A Curator requires…

A final thought for Thursday. I suppose this post is technically like a re-tweet…well a re-blog. Anyway, I follow the blog of Iain Irving, lecturer at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, UK, who is working on a PhD to produce a definition of independent curatorial practice. I’m sure we share similar curatorial strands as part of our PhD methodologies…perhaps one day we will chat. His website records his process of “working out of ideas, which are open for sharing in an attempt to define curating.” A couple of days ago he posted ‘A Curator requires…’ and it got me smiling. Smiling a lot. I agree with so much it says, almost ticking off each sentence. I think the “NO” section is particularly poignant as these traits are becoming more and more prevalent. Today, independent curators know less and less about the cultural contexts in which they are curating therefore, having no position or location whether it be physically or contextually. Actually, this is the main strand of my PhD research, understanding how curators can do this…and what happens when mistranslations and misunderstandings occur, creating voids and gaps in interpretive translation. As for having knowledge and alliance with the field of power, or not having, I’m not entirely sure that can be applied to China. Curators here definitely have to have a sense of the powers that be…not necessarily have “guanxi” (good relations) with them but have that vital awareness. It would be interesting to apply this model to curatorial infrastructures in different countries to see if it always applies…that would be another PhD thesis in itself. [Writing the latter enquiry about relations with power down on the future research list…?]

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