February 12, 2011 in Introduction
Hi! I’m Milena Placentile, a curator, writer, and researcher concerned with socially and politically motivated artistic practices, audience experience, and integrated cultural policy. My current research explores the neoliberalism of culture and resistance via self-organization and other means.
Over the years, I’ve worked with various organizations including Video Pool Media Arts Centre (Winnipeg), ((( send+receive ))): a festival of sound (Winnipeg), SMART Project Space (Amsterdam), and the Ottawa Art Gallery, among others. I served as Acting Director of the University of Winnipeg’s Gallery 1C03 in 2008/2009, and I am presently continuing work initiated at Konstfack University College of Art, Craft, and Design in Stockholm in 2011. I am a co-organizer of a production and presentation space in Winnipeg called Atomic Centre.
I hold a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto and I am a member of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT). I have received generous support from organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Winnipeg and Manitoba Arts Councils, the Consulate General of France in Toronto, the Henry Moore Foundation, and the International Association of Art Critics (Armenia).
In addition to commissioned critical responses, I have written for Akimblog, Border Crossings, Muse, and LaPinta (Barcelona). I am a regional contributing editor to Fuse.
Recent exhibitions include The Pinky Show: Class Treason Stories (excerpts) (University of Winnipeg, 2009; Toronto Free Gallery, 2010), three online exhibitions for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad: Competition, Corporatization, and Consumerism (2009/2010), Showing Up, Speaking Out (aceartinc., Winnipeg, 2010), and Washed Out (apexart Franchise, Stockholm, 2011). A Total Spectacle opens at Atomic Centre on May 17, 2013.
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I strive to produce exhibitions that are transparent, collaborative, and demonstrate equal consideration for the ideas and objectives of artists, and the ideas and experiences of audiences. I believe in embracing diversity and cross-cultural exchange, and in producing exhibitions that underscore the importance of contemporary art to everyday life as an invaluable means for reflection, research, critique, and empowerment.
I seek to facilitate relationships between artists and new audiences because I envision art galleries as spaces where community building and dialogue can take place among numerous other engagements. I also believe public space is ours to use collectively, and that art can and should happen anywhere.
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What does Shintai | Zweck mean, anyway?
When I decided to launch a website in 2000, I had a difficult time thinking of a domain name. I found milenaplacentile.com terribly uninteresting, and anything including the words “art” or “projects” seemed too obvious. I tried to think of single words that captured what drew me to contemporary art, but nothing seemed suitable so I started searching online for ideas. Shintai is Japanese for “essence” or “new style”, and zweck is German for “purpose”. Combined, I felt those words indicated my interest in artwork generated as a contribution to dialogue about society here and now.
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Feel free to reach me by email: contact [at] shintai-z [dot] com.