Borbála Soós (1984, Budapest) is a London-based curator and an active advocate, participant and organiser of artistic and ecological research. Borbála’s practice responds to, disrupts and enriches environmental thinking and related social, political and decolonial urgencies. She holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2012).
Since 2023 she is Curator at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston. 2022-2023 she worked at Eastside Projects, Birmingham as Artist Caretaker, including looking after the Public Programme. 2020-2022 she was a research associate at CCA Derry~Londonderry and conducted an ACE DYCP funded research into decolonising and rewinding curatorial practice. Between 2012 and 2019 she was director/curator at Tenderpixel, a contemporary art gallery in central London. She curated projects in collaboration with the OFF-Biennale, Budapest; Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest; ICA, London; Camden Arts Centre, London; Wysing Arts Centre, UK; CCA Derry-Londonderry; Rupert, Vilnius; FUTURA, Prague; tranzit, Bratislava and Kunsthalle Bratislava and among others. She has been a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths College, the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins and Edinburgh College of Art…
Currently lives and works in London, UK
2010 – 2012 Royal College of Art, MA Curating Contemporary Art, London, UK
2008 Erasmus at Utrecht University, Gender Studies (with Rosi Braidotti), The Netherlands
2003 – 2009 Eötvös Loránd University, MA Art History and Film Studies, Budapest, Hungary
- 2023 – Current Stanley Picker Gallery Curatorship.
- 2022 – 2023 Eastside Projects, Birmingham, Artist Caretaker, including looking after the Public Programme.
- 2021 – 2022 ACE Developing You Creative Practice Grant.
Funded curatorial research addressing decolonial and climate justice issues in the UK and Eastern Europe.
- January 2020 – December 2021, Research Associate, CCA Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Each year five associates are selected, who have extensive access to archives and networks at the CCA, with regualr meetings and various public outputs, including exhibition Fugitive Seeds I curated in 2022.
- January – October 2020, Leader of Peer Forum on Rewilding in collaboration with the Horniman Museum and Gardens, London and Artquest.
- 2012 – 2019, Director and Curator at Tenderpixel Gallery, London, UK.
I have been responsible for developing a new artistic programme and direction for the gallery. I delivered approximately 6 exhibitions and around 25 public events/year including performances, symposia, talks, screenings and tours as well as online commissions and other off-site projects. I collaborated with the manager of the partner contemporary art bookshop, Tenderbooks, to publish books, catalogues and other printed matter.
- January – July 2011, Assistant Curator, GLA (Greater London Authority, Office of the Major of London), Fourth Plinth public art project.
- May – October 2010, Internship, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK.
Assisting with preparations for the Map Marathon, blogger and artist liaison during the event.
- August – December 2009, Internship, MAK Vienna, Austria.
- April – July 2009, Internship, Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Hungary.
2024 Masterclass, Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia
2021 – 2023 Artist Mentor, New Contemporaries, UK
2022 – 2023 Artist Mentor, Artquest One-to-One sessions, London, UK
2021 Keynote Speaker, Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland
2017 – 2021 Visiting Tutor, Goldsmiths College, MFA Fine Art and MFA Curating courses, London, UK
2018 – 2020 Visiting Tutor, Acme Associate Studio Programme, London, UK
2020 Artist Mentor, SPACE Art + Technology, London, UK
2017 – 2019 Workshop Leader, Central Saint Martins, BA Culture, Criticism and Curation, London, UK
2019 Visiting Lecturer, University of Hertfordshire, UK
2016 – 2018 Visiting Lecturer, Royal College of Art, MFA School of Arts and Humanities, London, UK
2017 Visiting Lecturer, Vilnius Academy of Arts, MFA and PhD Fine Art, Vilnius, Lithuania
2016 – 2017 Visiting Lecturer, School of the Damned, independent study programme, UK
2016 Lecture, MA Visual Culture, Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
2022 – 2023 Research Residency, Metal, Peterborough, UK
2021 Sept Residency and Expedition, Re_Act Contemporary, Azores Archipelago, Portugal
2020 Mar – May Research Residency, Agosto Foundation, Prague, Czech Republic (partially virtual)
2019 Aug – Sept Curatorial Research Residency, European Cultural Foundation & tranzit.sk, Bratislava, Slovakia
2018 Sept Residency, Blitz Malta, Valletta, Malta
2017 Apr Residency at Rupert, Vilnius, Lithuania
Working as a curator for the past 12 years, I organised and commissioned over 50 exhibitions, as well as major event series and other projects around the environmental and urban commons; plant and animal studies; language and politics and social choreography… I collaborated with institutions such as Camden Arts Centre, ICA, BFI, Jupiter Woods and the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London; Metal Peterborough and Wysing Arts Centre in the UK; CCA Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland; ; ARCO, Nogueras Blanchard, Fluent and eremuak in Spain; tranzit in Slovakia; Karlin Studios/FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague; OFF-Biennale, art quarter budapest, Trafó House of Contemporary Arts and Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art in Hungary among many others.
- 2021 – 2024 tranzit Bratislava, Slovakia
Co-curator of initial exhihibition and advisory member of the climate justice & decoloniality pillars of the upcoming long-term programme ‘Worlds within Worlds’.
- 2020 – 2022 Re_Act Contemporary Art Laboratory, Terceira Island, Azores
Member of the advisory board and curator of the 2021 residency programme.
- 2021 Baltic Triennial
Member of the advisory committee and essay contributor for exhibition catalogue.
- 2017 – 2021 OFF-Biennale Budapest, Hungary
Member of the international advisory committee for the 2021 edition and project curator for the 2015 and 2017 editions.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS (independent curator)
- October – December 2023 (Upcoming) Curator of the international group exhibition ‘BALATORIUM, Disturbed Waters’ in the House of Arts, Veszprém, Hungary. The exhibition is a new stage in the development of the 2-year research project involving artists, scientists, farmers, architects, holiday home owners, local politicians, horses, reeds, algae and other local stakeholders in the Balaton region. The exhibition includes over 20 projects, questioning our relationship with the lake, its complex and often heavily compromised ecologies and the different power relations that collectively influence the future of this place.
- October – December 2022 Curator of international group exhibition ‘Fugutive Seeds’ with Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, Maria Thereza Alves, Alasdair Asmussen Doyle, Minji Choi, Davinia-Ann Robinson at CCA Derry-Londonderry.
- August 2022 Curator of events ‘Index Seminum’ in collaboration with the Botanical Gardens Bratislava and Kunsthalle Bratislava, Slovakia.
- April – July 2022 Co-curator of group exhibition Grounding/Seeding and related events, including artists Marwa Arsanios, Chto Delat, Kitti Gosztola & Bence György Pálinkás, Saodat Ismailova, Francisco Huichaqueo, Amanda Piña, Emília Rigová at tranzit Bratislava, Slovakia.
- Spring 2022, Curator of seed library project and exhibitions, with contributors Elena Agudio * James Bridle * Joélson Buggilla & Jorgge Menna Barreto * Sunoj D & Namrata Neog / Lakshmi Nivas * Sári Ember * Saskia Fischer * Oto Hudec * Areej Huniti * Zayaan Khan / Seed Biblioteek * Jumana Manna * Emma Nicolson / Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh * Elia Nurvista * Uriel Orlow * Martin Piaček * Tabita Rezaire * Sara Rodrigues & Rodrigo B. Camacho / Landra * Vivien Sansour / Palestine Heirloom Seed Library * Ai Weiwei * Ayman Zedani * Amy Watson / Pool, at Sopa Gallery, Košice, Slovakia.
- September 2021, Curator of residency and international group exhibition ‘I have been in Love for 8 million years’, with Pedro Barateiro, Richard Healy Ingela Ihrman, Adrien Missika and objects from the collection of MAH Museum invited by Re_Act Contemporary and MAH Museum/ Carmina Gallery, Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal.
- March-May 2021, Curator of two solo exhibitions by Sonia Levy and Ingela Ihrman, Kalin Studios / FUTURA Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic.
- April – August 2020, Curator, group exhibition Ecologies of the Ghost Landscape. The Word for World is Forest, with artists Maria Thereza Alves, Petra Feriancová, Oto Hudec, Gerard Ortín, Hanna Rullmann & Faiza Ahmad Khan, Petr Štembera at tranzit.sk, Bratislava, Slovakia.
- December 2018 – January 2019, Curator, group exhibition, Some people believe the Sun used to be yellow with Julia Crabtree & William Evans, Elena Damiani, Rowena Harris, Adrien Missika and Ana Vaz at the public art institution Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest, Hungary. Accompanying events: guided tour by the curator and the artists, performance lecture by the curator, and screening for the first time in Hungary the portrait film Donna Haraway, Story Telling for Earthly Survival.
- September – October 2017 , Curator, OFF-Biennale Budapest, HU. Forecasting a Broken Past. This group exhibition considered alternative histories and interlinked personal anecdotes with past and present political struggles. Artists includes Can Altay, Nicoline van Harskamp, Andy Holden, Tamás Kaszás, Gergely László and Katarina Sević. Art Quarter Budapest, Hungary.
- May 2017 , Curator, Mushrooms on the Ruins. Winner of the International Curatorial Open. The exhibition includes works by Salvatore Arancio, Petra Feriancová, Olivier Castel and Iza Tarasewicz. Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid, Spain.
- May – June 2015 , Curator, OFF-Biennale Budapest, Hungary. Collaboration Beyond Consensus – Rehearsing Collectivity was an exhibition including a research library display, seminar and talk. Participating artists were Priscila Fernandes, Adelita Husni-Bey, Hungarian alternative theatre company – Krétakör, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Rehana Zaman. In collaboration with tranzit.hu, Budapest, Hungary.
- March 2012, Co-curator of Ritual without Myth, Royal College of Art, MA Curating Contemporary Art Final Show, London. The exhibition and public events series featured Danai Anesiadou, Asco, Erick Beltrán, Lygia Clark, Joachim Koester, Patrizio Di Massimo, Ioana Nemes, Ocaña, Amalia Pica and Yeguas del Apocalipsis.
- December 2010 – February 2011 , Co-curator of two artist retreats at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire, UK.
SELECTED EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS (independent curator)
- Jun 2022, Talk at the event ‘Communal Natures and the Commons’ as part of the series ‘Commons, Wilds, Infrastructures’, at Kath Kilmore Community Garden, Peabody Blackfriars Estate, London.
- May 2022, As part of Border Ecologies Network contributor to the event ‘Border Environments: The entangled politics of ecology and migration’ – organised by the Centre for Research Architecture (London) in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam), Goldsmiths College, London.
- May 2021, Lecture on Rewilding Curatorial Practice, online event as part of OFF-Biennale Budapest.
- November 2020 , Hands up! Rebellion. In conversation with curator Post Brothers, Pan Tadeusz Museum & Ossolineum, Poland (virtual event).
- April – August 2020 , Leading a series of online reading groups around Forest Ecologies, Radical Care and Rewilding in collaboration with tranzit.sk, Bratislava, Slovakia.
- June 2020 , Opening online lecture titled Forest Ecologies, linked to the exhibition I curated for tranzit.sk, Bratislava, Slovakia.
- March – May 2020, Research Residency at Agosto Foundation, Prague, Czech Republic (partially virtual).
- May 2020 , Performative online lecture, How to Become a Forest? Agosto Foundation, Prague, Czech Republic.
- February 2020 , Public Talk, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden, Scotland.
- October 2019, Lecture, ‘Rewilding Curatorial Practice’ at ‘Naturak’ international curators’ conference, including presenters Ana Laura Aláez, Bik Van der Pol, Fernando García-Dory, Hidrogenesse, Latitudes (Max Andrews y Mariana Cánepa Luna), Yael Messer, Jon Otamendi, Sergio Prego, María Ptqk, Alfredo Puente (Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia), Borbála Soós, Julia Spinola, Natalia Valencia Arango and Idoia Zabaleta (Azala) with eremuak, Bilbao, Spain.
- Autumn 2019, Leading critical art theory reading group at Trafó House of Contemporary Culture, Budapest, Hungary, around the theme of ecological practices.
- August – September 2019, Curatorial research residency with STEP Beyond and tranzit.sk, Bratislava, Slovakia.
- July 2019, Lecture Performance at ‘WE ARE THE WOODS, The Intelligence of Plants and Interspecies Communication’ organised The Institute of Anxiety and ARE, nonprofit organisations based in Prague, Czech Republic. The event took place in their 1.8 ha forest in Orlické Mountains that ARE bought for community purposes. Co-curated screening programme in the night forest including The Secret Life of Plants directed by Walon Green and contributions by artists Melanie Bonajo, Pedro Neves Marques and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
- February – May 2019, Forest Rangers, leading a series of imaginary tours and reading groups on the ecological commons at Jupiter Woods, London.
- January 2019 , Lecture, Creative Positions within Art, Ecology and Politics, University of Hertfordshire.
- May 2018 , Chair of panel discussion with recent residency artists, SPACE Art + Technology, London.
- October 2017 , CONGLOMERATE screening event in collaboration with Camden Arts Centre, London.
- July 2017 , Lecture as part of Theory of Leaves, organised by Emma (Veronica Valentini). As part of the workshop I gave a lecture about my recent practice and Mushrooms as Enablers. Looking at plants as model for collaboration among human and non-human spheres, the four-day programme aimed to generate a climate of knowledge through cohabitation, exploration, distributed and situated learning promoted by artistic and cultural production. Offagna, Ancona, Italy.
- April 2017 , Lecture on Fungal Futures at Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania.
- April 2017 , Lecture followed by thematic dinner titled A realm where cause-and-effect no longer applies, Autarkia, Vilnius, Lithuania.
- February 2017 , In conversation with David Ferrando Giraut at SCAN Arte Project Space, London.
- September 2016 , Lecture on Biopolitics and Urban Commons as part of Techniques to Make You Doubt, a two-day seminar, specifically conceived for researchers, cultural practitioners and students from the MA in Visual Culture MNCARS Reina Sofia. Participants included Sonia Fernández Pan, Sabel Gavaldon, Hanna Laura Kaljo, João Laia, Fran Meana, Enough Room for Space, Borbala Soos, Jochen Volz and Benjamin Weil. Curatorial platform, Fluent, Santander, Spain.
- April – May 2012 , The Eternal Life of Performance Art? Lectures as part of Re: Akcio, Free University Series, Pinceszínház, Budapest, Hungary.
SELECTED PROJECTS (for Tenderpixel)
More info: tenderpixel.com
- January – February 2019, Joana Escoval, The Sun Lovers, solo exhibition.
- October – December 2018, Florian Roithmayr, Something infinitely distant and strange, solo show.
- October 2018, Tenderflix, Future Responsibilities, international film festival in collaboration with the British Film Institute, London.
- July – September 2018, Becoming Plant, group exhibition with Victoria Adam, Julia Crabtree & William Evans, Ingela Ihrman, Paloma Proudfoot and André Romão and a series of reading groups off-site in various parks.
- March – April 2018, Pakui Hardware, The Return of Sweetness, solo show.
- December 2017 – January 2018, Series of performances by Nicole Bachmann, Marcel Darienzo and Nicoline van Harskamp.
- November 2017 , Tenderflix, international film festival. Screening at Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Royal College of Art, London.
- October – November 2017, A Gesture Towards Transformation, group exhibition with Aimar Arriola, Nicole Bachman, Omer Fast, Paul Maheke, Amalia Pica and Pedro G Romero.
- September 2017, Feiko Beckers, You might actually learn something, solo show.
- June – July 2017, CONGLOMERATE, Station ID. CONGLOMERATE is a collaborative Gesamtkunstwerk presented in the form of a television network. The project is realised by a core team of five Berlin-based artists and filmmakers: Sol Calero, Ethan Hayes-Chute, Derek Howard, Christopher Kline and Dafna Maimon.
- March – April 2017, David Ferrando Giraut, The Accursed Stare, solo exhibition.
- February – March 2017, Tropical Hangover, group exhibition, including Salvatore Arancio, Zuzanna Czebatul, Rowena Harris, Laure Prouvost, Suzanne Treister.
- November 2016 – January 2017, Rehana Zaman, Tell me the story Of all these things, solo show at Tenderpixel and event at INIVA, London.
- September – October 2016, Richard Healy, Lubricants & Literature, solo exhibition and publication.
- April – June 2016, Spatial Practices and the Urban Commons, exhibition and 8 weeks of talks, seminars, workshops and tours, including contributors Can Altay, Thomas Dobson, Fernando García-Dory, Sabel Gavaldon, Adelita Husni-Bey, Matthew Fuller, Platon Issaias, Tim Ivison, Just Space, Adam Kaasa, Loughborough Farm, Josie McVitty, Godofredo Pereira, public works, Emily Rosamond, Louise Shelley, Squash, Tijana Stevanović, Ben Vickers, Joanna Warsza.
- October 2015 , Tenderflix, Futures, international film festival. Screening at the ICA, London.
- October 2015, Ilona Sagar, Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye, solo exhibition and daily performances.
- July 2015, The Infinite Lawn, group show, including Adriano Amaral, Vanessa Billy, Petra Feriancová, Falke Pisano, Yann Sérandour and Ian Whittlesea.
- May – June 2015, Ben Cain, Figure Finger Figure Finger Figure Figure Finger, solo exhibition.
- April 2015, Things That Tumble Twice, group show with Olivier Castel, Ian Law, Florian Roithmayr.
- March 2015, Social Choreography, screening programme with Julie Born Schwartz, Priscila Fernandes, Adelita Husni-Bey, Rosalind Nashashibi and Katarina Zdjelar.
- December 2014, Acting Truthfully Under the Circumstances, exhibition and event series with Feiko Beckers, Anna Kirchner and David Panos, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Rehana Zaman and Jacopo Miliani.
- October 2014, Claudia Djabbari, Strategies of Chaos, solo exhibition.
- October 2014, Erika Hock, The Seamstress, Her Mistress, the Mason and the Thief, solo exhibition.
- June – July 2014, before breakfast we talked about the furthest visible point before it all disappeared, group exhibition and events, including Cathy Haynes, Fay Nicolson, Kentaro Yamada, Andrea Zucchini.
- March 2014, Société Réaliste (Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy), Mottopsy, solo exhibition.
- October – November 2013, Past performance is the best indicator of future results, group exhibition, including Fernando García-Dory, Toril Johannessen, Fiona Shaw.
- February 2013, Of Parameters, group exhibition, including Cevdet Erek, Marcell Esterházy, Dóra Maurer, Karel Miler.