[-empyre-] Rethinking Death

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Apr 10 02:56:20 EST 2012

Hello all:

>> Renate schreibt:

.. Their collective discussions revolved around the potential of
the curatorial space as being a revolutionary
one where  “cracks” allowing opening and closing could present
alternatives or where curatorial tensions that attempted to exist
“outside the box” allowed for liminal mobile curatorial practice.
While the concrete examples of Nightsense in Toronto and documenta in
Germany were discussed among others,  most of the posts involved the
conceptual spaces of the curatorial model. 


It was interesting to read about the 'conceptual spaces" claimed for
curating, and I just reread Jennifer Fisher's Saturday post, in which she
reiterates what one might consider an idealistic position..:

...we take Pedro's point about curating as creating spaces, revolutionary or revelatory.  For us, the purview of the curatorial is conjunctural, operating in the connections of art, communities, spaces, histories, discourses, aesthetics, affects in ways that may achieve coherence (or fail to). While acknowledging that ultimately the budgets impact on what is possible in exhibitions, we resist the instrumentalization or containment of both art and curating. Rather, curatorial practice involves a rigorous criticality considering the always-already mediating conditions pertaining to art's presentation. The curator as communicator can then function first as "curer" through the homeopathic mimicry of symptoms for critical revelation, for thinking of rhetorics of arrangement of art in place differently. The curator can secondly also function as "carer" -- in Foucauldian sense of "care of the self" -- through the integration of techniques that can achieve a "turn" within aesthetic experience's transformative impact. This is where integrating the senses beyond vision becomes interesting to us. To these we would add an additional etymological aspect of curate -- "curiosity" -- which impels curators, artists and audiences toward engagement with the art and presentation event. 

which was thrown somewhat into sharp relief by Brian's narration on his involvement with documenta X, another monumental enterprise, and i can understand (remembering the hype around Catherine David) the disappointment about the lack of curatorial revolution, whatever that might be.  

I do remember spending most of my time, back at that 1997 event, in the countryside about 20 km removed from Kassel, with the Slovene folks (Marko Peljhan at al) in the Makrolab they had set up on a hill.

It's perhaps particularly disheartening to think of curatorial revolution after just having left London, reading about the Damien Hirst "retrospective" at the Tate Modern.
Hari Kunzru's essay in The Guardian is a trenchant critique, "Damien Hirst and the great art market heist" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/mar/16/damien-hirst-art-market), but to my surprise
in Die Zeit, a german critic thinks of Hirst as "Der letzte Kunstgott" (http://www.zeit.de/2012/15/Kunst-Damien-Hirst), a puzzling assessment on easter weekend. So much for,  The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.

Johannes Birringer

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