Saturday, January 31, 2009

Marcia Tucker

L1080171, originally uploaded by thefuturistics.

one of my favorite professors at Bard was Marcia Tucker. She was honest and taught us quite a few important lessons. Her biography recounts her successes and failures on equal parts. There's something valuable about the failures as well and avoiding the streamlined trajectory of success. One of her mottos as a curator was "a lifetime of bad reviews." Not doing shows just to get a good review, but finding out where prejudices, established notions of what's right or wrong, challenging orthodoxies and doing what tickles your fancy. Act now, think later. That way you will have something to think about.

The biography is important. Not just to remember Marcia, but also to remember her work as a curator. The show she did with James Monte at the Whitney Museum (as the Whitney's first female curator), Anti-Illusion, was installed while Szeemann and Hultén were working on their approach to contemporary art of the late 60s. After being fired from the Whitney (something Marcia was proud of) she started her own museum, the New Museum. It's evolved and changed into the superstructure it is today, but the 32 year old museum has a unique history.


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