Funding | PhD Scholarship in the field of contemporary curatorial practice | UNSW and MCA

Hayden Fowler, Dark Ecology, 2015/2016, installation view, New Romance: art and the posthuman, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, mixed media, CCTV cameras, 4-channel video, monitor, image courtesy and © the artist, photograph: Alex Davie

Hayden Fowler, Dark Ecology, 2015/2016, installation view, New Romance: art and the posthuman, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, mixed media, CCTV cameras, 4-channel video, monitor, image courtesy and © the artist, photograph: Alex Davie

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and UNSW Art & Design are partnering to offer a PhD Scholarship in the field of contemporary curatorial practice.

Based in Sydney, this is a unique opportunity for an outstanding candidate to contribute to the vibrant and growing field of curatorial scholarship. The candidate will have extensive access to MCA staff, audiences, collections, archives and other resources to conduct their research.

The $20,000 scholarship will be awarded in addition to an Australian Post Graduate Award (APA) scholarship, and consists of $15,000 stipend (tax exempt) over three years and $5,000 towards research expenses.

Partners:

UNSW Art and Design has a strong commitment to creative practice based research, and a particular interest in how knowledge is produced through curatorial practice. This scholarship adds to a suite of scholarships available to support curatorial postgraduate work including the Waterlow Scholarship and the Freedman Scholarship which support students in the Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership.

Connecting a broad and diverse public with the work of living artists, the MCA pursues curatorial excellence and innovation in audience engagement. Now in its 25th year, the MCA underwent a major redevelopment in 2012. This transformed the museum with spacious new galleries including an entire floor dedicated to the MCA Collection; the National Centre for Creative Learning with state-of-the-art technology; public spaces that embrace one of the world’s most famous locations, and a series of site-specific artists’ commissions.

Research opportunity:

The MCA Australia/UNSW Curatorial Scholarship is part of UNSW’s Sydney GLAM+ initiative – an alliance between UNSW and Sydney’s leading cultural organisations, which aims to foster new research opportunities to address the real-world challenges faced by the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector.

This research opportunity addresses the key issue of how curatorial innovation is fostered and developed within an institutional framework. For the MCA this involves considering and developing the cultural conditions for “thinking across” different modes of practice within the museum. The ultimate aim is to establish new ways of working with artists and audiences, within a culture of research, action and reflection.

The scholarship will support investigation into the ways in which a collecting institution can lead new developments in contemporary curating, in particular through practices that cross, intersect or connect programming disciplines.

Around this broad agenda, candidates are invited to propose a research topic that connects with one or more of the strategic research interests of the MCA including:

  • The curatorial opportunities of working with living artists;
  • Curatorial practice and the contemporary collection;
  • Curatorial and artist practices outside the museum;
  • Regional and remote audience engagement;
  • Indigenous content and communities;
  • New digital platforms for curatorial and interpretative programs.

We welcome proposals from diverse approaches including curatorial practice-based, art-historical, museological, ethnographic etc.

Supervision and support:

The project will be jointly supervised by Dr Blair French, Director, Curatorial and Digital, MCA and Dr Lizzie Muller, Director of the Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership, UNSW Art & Design.

The candidate will have access to a dedicated working space and IT facilities at the MCA for at least two days per week. Support for various kinds of research (including audience research) may be negotiated with various departments within the museum depending on the scope and requirements of the research proposal.

For full details and information on how to apply see the UNSW website: https://www.artdesign.unsw.edu.au/current-students/jobs-opportunities/museum-contemporary-art-australia-unsw-art-design-curatorial-phd

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