Course Title: Curating Contemporary Art

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Curating Contemporary Art

Credit Points: 24

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Professor David Forrest

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3578

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bld 220.4.2

Course Coordinator Availability: Via Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will undertake a theoretical and historical examination of the display and reception of contemporary art across different contexts in Australia and overseas. Your theoretical investigation will be supported by project-based work to give you a critical and practical appreciation of the issues involved in conceptualising, developing and presenting exhibitions, including spatial thinking and planning. The relationship of curating to arts management will also be explored

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• examine and interpret the knowledge and understanding of curatorial practice
• critically discuss and review innovation and experimentation in curatorial and exhibition practice
• identify, evaluate and apply some of the ideas and practices concerning contemporary curating
• critically reflect upon the issues involved in conceptualising, developing and presenting contemporary exhibitions

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:
• attain appropriate and relevant arts management knowledge, with the ability to critique, use and apply that knowledge across a range of situations, enabling effective judgments in dealing with new and emerging issues in the field.
• carry out self directed learning and independent research to develop your individual arts management practice and locate your work globally within an appropriate conceptual and theoretical context
• communicate through practice and policy in a sustainable manner with a wide range of audiences in multidisciplinary means with an appreciation of communication as a personal and cultural practice
• engage critically, creatively and effectively using available resources to solve arts management issues and be able to reflect on the process and outcomes.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will engage in learning that involves a range of activities, both face to face and online, such as seminars, presentations by industry professionals, student presentations, discussions, group work and independent research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.
A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.
The University Library has extensive resources for arts management students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies.
The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment 1: Exhibition Review - Initial Discussion Paper due Fri 17 March, 2017 (20%)

Assessment 2.1 - Part A: Oral Proposal Presentations Begin (4-5 students each week) Week 3-9 (10%)

Assessment 2.2: Curatorial Project – Written Proposal due Friday 5 May (20%)

Assessment 3: Curatorial Project – Catalogue Essay due Friday 19 May (50%)

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.
If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:

Grades for the written reports and presentation will be awarded on the following basis:

P    The written paper and presentation meets the basic requirements of the negotiated task.
C    In addition to satisfying the conditions for a P, the written paper and presentation is well organised. Evidence is provided that there is an understanding of the specific issues relating to curating contemporary art.
D    In addition to satisfying the conditions for a C, the written paper and presentation demonstrates a critical and relevant use of sources.
H    In addition to satisfying the conditions for a D, the written paper and presentation is well supported with critical analysis, knowledge and understanding of curating contemporary art. The paper will be of publishable quality.