Curation

As my book production has been progressing I have been making regular changes to both the order and processing and production values of some images and with this in mind I thought it worth spending some time carrying out some more systematic research into the subject. And so I have purchased Paul O’Neill’s book and these are my notes and thoughts about the subject.

This book isn’t a massive tome like some of the reference books I have used. It’s 169 pages structures into four sections:

  • Introduction
  • The emergence of curatorial discourse from the late 1960s to the present
  • Biennial culture and the emergence of a globalised curatorial discourse: curating in the context of biennials and large scale exhibitions since 1989
  • Curating as a medium of artistic practice: the convergence of art and curatorial practice since the 1990s

So its looks like its broadly chronological in approach then.

Introduction
Curation- how art is framed, spoken about and expressed. This book is about the emergence of contemporary curatorial discourse since late 1980s because:

    1. The first post grad curatorial training programme initiated
    2. Exhibitions should embody theoretical and critical arguments
    3. So it moved the task to one of vocation work within institutions to a more independent critically engaged approached
    4. The context was at a time with an increase in art exhibitions on a global scale

The period has seen:

    • a move to group exhibitions and the curator role move from one as caretaker and hidden arbiter of taste to a more centralised position
    • exhibitions as transient performances rather than static places of display

Purpose: Current literature overstates the significance of individual curatorship in this process. This book aims to identify the causes of the change and the themes discussed and articulated (discourses)

    • Method
    • Text review and interviews
    • Definition

The term exhibition is used in this book to refer to temporary spaces for public showing

    • Organisation
    • The emergence of curatorial discourse and main discursive trends from the late 1960s to the present
    • Artists look on the language of mediation, organisational practices and info systems which implied a critique of autonomy in art
    • Curatorship emerged as a creative semi autonomous and individually authored form of mediation and production
    • Biennial culture and the emergence of a globalised curatorial discourse: curating in the context of biennials and large scale exhibitions since 1989
    • Proliferation on new biennials enabled higher profile for some curators
    • Tracks the process of globalisation, nomadic curating and trans-culturism
    • Curating as a medium of artistic practice: the convergence of art and curatorial practice since the 1990s
    • Builds on this model of curator as artist by examining their convergence
    • The rise of the group exhibition as the principle artistic vehicle

Thus the book aims to show how curating has changed art and vice versa

Thoughts
Straight away I can see where this book is coming from and for me it feeds into the idea of exhibitions as performances. More and more we see the established museums and galleries take on the method that many private and smaller galleries have done but putting together exhibitions that bring together works via themed, time limited event exhibitions. This not only brings in income and so meets their market expectations but allows for viewers to see things in new ways through such associations. Indeed its is just that approach that I am taking with my work.


P. O’Neill, (2012) Curation: The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture , Published by MIT Press

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About anomiepete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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3 Responses to Curation

  1. Catherine says:

    I’m interested in the whole process of curation so this book looks just the thing for me to read. Would you recommend, having read it?

    Like

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