VCA School of Art: The Venice Biennale, Frankfurt, Münster, Documenta & Berlin (Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang)

Status: open

24 Jun – 13 Jul 2017


VCA School of Art: The Venice Biennale, Frankfurt, Münster, Documenta & Berlin (Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang)
Tour Highlights

Course Overview 

FINA20031: Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang – Venice Biennale – Frankfurt – Münster Sculpture Project – Documenta – Berlin; Contemporary Art Tour 2017. For School of Art Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art)
Semester: Non-Teaching Period and Semester 2
School: School of Art, Faculty of VCA and MCM, The University of Melbourne
Course Lecturers: Simone Slee, Lou Hubbard and Sanja Pahoki
Credit Points: 12.5 credit points
Enrolments: Available to 2nd Year BaVa (VA) students


The alignment of three of the most significant European art events: the 57th Venice Biennale, the 5th Münster Sculpture Project and Documenta 14 in Kassel occurs only once every ten years. In 2017 the School of Art is offering a Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang, 2o-day trip to capitalise on this unique opportunity. This tour will also include a stop-over in Frankfurt am Main and a six day exploration of Berlin, two key international centres of art in Germany.

This is the second Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang tour conducted by the School of Art, and this 2017 subject has been developed in collaboration with Australians Studying Abroad.

Subject Description

This course will be introduced at VCA and then taught in Venice, Frankfurt, Kassel, Münster and Berlin during a 20-day research tour in addition to producing artworks and an exhibition at VCA on return from the trip. The subject will offer students an immersive experience and intensive research study of these key art events and cities of art production. It will involve preliminary lectures and associated textual study, followed by on-site seminars and group discussions. A Subject Outline, including a Project brief and readings will be given to students prior to the trip departure late in Semester 1. Assignments will be determined as projects pertinent to the location and the event. This will be researched and drafted (in journal or other modes of recording) during the visit and then completed upon return to the VCA with an exhibition outcome in the Student Gallery in semester 2, 2017.

Overview and context of art events and cities visited

Brion Cemetery

Visit to the monumental Brion Tomb, in San Vito d’Altivole, designed by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, between 1970 and 1975.

Venice Biennale – 57th International Art Exhibition

The Venice Biennale is one of the longest established and most significant agenda-setting contemporary art events on the international art calendar. Okwui Enwezor, the 2015 Biennale’s director claimed: “No event or exhibition of contemporary art has continuously existed at the confluence of so many historical changes across fields of art, politics, technology, and economics, like la Biennale di Venezia.” The biennale is renowned for profiling artists representing the various nations included in the exhibition, coupled with a history of selecting influential international curators.

2017 will be Venice’s 57th biennale and it will be directed by the French curator of the Centre Pompidou, Christine Macel. Her emphasis for the 57th Biennale will be on the role of artists creating and injecting vitality into the world despite the age of anxiety and rifts pervasive in the world today. In addition to the curated exhibition within the pavilions of the Giardini and Arsenale, the national pavilions will include solo exhibitions by those Tracey Moffat representing Australia and Phyllida Barlow representing the United Kingdom.

The Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang study tour will comprise five full days in Venice with extensive time spent in the main venues for the Biennale (the pavilions within the Giardini and Arsenale) as well as numerous satellite exhibitions across the city. It will also include other significant museums in Venice in addition to experiencing the unique and rich historical cosmopolitan canal city of Venice.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Between Venice and the Münster Sculpture Project we shall stop over at the international hub Frankfurt am Main. Akin to many German regional cities, Frankfurt has an interconnected art network of internationally significant museums, Kunstverein (Art Club) and Art Academy and galleries. In Frankfurt this includes the Schirn Kunsthalle, Museum für Moderne Kunst and possibly at the re-known art school, the Staedelschule and its associated contemporary art space, Portikus. This tour will spend two days in Frankfurt am Main investigating some of these various art spaces.

Münster Sculpture Project

Every ten years since 1977, the Münster Sculpture project has been exhibiting artworks that investigate the relationship between site location, politics, public space and the urban environment in the city of Münster. Since the project’s inception there has been curatorial involvement by German curator Kasper König (curator at Museum Ludwig and prior rector of the Staedelschule, Frankfurt). This fifth sculpture project also includes curators Britta Peters and Marianne Wagner. The Münster Sculpture Project has made a significant contribution to the discourse of contemporary public art and a model for many cities that we can see in examples such as Public Art Melbourne. Important artworks in the canon of contemporary art have become permanent in the city of Münster including Bruce Nauman’s Square Depression (1997 realized in 2007) and Ilya Kabakov’s Look up and read the words, (1987).

The Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang study tour will spend a day travelling throughout the city visiting both the new temporary artworks of the Münster Sculpture Project and the permanent artworks.

Documenta 14, Kassel

Documenta is a 100-day exhibition established in 1955 to showcase modern and contemporary art in Germany after the repression of modern art by the Nazis before and during the Second World War. Documenta quickly became not only a significant event for the contemporary art in Germany, but soon included other international artists to become one of the most important art events on the international art calendar. Documenta occurs every five years and this Documenta 14 will be curated by Polish-born Adam Szymczyk. Szmczyk is the prior curator of Kunsthalle Basel and has been described by the New York Times as a “curatorial rock star” (‘Superstar Among Curators. The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-04.) The curatorial framework for Documenta 14 is: “The Parliament of Bodies and Open Form Societies.” The Documenta Public Programs asks: “What does it mean to be public? How does a body become public? What are the political conditions of representation? Is representation the only form of political, democratic action? Can the social contract be rewritten? Can an exhibition be thought as a Parliament of Bodies, as an ensemble of relationships between animate and inanimate beings producing agency through cooperation?”(see: Public Programs, Posted on 23.10.2016).

This Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang study tour will be visiting Documenta in Kassel over at least three full days.


Since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin with its rich cultural and sub-cultural heritage, cheap living and affordable studio conditions has attracted artists to live and work from all over Europe and beyond. As a consequence, over the 1990s and 2000s, Berlin has emerged as one of the world’s most central locations of artistic production with a proliferation of studios, galleries, museums and art events such as Art Forum Berlin and the Berlin Biennale.

This Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang will spend the last six days of the tour visiting key museums and galleries in order to contextualise the experience of the large scale art events of Documenta, the Biennale and the Münster Sculpture Project.

Subject material and activities


Readings and handouts pertaining to the background of the art events and cities to be visited will provide broad historical and contextual details for the subject and the project. In addition, students are expected to identify and locate further readings in relation to their research and proposed artwork while in Europe and on return to Australia. Teaching staff will advise students on research techniques that may be used to locate additional reading material.

Site Visits

Site visits will take several forms: on-site lectures and walking tours; museum and gallery visits; independent self-guided tours. Visits may be three or more hours in duration, and travel time to these sites will vary. Visits will usually be scheduled in order for student to remain on-site as long as they please afterwards, or be in an area of the city that offers activities related to the site. Site visits may be rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions. Teaching staff will be happy to advise students of optional site visits that complement the curriculum and may be undertaken independently by students.


This course is very demanding, both physically and mentally. The program involves a considerable amount of walking, as well as the navigation a lot of steep stairs and use of the subway and other forms of public transport. Weather conditions in Europe, in summer, can range from very hot to cold and wet.

The Course Lecturers

Global Atelier: Studio Rundgang – Venice Biennale – Frankfurt – Münster Sculpture Project – Documenta – Berlin; Contemporary Art Tour 2017 will be led by Simone Slee (Head of Sculpture and Spatial Practice), Lou Hubbard (Head of Photography) and Sanja Pahoki (Lecturer in Photography) who in addition to being academics at the School of Art, VCA, Faculty of the VCA & MCM are also practicing contemporary artists.

Lou Hubbard has a Masters of Fine Art from RMIT University and is Head of Photography, School of Art VCA & MCM,The University of Melbourne.

Simone Slee is an artist and the Head of Sculpture & Spatial Practice, School of Art, VCA & MCM, The University of Melbourne.

Sanja Pahoki is an artist and lecturer in Photography at the VCA & MCM, The University of Melbourne.

Further Information

For reservations and travel information:
Australians Studying Abroad
Tel: 03 98226899
Fax: 03 98226989
Email: info@asatours.com.au

Academic enquiries only:
Simone Slee
Tel: 03 90359491
email: sleesa@unimelb.edu.au


Lou Hubbard
Tel: 03 90359484
Email: lhubbard@unimelb.edu.au

Teaching staff will be throughout the trip at regularly scheduled times to speak to students about assignments, offer advice on research, or to assist students in finding their way about the city.



The Itinerary

The following itinerary provides an outline of the proposed daily program. Participants should note that the daily activities described in this itinerary may be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate museum opening hours, temporary exhibitions and other events. Participants will receive a final itinerary together with their tour documents.

Departure Ex Australia

Day 0: Friday 23 June: Melbourne
  • Depart Melbourne for Milan

Bassano del Grappa - 1 night

Day 1: Saturday 24 June: Milan –  Altivole – Bassano del Grappa
  • Upon arrival in Milan Malpensa, coach transfer to Bassano del Grappa
  • The Brion Cemetery, San Vito, Altivole
  • Lecture 1 and Tutorial 1: Orientation.
    • A review of accommodation facilities, meal arrangements, teaching activities, and means of getting about the city. This introductory lecture will review the general procedures around which the teaching programme will be structured. The general pattern of lecture, tutorial, and site visit will be outlined. Questions regarding assessment, assignments, reading and research procedures will be answered. Administrative details such as tutorial groups and availability of teaching staff for meetings will be attended. Accommodation facilities and day to day life will be discussed. To a large extent, this will be a ‘housekeeping’ session, but is an important stage in the process of settling into study and accommodation.

Venice - 5 nights

Day 2: Sunday 25 June: Bassano del Grappa – Venice
  • Train transfer to Venice
  • Venice Biennale including off-sites (open ticket for four days)
Day 3: Monday 26 June: Venice
  • Punta della Dogana
  • Palazzo Grassi
  • Palazzo Fortuny
Day 4 – Day 6: Tuesday 27 June – Thursday 29 June: Venice
  • Venice Biennale including off-sites (open ticket for four days)

Frankfurt - 2 nights

Day 7: Friday 30 June: Venice – Frankfurt am Main
  • Airport transfer to Venice Airport
  • Flight Venice – Frankfurt
Day 8: Saturday 1 July: Frankfurt am Main
  • Museum für Moderne Kunst
  • Schirn Kunsthalle
  • Frankfurter Kunstverein

Kassel - 4 nights

Day 9: Sunday 2 July: Frankfurt am Main – Kassel
  • Transfer to Münster by train
  • Münster Sculpture Project
  • Transfer to Kassel by train
Day 10 – Day 12: Monday 3 July – Wednesday 5 July: Kassel
  • Visit Documenta (4 day pass)

Berlin - 7 nights

Day 13: Thursday 6 July: Kassel – Berlin
  • Visit Documenta (4 day Pass)
  • Transfer to Berlin by train
Day 14: Friday 7 July: Berlin
  • Hamburger Bahnhof
Day 15: Saturday 8 July: Berlin
  • Berlinische Galerie
Day 16: Sunday 9 July: Berlin
  • Sammlung Boros Collection
  • Jüdisches Museum Berlin (The Jewish Museum)
  • The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – Field of Stelae
Day 17: Monday 10 July: Berlin
  • KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Day 18: Tuesday 11 July: Berlin
  • Various commercial galleries and art spaces
Day 19: Wednesday 12 July: Berlin
  • Time at leisure
Day 20: Thursday 13 July: Berlin – Frankfurt – Melbourne
  • Participants returning to Australia at the conclusion of the course will transfer by train to Frankfurt airport for the return flight. You are scheduled to arrive back into Australia on Saturday 15 July 2017.


20 days in Italy and Germany

In twin-share accommodation with private facilities at the following hotels:

  • Bassano del Grappa (1 night): 4-star Best Western Hotel Palladio – located within walking distance to Ponte Degli Alpini and the train station. www.hotelpalladiobassano.com
  • Venice (5 nights): Istituto Canossiano San Trovaso – simple accommodation in a 15th-century monastic building located within a short distance to the Venice Biennale. www.romite1323.com
  • Frankfurt am Main (2 nights): 4-star Savigny Hotel – located within walking distance to the main station and the city centre. www.savigny-hotel.com
  • Kassel (4 nights): 4-star hotel Best Western Plus Hotel Kassel City – located near Documenta exhibition spaces. www.bestwesternhotelkassel.de
  • Berlin (7 nights): 3-star Grimm’s Hotel Potsdamer Platz – recently opened; located near main museums and galleries. www.grimms-hotel.de

Single rooms may be requested – and are subject to availability and payment of the single supplement. Further information on hotels will be provided in the ‘Tour Hotel list’ given to tour members prior to their departure.

How to book

How to Book

Applications & Enrolments

To make a reservation on this course, please send Australians Studying Abroad a deposit of $500.00 per person together with a completed & signed ASA Reservation Form. Please note that this deposit constitues a partial payment of the tour price; it is not a tuition fee and does not replace HELP or other normal student fees. ASA is arranging your travel and tour; the University is responsible for all academic matters.

You will be notified shortly afterwards whether you have been selected to participate in the subject.

  • If you have not been selected you will be given the option of having your name put on a waiting list for a possible second round offer.
  • If you have been selected your reservation is subject to the understanding that you will be undertaking this course as originally indicated on your ASA Reservation Form. In the event that you fail to enrol in this subject under the category you have indicated, then ASA reserves the right to cancel your reservation.

In addition to fulfilling ASA’s requirements, all participants must be accepted to enrol in FINA20031: Studio Options 2 at the University of Melbourne. Please read the following enrolment options carefully. Application forms and further information are available from the School of Art

Email: sleesa@unimelb.edu.au

Students must enrol in Studio Options 2 and then register in this particular studio options offering when this becomes available. Participants must be currently enrolled in the BaFa (VA) award course at the University of Melbourne:

  • In order for this subject to count as credit towards your current degree/diploma, you must enrol in the subject according to the requirements of your course. Normal prerequisites for the subject are required. Standard CSP or course fees apply.

Scholarship and Overseas Help Loan

For further information please contact the Melbourne Scholarships Office (undergraduate)

Melbourne Global Scholars Award

Check: www.mobility.unimelb.edu.au/outbound/programs/umos.html

Overseas Help Loan

Check: ask.unimelb.edu.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/6093


Insurance is covered by the University of Melbourne once the Faculty has approved the student for the subject. Insurance must be lodged at least 7 days prior to departure, otherwise students are not covered. Forms and applications: students.unimelb.edu.au/admin/insurance.

Practical Information

Practical Information

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA programs relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, six to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 20-day subject involves:
  • accommodation in twin-share rooms with private facilities in hotels in Bassano del Grappa, Venice, Frankfurt am Main, Kassel and Berlin
  • an extensive amount of walking and use of public transport within cities
  • intercity travel by rail between Bassano del Grappa-Venice, Frankfurt-Münster-Kassel, Kassel-Berlin and Berlin-Frankfurt
  • porterage is not included; participants MUST be able to carry their own luggage at airports, on and off trains, vaporettos and subways etc. You must also be able to walk with your luggage up to 600m.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA programs should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant or Simone Slee or Lou Hubbard whether this is a suitable subject for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s/Simone Slee and Lou Hubbard’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the program, and that ASA’s/Simone Slee and Lou Hubbard’s retain the sole discretion to direct a participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the program. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form. It is a condition of travel that students notify Simone Slee, Lou Hubbard and ASA at the time of applying, of any medical conditions, or treatment for any chronic condition, mental or physical, of any kind, that might in any way affect participation during the tour.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers See: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $7270.00  Tour Price incl. airfares (min 15 students)

AUD $7070.00  Tour Price incl. airfares (min 20 students)

AUD $995.00  Single Supplement

AUD $65.00 Supplement if over 25 years of age for the German Rail Pass

Course Price includes:

  • Return airfare economy class with Singapore Airline incl. airfare taxes to the value of $940.00 AUD.

23 June: Melbourne – Singapore, Singapore – Milan
13 July: Frankfurt – Singapore, Singapore – Melbourne

  • Economy Class fare with Lufthansa: 30 June: Venice – Frankfurt
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with private facilities
  • Dinner in Bassano del Grappa (24 June) and breakfast daily
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach from Milan Malpensa airport to Bassano del Grappa (24 June) & in Münster (2 July)
  • Train transfer in 2nd class from Bassano del Grappa to Venice (25 June)
  • 3-day German Youth Rail Pass for 2nd class rail travel: 2 July Frankfurt-Münster-Kassel; 6 July Kassel-Berlin; 13 July Berlin-Frankfurt
  • Public transport tickets and entrances to museums and galleries outlined in the itinerary to the value of €390.00 per person

Tour Price does not include:

  • Meals other than dinner in Bassano del Grappa, breakfast in Frankfurt, Kassel & Berlin
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airfare taxes in excess of $940.00 AUD (return flight to Australia)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal spending money
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (Ibs)
  • Porterage at hotels, airports, train stations, subways or vaporetto stops
  • Visas (if applicable)
Tour Map

Tour Map

Terms & Conditions

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA program.

Confirmation of Your Booking

When we have received your ASA Course Reservation Application Form together with the deposit or full payment for the tour, and assuming there is a place available on the program, we will send you confirmation of your booking and relevant travel details. It is from this moment that a firm contract exists between you and Australians Studying Abroad Pty Ltd (hereafter called ASA) on the basis of this itinerary, together with ASA’s general brochure, and any brochure or itinerary amendments communicated to you, these booking conditions and the travel details sent to you. If a place is not available we will return your payment. ASA does however reserve the right to refuse to accept a booking without necessarily giving a reason.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • $500.00 deposit – non refundable
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Program

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the program, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Course Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a program is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates or airfare taxes ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA program is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

If The University of Melbourne Cancels the Course

In the event the academic program be cancelled as a result of the University of Melbourne, in response to Federal Government travel advice, designating the locations of the program to be unsafe: participants will be charged the cancellation fees as indicated in these booking conditions (refer to the paragraph ‘Cancellation Fees’).

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Passport Details

All participants must provide no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the program a photocopy of the front page of their current passport.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA. ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies. ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider. ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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