Natasha Degen & Sandra Skurvida (New York)

Collection of Knowledge: Course of Study

Curatorial Talk

Synopsis: Degen and Skurvida elaborate on “collections” as a construction of discourses in various educational frameworks within the MENASA region and beyond. They scrutinize the activities and behaviors of various art departments, foreign university outposts, artists’ organizations, and museums. More specifically, they question these educational agent’s selective presentation and dissemination of knowledge via ventures abroad (such as the Field Study course led by New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology). Inviting critique, feedback, and dialogue, their presentation ponders the balance between the location of a culture and its communication outside its immediate field of reference. How can art ecosystems be represented without submitting to dominant mechanisms of knowledge production?


Natasha Degen is both a professor and Chair of Art Market Studios at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. She is a recognized writer and critic, having contributed to publications including The New Yorker, The Financial Times, The New York Times, Artforum and Frieze, and serves as a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal for Art Market Studies. Among other prizes, she received an art criticism award from the Andy Warhol Foundation and a Luce Scholarship which sent her to Beijing for a year. She edited The Market (MIT Press, 2013), an interdisciplinary anthology tracing the art market’s interaction with contemporary practice and earned an AB from Princeton University along with a MPhil and PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she studied as a Gates Scholar.

Sandra Skurvida, an Adjunct Associate Professor in Art History at the Fashion Institute of Technology, specializes in the theory, history, and curation of contemporary art. She was a Fulbright Scholar at CUNY Graduate Center and holds a PhD from Stony Brook University. Her writings have appeared in Art Journal, Art Papers, Art Practical, Ibraaz, Interventions, Mousse, Daile, and The International Journal of Islamic Art and Architecture. Her                                                                                                                                                                         book John Cage Circus: Composition, Computation, Curation is                                                                                                                                                                     forthcoming. She has curated numerous art projects around the                                                                                                                                                                     world since the 1990’s.