Independent Curators International (ICI) is a New York-based non-profit which offers a new model of curating the contemporary in an increasingly connected world. In essence, ICI maintains a network of international institutions and curators, both emerging and established. These curators submit information on their current projects or prepared exhibitions, which can be selected, swapped or sent to institutions all across the globe
On November 19, ICI will be hosting its annual fall benefit, complete with an auction and the announcement of this year’s Leo Award. Named for Leo Castelli, the title is bestowed upon individuals who have distinguished themselves through “pioneering and forward-thinking.” It should be no surprise that this year the award goes to Dasha Zhukova, whose Garage is currently operating as a temporary pavilion in Gorky Park. The award will be announced by another pioneering patron, Agnes Gund.
This won’t be the only honor of the night; ICI will also be feting curators Nav Haq and Jay Sanders as this year’s joint recipients of the Independent Vision Curatorial Award. Sanders, as you might recall, was partially responsible for this year’s Whitney Biennial. Haq, meanwhile, recently moved to MuKHA in Antwerp, after time at both Gasworks and Arnolfini, and independent projects like “Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie.”
Founded in 2010, the Independent Vision Curatorial Award recognizes emerging curators, who nominated by 15 international jurors (this year’s crop included Chus Martínez, Jack Persekian, Jens Hoffmann, RoseLee Goldberg.) Among the very diverse and talented nominees: Defne Ayas, Lara Khaldi, Richard Birkett and Adnan Yildiz.
Judge Hans Ulrich Obrist – who will present the awards in person at the ceremony- issued a statement about his selection and the rationale:
The process of selecting the ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award has been a great opportunity to see the work of an exciting new generation of curators; it has become clear that new curatorial forms are emerging in response to the ever-expanding geographies of art. In a way there should be no winner, or everyone should win, and I urge people to become familiar with all 16 wonderful finalists. Nominated by some of the leading professionals in our field, together their practices create a constellation of what curators consider as urgent globally right now, and offer a taste of art worlds to come.
After long consideration, I have selected Nav Haq and Jay Sanders to jointly receive the ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award. Each curator is establishing a unique voice, developing their practice by initiating projects independently, as well as having worked in a diverse range of institutions. Nav Haq frequently takes us into the polyphony of art centers, creating shows and projects that broaden the scope of our thinking. Jay Sanders stays close to artists, gaining a strong understanding of an artist’s body of work—both emerging and overlooked—so that ultimately audiences can know an artist deeper.
We congratulate all of the nominees and extend our warmest appreciation to the staff of ICI for all the work they do. (If you’re curious to find out more, next week, ICI will be hosting a conversation between esteemed curator Connie Lewallen and artist Allen Ruppersburg. Find out more here.)