S. and local curators as participants.

Viviana Checchia is a curator, critic, and PhD candidate at Loughborough University (UK). She lives in London and is the Co-Founder and Chief Curator of Vessel in Italy, a non-profit arts organization devoted to developing critical discourse around pertinent contemporary social, political, and economic issues. As Assistant Curator at Eastside Projects (UK) she researched and assisted in curating Abstract Cabinet Show (2009) and Liam Gillick Two Short Plays (2009). Her projects as an independent curator include In Dialogue at Nottingham Contemporary, UK (2012); There’s something to this (but I don’t know what it is) at Nitra Gallery, Slovakia (2010); and Giant Step, a collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum, Mostyn Gallery, and Galeria Labirynt (2012). She participated in the Gwangju Foundation Course for International Curators (2010) and the ICI Curatorial Intensive in Derry~Londonderry (2013). She is currently part of the Agora, 4th Athens Biennale curatorial team.

Anna Santomauro is a curator working between Bari and Bologna, Italy. She has collaborated with neon>campobase, a non-profit organization devoted to contemporary art, where she curated a 3-year video program. In 2009, she started collaborating with Italian curator Viviana Checchia on the projects: 1h art, Festa del Migrante, and Green Days. With Checchia, she co-founded and co-curates Vessel, a non-profit arts organization devoted to developing critical discourse around pertinent contemporary social, political, and economic issues. She is interested in artistic practices that challenge the status quo and in art as a tool to produce alternative geo-socio-political imagination. She recently curated the exhibition For an Ecology of the Museum at Museum of Villa Croce in Genova. She attended the International Curator Course 2012, organized by Gwangju Biennale, and ICA 7th Summer Seminars for Art Curators 2013. Santomauro is a contributor to Arte & Critica magazine.