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 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Tammy Hulbert

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99253981

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 39.3.2

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: Curatorial Research Essay

1500 words, 30%, due Seminar 4

Question: Discuss the role of the curator in contemporary art? How has this role evolved?


Assessment 2: Weekly Class Reflection

1000 words, 20%, due at the end of each seminar

Task: Each week, write a paragraph to reflect on new knowledge gained from key issues discussed in class.


Assessment 3: Curatorial Project Presentation

5 mins maximum, 10%, due in Seminar 6 & 7

Presentation: Present to your class your curatorial concept and artists you have selected.


Assessment 4: Curatorial Proposal or Curatorial Essay

2500 words, 40%, due in Seminar 10

Develop either 'Option A: A curatorial proposal' for an exhibition of contemporary art, or 'Option B: A catalogue essay' for your exhibition, bringing together the works of artists in the exhibition.


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.