Open call for the appointment of the Visiting Research Curator of the programme UNIDEE - University of Ideas / residency programs, 2020 – 2022

01 Feb / 01 Feb, 2022
Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto

Open call for the appointment of the Visiting Research Curator
of the programme UNIDEE - University of Ideas / residency programs at Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella
for the period February 2020 – January 2022



UNIDEE – University of Ideas / residency programs is an educational and artistic programme based on an interdisciplinary research, a sharing of knowledge and an exchange of experiences, aiming at promoting processes of contamination between knowledges and practices, in order to investigate the relationship between art and the public sphere.
It was created in Biella, where Michelangelo Pistoletto founded Cittadellarte in exact date. Since 1999 UNIDEE has consisted of a residential, collective, and experiential format centred on the vision of art as the driving force of the dynamics of the two elements of freedom/responsibility. Artists act as a facilitator who contributes to triggering and carrying out processes of change in the contexts in which they live and work. This position is based on the awareness that “critique is not enough” (please see Cittadellarte’s exhibition Critique is not enough, curated by D. Reichert in 2002), but it is necessary as starting point of a concrete commitment in the civil arena and in the incessant work of exploration, development, and transformation of what is real, imaginary, sensitive or invisible.
UNIDEE was initially run as a four-month-long residency, but in 2014 UNIDEE started to develop its format into seminar one-week-long modules. These are mainly held at Cittadellarte and are even more explicitly aimed at promoting and accompanying a (re)localisation of participatory artistic practices in local contexts.
UNIDEE / residency programs also includes two-month-long residencies organised in collaboration with foreign partners including A.M. Qattan Foundation (Palestina), Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation (India), Fundación Museos de la Ciudad (Ecuador), and Yarat Contemporary Art Space (Azerbaijan).

UNIDEE / residency programs is a multidisciplinary programme open to all creative professionals, from visual artists to cultural operators, designers, architects and anybody whose practice is based on assuming a responsible attitude in society. The objective of UNIDEE / residency programs is to activate the ability to produce social transformation through artistic practices both at a local level (Biella, where Cittadellarte operates in a specific socio-economic context, as well as the local ecologies within the countries in which UNIDEE / residency programs participants live) and at global level, since everybody acts as a localised agent with different (but inevitable) degrees of connection with the other and with the whole. UNIDEE / residency programs explores the relationship between art and society, and promotes the role of artists and creatives as activators (artivators) of a responsible transformation of society.

The driving force of the residency programme is the understanding of each individual practice as an articulation of a collective approach towards a common goal. The basic vision is rooted in the awareness of the potential that could be generated by self-organised social artistic ecologies in an open, visible, and networked organism.

Most of the activities, productions and reflections of the last 20 years of UNIDEE can be described today through the word "Sustainability", but the concept of “equilibrium” is pivotal. Indeed the very centre of Cittadellarte and UNIDEE itself has always been how to connect different sectors, contexts, organisms, bodies within societal fabric and with the planet through art and how to activate transformation processes based on taking responsibility. Since its foundation, "the basic intention is to react against the profound contradictions of today, when everything we call progress accelerates rapidly while a tragic lowering of human dignity proceeds apace; this contradiction makes it hard to define international society in terms of progressed civilization today. While this should, on the contrary, be the appropriate moment of a "truly" advanced era. (from Progetto Arte Journal 04/1999, Torino: Mariogros).

Such investigation has been developed through the years thanks to the multifaceted researches of UNIDEE students. Twenty years later it's possible to gather all this variety into the more inclusive word of "Sustainability", in its most diverse and largest meanings: negotiating identity and economy, re-founding the concept of authority/authorship and its impact, exploring the relationship between common and public, experimenting with forms of non extractive enjoyment and reciprocity, discussing the reasons and the visions that animate institutions, circuits and other specific forms of collective gathering such as Cittadellarte itself, and re-discovering the implications of demos, cratos (power) and praxis in a quest for a demopractic articulation of the societal" and negotiating meanings between artistic and scientific, intelligent and rational, transcendental and material.

UNIDEE / residency programs participants are invited to contribute to, refute, comment, and debate Cittadellarte’s vision and initiatives, which are constantly evolving through reconsiderations and revisions, checks and transformations. Cittadellarte has and maintains an extensive network of localised agents openly representing its essential vision, expressed by the myth and narration of the Third Paradise and the political laboratory of demopraxy with its devices: the Forums and the Working Sites (see UNIDEE / residency programs residents and alumni are welcome to subscribe or contribute with their thoughts to this active organism.

UNIDEE / residency programs residents can make use of all Cittadellarte’s instruments, including the active platforms and databases ( and, both conceived and maintained by Cittadellarte).



The role of the Visitor Research Curator of UNIDEE / residency programs consists in planning and curating its programme of weekly residential modules (ten per year) and artistic residencies, in collaboration and in agreement with Cittadellarte’s director and the UNIDEE staff, according to Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto’s vision, exploring the different meanings of Sustainability.

His/Hers tasks include:

• Planning of the UNIDEE / residency programs modules:
- Drafting of a statement outlining the general curatorial proposal, which must bring a meaningful contribution to the research carried out by Cittadellarte since it was established, as well as by Pistoletto himself, and delineate the traces of a theoretical and practical development specific to the context of a basic vision that can be summarised with the sentence Art for a Responsible Social Transformation, followed by Cittadellarte since 2000;
- Selection of the mentors running a weekly module each as per programme defined by the Visiting Curator and in dialogue with the UNIDEE Academy programme
- Definition, in collaboration with the mentors, of the modules’ contents and specific methodologies, dates and presentation outlines written by the mentors in dialogue with the Visiting Research Curator, of the guests to involve (one per module) and of any other necessary activity and communication.

• Curatorship of the ‘emerging geographies’ residencies:
- Proposal of a curatorial programme conceived specifically for each resident;
- Definition of the content of the final presentation (Open Studio);
- Drafting of the text presenting the final event.

• Communication:
- Drafting and supervision of all texts and materials published on the UNIDEE / residency programs site
- Supervision of texts and interviews about UNIDEE / residency programs, in particular the ones published on Cittadellarte’s Journal;
- Co-drafting and circulation of the open call for the long residencies;
- Supervision of texts and graphic material produced during the residencies (press releases, advertisements, open calls, UNIDEE notebooks, etc.);
- Support in the circulation of the programme among contacts, academies, universities, cultural institutions, etc.

• Selection of the residents:
- Participation in the choice of the artists for the long residencies from CVs and motivational letters;
- Participation in the choice of the artists for the modules among the applicants who have replied to the open calls.

• Dissemination:
- Definition of a dissemination strategy of the programme. Since UNIDEE is a platform for artistic research, we ask the Visiting Research Curator to plan and define a strategy to disseminate the results of the curatorial programme according to international standards for artistic research dissemination, i.e. academic. As examples, books, research papers, conferences. The dissemination strategy will be discussed together with the UNIDEE Research team (the Director of Cittadellarte, the Director of Accademia UNIDEE, the Director of Art Office, the Coordinator of Accademia UNIDEE).
- Dissemination implementation.

• (Minimum) presence at Cittadellarte:
- One month to experience and research Cittadellarte’s activities, plan the modules and draft the statement;
- During the modules: visiting curator should be present throughout the length of the module, introduce the module to the participants and take part in debates, and be present at the final event;
- Regular meetings with long residents (four in two months)
- Participate in meetings with the UNIDEE / residency programs partner institutions, on agreed dates.
- Participate in meetings with the staff of the UNIDEE Academy and other offices of Cittadellarte.


The ideal candidates matches the following profile:
- They have experience in curatorship of Art in the public sphere and of Social innovation;
- They have a specialised knowledge of international contemporary art;
- They have experience in the fields of innovative, experimental, experiential and horizontal educational activities; 
- They have experience in both practice based and theoretical based research in arts;
- They are willing to become attuned to Cittadellarte’s vision;
- They have an excellent knowledge of spoken and written English;
- They are based in Europe.

- Applications must be received by 12 am on 7th January 2020 via email to this address:
- Applicants must present a project containing a general statement positioning their vision in regard to the programme and an indication of the strategy for its development 5000 characters max, and the CV.
- Applications will be acknowledged with a reply of confirmation and all subsequent communication will be sent to the email address used for the application.


The appointment will be temporary and last 24 months, in reference to the 2020 and 2021 editions (from February 2020 to January 2022). The Visiting Curator, as per appointment in question, will receive an economic and regulatory treatment in line with their level of professional experience.



The CV and the project will be evaluated by Cittadellarte, with a possible call for interview.



Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto Onlus is responsible for the treatment of the data.