Photo of Marina Maximova

Marina Maximova

"The programme appealed to me also because I was keen to explore the wider understanding of curating, which goes beyond the exhibition making and considers public programming and social projects."

Main details

Year graduated 2015
Department Art
Programme MFA Curating
Country United Kingdom

"I was drawn to Goldsmiths because of its reputation and wanted to be in the critical environment that it is famous for. I knew a number of people who graduated from the MFA Curating as well as Fine Art and heard a lot about the variety of cultural theories and philosophical concepts that students get exposed to. I saw it as a perfect place to start developing my own research, but also to be immersed in a wider critical discussion. The programme appealed to me also because I was keen to explore the wider understanding of curating, which goes beyond the exhibition making and considers public programming and social projects. Moreover, I was very interested in the practice-led approach of the programme the opportunities to get experience working in London art institutions.

Two years on MFA Curating were very challenging but if I had the opportunity to come back and do the course again I definitely would. The course made me reconsider the way I had previously understood and approached art. It helped me to become much more confident and independent and to find my own voice. I valued the fact that the programme was very much informed by the tutors’ personal research and the diversity of their interests and approaches. The classmates were another source of knowledge and inspiration. It was great to be a member of an international group of people coming from all kinds of backgrounds. I am still in touch with many of them and the connections and friendships I have made throughout the course are invaluable.

 I also enjoyed the opportunities that the course offered. For example, during the programme I had the chance to co-curate an exhibition at the Zabludowicz collection with fellow curating students and get experience working on the Malevich retrospective at Tate Modern. This helped me a lot in expanding my practical skills and theoretical knowledge while contributing to the development of my own research.

Straight after the course I embarked on the PhD programme in Loughborough University School of Social Science and Humanities. My research focuses on curatorial practices in late Soviet Russia. My thesis offered a critical history of curation in Moscow in the period between 1974 and 1993 and argued that the history of curation can be used as a lens though which to examine how culture is negotiated during a period of social change and transformation. I have published a few papers exploring the relations between curatorial practices and the development of public sphere in the USSR and other aspects of the late Soviet art. Currently, I am working on a book proposal, which would consider the gender dynamic of late Soviet curation, and am planning to continue developing research in the field.

While in Loughborough I started teaching art theory on BA Fine Art. My experience at Goldsmiths was very helpful and inspired my own teaching practice. After the completion of my PhD I joined Sotheby’s Institute of Art as Lecturer in Art Business. I teach a variety of modules and focus primarily on the intersections of private and public sectors, collecting strategies, public art institutions and Russian Art and Eastern European art markets.

The course played a huge role in what I am doing now. It made me reconsider what curation is and how it influences and informs social life. My PhD proposal developed organically from the project I was doing during the programme and was inspired by the ideas introduced during the study. The works of the tutors, particularly Simon Sheikh and Helena Reckitt, informed the development of the PhD argument and continue to inspire me now.

The main advice I could give is to value your time as a student and be open to any opportunity. You never know where each of them might take you."

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