Experimental Institutionalism: Ecological

Wed 29 Sep 2021

This is a past program.
Video and Podcast

Ecological: Practices and challenges of sustainability

Speakers: José Roca and Keg de Souza

This program is part of ACCA’s 2021 Lecture Series, Experimental Institutionalism: Contemporary Art and Curatorial Ecologies, which delves into the artistic, curatorial, organisational and institutional models in which artists, curators and producers reflect and shape the role of contemporary art practice.

In this lecture, we are joined by José Roca, Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, and artist Keg de Souza, with a focus on the practices and challenges of sustainability. Roca’s presentation questions whether biennales are sustainable, sharing the processes, curatorial considerations and some of the challenges faced in developing the 23rd Biennale of Sydney. de Souza’s presentation is centred on Ecologies of Place, exploring the importance of community, place, and collaboration in relation to their recent work Not a drop to drink 2021, followed by a discussion on building and imagining a more sustainable future for the arts.

This series has been developed in response to the significant impacts on practice, movement, cultural production, display and community gathering in 2020, and reflects a desire to strengthen and retain international connections in the face of radical limitations on travel, movement and collaboration.

Engaging local and international experts, this series touches on the changing roles of artists, curators, writers, funders, educators and institutions, as they intersect with wider global economic, technological, environmental and political contexts.

What similarities and alliances can be drawn across borders, and how do we work and learn differently in response to the specificities of locality, place, culture and community? Can we work better together? What futures are possible or likely for the contemporary art ecology?

José Roca is a Colombian curator living and working in Sydney. He is currently the Artistic Director of FLORA ars+natura, an independent space for contemporary art in Bogotá. Roca was recently appointed as Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney in 2022. For a decade, he managed the arts program at Banco de la República in Bogotá. Roca was previously Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art for the Tate, London, and for a decade oversaw the arts program at the Museo del Banco de la República in Bogotá, establishing the institution as one of the most respected in Latin America.

Keg de Souza lives and works in Sydney on unceded Gadigal land and uses mediums such as; temporary architecture, food, mapping and dialogical projects to explore the poetics and politics of space. This investigation of social and spatial environments is influenced by formal training in architecture and experiences of radical spaces through squatting and organising. Keg often creates site and situation specific projects with people, with an emphasis on knowledge exchange. These often manifest as temporary architectures that become framing devices to host pedagogical platforms, centring voices that are often marginalised, for learning about place.