Mara Ambrožič Verderber is an expert in art institutional building, a curator and a contemporary art critic. She gained her experience in the field of contemporary art in Europe, England, USA and Canada. After her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, she completed her Master's degree at the Faculty of Arts and Design of the IUAV University of Venice. More recently she was awarded a scholarship by the renowned School of Art and Design of the LJMU University in Liverpool, where she is finishing her doctoral dissertation.
Over the past twenty years she has guided and has been involved in the development of over 15 international art organisations, museum spaces, academic platforms and networks, including the five-year public program Ateliers (Venice civic gallery Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa) and the public-private international program Art Enclosures (banking foundation and collection Fondazione di Venezia, 2008–2013) that she headed for four years and that encompassed 34 cultural productions and is presented within the homonymous bilingual publication (Marsilio Editore, Venice, 2012). From 2007 to 2012 she has been a responsible coordination leader of the European Academic and Research Network EARN and European international networking project SHARE in the field of arts research and education. From 2013 to 2016, she served as an expert member for the development committee of the RAW Material Company in Dakar, an independent Institute and Academy of Social Environment, Science and Art, the first of its kind. As a consultant, she also served for the Ministry of Culture and Communication in Paris. Between 2013 and 2015, she worked at the Department of Culture of the Monnaie de Paris, the French mint, under the jurisdiction of the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance, launching the newly created exhibition centre for contemporary art. In 2015, she joined the NSK organisation as the Director, developing NSK State Pavilion’s strategy and its implementation.
In recent years, she has also worked as a curator of various projects in collaboration with internationally renowned artists and experts, such as the Slovenian Pavilion with Tobias Putrih, the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007 (curated with Francesco Manacorda) and the States of Opacity: the 12th edition of the Biennial Dakar in 2015 (a forum, curated with Elvira D. Ose from Stanford University, USA). As a researcher and a curator, she was also responsible for curating the material for the first historical reconstruction of the extensive exhibition Musée d’Art Moderne– Section des Figures (1972), dedicated to a Belgian artist and the initiator of institutional criticism Marcel Broodthaers (Monnaie de Paris, February–May 2015), a project that included collaborations with 120 museums from all over the world, private patrons, and public and private collections. As a fellow professor at the Faculty of Arts and Design at the IUAV University of Venice (2007 2012), Mara Ambrožič Verderber has lectured theory of art and cultural industry critique alongside Prof. Marta Kuzma, dean of the School of Art at the eminent Ivy League Yale University. In 2013, she served as a visiting lecturer at the prestigious grande école Paris Institute of Political Studies Sciences Po, at the School of Communication.
Over the past decade, she has published essays and scholarly articles in Italian, French and English. Some articles have also been translated into German, Polish and Portuguese. She also edited and co- authored several books, published by international publishing houses, such as Art as a Thinking Process. Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Steinberg Press, Berlin, 2013) Since 2013, she has also been a member of the editorial board of the publishing house Archive Books in Berlin.
Selected articles and essays in books, catalogues and publications
Ambrožič, Mara and Emanuele Quinz, “Counterpoint on Cittadimilano”, in Giorgio Andreotta Calò: Hangar Pirelli (Fondazione Pirelli and Skira Publishers: Milan, 2020), pp. 35-42.
Ambrožič, Mara. “On Rotation”, in 10 Contemporary Research Intensive. The Contemporary Condition series 10 (eds. A. Chaguidouline, A. Kølbæk Iversen, et all.). (Berlin: Sternberg Press, in partnership with Aarhus University and ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, 2018), pp.18-20.
Ambrožič, Mara. “We – The Alien Body” in Katarzyna Swinarsk, Elvin Flamingo + Infer: We – The Common Body, exhibition catalogue (Sopot: Panstwowa Galeria Sztuki, 2017), pp. 80–87.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Preliminary notes on bibliography on strategies of collective engagement”, in Uchronia. duplicate > do not create, infiltrate > do not exhibit, exceed > do not belong, appear > do not claim, delegate > do not restrict, eds. A. Vigier, F. Apertet and E. Quinz (Berlin: Sternberg press, 2017), pp. 260–275.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Controversial Sustainability: Notes on Art, Engagement and Cultural Ecology”, Life a User's Manual (Timisoara: Artencounters, 2017), pp. 260–275.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Not What It Seems”, in What Does the Image Stand For? / De qui l’image est-elle le nom?, edited by A. Barak (Bielefeld / Montreal: Kerber Verlag press and MOMENTA – Biennale de l’Image à Montreal, 2017), pp. 141–147.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Marche! Pour Tojours. Walk! Forever”, Art Africa Magazine. A Luta Continua, ed. K. Geers (Issue 7/ March 2017), pp. 76–79.
Ambrožič, Mara, “States of Opacity: Art, Politics and New Social Imaginaries”, in The City in The Blue Daylight – Contours, ed. S. Njami (Berlin: Kerber Press, 2016), pp. 276–286.
Ambrožič, Mara, “The Perfect Paradox”, in Julião Sarmento: La chose, même – the real thing (Paris: Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris Délégation en France and MER Paper Kunsthalle, 2016), pp. 64– 82.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Regeneration”, in Art as a Thinking Process (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013), pp. 12– 24.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Apre il MSUM”, Flash Art, (October–November 2011), p. 86.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Ritorno (Return), on Giorgio A. Calò”, in Illuminations, exhibition catalogue, 54th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale (Venice: Marsilio Editore, 2011), pp. 25–26.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Scolpire il tempo (Sculpting Time)”, Flash Art, (May–June 2011), pp. 64–67.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Tales from Paradise”, in Soren Lose, exh. cat. (Milano: Riccardo Crespi Gallery, 2011), pp. 5–10.
Ambrožič, Mara, “Reflections on Reality”, in Sculpting Time (Rotterdam: Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam Editions, 2010), pp. 3–6.
Ambrožič, Mara, “On Repressive Strategies”, in Mag Magazine no.4 (2014), pp. 10–16.
Ambrožič, Mara and Manacorda, Francesco, “Venetian Atmospheric”, in Art in the Present Tense, exhibition catalogue, 52th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale (Venice: Marsilio Editore, 2007), p. 128.
Edited Pubblications and Catalogues (selection)
Ambrožič, Mara, A. Chaguidouline, N. Guastamacchia, A. Kølbæk Iversen, et all., 10 Contemporary Research Intensive. The Contemporary Condition series 10 (Berlin: Sternberg Press, in partnership with Aarhus University and ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, 2018).
Ambrožič, Mara, ed., NSK State Pavilion Newspaper (Ljubljana: NSK editions, 2017).
Ambrožič, Mara, PHYSIC / PSYCHIC. Vincent Ceraudo (Marseille, 2016: collection ART-O-RAMA, éditions Group). (Artist’s catalogue, French and English).
Ambrožič, Mara, and Koyo Kouoh, eds. Condition Report – Artistic Education in Africa (Dakar: RAW Material Company, 2015). (French and English).
Ambrožič, Mara, ed., Giorgio Andreotta Calò. Prima che sia Notte (Berlin: Archive Books, and MAXXI Museum Rome, 2014). (Italian and English).
Ambrožič, Mara, and Simon Njami, eds., Divine Comedy (Berlin: Kerber Press; Washington DC: Smithsonian Institute and Frankfurt: MMK, 2014).
Ambrožič, Mara, and Angela Vettese, eds., Art as a Thinking Process. Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013). (English edition).
Ambrožič, Mara, ed., Art Enclosures. Residencies for International Artists in Venice (Venice: Fondazione di Venezia and Marsilio Editore, 2013). (English and Italian).
Ambrožič, Mara, ed., Atelier BLM (Milan: Notebook 2009, Moleskine, 2009).
Ambrožič, Mara, ed., Venetian, Atmospheric, exhibition catalogue of the Slovene Pavilion, 52nd International Art Exposition, La Biennale di Venezia (Ljubljana: Mestna Galerija, Tiskarna Grafos, 2007).
Ambrožič, Mara, and Riccardo Caldura, eds., Citying. Pratiche creative del fare città (Venice: Supernova Editore, 2005).
Delivered Conferences and Talks (selection)
Cities of Culture: Turning Evaluation into Policy, The Cities of Culture Post Graduate Forum, Culture, Place, and Policy Institute, University of Hull, June 2019.
Diagramming Research, lecture and workshops, University of Plymouth, 14–15 May, 2019.
Culture Entrerprise, Lectures for the MA Seminar for curators and professionals, organised by MA Curating Aarhus University and MA Exhibition Studies LJMU, ERL Lab, October 2018.
Controversial Sustainability: Reflections on Post-conceptual Art, Engagement and Cultural Ecology, conference for the occasion of “CONCEPT/S: Hegel’s Aesthetics”, Museum of Modern Art of Ljubljana, organised by the Aufhebung Association and University of Ljubljana, January 2018.
Contemporary art and production, lecture, MA in Curatorial studies, Sorbonne – Paris 1, Paris, April 2018.
East-West. Hybridization and The Legacy of Avant-gardes, Conference, Timisoara Art Museum, Romania, September 2017.
Not as it seems, Montreal MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, public lecture, organised by the Artexte Foundation, Montreal, Canada, October 2017.
Cosmism in Russian and Soviet Avantgarde Times, conference and public discussion with Anton Vidokle and Vincent Ceraudo, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, May 2017.
International cooperation: methods and methodologies, lecture on the occasion of “International Day on Global Migration and Policies” organised by Co.Ges Cooperative, Mestre and Ca’ Tron, Iuav University of Venice, Benetke, june 2017.
Paradoxes and Contemporary African Culture(s), Kendell Geers and Mara Ambrožič, conference and conversation with the artist, Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM+), May 2016.
The Impact of the Bologna Reform – Educational shifts. The Ideology of Continuous Education, lecture at the “Etat de lieux – Education artistique en Afrique” symposium, RAW Material Company Dakar and The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Senegal, June 2014.
Curated international symposiums, Events, and Workshops (selection)
Lost in the Former West, public talk by Simon Sheikh, co-organized with the Exhibition Research Lab, LJMU University, Aarhus University, Aula Magna, Iuav University of Venice, October 2017.
Slavoj Žižek, The Courage of Hopelessness, NSK Venice Pavilion 2017, Iuav University of Venice, May 2017.
Workshop – The Contemporary Condition research project, co-organised with the Contemporary Aesthetics and Technology research programme, Aarhus University & Exhibition Research Lab, Liverpool John Moores University in partnership with the Venice Faculty for Arts and Design, Iuav University of Venice, Uniarts Helsinki, October 2017.
States of Opacity: Art, Politics and New Social Imaginaries, international symposium curated with Elvira Dyangani Ose for the 12th Dak’Art Biennial, Dakar, May 2016.
Libraries of the Future, series of lectures for an exhibition project, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, April–June 2016.
Condition Report – Artistic Education in Africa, lecture and moderating an international symposium, RAW Material Company Dakar, curated with Dr Chika Okereke (Princeton University) and Koyo Kouoh (RAW Academy), Dakar, June 2014.
Quali sono le nuove piattaforme sperimentali per l’insegnamento? (Which are the new experimental artistic educational platforms?), conversation with Francesco Garutti at RE-INVENTING SCHOOL FROM A TO Z33 by Abitare and Z33 at Z33, Milan, Milano Design Week, April 2013.
Pensee, Voire, Faire, conference at the “Art & Recherche”, international symposium on the future of artistic education in higher education, L’école Nationale Superieure d’architecture de Paris-Belville, Paris, February 2012.
Art as a Thinking Process, lecture and moderating discussions at the symposium of the same name, Iuav University of Venice, June 2011.
Constructive Impulse, lecture, Municipal Theater, Triennale de Luanda, Angola, June 2010.
As the Academy Turns, lecture at winter workshops, Manifesta 8, Murcia, december 2010.
Becoming Bologna, discussion and moderating at an international symposium, co-curated with Dr Mick Wilson (Rector of Gothenburg University) and Dr Henk Slager (Director of Utrecht Academy of Arts) Iuav University of Venice, June 2009.
full video here