On May 22nd 2018, I will join the team of the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz as a curatorial trainee for the upcoming 2 years. This is a wonderful opportunity for me, as I will be able to apply my research in arts and aesthetics to the work at a renowned cultural institution.
The impressive art collection of the Kunststammlungen Chemnitz comprises paintings, sculptures, textiles and prints, reaching from Edvard Munch to William Morris, from Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol, from Otto Dix to Georg Baselitz. My work will include, amongst other things, assisting with exhibition preparations and catalogue publications, providing an English translation of the website and the gallery information and learning everything there is to learn about the organization and presentation of a large art collection, which is displayed in four different gallery spaces around the city.
Since the beginning of my Master’s programme in Arts, Aesthetics & Cultural Institutions and throughout the past four years of my PhD research, I already had several opportunities to work with museums in Liverpool and Munich. My recommendation to anyone who is pursuing a similar path of study: get as much practical experience as possible! E.g. working with cultural institutions and art organizations. My PhD thesis addresses theoretical questions regarding the concept of aestheticization, its bad rap and how digital technologies have had an impact on our aesthetic experience of art, communication and politics. However, these very theoretical considerations directly relate to the way cultural institutions increasingly use new media to make their collections more accessible, raising questions about the democratization of the artworld and the changing role of museums and galleries in the digital age.
Currently, I am in the ‘writing-up-stage’ of my thesis and my last few weeks in Liverpool will be focused on finishing a full draft so that only smaller edits and additions will be necessary when I start my new position. It is definitely a challenge having only this limited amount of time but (as probably many other PhD students have experienced before me) it is also a good motivation to push yourself towards the finish line. Any pep talk until then will be much appreciated.