Rael Artel (1980) is an independent curator based in the forests of Estonia. She graduated from the Institute of Art History at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2003, and participated in the Curatorial Training Programme in De Appel, Amsterdam (2004/05). Since 2000, she has contributed to a number of magazines in Estonia and elsewhere, and curated shows in Estonia as well as in Lisbon, New York, Amsterdam and Warsaw. In 2004-2008 she ran and moderated her project space Rael Artel Gallery: Non-Profit Project Space. Her current project is Public Preparation, an international platform for networking and knowlegde-production.
In her lecture Artel will talk about her Public Preparation project, that is a space for self-education focusing on current practices of critical thinking and production in the field of contemporary art. The practice of Public Preparation is mainly based on creating situations for experience, reflection and discussion in various formats. The main agenda of Public Preparation is to concentrate on the questions linked to the concept of artist as a citizen. If one thinks of the society as a democratic communal project, then everybody who participates in this project is responsible for it – when noticing that something is wrong, one needs to speak up immediately. Contemporary art is a crucial part of the public realm, exhibition halls are spaces for open discussion and artists have the power and responsibility to be actively engaged in the process of examining, imagining and changing the social reality. The current phase of Public Preparation activities is dealing critically with the growing tendencies of nationalism in contemporary Europe, aiming to envision alternative ways to think about global community.