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Zoë Tousignant

PhD 2013

Curator, Artexte
Curatorial Assistant, Photography Collection, McCord Museum

Montreal, Quebec

From thesis to practice: Forging a path towards curatorial work in photography


Zoë Tousignant
1.  How are you applying your degree in Art History from Concordia?

I’m currently working as a curator at Artexte and as a curatorial assistant in the photography collection at the McCord Museum. Both of these positions allow me to pursue the research I undertook during my PhD, which concerned the history of photography in print in the Canadian context. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to curate exhibitions that put into practice what I preached in my thesis.

2. What do you value most from your Art History experience?

The graduate seminars. The ones I participated in were all composed of smart, dynamic, and very witty people. The animated discussions and debates we had in class were always thought-provoking. They ended up shaping the way I carried out my research project.

3. Is there a particular memory that stands out from your time at Concordia?

Being part of the Art History Graduate Students Association (AHGSA) and organizing the graduate conference titled Travelling Photographies was a memorable experience. Participants to the conference came from all over the world, and several of them are now movers and shakers in the field of photographic history. I’m proud to have brought these students together and to have facilitated good conversation.

4.  What advice would you give to someone considering graduate studies in Art History?

Take every opportunity that is offered to you – teaching, presenting papers, organizing conferences, curating exhibitions, publishing essays… Each opportunity will help make you a more rounded scholar. Also, attend as many academic lectures and presentations as possible; whether they act as a model or a counter-model, these lectures and presentations will inevitably help you develop your own ideas.

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