[-empyre-] "Death of the Curator"

Naeem Mohaiemen naeem.mohaiemen at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 03:11:24 EST 2012

I specifically gave example of Raqs Media Collective as a counter-example because as a collective of three, they possibly were able to handle the split personally duty betters. However this is also where the "dated" aspect comes in. In 2009 they had just done the huge curating project of Manifesta European Biennial. But since then I haven't seen any major curating initiatives from then so I wonder if they felt similar tensions in the end?

On Apr 10, 2012, at 9:23 AM, pedro <pedruski at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey Naeem
> interesting point.
> i used to mix performing and "curating" and decided to abandon it. As
> u say, the headspaces are different and i suffered. But it doesnt mean
> you cant do both, just in different time/spaces.
> will download your PDF, thanks !
> x
> On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 8:40 AM, Naeem Mohaiemen
> <naeem.mohaiemen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear Renate,
>> Thank you for the invitation to join this discussion.
>> I have attached here the PDF of an essay I had written about
>> artists-as-curators. It was published in the now defunct ART LIES
>> journal in their "Death of the Curator" issue in 2009 and then
>> reprinted in TAKE ON ART in India in 2011.
>> Some of this now feels quite dated, but hopefully some of it can still
>> be relevant to our discussion.
>> This was a key portion for me:
>> "This is when I started to wonder if artist-as-curator was always a
>> healthy construct. Being that close to the decisionmaking process,
>> seeing up close all the calculations and permutations and equations: I
>> worried that it would make me too conscious about my own work. Instead
>> of messing around, you start to walk in a straight line.
>> Of course, no one is living in a hermetic bubble where they have no
>> idea how decisions are made. It’s about the work, it’s about the
>> budget, it’s about the mandate, it’s about the theme, it’s about the
>> recommendation. Sometimes it’s also about the check box, and when you
>> are in an identifiable race/nation subgenre, navigating that is a
>> challenge. But to become overly conscious of this process is damaging
>> to the isolation and headspace that is needed when dreaming up worlds
>> and ideas for one’s own work.
>> A friend sounded a contrarian note in an email: “Well, I don’t think
>> becoming self-conscious about my own work is an unhealthy thing. The
>> agenda for me as an artist is organizing, having a larger
>> conversation, a research activity.” So this is not a cautionary tale
>> after all. There are many possible outcomes, no need to lament."
>> Hope people will get a chance to read the full attachment and then we
>> can get the discussion going?
>> in solidarity,
>> Naeem Mohaiemen
>> --
>> http://shobak.org
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