Open call for a curator in the project NOVAci 2024
Vizual: Andro Giunio

Association What, How & For Whom / WHW and POGON – Zagreb Center for Independent Culture and Youth are implementing, for the fourth year in a row, the exhibition project NOVAci under the mentorship of curators Ana Kovačić and Lea Vene. The aim of the project is to provide an opportunity for art historians, artists and others interested in curatorial practices in contemporary art to gain practical knowledge in this area.

The candidate or collective will be selected through the public call and will have an opportunity to gain practical knowledge of curating through putting up an exhibition under the mentorship of the two experienced curators active in the local art scene for years. The call is open to all those who want to have curatorial experience, regardless of their educational background.

Having in mind the absence of this kind of programs in the formal educational system, this platform represents a catalyst for the support and development of local curatorial practices focused on concrete and hands-on experience of putting up an exhibition project. The project aims to raise awareness of the need for new forms of support for those curators at the beginning of their solo careers who need infrastructural and organizational support and mentoring while producing their first curatorial programs. An important element of the project is mentorship of the selected curator or curatorial collective focused especially on: preparing the exhibition, selecting artists, planning and realizing the exhibition, budgeting, producing artworks, additional fundraising, writing promotional texts, conceptualizing and implementing the opening event and the supporting program, and final reporting.

In the previous installments of the program NOVAci, the selected candidates were Tena Starčević who curated the exhibition Rad, (ne)red i (samo)disciplina in Gallery Nova at the end of 2021, Antonela Solenički who curated the exhibition Na vrhu jezika at the end of 2022, and Teuta Gatolin with the exhibition Obrnute vještine in December 2023.

The call is open for future curators or curatorial collectives from Croatia who currently have no significant curatorial experience. Special attention will be given to the applications with intermedia and interdisciplinary approach that actively focus on the exhibition as a medium. The call is not thematically limited, but special attention will be given to the applications that support the work of young local artists, the projects that examine the relationship between art and ecology, as well as those that include queer and feminist artistic practices. The budget includes fees for the curator and artists, material costs of production, fees for other associates, security staff and other costs related to the production of the exhibition.

The application should include:
▸ Information on the curator/collective: Name/s of the curator/s, address, telephone and email of (one) of the curators, biographies of all curators
▸ Textual/visual contribution: Explication of the concept and the theme, including the exhibition title, that the curator would like to develop in the exhibition including but not limited to the list of artists (up to 4 artists) and selected works (2 pages), supporting visuals (up to 5)

Deadline for submissions is Friday, April 05, 2024.

Submissions are made through this form, and the questions related to the call can be sent to the email: The jury will select only one curatorial concept that will be presented at the exhibition in Mala dvorana Jedinstva, Pogon in November 2024.
All applications sent after the deadline as well as all incomplete applications will not be considered. The selected project and the names of the jury members will be made public on the internet pages of WHW and Pogon as well as on their social networks one month after the deadline for submissions, at the latest.

Mentors’ biographies

Ana Kovačić has graduated Art history and World literature. She is a member of What, how & For Whom/WHW engaged as a producer, curator and educator in the program of WHW Akademija. Before WHW, she had worked as the manager and curator of GMK ( where she curated numerous exhibitions as well as organized and implemented many educational programs. During that period, she had written curatorial and critical texts for other organizations as well as curated and participated in educational programs in Croatia and abroad. She lives and works in Zagreb.

Lea Vene has graduated Art history, Cultural anthropology and Theory of fashion. She has had her MA in Critical Images at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden. She has worked as a curator in Fotogalerija Kic, Gallery Miroslav Kraljević and as a member of the organizational team of ETNOFILm festival. She is a member of the curatorial team of Gallery Močvara, festival of photography Organ Vida and she works as a researcher in the Center for Research of Fashion and Clothing – CIMO. She teaches at the Faculty of Textile Technology.

The project is supported by:
Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia
City Office for Culture and Civil Society
Kultura Nova Foundation