Summer School - Contemporary Art in the Global Present, 10-21 July 2017, Italy

Publish Date: Apr 26, 2017

Deadline: May 21, 2017


an interdisciplinary collective analysis of the cultural, social, political and economical relevance of documenta 14 (Athens, Kassel) and the 57th Venice Biennale (Venice)

CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE GLOBAL PRESENT is an interdisciplinary, itinerant summer school addressing the cultural, social, political and economical relevance of international recurrent exhibitions with a focus on documenta 14 and the 57 th Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte - La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale).

Recurrent large-scale exhibitions of contemporary art such as the Venice Biennale and the documenta are recognizable as rhizomatic structures with implications on multiple cultural, social, political as well as economical domains and scales. Historically, these two exhibition formats are bound to two different and yet complementary approaches to contemporary art. One of the main aims of the Venice Biennale is to capture the state of contemporary art while the long five-year interval of the documenta allows one to imagine answers to the ontological question: what is (contemporary) art? The Greek debt and economic crisis has drawn international attention to the symptoms of a wider European and global crisis - not just a financial crisis but above all, a crisis of values with profound humanitarian, institutional, political and media implications. These challenges are addressed by both exhibitions. This is why documenta 14 takes place not only in Kassel, but also in Athens under the title: Learning from Athens and the 57th Venice Biennale - VIVA ARTE VIVA - invests on the progressive power of contemporary art promising to open a possibility for a neoumanesimo.

CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE GLOBAL PRESENT invites 18 international students and researches from all disciplines (advanced M. A. students, doctoral students and candidates, postdoc researchers) to engage in a 12 day summer school entirely dedicated to the analysis of the cultural, social, political, and economical relevance of these two large-scale recurrent exhibitions and their respective organizing institutions.

At the centre of CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE GLOBAL PRESENT are the documenta 14 and the 57th Venice Biennale in Venice, Athens and Kassel. Three days are dedicated to each exhibition and spent in the respective cities. The key terms of the exhibited works as well as the meanings that arise from their constellations will be analysed. This analysis is carried out in a participatory and collegial manner throughout the whole of the summer school, so that the applicants can benefit from the added value of the collective visits to the exhibitions and the places where they take place. Dialogues with curators, educators, and academics working for the respective exhibitions in the respective cities are planned. They are organized in the form of lectures and workshops in which the participants to the summer school are invited to work in small groups.

CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE GLOBAL PRESENT will end in Cologne where the participants are invited to reflect on and organize the knowledge gained during the summer school and publicly present the first results of the itinerant research experience.

A day trip to the 4th edition of Skulptur Projekte in Münster is planned.


Advanced M.A. students, doctoral students and candidates, postdoc researchers from all disciplines.

Language skills:

CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE GLOBAL PRESENT will be primary held in English; passive knowledge of other European languages such as German, Italian and Greek is a plus.

Applicants should send:

1) Letter of motivation indicating interest in the summer school’s topic (max. 2 pages)

2) Resumé / CV (max. 2 pages) All application material should be sent in one PDF via e-mail to:

Deadline for submissions: May 21, 2017


CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE GLOBAL PRESENT is organized by the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne (University of Cologne) in dialogue with the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) and the Department of Communication & Media Studies (National Capodistrian University of Athens).

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.


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