Email: S1754634@sms.ed.ac.uk

Programme: History of Art - MPhil/PhD/MSc by Research

Start date: September 2018

Mode of study: Full time

Mateusz Sapija is an independent curator and researcher, and Associate Curator of Asakusa, Tokyo. He graduated from UCL Qatar MA in Museum Studies and the Goldsmiths College MFA Curating. Currently, he works on a PhD in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, titled The Rise of Post-Democracy in Contemporary European Art.  He worked with leading art institutions – from public and private galleries (Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Raster Gallery, Warsaw), perennial exhibitions (Sharjah Biennale 12, documenta 14), to independent art spaces (Asakusa, Tokyo) – being engaged in variety of roles related mostly to curating and public programming. His work has been recognised by selections to several fellowships and residencies: Qattan Foundation Critical Research and Writing Residency (Ramallah, Palestine), KulturKontakt Artist-in-Residence programme (Vienna, Austria), Asakusa Curatorial Residency (Tokyo, Japan), NEON Curatorial Exchange (Athens, Greece), Samos Curatorial Fellowship (Samos, Greece) and the 4th Moscow Curatorial Summer School (Moscow, Russia).

My research aims to examine how the contemporary art field has responded to the socio-political transformations occurring in Europe since 1989, increasingly associated in political theory with the advent of ‘post-democracy’. This set of relations will be interrogated with regard to how the post-democratic order has impacted artistic production and institutionalisation in diverse sociopolitical contexts across Europe. The analysis will develop from two angles: first, it will examine the work of artists and curators who have pursued a critique of different aspects of post-democratic systems; second, it will analyse if and how the values and ‘symptoms’ associated with post-democracy are characterised and manifested in artistic and curatorial practice and art institutional frameworks. The study draws on art history and theory, curatorial studies, and political theory, involving a range of case studies - examples of artistic and curatorial practices. 

Conference Papers, Lectures and Public Engagement

  • Contemporary Art Exhibitions as a Tool for the Democratisation of Europe Between 1989 and 2004 at 7th Euroacademia Conference, Bruges, Belgium (2019)

  • 'Destruction as a Tool for Agonist Art' in ESPACE. N° 122 : « De la destruction/On Destruction » (forthcoming)