Curators are invited to submit proposals for possible inclusion in CDCC’s annual program. We define the term Curator to mean any person or group that is critically engaged in curatorial practice — meaning here the research, development, writing, design, and production of original exhibitions and other projects on any topic — including independent curators, artist-curators, curatorial teams, curators at institutions and other arts organizations, and more. Emerging curators and cross-disciplinary curatorial projects are also very welcome.
Critical Distance provides a venue and context for curators in all stages of development. Projects are supported and promoted through the design, production, and distribution of announcements, press releases, exhibition brochures or catalogues, and the programming of related events throughout the exhibition run. Installation assistance, documentation, and insurance will also be provided. A reasonable budget for curator/artist remuneration and other expenses will be developed on a case-by-case basis.
As an independent curator-led initiative, we foreground critically engaged, collaborative and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making. Proposals should detail how the curator will critically address, question, extend, or otherwise engage with contemporary curatorial inquiry and practice, e.g., through the research approach and process, development of themes/ideas, selection of artists/artworks, exhibition design/display methods, approaches to contextualization, alternate methods of conveying information, and multiple forms of audience engagement, and other strategies to advance the practice and discipline of curating and activate/enrich the exhibition experience. On a practical level, submissions that demonstrate an awareness of our past programs, spatial constraints/opportunities, context, and audiences are always encouraged.
Guest curators should be seeking to gain experience all aspects of exhibition-making and/or project production and are therefore expected to have a hands-on approach at the project space, including receiving, installing, and de-installing artwork in collaboration with the artists and CDCC’s gallery and installation assistants. To the extent that it is possible, some gallery sitting and/or participation in the development of exhibition-related events is also expected. Examples of events include the exhibition/project opening, catalogue and/or edition launches, curatorial and artists talks, performances, workshops, and/or other cross-disciplinary programming to be developed in collaboration with the artists and the project space.
Please note: Thoughtful, critical attention to the artists and artworks featured in our projects is a key part of our program and a catalogue essay and interviews with exhibiting artists will be required from the guest curator well in advance of the opening. Strong preference will be given to submissions with a fully fleshed-out proposal and/or completed draft essay. Critical Distance reserves the right to edit submitted writing in collaboration with the writer and/or a third-party editor.
The project space is an intimate venue for artistic and curatorial experimentation, with approximately 325 square feet devoted to exhibitions and events. Ceilings are 14 feet high, and the gallery is wheelchair accessible. A full-height pocket door allows for division of the space into two distinct areas, one of which is suitable for projection-based works and film screenings. There is the option of using additional space in and around Artscape Youngplace if the exhibition requires it; budgets and schedules would be adjusted accordingly. Click for a PDF of the floor plan
Please send the following materials to submissions (at) critical distance (dot) ca in support of your submission. (At this time we are able to accept digital submissions only.)
— Curatorial proposal including title, short description (500 words max), and estimated budget
— Two writing samples:
—— One long form (1500-2000 wds) such as a draft essay for the catalogue or other essay
—— One short form (500 wds) such as a brief article or review
— Exhibition checklist with artwork/object images and information (artist/maker, title, date, media, dimensions)
— Sketches, plans, or diagrams relating to our floor plan
— Curator’s resume or CV and contact information
— Artists’ statements and CVs, if applicable
— List of any relevant URLs: websites, projects, videos, publications and/or press
— Letter of introduction including your interest in Critical Distance (i.e., how you heard of us, how your project fits within our program)
Image resolution of 72 dpi is recommended — we will request higher resolution images and/or studio visits if your proposal if selected for further consideration. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Please address any questions to submissions (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca. Submissions or questions addressed to other emails at Critical Distance may be missed.
A Programming Committee drawn from our Executive and Advisory Boards will be convened to review submissions on a rolling basis. Critical Distance programs exhibitions at least a year in advance, so decisions may not be made for many months. However all submissions will receive a response, so please be patient. Thank you in advance for your interest and participation.