ROSKI School of Fine Arts
[à étudier]

«Under the leadership of curator, critic, and theorist Joshua Decter, in conjunction with a faculty of curators, art historians, organizers, critics and artists, the Master of Public Art Studies Program (MPAS) at the University of Southern California Roski School of Fine Arts in Los Angeles functions as a hub for critically rethinking the role of art in the public sphere, and analyzing art’s complex interconnection with social space. Students from a range of academic backgrounds and professional interests engage in a rigorous academic curriculum that offers a productive balance of theory, history, critical writing, and practical curatorial/organizational models.

The MPAS Program provides a unique context for the study of key notions of public space and the public sphere, and the influence of these ideas upon contemporary curators, historians, theorists, writers, artists, and architects who seek to:
• rethink the interrelationship between cultural production, public space, and the public sphere
• re-imagine the public sphere in terms of the challenges of city-space and the urban
• public art vis-à-vis broader art histories
• interrogate the role of the curator—and curatorial practice—in city-based exhibition
• evaluate processes of social collaboration, networks of participation, and relational
• analyze strategies of location-driven, site-specific, and situational engagement
• debate concepts and realities of community-based practice

The program’s cross-disciplinary curriculum is comprised of lectures and seminars; a curatorial practicum wherein students work collaboratively on an exhibition project for two years; directed research opportunities; conversations with guest speakers. Students participate in the development of a hybrid cultural discourse—and adventurous modes of organizing exhibitions in public space—that draws from art history and criticism, curatorial practice, urban theory, architectural history and theory, social science, geography, and urban planning. The MPAS program examines how public and private space is fundamentally interconnected on conceptual and experiential levels, and how the most compelling art projects and exhibition initiatives seek to critically and dynamically re-script lived environments within city-spaces, challenging our assumptions about control, openness, access, and social interaction. The program prepares students for careers in curatorial practice, the adminis tration/organization of art projects in the public sphere, art writing, as well as opportunities within academia; and encourages them to imagine—as agents of change—new forms of cultural-political citizenship in relation to the renewed democratic potential of the public sphere. Fellowships and scholarships are available on a competitive basis.

Guest speakers (fall 2007 through spring 2009): Andrea Fraser, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Teddy Cruz, Marjetica Potrc, Norman Klein, Anne Pasternak, Mark Dion, Patricia Phillips, Gregory Sholette, Ute Meta Bauer, Doug Aitken, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Rudolf Frieling, Peter Zellner, Steve Dietz, Bulbo, Sam Durant, Michael Krichman, Rick Lowe, Rochelle Steiner, Allan McCollum, Miwon Kwon, Nato Thompson, Hou Hanru, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Grant Kester, Tirdad Zolghadr.»