Q&A With Curator, Critic and Cultural Worker: Nicole Burisch

By Amanda Lehnerd

Nicole Burisch is not your typical artist; she is a curator, critic and cultural worker as well. Through various collaborative projects, much of her work is focused on contemporary craft and craft theory. She has researched, published, exhibited and lectured on this topic in Canada and internationally. Her research with Anthea Black for politically engaged craft practices is included in numerous publications. Her writing on contemporary art, craft and performance has also been published by many, some to name are, No More Potlucks, FUSE Magazine, Stride Gallery, the Richmond Art Gallery and in the Cahiers metiers d’art: Craft Journal.

Q1: Can you summarize the research you have done with Anthea Black?

I have been collaborating with Black for about 10 years now. We started doing research together around 2006. We were thinking about works that intersected craft and craftivism. She curated a show called “Super String,” for the artist center in Calgary Alberta where we were both living. I have been doing research about a group called the Revolutionary Knitting Circle. Together we started thinking through those and other works that represented craft and social justice concerns. We are currently working on a publication called “Craft on Demand: The New Politics of the Handmade.” Craft and Demand features new texts and artist projects by international scholars and practitioners who activate craft as a critical field for understanding and thinking through the most immediate political, economic and aesthetic issues of our time, which will be released in 2017.

Q2: At the Nov. 2 Department of Art Lecture Series event where you are featured, what do you plan to talk about?

The lecture is about my practice. I am also going to talk about the projects I have done, some writing and research projects and how I started my career in the art industry. I am not a typical artist; I am a writer, curator and a critic. Some past projects I have co-authored with Black, Craft Hard Die Free: Radical Curatorial Strategies for Craftivism in “Unruly Spaces” in Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art, and “Craft Hard Die Free: Radical Curatorial Strategies for Craftivism in Unruly Spaces” in The Craft Reader. I received my B.F.A. in ceramics from the Alberta College of Art and Design and an M.A. in art history from Concordia University.