October 20 - 31, 2020
Deadline: August 15, 2020
CritLab Aims To Build A Network Of Professionals Who Desire To Push The Boundaries Of Art Thought, Production And Exhibition In The International Field Of Contemporary Art.
Project initiated by Foundation for Contemporary Art-Ghana in collaboration with ExitFrame Collective, blaxTARLINES KUMASI and SCCA Tamale.
Participation in CritLab will be open to 12 participants (artists, curators, and art writers) selected through an open call.
No fee is charged for participation.
October 20th-31st, 2020
The inaugural edition of CritLab is predated and inspired by the Global Critic Clinics— organised by Kianga Ford and Shane Aslan Selzer— hosted by the Foundation of Contemporary Art in Ghana between 2012-2014. In the spirit of peer-to-peer learning, CritLab will establish a system of exchanges that will bring facilitators and participants together in developing their respective practices with the aim of generating and participating in locally relevant conversations on contemporary art. The intellectual infrastructure that is created enables participants respond to, as well as intervene in, emerging trends, ideas, and standards in the international exhibition culture, the art market, art history, critical theory and much more.
This inaugural edition of CritLab will focus on the climate of Ghanaian contemporary art, while also reflecting on how the commitments and responsibilities associated with making art, curating, and writing about art today necessitates a globalised disposition. With regard to the seminars, working proficiency in English is essential and familiarity with at least one local language is recommended.
CritLab aims to build a network of professionals who desire to push the boundaries of art production, art thought, and exhibition making in the international field of contemporary art. It is designed as a 12-day intensive programme adaptable to the framework of the participant’s practice, irrespective of medium. The programme rigorously absorbs participants in a schedule of site visits, seminars, curated screenings, thematic roundtable discussions, and presentations that lean into critical studio practice, while addressing the processes involved in developing concepts, exhibition proposals, and professional profiles related to portfolio development, graduate study, critical writing, documentation of work, accessing global resources and social networking.
CritLab brings together professionals from art institutions and universities in Ghana and elsewhere around the world who will facilitate practical and intellectual exchanges. Individual and group advisement sessions, lectures, studio visits, and roundtable discussions will be led by a group of professionals that includes Bernard Akoi-Jackson, Ph.D (artist and academic, Ghana), Adwoa Amoah (artist and Co-Director of FCA – Ghana), Ato Annan (artist and Co-Director of FCA – Ghana), Kelvin Haizel (artist, Ghana), Nontobeko Ntombela (curator, writer, and academic, South Africa), Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh (artist, curator, and critic, Ghana), among others.
CritLab is designed to compel participants to be conscious of the universality of art as well as the responsibilities and challenges that come with contemporary art practice. The initiative aims to establish a network of professionals from Ghana, Africa and other regions of the world concerned with growing and sustaining criticality in art practice. CritLab is targeted towards independent and self-driven practice— whether participants work independently or in institutions. Topics will range from the pragmatics of professional development; creating infrastructure in conditions of hopelessness; constructive approaches to building relationships with other professionals and institutions, locally and internationally; understanding the theoretical underpinnings of art history as inherited from imperialist structures and the necessity of emancipating professional practice; and incorporating more ways of creative thinking beyond human-centered approaches to making and thinking about art.
Readings: Literature covering art, curating, art writing and more will be made available to all participants before the programme officially starts, with the objective to strengthen understanding on the polemics and topical issues in contemporary art.
Seminars and Site Visits: All participants will meet every morning as a group to have up to three-hour workshop seminars and presentations led by the key and guest facilitators. The seminars will be supplemented by site visits ranging from artists’ studios, to commercial and private art spaces in order to plug participants into the local professional context through direct engagement.
Individual Meetings: During the 12 days, each participant will be scheduled to take part in two individual meetings with select key and/or guest facilitators. These 20-minute sessions will provide the opportunity for one-on-one advising on topics that are tailored specifically to the participant’s project proposal.
Presentations: Peer-to-peer learning between facilitators and participants will be stimulated by individual presentations made by each participant about the project/idea articulated in the applications. Participants will be required to give longer presentations at the end of the programme that outlines the status of the project they have been developing during the course of the CritLab. The final presentations will be held in a public forum, where discussions will be between colleagues and members of the general public.
Post-CritLab: After the period designated for the CritLab, participants will have the opportunity to become part of the alumni network, and will continue working with key and guest facilitators to develop their respective proposals. Finalised project may be published on the CritLab website.
- Attendance in all programmed sessions
- Reading of course materials
- Participation in discussions, workshops, site visits and other programmed events
- Constructive/critical feedback to be offered to peer proposals
- Using free time to develop respective projects/proposals
- Participation in final public forum and proposal presentation
Who can apply?
Applications are open to artists, curators and art writers in Ghana who have been professionally active for at least 2 years.
Participants can be working in any medium– text, curating, painting, sculpture, textile, ceramics, photography, video, performance, installation, spoken word poetry, sound, VR, AR, etc.
Art writer ?
For any inquiries please email
+233 (0) 592399923 / +233 (0) 509338727
Location: Unless otherwise stated, all meetings will be held at FCA – Ghana premises.