Meet the Chair of the Jury for the European Pavilion 2024 Proposals Call
25 Sep 2023
The jury to assess the open call for The European Pavilion curatorial proposals is made up of seven members, each with voting rights, and a non-voting chair. Together, they represent a wide range of cultural backgrounds, expertise and practices. The jury chair is Sepake Angiama, artistic director of the Institute of International Visual Arts in London. Recently we sat down for a short conversation.
Your organisation, iniva, participated in The European Pavilion in 2021-2022 with the project of the DRIFT Pavilion. Can you tell us a bit about it?
“Iniva was excited to be selected as part of the first round of The European Pavilion projects. We especially enjoyed getting to know the other European Pavilion studios and hearing what was important for them to realise with the support of the European Cultural Foundation. The European Cultural Foundation supported DRIFT a Digital Pavilion that opened up the conversation around what it meant to be European in a post-Brexit moment. The funding supported us to work with artists and communities to question notions of nationhood and Europeanness. It gave us an opportunity to convene conversations and activity across very different scales from working with young people in partnership with Open School East in Margate, southeast England, to holding an international gathering at the Venice Art Biennial to ask artists what it means to represent a nation. The website acted as a portal that convened the events that took place across the year. The fund supported our artists to attend a retreat where many of the writers and thinkers who have influenced their research were speaking. Expanding their networks outside of the UK made a huge impact on the artists and inspired as well as furthered their practices.”
What are your thoughts about the Call for curatorial proposals, and what would you like to see come out of it?
“This is an exciting moment because the European Cultural Foundation has decided to create an open call to which any organisation can apply. It is open to collaboration, and I think that this is a unique opportunity to think about a pavilion as a model for curating. Pavilions are an old exhibition model. The Foundation has demonstrated that they are open to kinds of curatorial proposals that provide a context for raising questions and bringing artists and audiences together. What are the new challenges facing the cultural sector in Europe? What are the forms of practice that are emerging and need space as well as resources? Each and every proposal will be considered and the jury members who are being brought together have a wide and varied range of experience.”
As Chair of the Jury, what contribution would you like to make to the discussion throughout the selection process?
“Previously, I have had the opportunity to sit on other selection committees and of course, everyone comes with their own expertise and interests. We want a fair and balanced selection and each of the committee members will have a responsibility to voice clearly their opinion. My role is to make sure that we take an equitable approach that demonstrates parity.
One of the things I will be looking for is how the 2024 European Pavilion speaks to a relevance to now but also to Europe. How will the Pavilion help us to radically reimagine Europe? How is the project raising critical questions?
Another aspect that is important to me is to consider what are the audiences that the pavilion is engaging with in terms of cross or interdisciplinarity. Culture is powerful, it gives us an opportunity to come together with people who have different ideas and perspectives to have a collective experience.”