Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Curate or die. Whatever.


curate2, originally uploaded by thefuturistics.

last night was the first of three discussions of the "Curate or Die" series. This was supposed to be the center and periphery debate. Hmmm, totally eurocentric and not really that peripheral. Charlotte Laubard, an independent curator from France who recently took over the CAPC in Bourdeaux, talked about the exhibition profile of the space and how she changed it. The huge church-like space was used to store goods that had been exchanged for slaves, but few exhibitions had taken into account the history of the space, except for the influential Traffic (1996), curated by Nicholas Bourriaud, and the equally important, Cities on the move (1997), curated by Hou Hanru and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Laubard talked about the lack of contact with the local community, which is usually always a problem since contemporary art is not usually meant for the masses. The shows since Laubard took over have been in collaboration with other curators, and have been all destablizing and shit.
Adam Budak from the Kunsthaus Graz, the blip-blop light machine, had so much technical trouble that he never managed to show an image of the building. I guess most people know the building, since the building is what has been touted at every single opportunity, but not showing it was just stupid. Budak has a background in theater, so a lot of the exhibitions are more staged than other, more 'neutral' exhibitions of contemporary art. This has also meant that exhibition design is extremely important for the Austrian space and it looks like a good example of an exhibition space that dares to go where no other space has gone before.
Chuz Martinez, who replaced Marta Gili on the panel (strikes......), was the one who considered the title of the meeting/presentation and suggested instead Research or Die as a more pressing matter. Martinez has an MA in curatorial studies from Bard College...The center for curatorial studies. Or: the periphery for curatorial studies? Nah. I just recognized her language as Bard speak. Fascinating.

ANYWAY, she has taken over the Kunstverein Frankfurt, but talked mostly about the Spain's birth as a democratic nation and discarding anything to do with Franco, which also meant that a new generation of curators were allowed to step up to the plate much earlier.

Markus Müller, the chair, patted everyone on the back and gave his spiel on the center and the periphery. So, Poland is the periphery? And Bordeaux? Whatever. Just admit that you will be presenting the work of three youngish curators that are dealing with an institution after being independent curators. And make sure that all the technical equpiment works and please time your speakers.

Curate or die seems to fall into the old-fashioned catalog of "the death of....." The death of curating seems impending, but it's just a call for discussion. Why the drama? Listen to some more Mary J Blige! Please!!!

"So tired, tired of all this drama"

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