The Fifth Curator competition was an opportunity for an aspiring curator from a non-UK background to work with the British Council Collection. We sought new views and fresh perspectives on our Collection for an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London in April 2010.
The Fifth Curator competition launched in April 2009. Aspiring curators from outside the United Kingdom were invited to download the forms and guidelines online and to use the new British Council Collection website as a resource to create their proposals. In November 2009, six short-listed applicants were invited to London to take part in a week of professional development with the Visual Arts Department at the end of which a winning proposal by Theodor Ringborg was selected by a panel of senior art world figures.
The resulting exhibition 'Fall Out; War and Conflict in the British Council Collection' was the fifth and final exhibition in a series showcasing the British Council Collection of Art in The Collections Gallery (Gallery 7) at the newly refurbished Whitechapel in East London. Organised by Visual Arts Department of the British Council, each exhibition was selected by an external advisor.
Artist Michael Craig-Martin selected the first exhibition 'Passports - Great Early Buys from the British Council Collection', focusing on some of the most prescient acquisitions in the Collection’s long history. This was followed over the course of the year by exhibitions from the Collection selected by artists Tim Marlow (Director, White Cube Gallery); Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane; the artist Paula Rego and Theodor Ringborg, winner of The Fifth Curator competition.