VISUAL ARTS AWARDS
2009 Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art
Anthony Kiendl is Director of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg, Canada, and in 2007 was Leverhulme Visiting Research Fellow at School of Arts, Middlesex University, London. He was the Director of Visual Arts, Walter Phillips Gallery and the Banff International Curatorial Institute at The Banff Centre in Alberta from 2002 until 2006. In 2002, he served as Acting Director of the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina Public Library in Saskatchewan where he was Curator since 1997. He is currently the instructor of a graduate theory seminar in the Architecture Department at the University of Manitoba.
Emerging from a studio art background, Kiendl's curatorial practice takes curating as a creative practice, and one that relies on the inter-textuality of art, media, writing, popular culture, architecture and space. Specifically, his curatorial practice has theorized weakness, pathos, failure-and related sentiments such as nostalgia-as responses to modernism. This strategy has been manifested in diverse forms including the exhibition Little Worlds (1998), an exploration of diminutive environments by artists; Fluffy (1999) a research project on the aesthetics and meaning of cuteness; Space Camp 2000: Uncertainty, Speculative Fictions and Art (2000), an inter-disciplinary project on speculative fictions and alterity; and Godzilla vs. Skateboarders: Skateboarding as a Critique of Social Spaces (2001). These projects often have critical spatial elements, contextualizing artwork within broader environments.
Kiendl's practice has also engaged with issues of research in the visual arts. In 1999 he co-curated, with Bruce Grenville, Komar and Melamid's Canada's Most Wanted and Most Unwanted Paintings, organizing the first scientific survey of Canadians' likes and dislikes in art. In 2004 he was the principal applicant and recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for research and creation in fine arts. This research project, entitled Informal Architectures, took the form of a series of exhibition projects, publications, symposia and seminars on spatial culture over three years. His most recent book, Informal Architectures was published by Black Dog Publishing ( London, UK ). His writing on art has been published in Parachute, FUSE, Flash Art, Canadian Art and numerous catalogue essays. In 2005, Kiendl wrote for, edited, and produced the catalogue Lida Abdul, the first official representation for Afghanistan at the Venice Biennale. Also In 2005, Kiendl organized a residency lead by artists Dan Graham and Dara Birnbaum at The Banff Centre, producing Graham's video Death by Chocolate: West Edmonton Mall 1986-2005.
Kiendl has lectured internationally and has been instrumental in the delivery of several symposia including those for Tate Modern, the Banff International Curatorial Institute and Plug In ICA. His most recent curatorial project was the creation and direction of Summer School 2009 (Plug In ICA), an inter-disciplinary alternative art school/residency program for professional artists and curators.