Meet the Team
Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday is an online exhibition realised by The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 2020 MA Curating the Art Museum programme. It is the first fully digital exhibition opened by The Courtauld’s MA Curating the Art Museum students and has emerged in the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruption to education and arts institutions globally.
In October 2019, the nine of us embarked on a twelve-month programme exploring the history, methodologies and practicalities of museum curating. Each year, the culmination of the programme is the opening of a fully student-run exhibition. For emerging curators, this is a unique opportunity to experience the creation of an exhibition from concept to install, negotiating every aspect from official loan requests and logistical planning to marketing, events and exhibition budgeting. Under normal circumstances, such an exhibition would be realised in physical space. This year, stopped in our tracks by a global pandemic, we joined the rest of the cultural world in rethinking the whole exhibition model.
Unquiet Moments began with a brief given to us by Somerset House in December 2019. The exhibition was to be staged in the Embankment Galleries responding to the building’s history of housing all records of Births, Marriages and Deaths in the UK and archiving the wills of the nation. We were immediately struck by what such a registry might exclude, which stories might lie untold. We conceived of our exhibition as an archive in which overlooked moments of everyday life might be gathered and preserved.
Unquiet Moments draws upon the extraordinary artworks in The Courtauld Gallery and Arts Council Collections. We spent many hours immersing ourselves in the artworks, developing our ideas and visiting the space in which we thought the exhibition would be staged. When we learned at the end of March that the exhibition would now be online, we had no idea what this would entail.
What quickly became clear was that our interrogation of the ‘everyday’ had only become more relevant; the questions we were asking only more urgent. So, we picked up where we had left off, over Zoom, spread from Los Angeles to Belgium, and stepped into a new phase of learning. In the past three months we have entered the world of website development and visitor heat maps, we have developed relationships with artists and professionals in this field and imagined our way through producing ambitious audio content and events programmes.
We are living in an unprecedented moment of unquiet. We hope that this exhibition goes some way to make sense of that, and illuminate the enduring impulse to capture many experiences of the everyday.
Thanks from the 2019-20 MA Curating class!
Anastasia Pineschi, Anna Duch Gimenez, Annabelle Birchenough, Elizabeth Keto, Julie Bléas, Matilda McEvedy, Sophie-Anne Paoli, Sophie Ridsdale-Smith, and Zaena Sheehan.