OPEN CALL_ TRANSITION: Taking Positions in a Time of Radical Change

Proposal for digital session(s) of ICAM exploring possible ways for architectural museums and institutes on dealing with a transition period

The crisis makes us focus on the intersection of accessibility to safe public (green) spaces and public services, housing quality and healthcare. In parallel and intertwined with the health crisis, the Black Lives Matter movement grew with increased impact following the killing of George Floyd in the United States. Although BLM is now celebrated with unified displays of public art and solidarity around the world, there is still much to do to support and model a just society. Depending on the geographical and historical context, the reciprocity of spatial injustice and racism, the history of colonialism and gender inequality was addressed with new intensity in 2020, affecting most aspects of public life.

Well aware of the transition, many cultural organisations are redefining their position. Depending on geographical location, the emphasis differs. In Europe, there are big differences between countries. Worldwide, the impact is even more varied. Architectural mediators such as architectural museums, archives/collections and institutes are rethinking the audiences they engage with, the formats they use, the collections they build and the viewpoints of their storytelling. This year has provided cultural institutions with an opportunity for self reflection and an urgent call to find ways that we can be agents for change.

icam wants to facilitate a conversation amongst its members about the current transition, considering points of view from different geographical and political contexts. The idea is to exchange experiences and learn from each other. ICAM sees this session as a platform for professional exchange between curators, scientific staff, educators, collection managers and other professionals working in architectural institutions, only open to members.

Open call for presentations
icam launches an Open Call for ideas focused on transition. We look for case-studies that explore how to position architectural museums and institutes within a new contextual frame. Case-studies that are hands-on examples are welcomed, such as: research projects; exhibition proposals; publications; architectural tours with new concepts and targets; new ways of considering architectural history and the canon; alternative approaches to archiving and collecting; audience-centered initiatives that rethink for whom and how we engage diverse perspectives and audiences in our programmes as valuable participants; and projects focused on how balance between the digital and the analogue, the local and the global, for example.

Abstracts of maximally 300 words (for presentations of c. 15 minutes) must be submitted in English no later than 17 February 2021 via, together with the author’s name(s), e-mail address, professional affiliation and a short bio (150 words maximum). Abstracts can only be submitted by professionals of ICAM member institutions or individual members of ICAM.

The Open Call is launched by a Committee that selects the abstracts. Invitees for the Committee are:

Martien de Vletter – Associate Director, Collection, CCA Montréal
Abraham Thomas – Daniel Brodsky Curator of Modern Architecture, Design, and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum New York
Aric Chen – Professor and Director, D&I Curatorial Lab, Tongji University
Zoë Ryan – Director, ICA Philadelphia;
Monika Platzer – Head of Special Collections/Curator, Az W, Vienna
Sofie De Caigny – Director, VAi Antwerp

Abstracts will be selected by the end of February 2021.
The digital session will take place in March 2021. Further announcements on the date(s) will be communicated.

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