Contemporary Curating

As I am studying curating and planning on opening The Eclipse Gallery in June, I’ve come across some really interesting attitudes about what it means to be a curator. As an artist and a curator I am put in a unique position–some may feel this is a conflict of interest or even that I am a stereotypical frustrated artist-turned curator. As with everything in the art world, there are many misconceptions, stereotypes, and outright lies (see my article Art World Norms Have to Change). Curating has become like everything in art–too entrenched and dependent on labels. It needs to end. You would think that artists and people that are involved in art would be more open minded.

If you are interested in this subject I would recommend buying the current issue of Art Lies. You can read one of the articles here.

My standpoint on curating is similar to the thinking of Julieta Aranda, who states: “Sometimes I wonder if there is really a need to keep roles so strictly separated or if curating is an entrenched practice merely because of tradition. I would be very curious to know what you consider the difference between artist-curated shows and curator-curated shows. In my case, I think more and more about the possibility of an extremely flexible approach in which it would be possible to articulate polysemic positions that can be either artworks or exhibitions. Somehow the idea of exploring the intersecting space between both practices seems more interesting to me than it is to delineate the boundaries of each. A good example is Obrist’s DO IT exhibitions, which I find incredibly successful as artworks.”

And what about curators that are trained in both curating and art? And vice versa? Does this make this person’s curating less valid or their art less valid? Maybe some people are complicated enough to do both equally well? And as far as curating as art–there have been worse concepts deemed art, so why not? Visit The Eclipse Gallery blog for more on this.

Curators that inspire me:

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Harald Szeemann (the link is an interview by Obrist!)

Jens Hoffmann

Okwui Enwezor

Ydessa Hendeles


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