Public programs facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals, informing scholarship and strengthening practice.

Multiple day conferences, year-long colloquia, individual lectures, “conversations” between individuals, hands-on workshops, and Museums at Noon talks featuring our graduate students all contribute to the remarkable richness of MSP offerings.

Video recordings of some MSP lectures are archived for viewing in our Media Gallery.

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Working with Contemporary Artists: A Workshop with Ferran Barenblit

November 3, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

“Art is what makes life more interesting than art,” said French artist Robert Filliou. He was right: working with contemporary artists is one of the most enriching activities that a professional or an organization can undertake. Whether in a museum, other cultural institution, or any public or private position, working with artists will unleash interpretations and emotions. In a globally interconnected, culturally diverse, and increasingly complex world, contemporary artists give voice to the varied and changing cultural landscape of identities, values, and beliefs. Their work is always at the crossroad of theory, subjects, concepts, methods, and materials. The increasing role of audiences can generate unexpected results that can benefit both individuals and communities.

In this workshop, we will study the conceptual, practical, ethical, legal, and financial elements to consider when working with contemporary artists. We will also examine many successful (and a few unfortunate) examples that will help us to understand how art, according to Yoko Ono, makes us “walk a half an inch above ground.”

The workshop is open to students, faculty, and museum professionals. Please sign up here if you are planning to attend the workshop. Ferran Barenblit is an internationally recognized museum director and curator who has led three art museums in the last twenty years, including MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona (2015-2021). He is an expert with a deep understanding of the political and social complexities of art museums and the need to consider them as an essential catalyst for engaged citizenship. Ferran has worked with artists Christian Marclay, Raqs Media Collective, Forensic Architecture, Akram Zaatari, Andrea Fraser, Jeremy Deller, Teresa Margolles, Rabih Mroué, Halil Altindere, Cristina Lucas, Maria Eichhorn, and Jiri Kowanda, among many others. Since 2021, Ferran has held the position of visiting professor at the University of Michigan. His current curatorial projects include the 16th Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador (2023) and a major retrospective of the work of Ben Vautier (MUAC, Mexico City, 2022-2023).


November 3, 2022
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Haven Hall, Eldersveld Room
505 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, 48109
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