Weekly Conversations with… Charlotte Desaga (Curator in Short-term Residence 2019)

Charlotte Desaga (*1977) is a freelance curator, exhibition manager and researcher on the topic of politicization of the notion of nature in contemporary art. She owns a comprehensive professional experience in various fields within the art world, but above all in the international exhibition and art market environment, including consulting. Her career developed from an artistic practice to a curatorial/planning activity, first in the off-space segment, later as an independent gallerist. 2013 relocation from Cologne to Berlin, where since then she works as a freelancer in the international art segment in the area of ​​strategy development and exhibition management and artist-brand collaborations.

Since 2015 you work as an artist collaboration manager for the environmetal organization parley for Oceans (NYC), with the on fundraising, support, and implementation of artistic projects in the thematic context of environmental and climate protection. This sounds very fascinating. Could you give as an example of a current project?
The most recent project that just now got launched (on World Oceans Day, June 8) is a series of artist bags https://www.parley.tv/…/protect-the-oceans-with-parley-arti…. In this project, each artist created a motif for a series of totes. Each one is made from roughly five plastic bottles sourced from the debris retrieved from shorelines. This ongoing series will support Parley’s efforts to rid the oceans of hazardous materials destroying the marine ecosystem. I onboard the artists and work closely with them along the entire process of completion. I also establish the relationship to the art institutions (like the tate stores, or here in Vienna the MAK Design Shop) for the distribution.

You are in Vienna for two weeks. What are your plans for the residency?
During this period, I will make studio visits, explore the Vienna art scene and try to see as many shows as possible. Also, I would like to learn more about the structure of studio das weisse haus – this place is so inspiring, also for my work at the non-profit foundation St. Moritz Art Academy that runs educational workshops for emerging artists.

In the framework of Wednesday with… on June 26, 2019 at 7 pm you’ll have a conversation with Verena Kaspar-Eisert (Curator Kunsthaus Wien). What is the focus of the talk?
We will speak about the various possibilities the work of a curator can have. I have chosen a path mostly outside the classical art institutions – it might be interesting to hear how this has happened. Also, we will touch the change of the concept of nature in contemporary art in the context of the climate change discourse and the environmental cause, which is the subject of my academic research.