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C UL TUR E

C UR ATING
CU R ATING

cuLTURE(S
PaulO'Neill

THECULTUREOF CURATING
ANDTHECURATING
OF CULTURE(S}

Paul O'Neill

The MIT Press

Cambridge,Massachusetts London,England

O 2 0 1 2 Pa u lO' Ne ill
All rights reserved.No part of this book may be reproducedin
any form by any electronicor mechanicalmeans
(includingphotocopying,recording,or informationstorage
and retrieval)without permissionin writing from the
publisher.
MIT Pressbooksmay be purchasedat specialquantity
discountsfor businessor sales promotionaluse. For
information,pleaseemailspecialsales@mitpress.mit.edu.
This book was set in Helveticaby the MIT Press. Printed

and bound in the United States of Amenca.

Libraryof CongressCataloging-in-publication
Data
O'Neill,Paul, 1970The cultureof curatingand the curatingof culture(s)/ paul
O,Neill.
pagescm
Includesbibliographical
referencesand index.
fsBN 978-0-262-01772-5
(hadcover: alk. paper)1. Art-Exhibition techniques.
2. An and sociery.I. Ti1e.
N4396.O542012
7O7.5-4c23
2011051325

109876543

FOR IN S TA N C E ,

CONTENTS,

LISTOF ILLUSTRATIONSrx

ACKNOWLEDGMENTSxi

INTRODUCTION
1

THEEMERGENCE
OF CURATORIAL
DISCOURSE
FROMTHE LATE1960s
TOTHE PRESENT9

BIENNIAL
CULTURE
AND THEEMERGENCE
OF A GLOBALIZED
CURATORIAL
DISCOURSE:
CURATINclN THE CONTEXTOF BIENNIALS
AND LARGE-SCALE
EXHIBITIONS
SINCE.1989 51

CURATINGAS A MEDIUMOF ARTISTICPRACTICE:


THE CONVERGENCE
OF
ARTAND CURATORIAL
PRACTICESINCETHE 1990s s7
NOTES 131

INDEX 169

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS'

1.1 MarcelDuchamp,Mireof string, aI "Firstpapersof surrealisml' 1942.tz


1.2 lndexcardsfrom catalogtor "5S7,0g7"
and ,,955,000,,,
curatedby Lucy R. Lippard,
1969and 1970.1s
1.3 "when AttitudesBecomeForm:works, concepts,processes,situations,
lnformation,"
curatedby HaraldSzeemann,1969. rt
1.4 "January5-31 , 1969;'curatedby Seth Siegelaub,1969. tz
1.5 seth siegelaubin conversation
with curatorKittyscott at',RotterdamDialooues:
The Curators,"2009. zo
1.6 "TheXeroxBook,"curatedby Seth Siegelauband JackWendler,1968. 23
1.7 'Aspen5+6,"curatedby BrianO,Doherty,1g67.z+
1.8 "summerDisplayof the Museum'scollection,"
curatedby RudiFuchs,19g3,and
"Repetition:
SummerDisplay1983,',curatedby Rudi Fuchs,2009. :r
1.9 Jan Hoetand Hou Hanruat "RotterdamDialogues:
The curators,',2e09.sz
1.10'A New spirit in curating,"conferenceorganizedby Ute Meta Bauer,1g92.qz
1.11"TheBergenBiennialConference,,,2OO9.
4s
2.1 "cities on the Move,"curatedby Hou Hanruand Hans Ulrichobrist, 1992 oa

2.2 CarlosBasualdoand Hans UlrichObristat "The BergenBiennialConference,"


2009. az
curatedby Jens Hoffmann
CaribbeanBiennial,"
2.3 "BlownAway:Sixth International
and MaurizioCattelan,1999. zs
2.4 "Biennale!Artist Filmand Video,"curatedby AnthonyGross,2005. zo

2.5 gth LyonBiennial,curatedby St6phanieMoisdonand Hans UlrichObrist,2007.77


curatedby PaulO'Neill,2010.94
3.1 "Coalesce:Happenstance,"
3.2 "Coalesce:WithAll Due Intent,"curatedby PaulO'Neill,2005. e6
3.3 "CuratingDegreeZeroArchive,"curatedby BarnabyDrabbleand DorotheeRichter,
1998.ror
3.4 Generalldea,Fin de Siele,1994. 107
curatedby GroupMaterial,WhltneyBiennial,1986. ros
3.5 'Americana,"

at "lf I Can'tDance,I Don'tWant


3.6 SarahPierce,TheMeaningof Greatness,2006,
Editionll: Episode4: FeministLegaciesand Potentialities
to Be Partof YourRevolution:
Art Practice,"
curatedby FrederiqueBergholtzand AnnieFletcher,
in Contemporary
2008.111
113
3.7 GoshkaMacuga,Kabineftder Abstrakten,2OO3'
tt+
curatedby Per Htittner,2OO3.
3.8 "l Am a Curator,"
3.9 "Londonin Six EasyStepsj'2004 and2005. tts
ACT I and ll,"curatedby Jens Hoffmann,2004. 115
3.10 'Artists'Favourites:

'

by MollyNesbit,Hans
seatingdesignfor "UtopiaStation;'co-curated
3.11 LiamGillick's
VeniceBiennale,2003. 118
UlrichObrist,and RirkritTiravanija,50th
and Design,"curatedby MariaLind,
3.12 "Whatlf: Art on the Vergeof Architecture
2000. tts
3.13 "Thisls the Galleryand the Galleryls ManyThings,"curatedby GavinWade,
2008. 121
a projectby AntonVidokle,2006' 125
3.14 unitednationsplaza,
3.15 Maria Lindin MadridIn,a/,by AntonVidokleand TirdadZolghadr,stillfrom a film
by Hila Peleg,2007.125

Listof lllustrations

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS'

Fortheirconsiderable
inputand critiqueat importantstagesof the writingprocessand
for theirinvaluable
adviceand robusteditorialsuggestions,
I am indebtedto Dr. Mick
Wilson,DaveBeech,MarkHutchinson,
and MaryAnneStaniszewski.
For her excellent
researchassistanceand help in collatingthis publication,
I wish to thank Vanessa
Vasi6-Janekovii.
My gratitudeextendsto manyfriendsand colleagues
for theirencouragementand support:LucyBadrocke,DavidA. Bailey,AdelaideBannerman,
AA Bronson, Hilde de Bruijn,Vaari Claffey,RonnieClose, Paul Domela,JeannetteDoyle,
CharlesEsche,BruceW. Ferguson,
AnnieFletcher,Tom van Gestel,AnthonyGross,
BarbaraHolub, Sophie Hope, Toby Huddlestone,Joasia Krysa, Lisa Lefeuvre,Cyril
Lepetlte, Frances Loeffler, Ronan McCrea, Jonathan Mosley, Danae Mossman,
AnnetteO'Neill,LisaPanting,AndreaPhillips,
AndrewRenton,Brigittevan der Sande,
Savage,EdgarSchmitz,LindsaySeers,Spike lsland,and Jen Wu. For makingthis
book possible,and for their patiencethroughoutthe process,I wish to thank Roger
Conover,MatthewAbbate,MichaelLacoy,Anar Badalov,SusanClark,Yasuyolguchi,
and all at the MIT Press.Thanksto DavidBlameyfor his epigraphin this book.For
their advice,suggestions,and invaluableknow-howat differentstagesin this project,I
am very gratefulto Julie Ault, CarlosBasualdo,AA Bronson,Gerard Byrne,Barnaby
Drabble,AnnieFletcher,LiamGillick,Matt Keegan,Hans UlrichObrist,SarahPierce,
Mary Anne Staniszewski,SallyTallant,GrantWatson,and to many participantsof the
de Appel CuratorialProgramme,the staff and studentsof the MFA Curatingat Goldsmiths,and those from FineArt at the Universityof the West of Englandwhom I have
had the joy of workingwith.I wishto thankAnn Demeesterand de AppelFoundation,

and DavidBlameyfrom Open Editions,London,for agreeingto generouslysupportthe


of two anthologies-CuratingSubiects(2007)and Curatingand the Educopublication
cationalTurn(2010,with MickWilson)-that helpeddrivethe researchfor this volume;
likewiseI wish to thank the many editors,writers,lournals,and publishersthat have
Everyallowedme the spacefor speculation,in particular:Art Monthly,Contemporary,
Richard
Bickers,
Patricia
Beech,
Dave
thing, ManifestaJournal, OnCurating.org,
Birkett,David Blamey,JJ Charlesworth,Elena Filipovic,Mariekevan Hal, Tom Holert,
lsla Leaver-Yap,Neus Miro,Solveig@vsteba,MatthewPoole,DorotheeRichter,Judith
Marionvon osten, Jeni walwin, and witte de with. I
Rugg,temporarycontemporary,
am especiallygratefulto MiddlesexUniversityfor Scholarshipsupportfrom 2004 to
2007, withoutwhichthe backgroundresearchto this projectwould not have been possible,and to Great WesternResearch(GWR)for their researchfellowshipin curating
from 2OO7lo 2010. I am forevergratefulto ProfessorJon Bird and
and commissioning
professorAdrian Rifkinfor encouragingme to bring my ideas forwardfor publication,
and for their criticalsupportthroughoutthe developmentalstagesof this project.This
projecthas also been madepossibleby the generousbursarysupportfrom the Internaand the Graduate
tional Curators Forum (www.internationalcuratorsforum.org.uk),
their
exceptionaland
For
(www.gradcam.ie).
Schoolof CreativeArts and Media,Dublin
patience
and underlwish to thank 100% Proof.For her
trustworthyproofreading,
standingthroughoutand throughall, I wish to thank SuzanneMooney.I also wish to
thank the many individualswho generouslyhave given of their time for discussions,
interviews,and for agreeingto take parl in my research:HeatherAnderson,Ami Barak,
Ute MetaBauer,lwonaBlazwick,SaskiaBos, NicolasBourriaud,ThomasBoutoux,AA
Bronson,Dan Cameron,Papacolo, Lynnecooke, Neil cummings,catherineDavid,
Ann Deemester,Eva Diaz,ClaireDoherty,BarnabyDrabble,Okwui Enwezor,Charles
Esche, PatriciaFalguidres,Tom Finkelpearl,Annie Fletcher,Andrea Fraser, Rainer
Ganahl, Lia Gangatano,Liam Gillick,Teresa Gleadowe,J6r6me Grand, Nav Haq,
John
Anna Harding,MatthewHiggs,Jens Hoffmann,Hou Hanru,JeannetteIngelman,
Moisdon,
Miller,
st6phanie
Maier,
John
Julia
Lind,
Maria
Kelsey,Pierre Leguillon,
LyndaMorris,MollyNesbit,RobertNickas,Hans UlrichObrist,BrianO'Doherty,Emily
Pethick,MichaelPetry, Pi Li, sarah Pierce,steven Rand, Andrew Renton,Jeanine
Richards,J6r6me Sans, Nicolasschafhausen,seth siegelaub,Polly staple, Robert
Storr, EmilySundblad,GilaneTawadros,Tranzit.hu,Eric Troncy,AlexisVaillant,Alice
GavinWade, BrianWallis,LawrenceWeiner,Catherinede Zegher,
Vergara-Bastiand,
and What, How and for Whom (WHW).I wish to thankall the artists,authors,curators,
that assistedin bringingthis book
gallerists,academicinstitutes,and arts organizations
to
engagehave helpedprovidethe
willingness
and
generosity
of
spirit
to fruition.Their
necessaryspacefor this projectto gatherits form.

Acknowledgments

- B.&14.1.r 1#_* '

6 .i * .:,..s!'* r y,

I NT RO DUCT I O N

To studythe practiceof curatingis to revealthe ways in which art has been displayed,
mediated,and discussedas part of our historiesof exhibitionmaking.To write about
any aspectof the curatorialis to thinkabout how the exhibitionof art has oecomepart
of a developmentalprocess,of conceptualizing
ways in which art and its contextsare
understood.To analyzehow these presentations
are initiatedand organizedis to think
about how art is framed, how it ls spoken about, and how it is expressedby those
responsiblefor their conceptualizationand production.This book is essentiallya
detailedanalysisof the emergenceof contemporarycuratorialdiscoursesincethe late
1980s,a periodthat has seen the adventof independentcuratorship.lt will show how
the great change in the understandingof curatorshipduring this periodwas brought
about by a curator-centered
discourse.lt will also show that there is now sufficientevidence to consider curatorshipas a distinct practice of mediation,a development
broughtabout by artists,curators,artist-curators,
and curatorialcollectiveswho have
continuedto questionthe limitsand boundariesof the work of art, as well as ro reconfigureour understanding
of the multipleactorsand agenciesat work withinthe field of
culturalproduction.
curatorial practiceand discourseare dialecticallyentwined,a consequenceof a
recodingof practiceas discourseduringthe last twenty-fiveyears. Duringthis period,
the groupexhibitionlhas becomethe dominantmodeof curatingcontemporary
art, ancl
curatorshiphas begunto be understoodas a constellation
of creativeactivities,akin to
artistic praxis. In this process,the figure of the curator has moved from being a
caretakerof collections-a behind-the-scenes
organizerand arbiter of taste_to an

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the
independentlymotivated practitionerwith a more centralizedposition within
discussion
period
under
The
parallel
commentaries.
contemporaryart world and its
also registersas a time when art and its primaryexperiencebecamerecenteredaround
the temporalityof the eventof the exhibitionratherthan the artworkson display'
the evolutionof curatorialdiscoursefrom the 1960s'
While takinginto consideration
from
this studyis centeredon the key changesthat havetakenplacewithincuratorship
point
year
starting
as
a
this
1987to the present.Thereare a numberof reasonsfor taking
for detailedstudy.First,1987was the yearthat the arts centerLe Magasinin Grenoble,
France,launchedthe first postgraduatecuratorialtrainingprogramin Europe,called
Studieselement
l,Ecoledu Magasin.'Second,it was in 1987thatthe Art History/Museum
and Critical
Curatorial
(lSP)"
was
renamed
of the WhitneyIndependentStudy Program
that
studies,with theoreticianHal Fosterappointedas senior instructor,on the basis
thusframingthe "lSPas a
"exhibitions
shouldembodytheoreticaland criticalarguments,"
curatorialforms,to
alternative
possible
to
develop
chanceto experimentand see if it was
programsat Le
nine-month
Eachof the eight-or
conventions.""
challengethe established
Magasinand the whitney lsP-which served as templatesfor the now innumerable
postgraduatecurating courses throughout Europe and North America-have the
productionof a group exhibitionas their main outcome,which each year's intakeof
1987
studentsworksupontogether,from initialproposalto final installation'In this way,
of curatorship,from vocational
representsa significantdeparturein the understanding
potentially
independent,critically
a
to
contexts
in
institutional
work with collections
practice.
In
shon, the practiceof
form of exhibition-making
engagedand experimental
professionalcareer
as
a
much
curatingbecamea possiblearea of academicstudy as
of contemporary
choice.The periodthusbegunis alsonotableas the timeof an escalation
for
curators'
market
new
up
a
opened
has
which
global
scale,
at a
art exhibitions
The book exploresthe reasonsfor curatorship'semergenceas a distinctmode of
production.
discourse,and the ways in whichcuratorshavecontributedto its discursive
of
The interpretiveliteraturesurroundingcuratorialdiscourseyields a particularfield
position'
inquiry that tends to overstatethe significanceof the individualcuratorial
in the
interest
by
an
motivated
to
be
Discussionfrom within the art field continues
cultural
to
individual
accompanyingauthoritythat enunciateddiscoursecan bring
practice.Yet while the seeminglyunendingargumentsaround curatorialdiscourse
the
have, at times, seemed tediouslyself-regarding,it is very importantto reassert
of
sense
coherent
a
least
bolstering,
at
or
potency of this speech in establishing,
curatorial
that
find
we
agency in contemporaryarI production.With this in mind,
in
discoursehas fostered frameworksfor greater interactionwith other disciplines,
and
recognitionof the fact that critical cultural practiceis always moving between
beyondthe boundariesof its field.
not
Unlikemanycurrentpublicationson curating,this book is intendedto investigate
been
what has been realizedunderthe rubricof individualpractice,but ratherwhat has

:,
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lntroduction

Ciscussed,articulated,and contestedby curators,artists,and their critics.lt is a study


of discoursein the sensesuggestedby JUrgenHabermas,as a collectionof utterances
that "take place in particularsocialcontextsand are subjectto the limitationsof time
and space."u
Thus,to examinediscourseis to trackthe "studyof any aspectof language
use"withina specificfield.6As such,this is a studyof diversematerial-publications,
slatements,anecdotes,official documents,and ephemera-from this period. The
central analysisof the book is focused upon, but not limitedto, an extensiveand
disparatebody of textsfrom 1987to 2011. This includesexistinghistoricalliterature
fromwithinthe fieldof contemporary
art and museumdisplay,anthologies
of writingon
curatorialpractice,essaysfrom exhibitioncatalogs,discussionson curatingpublished
by contemporaryart magazinesand journals,conferencepapers,symposiumnotes,
and publishedinterviewswith contemporarycurators.
Giventhe sheer quantityof printedmaterialon curatorialpractice-not to mention
the enormousnumber of texts that accompanyexhibitions,from press reteasesto
catalogs,interviews,and reviews-to begin this undertakingis to confronta mass of
conflictingopinionsabout what constitutesthe role of the contemporarycurator.This
volum.econtributesto an understanding
of when,what, how,and why certaindominant
issueshave emergedin relationto curatorialpractice.
Alongsidea comprehensivereview of curatorialliterature,audio interuiewswere
conductedwith leading curators,exhibitionhistorians,artist-curators,
critic-curators,
graduatesfrom curatorialtrainingprograms,and lecturersand course leadersfrom
curatingprograms.Theseinterviewswere employedas a researchtool and as a means
of gatheringnew information
as muchas a way of mappingthe field.The interviewform,
likeany textwithina givenfieldof knowledge,corresponds
to whatMichelFoucaultcalled
a "statement,"
whichbelongsto a discoursein the sameway as a sentencebelongsto a
text and is perceivedas only a small part of a "deductivewhole."Eachstatementis an
"atomof discourse,"an "elementaryunit of discourse"that makesup only one part of a
"discursive
formation,"
in which"discourse"
is a largergroupof statementsinsofaras thev
belongto a common,yet incomplete,
bodyof knowledge.T
Consistentwiththe intentionto
elaborateon the curatorialthinking,the interviewformat facilitatedthe gatheringof
informationabout particularexhibitions,publications,and events,generatingfirsthand
responsesto key issuesin areasin whichlittlecriticalmaterialhad beenpublished.s
while interviewswith arlistshave a long-established
history-becominga principal
communicative
par,ticular
form in the 1960s,in
in connection
with pop art, conceptual
art, and minimalisme-toconductresearchbasedon similarinterviewswith curatorsis
to implya paradigmshift from the primacyof the arlisttowardthe figureof the curator.
Muchof this materialmust be treatedwith attentionto what w. K. wimsatt and Monroe
Beardsleycalled"the intentionalfallacy,"with each intervieweehavingthe potentialto
inscribehis or her own narrativewith a degreeof "contextualevidence"to supporthis or
her own versionof past events,particularlywhen the only permanentmanifestation
of

Introduction

and
resides in documentation'catalogs'
the exhibitionprojects under discussion
given
contradiction'
this book is not without
reviews.,oAs the work of a curator-writer,
my own
understandmy chosen practice'Therefore
that it representsan attemptto
po s i ti o n c a n n e v e ro e v a | u e -fre e,duetoi tsi nvestmenti nthefi el dofi nqui ry,butIhope

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t h a ta c e fta i n d e g re e o fe x p l i c i tc ri ti ca| di stancehasbeenmai ntai nedthroughoutthe


'
researchProcess.
groupexhibitionform has becomea cbnstantly
Over the past twenry-fiveyears the

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de b a te d m e a n s o fk n o w | e d g e producti onandaspeci fi cmodeotcreati vepracti cei ni ts


o w n ri g h t.As w e s h a | | " " " ,.r' " p henomenonofthecurator-as-arti sthasbeenhi gh| y
co n te s te d b y a rti s ts ,c ri ti c s ,a ndcuratorsal i ke.B ybri ngi ngtogethermul
ti p| earti sti c
alteredhow ad is mediatedto an audience;
positions,contemporarycuratorshiphas
of
perception art
of the many ways in whichthe
this publicationservesas an overview
accounts'
practiceand its supplementary
has beentransformedby curatoriar
as
the book examineshow conceptssuch
Divided into three lengthy chapters'
the
with
mediating'and promotinghave intersected
selecting,organizing,arranging'
past twenty-{ive
production,and curating during the
spaces of display, exhibitiJn,
as follows'
summarized
be
ol issueswithinthe chaptersmay
ir'.
;;;
"uorution
C h a p te rl b e g i n s b y ma p p i n goutabri efhi storyofexhi bi ti onmaki ngfromthel 920s
o n w a rd ,a S a m e a n s o fi d e n ti fyi nghow W esternarthi storyhad| arge| yfai | edtotakei nto
a c c o u n tth e fu n c ti o n s p e rfo rmedbycurati ng' exhi bi ti ondesi gn'
andthespati
that haveal
lt will also tracethe maindiscursivetrends
arrangementof exlrioitionforms.tt
since 1987' by mapping the burgeoning
emerged within curatorial discourse

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u n d e rs ta n d i n g o fc u ra to rs h i pasacreati veformofexhi bi ti onproducti onandmedi ati on.


F ro m th e | a te l g 6 0 s o n w a rd ,manyarti stsi ncreasi ngl yconcernedthemse|
vesw i th
as they
tactics,and the languageof mediation,
informationsysrems,organizational
tu rn e d to w a rd m o re " o n " c e p tua| strategi es.Thesestrategi ctendenci esofteni mpl i eda
c ri ti q u e o fth e a u to n o my o fth e w orkofartaS ani deo| ogi ca| construct.A tthesameti me'
curatorshipemergectasacreative,semiautonomous,andindividua||yauthoredformof
of ad and
structuredthe experienceof the work
mediation(and proouction)'which
a ffe c te d th e w a y s tn w h i c h a rtW aS madeandcommuni catedtoanaudi
ence'
W hatthi s
the
beyond
curatorialremit' operatingabove and
made visible was the idea of a
i n te re s ts o fth e a rti s to rth e d iscrete-artw ork,w hi chopenedupaspaceofcri
ti ca|
of curatingthat developedin the 1960s-which
contestation.In this sense,the analysis
to the
of the art systemand originatedin opposition
was foundedon the demystification
dominantorder_becameadiscussionabouttheworkofexhibitionconstructionandits
provideda
The late 1960s to early 1970s also
productionof meantngsand values'
tra n s i ti o n a l mo me n ti n th e a warenessofthecuratori a| gesture,w
iSzeemannththero| eofafew
Lippard'SethSiegelaub'and Harald
Lucy
as
curators-such
independent
b e g i n n i n g to b e i n c | u d e d i n cri ti ca| di scussi onsofw hatconsti tutedtheproducti onand
of art'
conceptualization

lntroduction

By the 1980s,the idea of the "curated"exhibitionhad been establishedas an entity


of criticalreflectionin its own right,with the figureof the individualcuratorat the center
of debatesas the sole author of the group exhibitionform. This chaptergoes on to
considerhow curatorsprioritizeda methodof exhibitionmakingusingextantart objects
and artifacts,employingthem as illustrativefragments within thematic,ahistorical
exhibitions.such large-scale,
temporaryprojects-by curatorssuch as szeemann,Jan
Hoet, and Rudi Fuchs-came to be understoodas the sole work of the ,,curator-dsauteur."The group exhibitionwas proposedas a subjectiveform of authorship,and
profferedas a curatorialtext analogousto the total work of art. By the end of the
decade,the appearanceof the verb "to curate"beganto arliculate"curating,,as
a mode
of proactivepafticipationin the processesof artistic production,with the curated
exhibitionprovidinga distinct style and method of self-presentationand curators
constructingsubjective"new truths"about art, often presentedas universalnarratives
withinan overarching
curatorial
frame.Thistrendcontinuedintothe 1990s,duringwhat
MichaelBrensonhas called the "curator'smoment"when certain individualcurators
perhaps not surprisingly,
achievedan unprecedented
hypervisibility.'o
this period
coinQided
with a proliferation
publicationsand international
of curator-centered
curating
conferences-whichaddedto the perceptionof curatorialpracticeas an internationallv
networkedmode of individualcreativeoractice.
Chapter2 examineshow the proliferation
of new biennialsin the 1990senableda
significantly
higherprofilefor certaincurators.Througha study of biennialcatalogs,
exhibitionreviews,and criticalliterature-alongsidein-depthinterviewswith high-profile
biennialcurators-this chaptertracksthe developmentof discussionsaroundglobalism,
nomadiccurating,and issuesof transculturalism.
Taking as its startingpoint ,,Les
Magiciens
de la terre"(Paris,1989),curatedby Jean-Hubert
Martinand MarkFrancis,it
tracks the influenceof this exhibitionon subsequentlarge-scaleexhibitions.lts
particularfocus, however,is on changesin the curatorialnarrativealignedto global
exhfbitionsbetween1989 and the noughties,leadingup to Documenta11 (zooz),
Francesco
Bonami's50thBiennaledi Venezia,"Dreamsand Conflicts:
The Dictatorshio
of the Viewer' (2003),and laterproductions.In compressingtwenty-fiveyearsof largescaleexhibitionhistories,
this chaptershowshow globallymobilecuratorsembraced
the biennialmodelas a vehiclefor both validatingand contestingwhat constitutesthe
internationalart world, in order to explicatenon-Westernartisticpracticesthat have
beentraditionallypushedto the margins.For its curators,the biennialmodelbecamea
newly progressiveand productivespacefor bringingtogetheran increasinglydiverse,
transculturaland globalart worldat a singlelocationand time. The new globalcurator
set out from a notion of cultural pluralism based on random differenceano an
ethnographicapproach toward the "other," to acknowledgethe impossibilityof
representinga total world view within a single exhibition.Instead,postcolonialand
collaborativeapproacheswere encouraged,which had the effect of changingthe

Introduction

positionfromwhichthe aftisticcanoncouldbe read.Curatingin the


contextof biennials
and large-scaleinternationalexhibitionsmade a significantcontributionto
cliscussions
on the dialectics of margin and center, globalism and grobarization,
rocar and
international,hybridityand fragmentation.And while the biennialphenomenon
has
reflectedthe diversity of global artistic practice, such recurrentexhibitions
have
simultaneouslyoperatedas sites for the legitimizationof types of art and,models
of
curatorialpraxiswithinthe globalcultureindustry.Biennialshave become
a validating
institutionfor only a small number of curators,as ratifyingdevices for
artists and
curatorsfrom the upper echelonsof the contemporaryart world. At the
same time,
biennialcuratorshave directlyaddressedthe limitationsof the globalexhibition
model,
most evidentlythroughthe extensionof the parametersof the exhibition
beyondthe
single exhibitionas a temporallyand spatially defined event. This has
Included
discussions,publications,and "extraterritorialized,,
events, and in some cases the
discursivemomenthas becomethe main exhibition-event.
similarly,the fallibilityof the
singlyauthoredexhibitionhas been acknowledgedby lateriterations,which
havetaken
accountof morecollectiveand dialogicalmodelsof curating.
chapter3 buildson the conceptof the "curator-as-artist,,,scrutinizing
the convergence
betweencuratorialand artisticpracticewhichostensiblytook placeduring
the 1gg0s.lt
also takes accountof the ways in whichexhibitionmakingis understoodas
a widened
field, now includingdialogical,pedagogical,and discursiveapproaches
to exhibition
coproduction.Focusingon the tension between this elaboratedunderstanding
of
curatorialpracticeand its effectson artisticproduction,in evidencefrom as
earlyas the
1970s,this chapterdemonstrateshow curatinghas been identifiedas a relatively
new
contemporary
spacefor dissensus,with the groupexhibitionput foruardas a continually
contestedartisticmediumfor bothartistsand curatorsalike.I willarguethat
curatorshipis
now a fully recognizedmode of self-presentation
withinthe contemporary arlfield,with
the groupexhibitionform the principalsite for self-articulation,
employedby artistsand
curatorsalikeas botha communicative
mediumand a genreof artisticproduction.As a
collaborative
mediumof communication
involvinga multiplicityof practices,disciplines,
and positions,the group exhibitionconfiguresa triangularnetworkof artist-curatoraudience,and in doing so providesa means of disputingthe creative
and aesthetic
separationof art, its modalities,
and operationsfromthe restof the culturalfield.
The book seeks to demonstratehow curatinghas changed art and how
art has
changed curating. lt attemptsto explicatewhat we mean when we use
the term
"curatorialdiscourse."lt seeks to do so by drawing on Foucault,sunderstanding
of
discourseas a meaningfulbut malleableassemblageof statements,brought
together
and classifiedas belongingto the same discursiveformation.This book proposes
that
the contemporarypraxisof curatingshouldbe understoodas a recenflyformed
field of
activitiesthat is fundamentallydifferentfrom earlier historicalforms
of curatorshio.
Throughout,thereis an attemptto treatcuratorialdiscoursewith equallevels
of resoect

Introduction

rI
fl

T
x

tr
$
F
F

i
I
i

to engage with
:-: doubt-to expose it to criticaland responsibleinterrogation,
:-'"torial discourseas a creativeand as a regulatedpractice.- As should become
: :ar. curating,as a discoursespecific to the field of contemporaryarl, is often
::"tradictory, perhapsdoomedto be retroactive,yet somehowremainsa generative
':':e for a progressiveview of art. The pasttwo decadeshave seen curatorshipas we
.,.!r,v it experiencinga definitivediscursiveformation-shaped significantlyby an
:-semble of authorizedstatementsfrom withinthe curatorialfield.Althoughthere,is
-c,,vevidenceof a great pluralityof curatorialstyles and positions-articulatedwithin
and publishedproceedingsfrom summits-curatorshave
I scussions,anthologies,
a
self-asserting
declarative
approachto theirfield as a methodof
applied
3enerally
practice
whole,withthe first-person
theirown
withinthe curatorial
narrative
cositioning
being predominantmodes of address.As will become
and curatorself-positioning
apparent,this has broughtabouta form of curatorialknowledgewith relativelyunstable
foundations.
historical
selecting,planning,organizing,structuring,
Throughthe processof researching,
framing,and curatinggroupexhibitions
as an artistor curator,one beginsto understand
how.the curatorialconstructsideas about art. The act of curatingeach and every
of these ideas as much as it actively
exhibitioncontributesto a greaterunderstanding
questioning
producesand consolidates
In
how and what types of knowledges
them.
have been producedand enabledfrom withinthe curatorialfield,
and epistemologies
and organizedart world
this book only beginsto unravelhow a highlyadministered
resultedin the formationof a cultureof curatingthat continuesto determineand
reinventitself.

lntroduction

,1
THE EMERGENCEOF CURATORIALDISCOURSE
FROM THE LATE 1960STO THE PRESENT

The evolutionof avant-gardeexhibitionmakingis a historyof the ways in which aftists,


critics,and curatorsbeganto questionaftisticfreedomas well as the "aestheticautonomy accordedthem by society-an autonomythat reacheda certainculminationin
Sincethe 1920s,therehas beena gradualchangefrom
aestheticism."'
highmodernist
out of sightof the public,to a
workingwith collections
the roleof the curator-as-carer,
late
1960s,despitetheirmany
By
the
position
stage.
much
broader
on
a
morecentral
had
developeda symbiotic
exhibitions
differencesin form and content,a numberof
Here
ledartisticproduction.
spaceand conceptually
betweenthe exhibition
relationship
the exhibition,the artworks,and the curatorialframeworkwere essential,interdepenAs
in a finalpublicexhibition.
that culminated
dentelementsin a processof realization
that
to
focus
emerged
began
a responseto thesechanges,a form of curatorialcriticism
Eversincethe 1960s,there
of theirexhibition-texts.
curators-as-authors
on individual
and acceptanceof curatorsas havinga more prohas been a growingunderstanding
active,creative,and politicalparl to play in the production,mediation,and dissemination of afi itself.While the aim of this chapteris not to offer a precisechronological
treatmentof these trends, it will presentthree key historicaldevelopmentsthat have
of contemporarycuratorialdiscourse:
effectivelyconstitutedour primaryunderstanding
'1960sonwardas an extensionof
late
from
the
role
the
curatorial
of
the demystification
exhibition
the projectof the historicalavant-garde;the primacyof the curator-as-author
discoursein the
model of the late 1980s;and the consolidationof a curator-centered
1990s,when a historyof curatorialpracticebegan.

The Emergenceof the lndependentExhibition Makerin the Late 1960s


In the early twentiethcentury,many attemptswere made to subvertthe conventional
form of afi exhibitions.Althoughmanyexhibitionswere commissionedby, or with,exhibitionorganizersand museumdirectors,the effortsto subvertthe form were predominantlyattributedto artistsand designerswho were beginningto questionthe efficacyof
aestheticpracticeas part of a wider critiqueof the "bourgeoisinstitutionof art," made
and the Surrealists.In 1974,Peter
by groupssuch as the Dadaists,the constructivists,
Burgerarguedin his Theoryof the Avant-Gardelhat the historicalavant-gardeof the
early twentiethcentury must be understoodas critiques of art and literature,which
were viewedas institutionsin and of themselves.The institutionof art was perceived
as the hermeticframeworkwithin which the artworkwas produced,received,and its
value generated.Artistsof the historicalavant-gardebeganto criticizeart as an instituThe institutionof art was to be negated
and confrontation.
tion in needof counterattack
of autonomous
and rethought.Artistsbeganto recognizethe social inconsequentiality
art, by questioningthe statusof the authoras the centralnode in the constructionof
the meaningof art. Art beginsto take accountof itselfas a socialsubsystemof bourgeoissocietyby enteringwhat Btirgercallsits "stageof self-criticism."For the historicalavant-garde,subversionof exhibitiondesignssoughtto providea
critiqueoI the passiveexperienceof art and its exhibitionspace.Artistsbeganto considerthe social,relational,and situationalcontextof their practiceas now beingpart of
the artwork.While introducingelementsfrom real life into their art, practitionersas
diverseas El Lissitzky,Marcel Duchamp,SalvadorDali, and Piet Mondrianactively
reconsideredhow the viewercould be broughtinto play.Art becamecriticalof its own
detachmentfrom sociallife and the ways in which the bourgeoisframeworkof aft had
effectivelyreleasedart from its social function.-Many artistsof this period began to
examination
employthe exhibitionas the vehiclethroughwhichto conducta self-critical
of art's separateness,by challengingthe prestigeand social statusof art affordedby
bourgeoisculture.With the formationof new ways of showingand articulatingthe spatiotemporalityof the exhibition,art would attendto and reflecton the world while criticallydenouncingits own detachmentfrom it. Artists,curators,and designersmobilized
a more physicalinteractivityfor the viewer,inspiringspectatorsto move from passive
recipientsof art objectslo more activeparticipantsengagingdirectlywith art. This was
a measureof their
a key motivationfor artistsof the earlyavant-gardein relinquishing
authorialcontrol.
installationart, the work was
In some of the earliestforms of twentieth-century
regardedas being completedby the viewer through his or her participation.In two
ClaireBishopand RudolfFrielingeach trace the oriessayson the art of participation,
gins of interactiveart to a reconciliation
of art and social life that emergedin eventexhibitionmakingfromthe 1920sonward.4This
and laboratory-style
basedinstallations

C H APT ER

s well illustratedby works such as Lissitzky'sAbstractCabinet(constructedbetween


.927 and 1928 for the Landesmuseum,
Hannover)and Duchamp'sMite of strings
..First
at the White|awReid Mansion,New
Papersof Surrea|ism,'
ncludedaS part of
vork, in 1942),wherethe corporealityof the spectatorwas broughtinto play.Like many
af Lissitzky'sexhibitiondesigns, AdstractCabinetfacilitatedthe exhibitionof a lot of
r,/orksin a relativelysmall space and, like his Foom for ConstructivistArt (Dresden,
1926),was as much ideologicalas it was practical.Lissitzky'sstatedpurposewith his
lvorkwas to challengethe traditionallypassiveexperienceof art at a time when modernist urban designwas being used to provokegreaterlevels of separationbetween
people,As GeorgSimmeland walter Benjaminhad mostnotablypredicted,the birthof
people,while
the moderncity broughtabout citizenpassivityand a distancebetween
projectsencouragingnew forms of capitalistconsumption,throughmaster-planning
road buildingand the griddingof residentialareas,for example-alongsidethe rise of
the arcade,the departmentstore,the commercialcenter,the automobile,and so forth'6
Lissitzky,sinterestin a proactiveviewer was symptomatic"not only of a crisis in the
of the Modernistparadigm,but also a crisis of audiencerelations'"7
representation(s)
Centralto manyof these artists'activationswas the corporealinvolvementof individual
viewersaS part of a generalshifttowardmore relationalformsof participation'
and interactiveviewershipgatheredmomentumthroughoutthe 1920s
Relationality
in projectssuch as FrederickKiesler's"Exhibitionof New TheaterTechnique"'(at the
Kieslerinventeda new methodof
Vienna,in 1924).For the exhibition,
Konzefthaus,
and flexible,allowingfor multiple
interchangeable,
designthat was mobile,
installation
containedmorethan600 unframed
displayswithina singledesignunit.The exhibition
posters,designs,drawings,photographs,and architecturalmodelsthat were mounted
or placed on L- and T-shapedstructures.These structuresalso had cantileversthat
allowedthe viewersto adjustthe heightof the work to theirown eye levels.The exhibifrom the physicalarchitectural
tion designstructurewas freestandingand disconnected
interiorof the exhibitionvenue.Artworkswere not attachedto any wall or permanent
architecturalfeature;instead,the works were displayedon flexibleunitsthat could be
changedand rearrangedeasily.The systemwas mobileand could be adaptedto the
specificdemandsof a particularexhibitionspace.The emphasisof Kiesler'sexhibition
designwas on the physicalframeworkof the exhibition,its flexibility,and the interaction
spaceratherthansimplyon the workson display;the
of the viewerwithinthe exhibition
viewerthus becamean activeagent in the receptionof the work of art. This interestin
and movementthroughthe viewingspaceof the exhibitionwas
spectators,interactivity
observational
an obviousprogressionfrom late nineteenth-and earlytwentieth-century
inventionslikethe dioramaand the panorama,but it also suggesteda type oI proactive
analysisand the notionthat
scenario,identifiedwith poststructuralist
reader-in{he-text
meaningis locatedat the pointof reception.

The Emergence of CuratorialDiscourse from the Late 1960s to the Present

1.1 MarcelDuchamp,Mile of string, at "FirstPapersof surrealism,"whitelawReidMansion.


New York,1942.Courtesvof the Leo BaeckInstitute.

C H APT ER

From the late 1940s onward,new forms of installationart-such as Lucio Fontana'sAmbienteNero (1949), RichardHamilton'san Exhibit(1957),Yves Klein'sLe
Vlde (1958),Arman'sLe Plein (1960),Allan Kaprow'shappeningsand environments
(1959-late1960s),H6lioOiticica'sGrand Nucleus(Grandentrcleo)(1960-1966),and
ClaesOldenburg's
lhe Sfore(1961-1962)-brought
the site-bound
and spatialnature
of exhibitionsto the fore as "thevery materialof the artwork.""In the case of an Exhibit,
for example,Hamiltonworkedwith artistVictorPasmoreand curatorLawrenceAlloway
(membersof the IndependentGroup)to producea mobile-likeinstallationof a labyriLrth
of transparentand colorfulpanels.an Exhibitwas a stand-aloneartworkas well as a
collectivelyproducedexhibitionform resultingin a spatiovisualstructurethat dissected
and transformedthe viewer's vision into a three-dimensional
exoerienceof soaces
made up of intersectinghorizontaland verticalsurfaces.'oWith their emphasison both
the participatory
contextof the work of art and its site-boundnature,many of theseafiists pushedfor greatercontrolover the receptionof theirwork.Artistsaimedto restrict
the mediatingfunctionof art institutions,
organizers,and curatorsalike.In this way, the
exhibitionspacecame to functionas the main contextof, and the primarymediumfor,
the realizationof the artworkand, at the same time,as the site in whichthe work of art
was adaptedand modifiedin responseto each specificexhibitioncontext.ll
In the early twentiethcentury,a numberof influentialmuseumdirectorsinitiated
innovativedisplayswith artists,designers,and architects,transformingthe museum
from a repositoryof historicalart into a place for exhibitionsthat showcasedthe contemporaryart of the time-a movethat implicitlyreconfigured
the museumas an extension of the social world outside.For example,in the 1920sAlexanderDornerat the
Landesmuseum,
Hannover,beganto show non-artobjectsalongsideartworksin installationsthat were arrangedthematicallyratherthan by period.He also invitedaftiststo
provide componentsof the museum display, for example commissioningL6szl6
Moholy-Nagy
to designseating.GraphicdesignerWillemSandberg,directorof the StedelijkMuseum,Amsterdam,
from 1945to 1962,expandedthe museum'scollection
to
includeindustrialdesign,print, photography,and everydaymaterial.Critic Lawrence
Alloway,a memberof the IndependentGroup who becameassistantdirectorof the
Instituteof ContemporaryArts, London,in 1955,co-organized
the celebrated"This ls
Tomorrow"exhibitionat WhitechapelGalleryin 1956,employingan innovativeinteractive designtechniquethat establishedthe exhibitionas a kind of communlcationnetwork in which popular culture, movies, advertising,graphics,product design, and
fashionwere integratedinto the overalldisplay,ratherthan beingsegregatedfrom the
supposedlyhigherentityof artworks.CuratorPontusHult6n,foundingdirectorof Moderna Museet,Stockholm,in the 1950s,achievednotorietywith the 1968 exhibition
"She-A Cathedral."This was a deliberatelysensationalshow,enactedwith artistsNiki
de SaintPhalle,JeanTinguely,and Per Olof Ultvedt,whichtook placeinsidea 10O-footlongsculptureof a supinewoman,betweenwhoselegs the publicwas invitedto enter.

TheEmergence
Discourse
fromthe Late1960sto the Present
of Curatorial

In her rightbreasttherewas a milk bar; in her left,a planetariumview of the Milkyway;


also insidewere an aquariumwith goldfishand screeningsof GretaGarbofilms.By the
early1960s,JeanLeeringat the van Abbemuseum,
Eindhoven,
arguedfor art havinga
socialvalue and calledfor a livingmuseumthat would be collectivelyproducedby all
thosewho passedthroughits doors.The conceptwas best realizedin his 1972exhibition "The Street:Formsof LivingTogether,"which lookedto the environsof Eindhoven
and its publicas a startingpointfor much of its content,while its designmimickedtemporaryurbanenvironmentswithinand outsidethe museumwalls.
The late 1960swere distinguished
from earlieryearsby the appearanceof organizers of contemporaryart exhibitionsworkingindependentlyfrom fixed museumposts.
There was a movementaway from the prevailingnotionof the professionalmuseum
curatortowarda more independentpracticeas part of a shift in how boththe production
and mediationof art were understood.The terms Ausstetlungsmacher
(in German)and
faiseurd'expositions(in French)soonemerged,each representing
an intellectual
figure
operatingcounterto the museum,who organizedlarge-scale,
independent
exhibitionsof
contemporaryart and was understoodas someonewho had spent considerabletime
operatingwithinthe art world,usuallywithouta fixed institutionalpost,who influenced
publicopinionthroughhis or her exhibitions.BruceAltshulerretrospectively
claimedthat
this criticalmoment in twentieth-century
exhibitionhistorywas the beginningof the
"worldof advancedexhibitions"and the "rise of the curatoras creator.,,t'This moment
wouldreachits zenithin the 1990s,whichsaw a radicalincreasein the numberof largescale,recurring,internationalexhibitions,and heightenedvisibilityfor the figure of the
curatorwithindiscussionson art, internationalism,
and relateddiscourses.
What differentiates
discussionsabout curatorshipafter the 1960sfrom those precedingthem is that any evaluationof art and its institutionsextendedbeyondmere critiqueof artwork,and/orself-criticism
by artistsaroundautonomy,to includea new form
of curatorialcriticismfocusedon the praxisof exhibitionorganizers,gallerists,critics,
and curators'Thus, critiqueof the institutionof art beganto call into questionthe curatorial act and the ways in which it was affectingthe boundariesof art's production.
responsibility
for its authorship,and its mediation.
By 1969,the convergenceof artisticand curatorialpraxiswas causingconfusion
as to what actuallyconstitutedthe authorialmedium of the respectiveproducers.A
landmarkexhibitionin this regardwas Lucy Lippard's"ss7,og7,,t3
for which,in many
cases,Lippardherselfinstalledor made work basedon the instructionsof absentartists. In a review of the exhibition,peter plagens suggestedthat Lippard,scuratorial
hand in the exhibitedwork resultedin a "totalstyleto the show,a styleso pervasrveas
to suggestthat Lucy Lippardis in fact the artistand that her medlumis otherartists.,,'o
Lippardlater replied,"Of coursea critic'smediumis alwaysartists;criticsare the original appropriators."tu
Her responsetook on anotherself-reflexivedimension,when the
scale and breadth of the exhibitionwas extendedduring its second incarnationin

C H APT EF

r'ancouverin 1970, now underthe title "955,000.'Inthe combinedcatalogfor the


Seattleand Vancouvervenues-which consistedof randomlyarranged4-by-6-inch
-dex cards filled out primarilyby the artistsin the show-Lippard not only described
:-e contentsof the catalogfor the reader,she also highlightedthe flawednatureof the
-eceivedwisdomof curatedexhibitionsas some sort of holisticentity.She statedthat,
"dueto weather,technicalproblemsand lessdefinablesnafus,MichaelHeizer'spiece
,frasnot executedin Seattle;Sol LeWitt'sand Jan Dibbets'swere not completed;Carl
and the pieceswere not
were misunderstood
and BarryFlanagan'sinstructions
Ar-rdre's
work did not arrivein
Serra's
Richard
executedwhollyin accordwith the anists'wishes.
trme."'uWhile this perhapsdemonstratesa wry riposteto Plagens,it also providesan
earlyexampleof the awarenessof the limitsof the curatorialrole in which absences,
are commentedon ratherthan ignoredor concealed.
mistakes,and misunderstandings
is shown in relationto the fallibilityof the conceptionof the
Here,self-consciousness
exhibitionas a completework. Lippard'scommentsalso revealthe structureshidden
behindthe makingof arl, whichare oftenleftout of the story.The narrativeof perfection
involvedin the production
bringingthe machinations
is heredestabilized,
and neutrality
as
beingseparatefrom life
punctures
of
art
the myth
and exhibitionof art to the fore. lt
and all its messiness.

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1.2 lndex cardsfrom catalogfor "557,O87"and "955,000,"curatedby Lucy R. Lippard,seattle


Art Museum.Seattle,1969,and The VancouverArt Gallery,Vancouver,1970. Courtesyof the
SeattleArt Museum.

fromthe Late1960sto the Present


of CuratoriaiDiscourse
The Emergence

t3

t:,
ii:

il
It
I
I
I
:t
:,
I

The closest understanding


of Ausstettungsmacher
in Englishis of an author as
"independent
exhibitionmaker,"'tprimarilyreferencing
the activitiesof a few curatorswho
beganoperatingbetweenthe 1960sand early1970ssuchas curatorand criticGermano
celant,who coinedthe term "Artepovera";''KonradFischer,who initiallyworkedas the
artist Konrad Lueg but began organizingexhibitionsindependenfly,
under the name
Fischer,beforeopeninghis own Dusseldorfgalleryin october 1967;walter Hopps,who
beganorganizingexhibitionsduringthe 1950s,foundedthe FerusGallen/in California
withartlstEdwardKienholzin 1956,and becamedirectorof the pasadenaArt Museumin
1962;PontusHult6n,'n
who startedcuratingexhibitions
at a smallgallerycalledThe Collectorin Stockholmduringthe 1950sand becamedirectorof ModernaMuseet,Stockholm,in 1958;and curatorssuch as seth siegelauband Haraldszeemann.Up untilthe
Iate 1960s,freelanceexhibitionmakingremainedat a relativelylocalized,na1on4level.
Then,individuals
suchas celant, Lippard,siegelaub,and szeemannbeganto contextualize divergentcontemporaryart scenes-with artistslinkedto Fluxus,Arte povera,postminimalism,
and conceptualism
fromthe Unitedstates,Europe,the UnitedKingdom,and
Latin America-into international
group exhibitionsfor the first time. Examplesof key
exhibitions
at the time includeszeemann's"when AttitudesBecomeForm:works, con_
cepts,Processes,Situations,Information,,to
and ,,Happening
and Fluxus,,;21
Siegelaub,s
'January5-31, 1969";" "op rosseschroeven:Situatiesen cryptostructuren,,
(.square
Pegs in RoundHoles"),curatedby Wim Beeren;",Anti-lllusion;
procedures/Materials,,,
curatedby MarciaTuckerand JamesMonte;" "spaces,,,curated
by JenniferLicht;'sthe
alreadymentioned"ss7,087,"curatedby Lucy Lippard;'uand ,,lnformation,,,
curatedby
KynastonMcShine."Throughmany of these exhibitions,international
recognitionwas
gainedfor bothartistsand curatorsalikeand,althoughtheseexhibitions
were resoonstve
to less object-oriented
artisticpraxis,many of them took placein establishedmuseums
and art galleries.Curatorialproductionin thesecasesconsistedof the groupingtogether
of relatedartworksand artistsperceivedas havingsimilarconcerns,which led to the exhibitionformbeingtreatedas a mediumin and of itself.In otherwords,the exhibition
became
clearlyidentifiedwith a specificexhibitionmaker,or with the signaturestyle of the curatorproducerand by his or her abilityto contextualizea rangeof work as a wholeenlity."
In the majorityof cases,the artworkswere createdspecificallyfor and withinthe
exhibitions,with significantconsequences
for the statusof boththe worksand the exhibitions.As lrene calderoniwrites,"This resultedin the emergenceof an awarenessof
the centralityof the presentationof the afiwork, as well as the idea that the artwork
operatesas a functionof, and is limitedto, that place and that moment.,,'n
In other
words,artistsand curatorswere knowinglyinvolvedin a parallelprocessof makingand
organizingthat was gearedtowarda futuremomentof display,with the eventualexhibition being the result of these labors and with art often being specificallycreatedor
adaptedfor particularexhibitionsinsteadof beingavailableas preexisting,fixed,autonomousworksreadyfor selectionand display.to

to

C H APT EF

T-1.3 "WhenAttitudesBecomeForm:Works,
Concepts,Processes,Situations,Information,"
curatedby HaraldSzeemann,KunsthalleBern,
Bern.
Bern,1969.Courtesyof Kunsthalle
1.4 "January5-31 , 1969,"curatedby Seth
Siegelaub,SethSiegelaubGallery,New York,
1969.Courtesyof Seth Siegelaub.

fromthe Late1960sto the Present


of CuratorialDiscourse
TheEmergence

For some,theseexhibitionswere a successfulhybridof artisticresearchand exhibitionaesthetics.Accordingto Calderoni:


The curatorialpracticeof this periodwas also profoundlyinvolvedin the evolutionof
artisticlanguages,
to the extentthat the exhibitionmedium,as well as the roleof the
curatoritself,wasdrastically
redefined.
. . . Multipleaspects,rangingfromdisplaytech_
niquesto cataloguedesignand fromadvertising
strategies
to the artist-institution
relationship,renderedthese shows innovativewith respectto traditiorialshows.The
innovation,
or, rather,the commonmatrixconnecting
themall,liesin the factthat,from
hereon, the spatialand temporalcontextof artisticproduction
wouldcoincidewiththe
contextof the exhibition.3l
For others,the marriageof radicalan and lts conventionalplace of displaywere
problematic.Interviewedin 1969, Tommaso Trini applied the term ,,museographical
emergency"to describethe problematicconditiongeneratedby the introduction
intothe
museumcontextof artworkswith a process-oriented
dimension.t'For Trini,the dilemmas raisedappearedto be irreconcilable
becausethe fixityof traditionalmuseumspace
contrastedmarkedlywith the temporalnatureof manyof the artworkson display.
Howeverone choosesto evaluatethis focus on, or awarenessof, the process of
exhibitionmaking,it demonstratedthat the traditionalsegregationof artisticproduclon
from its mediationwas no longerso easilyestablished.The work of the artistbecame
less easy to distinguishfrom that of the curatorat a time when artistswere employing
mediationstrategiesin their practice,throughthe use of tefi, linguistics,and systems
theoriesthat resultedin moreconceptualoutcomes.As the artistRobertBarryclaimedin
1969,"Theword 'arl' is becominglessof a nounand moreof a verb.. . . Thinkingnot so
much aboutthe objectsthemselvesas what possibilities
are inherentin them and what
the ideasare in them."3tBarry'safticulationof art as a verb is one of manydefinitionsof
conceptualarts whichsuggestedthat an understanding
of art was no tonglr resrricted
to
that whichwas materialized
as the objectsof art; instead,art couldalso encomoassthe
productionof ideasaboutart,whichcould,in themselves,be constitutedas art.Art could
be that which was verbalized,spoken of, or written about. Art as materialpractice
becameinseparablefrom art as a discurslvepractice.As much as art could be made
presentin the world,throughlanguageand the arliculation
of ideas,theseideascouldbe
the primarymedium,as wellas the outcome,of artisticproduction.
And, if art couldbe an
idea,then those involvedin producingand employingideasas their mediumcouldalso
be said to be the producersof art, whetherthey calledthemselvescurators,criti"", ot
artists.Just as ideasrequiremediation(of some meansor another),so the mediationof
art and the conceptionof art as that whichis mediatedbecomeconflated.

l8

C H APT EF

Ilemystificationand the Role of the Mediator


Alongsidethe erosionof distinctcategoriesin relationto the productionof art-as-ideas,
artistswere also takingon functionsformerlyassociatedwith the critic or the curator,
suchas writingand exhibition
organizing.
Throughvariousadaptations
of the exhibition
as a form, the curatorof the late 1960sbeganto take on the artist'screativemantle,
whereby the traditionalroles of artist, curator,and critic were being collapsedand
deliberatelyconflated,with artists and curators working together in a cooperative
manner.As the galleristSiegelaublatersaid:
All the differentart worldcategories
werebreakingdownat the time:the ideaof gallery
painter-writer,
dealer,curator,artist-curator,
critic-writer,
all these categorieswere
becoming
fuzzy,lessclear.In a certainway,it waspaftof the 1960spolitical
project.The
"information
society"was up and running,and manyof thesedifferentareaswerevery
touchandgo,peopleweremovingbetweenthingsanddoingmanydifferent
things.tu

It
I
I

In recognitionof the fact that curators,artists, and critics were beginningto


acknowledge
the influential
mediatingcomponentwithinan exhibition's
formation,production,and dissemination,
Siegelaubappliedthe term "demystification"
to the changing conditionof exhibitionproduction.'uDemystification
was retrospectively
described
as "a processin which[curatorsand artists]attemptedto understandand be conscious
of our actions;to make clearwhat we and otherswere doing . . . you haveto deal with
[curatingjconsciouslyas part of the art exhibitingprocess,for good or bad."" For
Siegelaub,demystification
was a necessaryprocessIn revealingand evaluatingthe
more hiddencuratorialcomponentsof an exhibition,makingevidentthat the actionsof
curatorshad an impacton whichartworkswere exhibitedand how they were produced,
mediated,and distributed.In his words, to understandwhat the curator does is to
understand,in part,what you are lookingat in an exhibition.'u
As Siegelaublaterstated
about his generation,"we thoughtthat we coulddemystifythe role of the museum,the
role of the collector,and the productionof the artwork;for example,how the size of a
galleryaffectsthe productionof art, etc. In that sense,we triedto demystifythe hidden
structuresof the art world."This demystification
of the "hiddenstructuresof the art
world"succeededin demonstrating
that there were many actorsand actionsat play in
the constructionof art and its exhibitionvalue. The suddenvisibilityof the curatorial
hand made differentiation
betweenthe authorof the work of art and the independent
curatorincreasingly
complicated.tn
Worksby manyof the artistsSiegelaubworkedwith-such as RoberlBarry,Douglas Huebler,JosephKosuth,and LawrenceWeiner-were not primarilyobject-oriented,
and their presentationdid not result in materialor physicaloutcomes.Instead,their
practiceoften involvedthe productionof ideas,information,or system-oriented
outputs
with a conceptualfocus.Many of these "dematerialized"ao
or conceptuallydrivenworks

The Emergence
of Curatorial
Discourse
fromthe Late1960sto the Present

ff

:r:

WM

'

l. 5Set hSiege|aubinc onv er s at i o n Wi t h c u r a t o r K i t t y S c o t t a t . . R o t t e r d a m D i a | o g u e s : T h e


of Wittede With'
Curators,"WiiteOeWith,Rotterdam,2009 Courtesy

componentof the artworkitself in


necessitatedsome form of mediation,often as a
Two casesin pointare weiner'sone Holein the
orderto makethe work perceptible.
Gro u n d A p p ro x i m a te l y o n e FootbyoneFoot' oneGatl onW ater-B asedW hi teP ai nt
Po u re d i n to T h i s H o l e (1 9 6 9 )_w hi ch,asaS tatement,defi nedthemateri a| S tructureof
processof production-and Barry',s/nerf
the work as well as its principalmaterialsand
G a s Se rl e s (1 9 6 9 ),w h i c h i nvo| vedboththei deaof,andtheactua| re| easeof,gases
i n to th e e n v i ro n me n t.l n o rd ertomakethel atterartw orkpal pabl e,si egel aubpubl i ci ze d
for the projectto a
poster,sent out as an invitation/advertisement
it in a 35-by-23-inch
..RoBERTBARRY/ |NERT
which read
and key institutions,
mai|ing|ist of individua|s
G A SS ER | ES /H E L | U M,N EON ,A R GON ' K R Y P TON ,X E N ON /FR oMA ME A S U R E D
Vo L U M ET o IN D E F | N | T E EX P A N S | oN /A P R IL1968/S E TH S | E GE LA U B ,6000
90028 l213Ho 4-8383.,o'
SUNSETBoULEVARD,HoLLYWooD,CAL|FoRNIA,
the "usevalue"of an object
both
sign
single
a
into
iransfigures
Justas advertising
as its main commodityform, Siegelaub'sposter
form and its "exchangeva1)e"0"

2A

C H APT F R

:unctioned
as a sign bothof certification
thatthe work existedand of authentication
of
ihe exchangevalueof the work,in lieuof any actualobject.ot
The exhibition
of the work
of aft was, therefore,split betweenBarry'sephemeralaction,of which he made an
audiorecording,
and siegelaub'svlsualpublicmanifestation
in the form of a text on a
poster,whichmadethe exhibition
of the artwork,in AlexanderAlberro'swords,"accessibleto the publicsolelyin the formof advertising,
as puresign."oo
The materialrepresentationand the intrinsicelementsof the artworkwere part of the same exhibitiora,
beingbothdistinctfrom,and yet dependenton, one another.
In 1969,siegelaubnotedhow art had movedfrom the ideathat,when someone
painteda painting,whathad beendoneand whatyou saw werethe samething,to one
wherethe "artwas a differentthingto how information
aboutit was provided."ot
Thus,it
was now possibleto splitthe artworkinto"primaryinformation"-that
is, thatwhichwas
the "essenceof the piece"-and "secondary
information,"
whichwas the materialinformationusedto makeone awareof the pieceand its "formof presentation,"aG
Changesin the curatorship
of ar1involvednotonlythe detachedapplication
of new
techniques
of distribution
and displaybut also an influencein, or evena determination
of, the meansof presentation,
whichbecamean inseparable
componentof the workof
art itself.In this way, the productionof the work of art and its mediationin a oublic
exhibitioncontextwere inteftwined.
A new kind of postformalist
aestheticemergedin
whichart now lookedto systemstheories,linguistics,
sitespecificity,
and art'senvironmentaldimension,ratherthanthe traditional
aestheticform.-'In an unpublished
essay
from 1968,siegelaubstatesthat,by the late 1950sand early 1960s,"the contention
that the framingconventionof a work of art was implicitwas accepteda prioriby the
majority"
of artists,withmoretraditional
object-based
art beingrejected.ot
In thisacceptanceof logicalart historical
progression,
therewas an implication
of the objectand its
relationto its physicalcontext(walls,floors,ceilings,and the roomitself).In the same
year, Dan Grahamalso notedthat "the show is done for a specificplace,,,on
further
highlighting
an understanding
of the placeof exhibition
and the placeof the workof art
as inextricably
linked.
Those responsiblefor providingthe mediatingcontextof aft were, therefore,
almostas centralto the production
of art as the artiststhemselves.
At the sametime,
artistsseemedto be lookingfor sympathetic
exhibitionorganizerswho couldprovide
waysto exhibittheirdematerialized
work as well as for thosewho had a fundamental
understanding
of whatactuallyconstituted
the workof art and its exhibition.
As Weiner
stated,"[Curators]
builttheirstructureon beingableto legitimately
and correcflyshow,
whichmeantunderstanding,
a cerlainbody of work that did not havea precedent.
At
leastin my own case,I knowthatfor sure,and,in the majorityof othercases,I feltthat
the anistswerelookingfor curatorswho at leastunderstood
whattheydid.Theydidn,i
evenhaveto agreewithit;theyjusthadto understand
it so that,whenit was presented,
it wasn'tmisrepresented.""

The Emergence of CuratorialDiscourse from the Late 1960s to the Presenl

Peterosborneisolatedfour key eleLookingbackat this moment,the philosopher


materialobiectivity'
ments negatedby conceptualartisticpracticeof the 1960s-art's
theseattributes'
exploring
of
means
a
As
medium specifhity,visuality,andautonomy.''
how sucn
resolve
to
attempted
that
curatorsconjurednew ways of makingexhibitions
providing
a more
practicescould be presented,while
conceptualand dematerialized
be displayedThere
visiblecuratorialstructurewithinwhichthe work of art couldbest
is
madefor presenta(that
which
were manyexhibitionmomentsin whichthe artwork
frameworkfor
tion by an artist),the curatorialstructure(the principalorganizational
(the methodsemployedto
which this artworKrs made),the techniquesof mediation
format(thetype
form),and the exhibition
the work beyondthe exhibition
communicate
public)
collapsedinto
a
to
manifest
made
in whichtheserelationsare
of oresentation
one another.
by artist Brian
An early exampleof such a projectwas "Aspen5+6," curated
o ,D o h e rty i n l g 6 T ,w h i c h i n c | u d edcarefu| | yse| ectedfi | ms,audi o,vi ny| records,and
p ri n te d ma tte r-b y J o h n C a g e ,M arcel D uchamp' S ol LeW i tt' R obertMorri s' and
commissionedtexts by
others-assembledtogetherto fii inside a box alongside
susansontag,and RolandBarthesto Providethe
SamuelBeckett,AlainRobbe-Grillet,
ideasof authorship''-By conworkswith contextualreadingaroundpoststructuralist
invitedartists-Andre,Barry'
of
1968
and Jackwendler's"XeroxBook"
trast,Siegelaub
that respondedto, and
Hueb|er,Kosuth,LeWitt,Morris,and Weiner-to makeworks
in a
pape0,medium(photocopies
(a sheetof letter-sized
wereconfinedby, dimensions
b o o k ),a n d i n s tru c ti o n s (w o rkthatcou| dbecopi edbythecurator)." -S i mi | ar| y,S i egemirroredthe worksof art in them and vice
laub'spublicitycampatgnsfor exhibitions
in Artforumto promote"DouglasHuebler:November1968"
versa.His advertisements
a p p | i e d e x a c t| y th e s a me ty p e ofdescri pti ve| anguagethatH ueb| eri ntegratedi ntohi s
the curatoWhatSzeemanncalled"thegreatbalancingact"betweenillustrating
work.uo
enteringa
1972,
by
was,
artworks""the
the autonomyof
rialconceptand "preserving
retrospectively
Bismarck
key transitionalstage. lt demarcatedwhat critic Beatricevon
in whichthere was a "changeof heroesor
observedas the momentof conjuncture
of the ariistto thatof the curator'"tu
rolesin the art worldtromthe personality
Curatingas EmergentPracticefrom the 1970sOnward
from an
transformed
By the early 1970s,the role of the exhibitionmakerhad been
to an
artworks
discrete
of
exhibitions
of
activityprimarilyinvolvingthe organization
various
include
to
came
and discursivepractice.curatorship
extendedorganizational
associatedwith the displayof worksof art, such as the
directly
be
not
factorsthat might
and translations
of culturalcirculations
or the development
productionof knowleclge,
more recently
Rogoff
lrit
engage.''
can
that shape other forms throughwhich arts
through[a]
activities
of framingihose exhibition-making
calledthis the "possibility

C I- ,l APT ER 1

II

CAAL
ANART
R$STRT
BARRY

0$u&Les
HUrBlrn
J$SNPH
KCI$UT$|
$OLLTWITT
ROBERT
MORRIS

LAWRENCT
V|TInTN
Firii ldilion
106
neramller I tffi

Cogyrightlslh $iegelaubrnd Irhn W. Wendtrr tt6g. Atr Rrghi*rs5erued.No pifl of ihis hst may
k rep.d*ed in ?ny torn. vilhout permiaron in writiry lrom tbe pub,isher.printd in ths UnitarJ
9aa1$of Ameri.a.
Sieglsublwsndlr.

. Ne! york, N. y.

1.6 "TheXeroxBook,"curatedby SethSiegelauband JackWendler,New york, 1968.Courtesy


of SethSiegelaub.

The Emergenceof CuratorialDrscoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Present

23

{SW:LK

1967.Courtesyof GwenAllen
1.7 "Aspen5+6,"curatedby BrianO'Doherty,

C H APT EB

seriesof principles
and possibilities."ut
Emphasison the framingand mediationof art,
ratherthan its production,also createda new degreeof visibilityfor the individual
agencyinvolvedin the framingof thesepractices-thatis,for the curator.
Burgeoning
recognition
go-between,
for the roleplayedby the organizer,
and interproduction,
mediaryin the conceptualization,
and mediation
of contemporary
art exhibitionswas,in part,begunas a responseto the changingconditions
underwhichart was
beingproduced.But it was alsopartof a deliberate
attemptto questionsuchconditions
by devisingnewformatsthroughwhichartistscouldpresenttheirworkas publiclyavailable information.
As Siegelaubstatedof his workingrelationship
with artistsBarry,
Huebler,Kosuth,and Weiner:
My interests
wereverycloselyalliedto working
withthemto deviseexhibition
structures
andconditions
thatwereableto showtheirwork,whichwouldreflectwhattheirwork
was about.In otherwords,it becameclearto me that,fin seekinga] solution
to the
problems
thatwereposedby the natureof theirworkandthejdeasbehindit . . . a gallerywasnotnecessarily
themostidealenvironment
to showit . . . my'lob,"so to speak,
was to findthoseformats,to findthosenew structures
and conditions
to be ableto
showtheirwork.se

'f
{

Changein what constitutedthe "mediator"proposedthat the curatorwas a proactiveagentin the communication


chain(aftistas sender,curatoras mediator,
vieweras
receiver).
The curatorwas primarilyresponsible
for the production
of the means(exhibitionformats)throughwhichformsof information
(arlworks,
curatorial
ideas)weremobilized.As GillesDeleuzeenvisaged,
creativity
is a movementor flowthat necessitates
a
mediator
to keepthingsopenand aliveas pan of an activecommunication
network:
is all aboutmediators.
Creation
Withoutthemnothinghappens.
Theycan be peoplefora philosopher,
philosophers
artistsor scientists;
for a scientist,
or artists-butthings
too,evenplantsor animals.
. . . Whethertheyare realor imaginary,
animateor inanimate,youhaveto formyourmediators.
lt'sa series.lf you'renotin someseries,evena
completely
imaginary
one,you'relost.I needmy mediators
to expressmyselfand
they'dneverexpressthemselves
withoutme:you'realwaysworkingin a group,even
whenyouseemto be on yourown."
lf, as Deleuzesuggests,the role of the mediatoris to keep thingsmoving,as a
seriesof "animated"
actionsor "expressions"
as part of a group,then demystification,
as a way of makingvisiblethese mediations,
seemsto be the necessaryfunctionof
suchmovements,
animations,
and practices.
The late 1960sto early1970susheredin a new modeof expressive
and animated
curatorialpraciice,which can be understoodas "emergent"in the senseformulatedby
RaymondWilliams.ln Marxismand Literature(1977),Williamsconstructsa triumvirate
of dominant,residual,andemergentculturalmoments.-Whilethe dominantrepresents

The Emergenceof CuratorialDiscourse from the Late 1960sto the Present

the staiusouo.residualculturalelementsare thosethatoperateat somedistancefrom


effectivedominantculturebut are stillpart of it. The residualcomprisesthosecultural
contempoelementsthatderivefroma grandtraditionand are employedin legitimating
marginal
in
largely
space.
Williams
argues
that
while
operating
a
rary socialrelations,
dilution,projection,
discrimiof the residualthrough"reinterpretation,
this incorporation
natinginclusionand exclusion"is the work of selectivetradition.On the other hand,
comprisesinnovativepracticesthat producenew meanemergentculturalinnovation
is thusnotthe mereappearance
Emergence
of novings,values,and interrelationships.
to the dominant-thepromiseof overcoming,
opposition
elty;it is the siteof dialectical
the dominant-andnotsimplydelivor bypassing
evading,renegotiating,
transgressing,
of the "new"or the contemporary.
eringmoreof the sameunderthe blandishments
from those
Truly emergentpractices,Williamsargues,are difficultto distinguish
that are simplynew phasesin the dominantcultureand thus merely"novel."Practices
to sanctioned
cultural
thatare emergent,in the strictestsense,providerealalternatives
and values.ForWilliams,whatmattersin emergentculture,as
experiences,
behaviors,
distinctfromresidualor dominantculture,is that-while it willalwaysdependon finding
of form-it containsan elementof implicitor explicitcritical
new formsor adaptations
co-optionof the rhetoricof emergenceby
Thereis, of course,a longstanding
dissent.u'
the art market,as evidencedin the clich6of "emergentartists."This co-optionmakes
of the truly emergentall the more complex,engagingthe uncertain
the discernment
and a pointof sale.
as botha pointof resistance
dynamicsof authenticity
praxisin the
the emergentmomentof curatorial
to Williams's
definitions,
According
curatorial
discoursein
late 1960snow operatesas a residualelementof contemporary
and phasesof culturegenerthatit relatesto the waysin whichearliersocialformations
is a contemporary
reachingbackto those
ated certainmeaningsand values.u'There
importantmomentsof humanexperimeaningsand valuesthat representhistorically
but which have been neglected,repressed,or
ence, aspiration,and achievement,
by dominantculture.'
undervalued
withincuratorial
Arguably,curatorialdiscourse-orrathera specificsubformation
discoursethat has lookedto curatingas a contestedterritory-hasfunctionedas an
discoursehas enableda range
importantculturalmatrixin recentdecades.Curatorial
culture
acrossa numberof institutional
the
dominant
thatcontest
of criticalinnovations
practices.
In orderto understandhow curatorialdiscourseoperatesas an
sites and
engineof emergence,it will help to considerthe growthof curatorialdiscoursein its
opposedits identification
as a
own right,at a timewhen a numberof curatorscritically
(and
production).
form
of
mediation
For
authored
and individually
semiautonomous
Reality,Pictorial
example,by the time SzeemanncuratedDocumenta5, "Questioning
curatorhad alreadybeenopened
WorldsToday,"in 1972,the positionof the individual
by a shiftof emphasis
debate.This debatewas accompanied
up to widerinternational
primary
critrque
of
the
artwork
as an autonomous
in the criticismof art-away fromthe

C IAPT EF

objectof studyandtowarda modeof curatorial


criticismin whichthe curatorbecomesa
:entralsubjectof critique.The criticalresponseto Documenta
5, for example,focused
overemphasis
cn Szeemann's
of his own curatorial
conceptratherthanthe artworksin
At the time,this criticismwas led by a groupof exhibitingartistswith
the exhibition.
,,vhomSzeemannhad previouslyworkeduu
who petitionedin Artforumuu
and other
p aces, includingthe GermannewspaperFrankfurterAtlgemeineZeitung.u'Thearlists
withouttheirpermission,
objectedto beingexhibitedin thematicclassification
and were
"themeconcept"to selectedartopposedto Szeemann's
application
of an overarching
worksaccordingto the categories
of "Questioning
Reality"and "Pictorial
WorldsToday"
n an exhibitionthat also includednon-artmaterials-suchas po^rnography,
science
posters,and advertisements.'"
fiction,comics,politicalpropaganda
As Von Bismarck
laterargued,thisgestureof resistance
addresseda fundamental
conflictof powerrelations in the art world,wherebythe manifestoshouldbe seen as an early reaction
againsta role changefor curatorsand artists.What was at issuein this momentof
was the powerto shapethe publicappearance
antagonism
of art.un
The ideaof an art exhibition
as a "curated"spacemadeit apparentthattherewas
a remitoperatingbeyondthe interestsof the artists,whichoccasionally
closeddown
art's semiautonomous
functionor openedit up to new alignments.
This provideda
that extendedbeyonda centralized
spaceof criticalcontestation
critiqueof worksof
increasingly
art-which, ironically,
concernedthemselveswith mediationand the languageof mediationas alreadyoutlined-andbeganto addressthe curatedexhibition
as its own entity,as an objectof critique.In thissense,the emergenceof the curatorial
positionthat beganwith the processof demystification-as
an opposition
to the dominantorderof what,and who, constituted
the work of art-became a discussion
about
the valuesand meaningsof the workof the exhibition.
The Curatoras the Authorof Exhibitionsin the Late1980s
Fromthe mid-1980sonward,the responsein the US (in particularthat of Benjamin
Buchloh,Hal Foster,AndreaFraser,and studentsof the WhitneyIndependent
Study
Programsuchas JoshuaDecter,MarkDion,and others)to Burger's"critiqueof institutions"was to reenactthe projectof the historical
avant-garde,
by renamingit "institu"neo-avant-garde""
praxisof such
tionalcritique."to
The term beganto encompassthe
artistsas MichaelAsher, Marcel Broodthaers,Daniel Buren, Dan Graham,Hans
Haacke,and LawrenceWeiner.Suchartists,Fosterclaimed,were primarilyinterested
in turning"critiqueof the conventionsof the traditionalmuseums,as performedby
into an investigation
Dada,constructivism,
and other historicalavant-gardes,
of the
parameters."t'
institution
of art,its perceptual
and cognitive,
structural
and discursive
In this context,institutional
as differentfrom the historical
critiqueis understood
"critiqueof institutions"
avant-garde's
becauseit operatesprimarilyas a "critiquefrom

The Emerqence of CuratorialDiscoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Presenl

basisof art and its systemsof institutionalizathe inside,"directedat the institutional


dominant
ratherthan overthrowing
tion.tt In short,it is the practiceof undermining
critiquebecamethe centralfocusof
regimes.As Buchlohwrites,"ln factan institutional
that providesthe underlyingratiovision
of
[these]artists'assaultson the falseneutrality
definedand
nowgenerally
critiqueis,therefore,
Institutional
nalefor thoseinstitutions."Ta
whichincludesmuseums,galleries'
indeedlimitedby its apparentobject,the institution,
of art and its mediation,the art
organizedsitesfor the presentation
and the established,
suggests,no matter how
Fraser
Andrea
As
market,art magaztnes,and ar1criticism.
"Arl
is aft when it existsfor
placement
is,
public,or prominentits
relational,
immaterial,
art, and condiscoursesand practicesthat recognizeit as art, value and evaluateit as
or onlyidea." Thatwhichis
sumeit as art,whetheras object,gesture,representation,
the
systemwithinwhich it funcby
announcedas art is alwaysalreadyinstitutionalized
of thoseinvolvedin the fieldof art' In
tions,simplybecausertexistswithinthe perception
,,Theinstitutionof art is not somethingexternalto any work but the irreducotherwords,
interiorto aft, thereis no art.
ibleconditionof its existenceas art."tuwithout its institution,
curatingconveysvalueto
of
the
act
art,
of
As a criticalcomponentof the institution
seenas a vitalinsider'
was
thusthe curator
and discussion;
art throughits presentation
and instituthe conditions
and providing
new alignments
Deemedcapableof instituting
of protionalspacefor art's display,the curatoralso beganto defineart'sframework
of
level
new
was
a
There
context'
exhibitionary
ductionwhileassertingits overarching
of
institution
the
of
for the roleof curator,whichbeganwithihe demystification
visibility
1980s'
practicesBy the late
art and continuedin responseto more conceptualized
roleas a dominant,singlecuratorial
the
of
"remystification"
enableda
suchconditions
a u fe u rp o s i ti o n .C ri ti q u e s o ft hegroupexhi bi ti onformbegani oportraytheexhi bi ti onas
producedby a curator'sjuxa presentationmediumwith a subjective,narrativethread
objectsorto
of preexisting
of artworks.Curatingsaw a returnto the inclusion
taoosition
works as part of an overall
the groupingtogetherof both extantand commissioned
.l
of the 980s oftenproexhibitions
or thematic
The ahistorical
exhibitioncomposition.
posedthatthe primaryfunctionof the curatorwas as an agentalmostsolelyresponsible
was proposedas a syntheconcept.The exhibition
of an exhibition's
for the authorship
(the totalsyninto
a
Gesamtkunstwerk
praxis
transformed
sis of artwork,concept,and
well-documented
Alongside
individual."
an
thesisof worksof art intoonewholeform)by
conarticulated
challengesto the traditionalmuseum,'"a new rhetoricprevailedthat
disthe
and gavemeaningto
temporarycuratingas the activitythatshapedexhibitions
p l a y e d a rtw o rk ' F o re x a m p | e ,i nl gS 2,thedi rectorofD ocumentaT,R udi Fuchs,
making:"We practicethis wonderfulcraft' ' we conhis art of exhibition
summarized
In the meantimeartists
afterhavingmaderoomsfor this exhibition.
structan exhibition
curated"Der
attemptto do theirbest,as it shouldbe."" By 1983,HaraldSzeemannhad
for a Synthesisof the Arts")at Kunsthaus
("Penchant
Hang zum Gesamtkunstwerk"
of the arts
zirich, which proposedthe exhibitionas a quest for the total synthesis

C IAPT ER

'-':,gh the imagination


of the curator.ln an inlerviewwith fellowcuratorHans Ulrich
:
'
s
t
.
S
ze
e
ma
n
e
n
l
a
b
o
ra teodn th e e x h i b i ti on:
In thisexhibition,
A Gesamtkunstwerk
can onlyexistin the imagination.
I startedwith
of Novalisand CasparDavid
artistslike Runge,a contemporary
GermanRomantic
relating
to majorcultural
. . . thenI included
worksanddocuments
figureslike
Friedrich
WagnerandLudwigll; RudolfSteinerandWassilyKandinsky;
Richard
Facteur
Cheval
Cathedratof EroticMisery;the Bauhausmanifesto"Let's
and Tatlin. . . Schwitters'
of ourtimes";AntoniGaudiandtheGlassChainmovement;
buildthecathedral
Antonin
. . in cinemaAbelGanceand Hans
Artaud,AdolfWolfli,and GabrieleD'Annunzio
Inthecenterof theexhibition
Onceagainit wasa historyof utopias.
JurgenSyberberg.
artisticgestures
wasa smallspacewithwhatI wouldcallthe primary
of ourcentury:
a
anda Mal evi ch.
K and i n s koyf 1 9 1 1 D
, u c h a mpL' sa rg eGl ass,
a Mondri an,
l endedthe
in thevisualafis.8o
of the lastrevolution
showwithBeuysas the representative
that createdcomplexinterwas one of many large-scale
exhibitions
Szeemann's
sticesbetweenan from differenttimes,movements,media,and styles,in whichthe
to be a unifiedwork,madefroma combination
overallresultswerepurported
of numerous artworks,displayedtogetherundera singlevision."Der Hangzum Gesamtkunstwerk"proposeda seltstyledcuratorialvalue system.As a proposition,
Szeemann's
"myth
perpetual
appearedto treathis own
as a value,"with its own
exhibition
alibithat
mythadheredto what RolandBarthes
is withouttruth.Janus-faced,
his self-proposed
in which "meaningis alwaysthereto
considereda key attributefor its perpetuation,
presentthe form."u'Szeemann's
exhibition
was a compositeof the worksand objects
that comprisedthe fragmentsof his narrative,as the materialfor his final exhibition
form,whichhe intendedto be hermeiic,operatingat somedistancefromthe individual
Boththe sheerscaleand densityof potentialmeaningsproducedby
artists'intentions.t'
of variousworksencodedin suchan exhibition
transformed
the arrangement
the aestheticvaluesof individual
artworksintosymbolicvalues,wherebySzeemann's
overtly
subjective
decisionsreconstituted
the systemthroughwhichvaluecouldbe adjudged,
for the generation
by placingresponsibility
of meaningsfor the artworkalmostfullywith
the curator.u'
Large-scale
exhibitions
of the 1980salsoexploredthe use of spacesbeyondthe galleryor museum,suchas KasperKonig's"Vonhieraus" (Dusseldorf,
1985),whichwas
installedin purpose-built
exhibitionhallsconceivedwith architectHermannCzech.Many
alsoemployeda scatteredsiteapproach,suchas Jan Hoet's1986exhibitionof somefifty
artistsin one or more roomsin variousprivateapartmentsthroughoutGhentas "Chambresd'amis"or KlausBussmannand Konig'scontinuedinitiativeof showingsite-responsive art connectedacrossselectedoutdoorplacesthroughout"SkulpturProjektMUnstei'
in '1987.And, shortlyafterward,curatorMaryJane Jacob'sfestivalapproachinvolveda
temporarypublicaftworksthat respondedto the
constellation
of speciallycommissioned,

The Emergenceof CuratorialDiscourse from the Late 1960s to the Present

local,spatial,and historicalcontextsof Charlestonwhile intendedto be readas a single


show in "Placeswith a Past"(1gg1).84
Therewas a reordering
of art into a new value
systemin whichthe curatolschoicesand rationales
wereseenas a formof self-presentation,thuscreating
a myth-making
statusforthe organizer
at the helm.
Accordingto Briano'Doherly,this awarenessof the spacearoundthe work had
alreadybegunin the 1950sand 1960s,whenthe significance
of an individual
artwork
was determined
by the placeit was assignedamong,and alongside,
otherworks.Exhibitionssuchas szeemann's"A-historische
Klangen"("Ahistorical
Sounds,,)
at the Boijma n s Va n Be u n i n g e nMu seumi n R otterdami n 1989, Jean-H ubert
Marti n,s,' Les
Magiciens
de la terre"("Magicians
of the Earth")at the centreGeorgespompidouand
La Villettein Parisin 1989,as well as RudiFuchs's1983rehangof the Van Abbemuseum collectionin Eindhoven,
whichwas itselfthen rehungby the museum,scurrent
director,charles Esche,as part of the exhibition"Repetition:
summer Display1983,,,
itselfpartof the "PlayVan Abbe Part1" in 2010,areall notablefor theirjuxtaposition
of
worksthat differedconsiderably
fromeachotherin termsof materials,
style,time,and
culturalorigin.Whilenonchronological
rehangsof permanentcollections
are now institutionalmodesof practicein museumssuchas Tate Modern,ut
Fuchs'sapproacnwas
notablefor its "confrontations,"
like his placementof Marcchagall'sHomageto Apollinaire(1912)next to LucianoFabro'sTheJudgmentof paris(1979),in a breakwith
conventional
art historical
classifications
of styleor period.At the time,Fuchsjustified
proximities
suchcontentious
on the basisof theirthemaiicaffinities:
"Fabrogrvesprominenceto an itemof Greekmythologywhichhas continuedto operateoverthe centuries.Chagallhas a Russianbackground,
but that is connectedwith a basrcsroryroo.
Theyare bothconcerned
withthingsin life,the chargednatureof history.,,uu
All of the exhibitions
mentioned
aboveincludedworksfromdifferenttimes,praces,
and culturesthatwereselectedon the basisof theirformal,thematic,
or contextual
relationships.what the exhibitionshad in commonwas a groupingtogetherof diverse
works,presented
as if in mutualdialoguewithone anotherand mediatedas a personat
proffered
narrative
by a singleauthor-curator.
Classification
systems,linkedto museum
displays,were substituted
with subjectiveforms of taxonomic"essentialism,,,
mainly
predicated
on the curator'staste,style,and the affinities
established
betweenthe exhibited works.utDeboraJ. Meijersarguesthat, in the ahistoricalexhibitions
of Fuchs,
szeemann,and others,"Theworksof art are arrangedon the basisof newtruthswhich
are presentedas universals,
despitetheirstrongpersonalcoloring.,,ut
The curatorwas
thus presented
as an "arbiterof taste"whosesingle-handed
selection
of artistsand artworkswas seen as "guaranteeing
theiromnipotence."un
As LiamGillickwrotein 1992,
the act of curatingfunciions"to createa set of mediatingfactorsbetweenthe arlistand
others"throughwhichto view artworks.Yet whilethe curatorial
"contextualizing
structures"seemto be innovative
approaches
to showingart,Gillickcontinues,
in realitycuratorialdecisions
go handin handwith"marketforcesandthe privategallery."no

C !APT ER

1 8 SummerDisplayof the Museum's


curatedby RudiFuchs,1983,and "Repetition:
Collection,"
Erndhoven.
J-rmer Display1983,"curatedby RudiFuchs,2009,VanAbbemuseum,
Courtesyof
, a^ Abbemuseum.

The increasedoresenceof the curatorialhandwithinsuch exhibitions.


oaralleled
cy an equallevelof criticalscrutinytowardwhatwas considered
an overriding
curatorialbias,operatedat the expenseof the aestheticautonomyof the artworkson display.
It alsosubjectedart to a reconditioning
of its meaningfulness
withinthe exhibition
conhotchpotch
text.This relativistic,
approachto ahistorical
exhibition
makingcame under
muchcriticalassaultfor creatingconstellations
of art from differentplacesand times,
Artworkswere almostinterchangeable
withouttheir contextualbackground.
with one
another,as if theywereall comingfroma spaceof equivalence.
The uniqueness
of the
individualwork was recodedinto an international
languageof art, with the collective
groupexhibition
formand the art worldprovidingits new context.PatrickMurphy(curaInstitute
for Contemporary
Art in the 1990s)critiquedthe escalation
tor of Philadelphia's
in the 1980sfor what he calleda "stayat
of overtlythematicinternational
exhibitions
home culturaltourism"in which all kinds of differentartisticartifactswere being
"paradedthroughthe galleries,the very rangeof originsprovidingthe meaning."n'
In
worksacquireda rolein the communication
thisway, individual
of a message,whileat
the centerof everything
was a kindof exhibition-designer
turnedmeta-artist.
The notionof the curatoras a constructor
of what DeboraMeijerscalled"newunities"and "newtruths"has receivedconsiderable
Whatthesestatements
criticism.
make
provision
for the activityof curatingas a subjectivemodelof
apparentis the discursive
narrativeproduction.s2
As Meijerscontinues,"An exhibitiondesignerwho regardshis
activityas art is not essentially
differentfrom the historianwho becomesincreasingly
awareof the literarvdimensionof his historical
account."n'

The Emergenceof CuratorialDiscoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Present

Echoingthe way in which the word "art" beganto be considereda kind of verb in
shiftaway
the 1960s,the periodfromthe late 1980sonwardhas seena paradigmatic
museumfunction,
withits linksto a traditional
of the noun"curator,"
fromthe application
towardthe use of the verb "curating,"whichimpliesa practiceof constructingnarratives
The appearanceof the verb"to curate"betweenaftworks.eo
throughcorrespondences
whereoncetherewas just the noun,"curator''-implicatedthe curatorin the generative
processesof artisticproduction.As curatorAlex Farquharsonwrites:"newwbrds,after
bastardizedas the verb 'to curate'(worsestillthe
all, especiallyones as grammatically
persistent
needto identifya
community's
emergefroma linguistic
adjective'curatorial'),
oointof discussion."'u
for overall
of the notionof the curatoras an agentresponsible
This amplification
phrase
now-ubiquitous
usage
of
the
the
established
narrative
structureand
exhibition
press
releases,and catalogs).As a
"curatedby" (in the contextof exhibitioninvitations,
autho"curatedby" articulates
a semiautonomous
normativeattributeto all exhibitions,
rial rolefor the curator.Curatingin the contextof groupexhibitions-theexhibitionform
that mostclearlybroughtthe curatorto the fore and helpedto establishthe "curatedby"
credential-made evidentthe idea that there is an agencyotherthan the artistat work
vocabularywith its
and that the exhibitionis a form of curatorial
withinall exhibitions,
of thisideaof the group
stated,"thedevelopment
As NicolasBourriaud
own grammar.tu
the biggerand the moreimporas a languageand of coursethen,indirectly,
exhibition
tant aspectsin any exhibition,even a solo show,is [now]decodedin the sameway" as
and the wayswe readit.nt
languageof a groupexhibition
the curatorial
in the 1960sto Visibilityin the 1980sto Supervisibilityof
From Demystification
the Curatorin the 1990s
As we haveseen,the lateryearsof boththe 1960sand the'1980swere momentsof
conjuncturein extendingthe boundariesof what constitutedthe role of the curator,the
nexusof curatorialpraxis,and the field in which they operated.As a historicalpreceas one of the
dent, Siegelaubinadvertentlyidentifiedthe conceptof demystification
as JoshuaDecter'sstatementillusmostpertinentissuesin latercuratorialdiscourse,
and museumswould preferthat the 'invisible'forcesof
trates:"Culturalinstitutions
contemporaryart exhibitionsremain preciselythat-invisible. So much of what happens inside. . . culturalinstitutions
remainshiddenfrom the public'sview,and,often,
evenfromthe eyes of the specializedart crowd."" "Visibility"is, to Decter,what demystificationwas to Siegelaub-an urgentneedto exposethe processesbehindthe exhibiting of art, by makingcuratorialproceduresmore visible.The exposureof the various
what
are produceddemonstrates
processes
throughwhichexhibitions
decision-making
is disseminatedas art and how informationaboutart is mediated.en

32

C H APT EB

The conceptof demystification


was predicatedon the assumptionthat curators
wereperceivedas powerfulfigures.But this was only undertaken
withinthe contextof
power,in whichthe curator'sjob was largelyunderstood
somegreaterinstitutional
as
beinginvolvedin the selectionand presentation
of art with the greatestaesthetic,
culvalueat a givenmoment.too
tural,and historical
As CatherineThomaslaterwrote,the
perception
of a curator'spowerwas directlyproportional
to his or her invisibility:
"His'hand'
the curator's
torically,
or processof selectionaimedfor absencefromthe 'objeptive'displayon view.This notionof an invisiblepracticeremainedintrinsically
boundto
placeof
the traditional
conceptof the museumas a rational,neutraland authoritative
absolutetruthsand values."'o'
As a necessarytool for understanding
the changestakingplacein the relationship
betweenartisticand curatorialpractice,demystification
was initiallyan attemptto expose
personal
the decisions,
choices,and nuancesinvolvedin the selection,
organization,
and
framingof aft for exhibitionpurposes.Retrospective
attemptsat historicizing
pracartistic
tices from the late 1960sbeganto prioritizean enlargedhistoricalpositionfor cerlain
individualcurators.For example,AlexanderAlberro'sConceptualArt and the Politicsof
Publicity(2003)focuseson Seth Siegelaub'scuratorialpracticeof the l960s, while
HaraldSzeemannwas featuredin three monongraphs,
all publishedafter his death:
HaraldSzeemann:ExhibitionMaker (2005),HaraldSzeemann:with by through because
towardsdespite:Catalogueof All Exhibitions,1957-2001(2007),andHarald Szeemann:
tndividuatMethodotogy(2007).'o'This new focuson individualcuratorscame aboutfor
threereasons.The firstwas the heightened
positionin art disvisibility
of the curatorial
course,which,as we haveseen,was a logicalconsequence
proof the demystification
cess.The secondwas what MickWilsoncallsthe "discursive
turn"totin curating,and afi
moregenerally,
fromthe 1990sonward,in whichthe discursive
as an essential
component of the contemporaryafi.professional-thepracticeof talkingtogetherpublicly-is
regardedas a powerfulmediumfor brokeringreputations
and theirtransferintodominant
historical
discourses.
Thethirdreasonfor thisnewfound
focuson establishing
a discourse
specificto the curatorialfieldwas thata historyof curatingwas then beingwrittenin order
to fill gaps in knowledge,whichbecamecenteredon key figuresfromthe late 1960sand
thereafter.For example,BlakeStimson'sprefaceIo ConceptualArt:A CriticalAnthology
(1999)statesthat "SethSiegelaub,
the organizer-entrepreneur.
. was, perhaps,the
single most influentialfigure associatedwith the lconceptualartl movement,"'oo
and a
vast numberof arlicleslaid claimto HaraldSzeemann's"patriarchal
statusat the center
of a poolof curatorialtalentthat has shapedthe generalperceptionof experimental
art in
the post-warera."'ou
This new historyof curatingwill be consideredin the nextsectionsof
thisbook.
By the 1990s,however,as a tropewithincuratorialdiscussions,
"demystification"
"actively
operaiedas what RaymondWilliamsdefinesas an
residualelement."'ou
The
termis residualbecauseit is an ideathatwas originally
formedas an oppositional
force

The Emergenceof Curatorial Discoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Present

its meanlngs
of the artisticprocessin the 1960s;it is activebecause
to the mystification
a n d v a | u e s a re s u s ta i n e d i n i tsw i despreadcontemporaneoususeW i thi ncuratori a| di shas effectively
into the dominantculture,demystification
course.In beingassimilated
for the curatorialposition'
and dilutedas "visibility"
reinterpreted,
been incorporated,
T h e me ri ts o fd i s a p p e a ri n g ,m aki nganonymous,orco| l apsi ngthese| f.presentati ona|
fo rm w a s i g n o re d a s a p o te n tia| l yva| i dmodeofpracti cei ni tse| f.D emysti fi cati onhad
e v e n b e c o me a p ri m a ry p ra c t i cefors-ome' sucnasO' D oherty' w hodescri bedi tas" a
positionhas
work."'otsincethe late 1960s,the curatorial
mediumin whichwe currently
and genformed
"effectively
while
that,
shiftedfrombeingan activelyresidualelement
e ra te d i n th e p a s t,...rs s ti l l a cti vei nthecu| tura| process,noton| yandoftennotata| |
e|ementof the present.,,.ou
as an e|ementof the past,but as an effective
D e m y s ti fi c a ti o n | Sn o w wi de| yacceptedw i thi ncuratori a| di scourseasamethodof
d e fi n i n g a n d re p re s e n ti n g a curatori a| posi ti on.Thi si stosaythat,today,theconcepts
o fa u th o rs h i p ,s e | f-p o s i ti o ni ng,andthecreati veva| ueofthecuratoraretakenfor
of his
Char|esEsche,sarticu|ation
grantedWithinthe soctaland cu|tura|fie|d of art'
implicitin this
this: "l thinkwe shouldadmitto a real creativity
positiondemonstrates
of contexts
creation
the
and
production
in
new termof curator.. . . Nowwe,reinvolved
a n d o p p o rtu n i ti e s ,a | | o fw h ichhaveacreati veel ement' ..acuratorhasaposi ti on...I
likeRem Koolhaas'you askfor Rem
havemy own position.l-ike,if you wanta building
posiin RobertStorr'sstatementon his own curatorial
This is reiterated
Oooinuur."ttt
.,|
is a crucia|part.Nowthereare differentways of doing
tion: thinkthe demystification
i t,a n d th e re a re d i ffe re n to p portuni ti esormomentsfori t....| fyouw orki ni nsi i tuti ons'
y o u ,re i n a So me w h a td i ffe rentS i tuati oni nasmuchaS yourbestbet,basi ca| | y,i sto
p|aces
and thenbe as candidas possib|eaboutthe
createthe maximumtransparency,
"
whereoPacitYis necessarY
of the role of the curatorhas cometo signifya
Thus the idea of ihe demystification
c o mb i n a ti o n o f,o n th e o n e hand,anoti onofmaxi mumtransparency,asameansof
a rti c u | a ti n g a n d d e ti n i n g a s peci fi cposi ti onforthecurator,and,ontheotherhand' w hat
""' We now assume'
"supervisibility
curatorAnnieFletchercalleda levelof mediated
the curator,s
Fietcher,
been curated.For
ratherthan question,that an exhibitionhas
"as an inherentpart of the
the processof demystification
statedremitnow Incorporates

p ra c ti c e ,,,i n w h i c h to s u p p | yi nformati on,tobeopen,torevea| onese| f,tobetranspare n


betweenthis siatedremit
contradiction
i. o"r"r"r.r."' Mor"ouur,she detectsa notable
to the effectsthat suchvisibilitycould
and the fact that curatorsare stillso unresponsive
its relateddisof the powerlulcuraiorpositionwithinart and
have on the configuration
the effectsthis supereconomy.when considering
coursesas partof a new reputational
v i s i b i Ii ty h a s o n h o w c u ra ti ngi srepresented,eva| uated,andi nsti tuti ona| i zedby
exhibitionpractices,Fletcherconiinues'"Maybethe
discoursesrelatedto contemporary

v i s i b i Ii ty o fth e c u ra to r,o n another| eve| ,i ssomethi ngthatshou| dbequesti onedi nterm


o fh o w s u p e rv i s i b l e th e y a reand,rather' sayi hattheyshoul dbemaderesponsi bl e'

C H APT ER

: -:..rntable."'" This is to say thatdemystification,


as a posiiionof supervisibility
for the
-: ,,idualcuratorial
position,has had littlerecourseto the effectsthatsucha continued
': :erationof thisvisibility
may haveon the creationand maintenance
of a dominantdispublicdisplay,and a strange
r:irse in art and its curatorship,
basedon this visibility,
: -andof celebrity.
This was what MichaelBrensoncalledthe "curator'smoment,"which he argued
-ad arrivedwiththe emergence
meetings,
of international
curatorial
summits,and bien- als in the mid-to late 1990s:
Afterlistening
to headsof international
biennials
andtriennials
speakto oneanother
for
threedaysabouttheirhopesandconcerns,
it wasclearto methattheeraof thecurator
has begun.The organizers
of theseexhibitions,
as wellas othercurators
aroundthe
worldwhoworkacrossculiuresandare ableto thinkimaginatively
aboutthe pointsof
compatibility
andconflict
amongthem,mustbe at onceaestheticians,
diplomats,
econpoliticians,
omists,critics,historians,
audience
developers,
and promoters.
Theymust
be ableto communicate
notonlywithartistsbutalsowithcommunity
leaders,
business
executives,
andheadsof state.. . . The newcuratorunderstands,
andis ableto articupeopleandencourage
Iate,theabilityof artto touchandmobiiize
debates
aboutspirituality,creativity,
identity,
andthe nation.Thetextureandtoneof thecurator's
voice,the
voicesit welcomes
or excludes,
andtheshapeof theconversation
it setsin motionare
essential
to thetextureand perception
of contempora
ry arLtto
As Brensonindicates,
curatedsymposiaare a formof publicdisplay,demonstratingthe way in whichcuratorshavebecomebodiesspeakingon behalfof theirdiscipline
with one another.As an exercise,moreoftenthan not,they set up a staging,or framing, of hierarchies.
For example,the international
symposium"RotterdamDialogues:
The Curators"at Wittede With in March2009 attemptedto offera momentto reflecton
the currentstateof the profession,
since the rise of the figureof the curatorin the
1990s.The three-daygatheringbroughttogethersome of the mostsupervisible
curators,fromJan Hoetto HansUlrichObristto NicolasBourriaud,
alongsidesomeof the
best-traveled
biennialcurators,from Hou Hanruto CarolynChristov-Bakargiev,
as well
as a youngergenerationof curator-directors
at Kunsthalles
and otherart institutions
who beganlifeworkingindependently,
fromJens Hoffmannto AdamBudak.The symposiumoperatedas "an exhibitionof discourse,"
a publicdisplayof speakingvoices.
Yet it was impossible
to avoidthe sensethatthe numerousself-articulations
onlyreified
the symbolicvalueson offerwithina reputational
economyalreadyoperational
within
the frameworkprovided;
the eventeffectively
reenacted
thosealreadyrobustvaluesysiems basedon a kind of celebritycuratorculturethat we have grownaccustomed
to
during"the curator'smoment"of the lasttwentyyears.As an importantopportunity
to
reflecton whathas beenachievedand how thingshavechanged,therewas littlein the

The Emergenceof Curatorial Discoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Present

way of self-critique
from the groupon whetherthesechangeshad achievedanything
produciive
for art or for culturemorewidely. The contradictions
Fletcherhad identified,
betweendemystification
of the curatorialpositionand its beingmadevisible,can be seenin manyof the criticalresponses
to
initiatives.
For
Manifesta
4
in
2002
curators'
example,
was declaredby its curatorslaraBoubnova,
NuriaEnguitaMayo,and St6phanie
Moisdon-tobe a curatorial
system
of "radicaltransparency,"
withthe intentionof creatingorganicprocesses,
centeredon
dialogue,exchange,
and new genreart models,withthe co-curators
assuming"therole
ratherthancurator-superstars.""'
But,by drawingattention
of facilitators
to theiralleged
transparency,
the curatorsensuredthat discussion
surrounding
the exhibition
focused
primarilyon theircuratorialstatementratherthan the artworksthey selected."tSirilarly,when FrancescoBonamiattemptedto make the 2003 VeniceBiennalea more
project,by invitingelevencuratorsto form"zones"withinthe exhicollective
exhibition
bitionas a whole,"t reviewsmainlyfocusedon eachof the individual
curatorialstatements and Bonami was even criticizedfor not curatingthe exhibitionenough."n
Perhapsmost bombasticof all were the avoidancetacticsdemonstrated
aroundthe
LyonBiennialin 2007,for whichObristand Moisdon"curatedcuratorscuratingartists"
by invitingroughlyfiftycuratorsto presentone artisteachalongside
theirown selection
of artists.
In a polemicon the subjectof his own practice,curatorAndrewRentonexpressed
his desireto retainan elementof complexity
in his curatorial
thinking:
I am quitea strongbeliever
thatpartof the job of curatingis to makethe showselfexplanatory,
andpeopleaskwhatthatwouldbe andI wouldsaythatwhatyou haveis
yourworkbutactually
nota catalog
thatexplained
theworksexplained
eachother,and
thenyou'vereallygotan integrated
Whatdemystification
exhibition.
doesn'tquiteallow
for arenotionsof complexity-andwe livein an agewhereadworksdo notconformto a
singlegenreand are, by theirinherentnature,complex
l'm quiteinterested
in
demystifying
theprocess
of experiencing
art,butI'minterested
in simultaneously
retainingthepossibility
withinthat.-"
of complexity
Rentonappearsto yearnfor a certainmystiquesurrounding
the experience
of art,as a
possiblefunctionof the complexity
of art and curatorial
decisions.
The wishfor the artworksto explaineachotherseemsto reinforce
the notionof an abstractmediating
faculty integralto art. His positionalso carrieswith it a beliefin the capacityof curatorial
intent,wherebymeaningis producedmerelyby virtueof a curator'sdecisionto juxtaposecertainworksas an adequateformof self-explanation.
Therehavebeenotherattemptsto counteract
the demystification
of the roleof the
curator,motivatedby a desireto preservea distancefor the curatorfromthe institution
of art, such as Storr'sjudicioususe of opacityin the face of increasedtransparency.
However,any perceivedoppositionality
must take accountof the fact that one of the

C H APT ER

1.9 Jan Hoetand Hou Hanruat "RotterdamDialogues:The Curators,"Wittede With,Roiterdam,


2009.Coufiesyol Wittede With.

by-productsof this limitedshifttowardcuratorialtransparencyhas beenthe subsequent


of the curatoras a
remystification
to
beliefsandvaluescongenial
itselfby promoting
dominantpowerlthat]maylegitimate
and
suchbeliefsso as to renderthemself-evident
and universalizing
it; naturalizing
rivalforms
it; excluding
ideaswhichmightchallenge
inevitable;
denigrating
apparently
logic;andobscuring
socialrealbutsystematic
perhaps
by someunspoken
of thought,
frequently
is
known,
it
commonly
as
to itself. such "mystification,"
ity in waysconvenient
takestheformof masking.t't
This maskingfunctionsin a way similarto Barthes'sunderstandingof how myth
operates,as a socialand culturalconstructionthat is passedoff as natural,in which
certainrelationsto powerare obscured,or glossedover,and in whichreferencesto tensionsand difficultiesare blockedout, with theirthreatdefusedas part of a naturalization
can be myth
process.122
Bartheswroteof mythas a "typeof speech"in which"everything
curatoof the contemporary
providedit is conveyedby a discourse."'"lf demystification
of
such
the
transparency
aS
issues,
primarily
to
discursive
linked
remains
rial role

The Emergence of Curatorial Discoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Presenl

JI

to
processes,
thenthereare manyotherissuesthat remainperipheral
decision-making
economicadvantages
others,issuesof celebrity,
currentdominantdiscourses-among
for artistfriends,and
advancement
career
profession
curatorship,
of
gainedthroughthe
decisions'
of the an marketon curatorial
the influence
stepstakentowarda demysti{icaIn summary,the 1960ssaw the firstsignificant
formats,suchas publiclysitedexhibirole,throughnewexhibition
tionof the mediator's
A secondparadigmshiftin the
events.
transient
publications,
and
tions,art magazines,
of
while
linkedto the curatorship
ob.iects;
1980ssaw a returnto curatingwith discrete
previous
from
the
differedsubstantially
this latterdevelopment
art museumcollections,
being
with exhibitions
statements,
curatorial
as individual
one by regardingexhibitions
convenhistorical
with
the
in
a
break
thematic
narrative
or
concept
allocateda unifying
have in common,though,is the degreeto
tions of display.What these conjunctures
whichthe curatorbecameprominent,as both the subjectand objectof study,within
of art.As we shallsee,the reconthe exhibition
and debatessurrounding
discussions
entered
art commentaries
contemporary
within
node
central
as
a
figurationof curating
stageby the 1990s.
its proliferate
curatorialAnthologiesand the Emergenceof a Historyof Exhibitions
discourseand an academic
as a historical
remainsto be fullyesiablished
Curatorship
However,in the Enfieldof inquiry,in partdue to its stateof perpetualself-production'
was the emerworldduringthe 1990s,one of the maindevelopments
glish-speaking
history
of exhibitions'
the
examined
specifically
publications
that
of
genceof a range
potential
to
an evolving
links
past,
and
their
the
from
and models
innovations
curatorial
"age
of curatoperiod
the
couldbe called
this
practice.
to JuliaBryan-Wilson,
According
basisof art is takenas a given,andthe marketing
in whichthe "institutional
rialstudies,"
focusof inquiryfor thouhas
becomea specialized
ad
of coniemporary
and packaging
centeredon
for
discussions
provision
was
made
Duringthistime,
Sandsof students."''o
concurrently
beganto take shape
curators,and a processof historicization
individual
praxis.As HelmutDraxlerargued
curatorial
in contemporary
with majortransformations
as a periodof "institutionalizarecognized
were
years
ihe
decade
of
in 1992,the early
trainingprogramsfollowof
curatorial
flourishing
function,withthe
tion,,of the curatorial
shift"in the courseof the 1960s,whenthe curatorbecamea
ing an initial"institutional
of the functionof the curatorwas only the
figure.t"This institutionalization
centrifugal
curatorialdiscourse;it was accomconiemporary
new
of
a
first stagein the emergence
which
was beingled by, and for, a
publishing
industry,
paniedby the aforementioned
publications'
of curatorswho had accessto such
new generation
in 1996,BruceFerguIoThinkingaboutExhibitions
introduction
ln theirpredictive
to become"theemerwhat
was
highlighted
Nairne
and
Sandy
son, ReesaGreenberg,
statedtheirintention
and
exhibitions"
art
on
of a newdiscourse
oenceandconsolidation

C I]APT ER

--

:o "bringintodebatea rangeof issuesat playin theirformationand reception."''u


Th"i,
eclecticselectionof texts focusedmainlyon twentieth-century
exhibitionhistoriesouratorship,
exhibitionsites,formsof installation,
and spectatorship-inan attemptto
how
had
Cemonstrate
discoursearoundexhibitions
changeddramatically
since the
1980sand to show how, in the 1990s,"focuson art exhibitions
was indicativeof the
politicaland culturalagencyof so many of the debatescenteredon and fosteredby
ex hibi ti o n s ." ' '
The impactof key exhibitions
on the historyof art had alreadybeenhighlighted
by
Altshulerin 1994,whenhe claimedthatthe histories
of modernism,
the historical
avanf
garde,and the vanguardof the 1960swere basedon acceptance
and mutualsupport
amonga communityof artistsand a publicreceptive
to theirwork,with"allparticipants
enmeshedin systemsof personalandeconomicrelations."t"
Altshuler
furtherobserved
that "the centralnode of that confrontation
was the exhibition,
where artists,critics,
dealers,collectorsand the generalpublicmet and respondedin theirvariousways to
whatartistshad done.Groupexhibitions
bringthisaspectto the fore,and [such]events
played
.
a criticalrole in what was to come down to us as the historical
avant-garde."t'n
ln The Power of Display: A History of Exhibition lnstallationsat the Museum of
ModernArf (1998),MaryAnneStaniszewski
robustlyproposedthatWesternart history
played
hadoverlooked
the role
by curating,exhibition
design,and spatialexploration
in
formsof the twentiethcentury.For Staniszewski,
the earlyexhibition
our relationship
to
thispastis not onlya questionof what kindof art is now seento havebeenpartof this
history,butalsoof whatkindof documentary
evidenceof its displayhassurvived,
given
past
"omitted
thatwhatis
fromthe
revealsas muchabouta cultureas whatis recorded
as historyand circulates
as collectivererory."'to For Staniszewski.
visuality,
display.
whichremainsthe mostprivileged
and narrativeare centralto any curatedexhibition,
formof presenting
art. Display,then,may be understood
as the coreof exhibiting.ttt
produce
Exhibitions
temporaryformsof order.As events,they cannotbe reduced
to mere"dimension
and means;the desireto bringtogetherin thoughtwhat havehitherto appearedto be separate,coherentand homogenous
entitiesand to redistribute
what seemedpreordained
is what bestowsupon temporaryexhibitions
a theoretical
'exhibitions.'"'"'
valueand what makesthem
In bringingorderto a briefmoment,temporaryexhibition
displaysfunctionas "timecapsules"in whichthe particular
choicesof
the curatorare fixedas a group-electedgatherings
of artworksmakingsenseto the
curatorat a giventime.
Whicheverformexhibitions
take,theyare alsothe primarysiteof exchangein the
politicaleconomyof art,the pointat which"signification
is constructed,
maintained
and,
occasionally,
deconstructed,"
where one can "establishand administermeaningsof
art."tttWhilewritingthat concentrates
solelyon displaypracticeswithinexhibitions,
at
"can
the expenseof the worksof art comprising
them,
be seenas a crisisin art criticism

The Emergenceof Curatorial Discoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Presenl

it is also importantto considerthat the ephemeralnatureof the


and its languages,"'to
are
oftenmeansthatthe ways in whichartworksare experienced
temporaryexhibition
aSSertS,
As
Sianiszewski
and underrepresented'
or remainundocumented
overlooked
producedln the
selectingwhatis includedand excludedis one way in whichcultureis
of culture"is archivedin
this "production
of art via curatedexhibitions,
historicization
art press, and
international
specialist
in
the
coverage
supportingcatalogs,critical
for
responsible
the
curators
on
center
mediathat,in turn,
reviewsin the mainstream
paradigmatic
1976
suggested-ashad O'Dohertyin his
Staniszewski
suchexhibitions.
culturalhiswas one of our mostrepressed
exhibition
the
of
history
the
essays13s-that
significance
crucial
such
have
carried
installations
exhibition
tories.Despitethe factthat
of spaceand its
for the ways in whichmeaningis createdin art,the contextualization
of epochsand
terms
of art in
by the contextualization
rhetorichavebeenovershadowed
artists'oeuvres.t'u
of artisticposterityhas beenthe predomiOne of the key factorsin the production
connotananceof the modernistwhitecube as an exhibitionspace,whicheliminated
in
"radical
forgetfulness"
conditions.In what o'Dohertycalleda
tions of institutional
of the
forms,the institutionalization
exhibition
relationto the earlierhistoryof innovative
corspatial,
wider
the
to
consider
refusal
a
carried
whitecubefromthe 1950sonward
"presour
prescribed
of
notion
a
of
art:
poreal,and temporalcontextof the experience
encebeforea workof art"impliedthatwe had to "absentourselvesin favorof the Eye
facultyassertedihe autonomy
this disembodied
For O'Doherty,
and the Spectator."'tt
to ThomasMcEvAccording
means.
visual
primarily
formal
via
of art.to be experienced
its poweras an
gave
cube
white
the
illey,the enduranceof its perceivedneutrality
power
centered
is ostensibly
As he states,this
valueprovider.
and commodity
aesthetic
But, in fact,it is a specificsensibility,
on that of "undyingbeauty,of the masterpiece.
eternalratificaglorified.
By suggesting
is
which
and conditions,
withsoeciallimitations
of the claims
ratification
the
eternal
the whitecubesuggests
tionof a certainsensibility,
"l3s
of the casteor groupsharingtheirsensibility
primarilyon artists,Staniszewski's
focused
which
analysis,
Unlikeo'Doherty's
of the
designand the repression
exhibition
of
history
the lackof a coherent
highlighted
to
in
relation
"amnesia"
operated
her,
art practice.For
roleof curatorswithinhistorical
played
by
role
the influential
oreviousinnovaiionsin displaypractices,particularly
H. Barr, HerbertBayer,
as
Alfred
curators-such
and
designers,
visionaryartists,
Ldszl6MoholyEl
Lissitzky,
Kiesler,
Frederick
AlexanderDorner,MarcelDuchamp,
production
of
the
willem
sandberg-on
and
Nagy,LillyReich,AleksandrRodchenko,
disdesigns,
{rom the 1920sonward.In examiningexhibition
formativeinstallations
as partof the historyof the Museumof ModernArt in NewYork'
plays,and installations
convenfor creatinginstitutional
questions
aboutthe responsibility
raised
Staniszewski
praxis
and
processes
curatorial
around
and historical
ideological
tionsand constructing
the meansby whichart is disseminated.

C F IAPIER

the "verystrongamnesiaaboutthe interiorcomplexity


Obristhas alsoemphasized
yearsof the 1920sto the
fromwhat he callsthe laboratory
exhibitions"
of experimental
He has stated:
1gsos.ttn
thereis no exhibition
literature.
At a momentwhenthereis so muchtalkaboutcurating
thenWillemSandberg
Dornerin the1920sin Hannover,
We haveto startwithAlexander
thereis a wholemissing
exhibition
Manybooksaremissing,
in the 1950sin Amsterdam.
pioneers
Dorner'or
such
as
Alexander
curatorial
firstof all,the keytextsby
literature;
(who
by W. Sandberg
PontusHult6naremostlyoui of printandfamousradiobroadcasts
in English.
Thereare
are notaccessible
of HaraldSzeemann)
inspired
the generation
veryfew examplesandthatis why theyare so welcome,thatis whytheyare so imporlt hasa lotto do withthefactthatexhibitions
literature.
exhibition
tant.Thereis a missing
andthat'swhytheyfallevendeeperintoatnesia.too
arenotcollected
assessmentof this
On numerousoccasions,Obristhas echoedStaniszewski's
and he has directlyquotedher assertionthat "seeingthe
lackof curatorialknowledge,
designprovidesan approachto art historythat doesacknowlimporlance
of exhibition
characterof all aspectsof culvitality,
historicity
and the time-and site-bound
edgethe
ture."'o'Further,Obrist has claimed that this amnesia "not only obscuresour
exhibitionhistory,it also affectsinnovativecuratorial
of experimental
understanding
"not only contributed
to the mutationof existing
practice,"and that these exhibitions
pushed
the
boundaries
towardthe invenalso
but
exhibition
structures
museumsand
structures."to'
tionof new interdisciplinary
this urgeto inscribea hisThis temporallink betweenpastand currentpractices,
tory of curatinggroundedin the present,is a recurringtrope in Obrist'sstatements
interSincethe early1990s,he has beenrecording
research.
aroundhisown curatorial
past
century,aboutthe thinkfiguresfromthe
viewswith manyof the leadingcuratorial
thishistorical
amnesia.'ot
I would
as a meansof addressing
ing behindtheirexhibitions,
a curatorial
history,but also
arguethatthis displaysan interestnot only in establishing
AlthoughObrist'sattemptat makingamendsfor a
a potentialspacefor self-positioning.
it
lackof curatorialknowledgeoperatesas what he callsa "protestagainstforgetting,"
practice,which
fromthe pastto his own curatorial
innovations
alsoconnectscuratorial
as theirlogicalsuccessor.'oo
is positioned
amnesiaas a recurringtropewithin
Lucy Lippardhas also highlighted
Curator-critic
"Culturalamnesia-imposedless by memorylossthan by delibercuratorialstatements:
ate politicalstrategy-has drawna curtainover much importantcuratorialwork done in
Lippardhas also statedthat "there'snot muchdocumentation
the pastfour decades."'ou
which emphasizes
a need to
much
of that in thosedays,"'06
available.We didn'tdo
past
events.By contrast,curatorJens
addressthe historyof exhibitionsand to resurrect
Hoffmannarguesthat our mostrecentformsof curatorialpracticeare underrepresented:

The Emergenceof CuratorialDiscoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Presenl

Whatthisamnesiahascausedis thatpeopletalkaboutcurating
in verygenerar
rerms.
PeoplelikeDorneror Szeemann
arealwayspulledout if one is in needof a historical
figurewithregardto thecurrentformsof curating.
Szeemann
wasnotat all interested
in
beingmassively
self-reflexive
abouthisownpractice
or curating
in generaland Dorner
is a verydifficult
casein my opinion.
Thereisjustso littleknownabouthisworkandyet
peoplealwaysreferto himas a pioneer
of curating.
. . I thinkwhatis evenworsethan
thisisthattodaypeoplealready
do notremember
curators
fromtheearly1990sthat,for
somereasonor other,havenot hadthatmuchvlsibility
overthe recentyearsbut did
groundbreaking
showsonlytento fifteenyearsago.
So, priorto the 1990s,the practiceof curatingand its specificdiscourseshad
focusedon contemporary
arI, with littleto no recourseto exhibitionhistoriesand a
recurringfocuson the mostrecenttrends.In responseto this discursive
gap,contemporaneouscuratorialdiscussions
identifieda certainhistoricalamnesiain a driveto
formulatea new bodyof curatorialknowledgeratherthanfillingthe much-needed
dispractices
cursivegap.Curatingwas becominga matrixof discursive
thatcan be identified as a body of knowledge.There are rules,games of true and false,and, more
generally,what Foucaulthas called "formsof veridictionin these discursivepractices."tou
That is to say, thereremainsa needto morethoroughlyexaminehow these
rules,structures,
and modalities
haveenableda curator-led
discourse.
Whileneglecting
consideration
of itsown timeperiod,thiscontemporary
rhetoricof
a forgottenpast beganto configurea type of exhibitionin termsof individual
curators
gesture.At the sametime,curatorsand artistshavereactedto, and
and the curatorial
engagedwith,this"neocriticality"
by exiendingthe parameters
of the curatorial
spaceto
incorporate
more discursiveforms,from conversational
modesof exchangeto largescale geopolitical
statements,centeredon the ambit of the exhibitionas a framing
device.Despitenumerousclaimsto the contrary,
fromHoffmannto Obrist,prioritization
of the contemporary
and the curatorialgesturehas createda particularmodelof discoursethat remainsself-referential,
curator-centered,
and curator-led,
with unstable
historical
foundations.
CuratorialDiscoursesince the Late1990s
Alreadyin 1989,BenjaminBuchlohhad arguedthattherewas an urgentneedto articpositionas partof art discourse.In his opinion,practiceas "doing"
ulatethe curatorial
"curating"
necessitated
or
a discourseas "speaking"
or "writing"in orderfor the curatols functionto be acknowledged
as partof the institutional
superstructure:
The curatorobserveshis/heroperationwithinthe institutional
apoaratusof art: most
prominently
the procedure
of abstraction
andcentralisation
thatseemsto be an inescapableconsequence
of thework'sentryintothesuperstructure
apparatus,
itstransformation

C H APT EF

f rom practiceto discourse.That almostseems to have becomethe curator'sprimaryrole:


to functionas an agent who offers exposureand potentialprominence-in exchangefor
obtaining a moment of actual practice that is about to be transformed into myth/
149

superstructure.
to
Some time later,in Dave Beechand GavinWade'sspeculativeintroduction
possible
posit
discourseas a
form of
Curatingin the 21st Century(2000),the authors
if you are saying
especially
practice.They statethat "eventalkingis doingsomething,
somethingworthwhile.Doingand saying,then, are forms of actingon the world."'uo
true,it is a truismthat can be appliedto markedlydifferent
Whilethis is undoubtedly
of Beechand Wade'sstatementis that sayingcan be a critical
ends.lf the implication
actionvis-d-visdominantcuratorialdiscourse,it can also be used to justifythe conof the dominantdiscourseitself.In otherwords,Beechand
structionand maintenance
By contrast,Mick Wilson
Wade might be somewhatoptimisticin their speculation.
part
of the stockassumparguesthat the productivepowersof languagehave been
This
art practicesand attendantcommentary.
tions of a wide rangeof experimental
momentin
tendencyhas beengivenfurtherimpetusby what he callsthe "Foucauldian
as a word
appealof the term'discourse'
art of the lasttwo decades,and the ubiquitous
to conjureand performpower,"to the pointwhere"eventalkingis doingsomething."'u'
on curastandsin the placeof "doing"withindiscourses
At thisextreme,the discursive
torialoractice.
curating,the ascendancy
of the
of contemporary
Alongsidethe professionalization
potential
as a
nexusfor
curatorialgesturein the 1990sbeganto establishcuratorship
critique,and debate,in whichthe evacuatedroleof the criticin parallelculdiscussion,
spaceof curating.As LiamGillickwrote:
turaldiscoursewas usurpedby the neocritical
whena semi-autonospaceis a legacyof whathappened
in thecritical
My involvement
of
the
reasons
thathappened
was
one
weak,
and
voice
started
to
become
critical
mous
people
you
might
who
process.
havemetbefore, in
So
becamea dynamic
thatcurating
peopleget involved
in
smartest
Thebrightest,
the pastwerecriticswerenowcurators.
producer,
interface
andneo-critic.
lt is arguable
activity
of beingmediator,
thismultiple
that the mostimportantessaysaboutart overthe lastten yearshavenot beenin art
produced
aroundgalandothermaterial
magazines
buttheyhavebeenin.catalogues
leries.artcentresandexhibitions.'"'
discussions
Exhibitions(whicheverform they adopt) and their complementary
demarcatea place where informationand ideas aboui art are performed,stored,and
publication
histories,
of curatorial
criticalanalysis
passedon. In parallelto the increased
past
years,
twenty
which
hasdone
grown
in
the
exponentially
has
of curatedexhibitions
Thisrespectability,
in
of the practiceof curating.
the respectability
muchto helpestablish
turn, helpsto reinforcethe meritof curatorialpracticeas a subjectworthyof study.As

The Emergence of CuratorialDiscourse from the Late 1960s to the Present

Greenberg
et al. noiedin theirassessment
of a shiftin art criticism
towardwritingabout
exhibitionsfrom the curatorialperspective,"Thistactic may either be a compensatory
device,a politicizedattemptto considerworksof art as interrelatedratherthan as individualentities,
or a textualresponse
to changesin the aft worlditself."153
As alreadyafticulated,
the selection,coproduction,
display,and dissernination
of
art are beingmadeperceptible
by curatorsthrougha focuson the uniqueness
of their
own practice.Throughpublicdiscussions,
conferences,
and publications
aboutcurating,thosewho curatehigh-profile
exhibitions
attemptto conveya senseof "commonality" and "connectivity"
in order to situatetheir individualpositionswithin a broader
discourse
and insertthemselves
intoa hierarchy.tuo
Thus,"commonality"
consistsof the
self-positioning
individual
of
curatorsalongsidelike-minded
people,connectingeach
curatorto similarformsof practice.t"
As documentarytools, catalogsalso serve curatorsas representational
forms of
mediationafterthe effect.They survivelongafterthe exhibitionhas finishedand,with
so many exhibitions
vyingfor attention,the productionof a catalogoftenguarantees
thatthe exhibition
continuesto liveafterthe event.Whileprovidingliteralextensions
to
the exhibition,
catalogsallowcuratorsto demonstrate
positionthat clarian intellectual
fies theircuratorial
endeavoras a whole.Whilethey providea resourcefor documenting and interpreting
arl, catalogshave also become,as BruceFergusonargues,the
most"privileged
fetishof curators."'uu
The prominence
of the figureof the curatorsince
the 1990shas abettedthis catalog-driven
discourse,in whichtext is oftenprivileged
overthe experience
of art,andthe curatorial
thesisoverridesthe intentionof the exhibitedartworkand its relationship
to otherfieldsof inquiry.
As an efficientcuratorial
form in themselves,
catalogsalsotake on an encyclopedic dimension
withinthe contextof biennialexhibitions,
inasmuchas curatorsutilizethe
bumper-sized
companionpublication
to makeextendedcuratorial
statements,
through
textscommissioned
alongsidetheirown.As arlistDanielBurenclaims,this has taken
on manyguisesin the recentpast,in particular
for Documentas
9 to 11:
The organisers/authors/artists
of large-scaleexhibitionsprovideresultswe atreaoy
know:Documenta
transformed
into a circus(Jan Hoet)or evenas a platformfor the
promotion
of curators
whoprofitfromtheoccasion
in orderto publish
theirownthesisin
theformof a catalogue
essay(Catherine
David)or as a tribuneinfavourof thedeveloping-politically-correct
world(OkwuiEnwezor)
or otherexhibitions
by organiser-authors
tryingto providenew merchandise
to the evervoracious
westernmarketfor art consumption,
which,likeall markets,
mustceaselessly
andrapidlyrenewitselfin ordernot
to succumb.'ut
Alongsidethe exponential
printedmaterial,
increasein curatorial
curatorial
symposia havecenteredon the personresponsible
for large-scale
exhibitions
at an internationallevel;suchmobilizations
nowoccuron a widerscalethaneverbefore.As Thomas

C !APT ER

art world
3outouxhas argued,it was throughoutthe'1990sthat the contemporary
to reinventitself,led by the art world's
as an opportunity
embracedthis phenomenon
impressedby the sizeand powerof emergentworldwidecirculation
nain protagonists,
of this new world,focusingon globalcoherenceand
and the "pervasiveraggedness
previously
considered
marintegrate
sitesof artislicproduction
leverage
to
ng
it
as
a
us
ginalto Westernmodernism."tuu
and the adventof
Alongsidecheaperair travel,greatermobilityof populations,
were affordedgreateraccessto places,peoart professionals
Iniernettechnologies,
itselffroma universeprincipally
ples,and cultures.The art world"radically
transformed
whichvirtuallyexcluded
organizedarounda few Westerncentersand metropolises,"
(artists,
fromthe Americurators,critics,and historians)
of individuals
the contributions
web of institutions
within
cas, Asia, or Africa,"intoa remarkablydense international
professionals
nations
all
move
about,
work,
and
and
almost
from
all
continents
which
debatethe roleof art in the largerworld.''un
of a new global
This art worldmigrationcame aboutnot only as a consequence
of bothcuratorial
and artistic
but alsoas the resultof the professionalization
condition,
practice.'uo
of a discourseis in starkcontrastto the 1980sgeneration,
Thisglobalization
for example,RoberlStorr,
career-consider,
whicharrivedat curatingas an accidental
or Ute MetaBauer,who was an artist-activistwho beganas an aftist-cum-art-handler,
As Catherinede Zeghersuggestedin her comparimusicianbeforeturningto curating.
generation
the late1970sand 1980s:
her
ownworkingthroughout
with
of
the
current
son
practice
lt usedto be amahasbecomeprofessionalized.
Thekeyshiftis thatcuratorial
professionalized
the
amateur
and
generation
in
between
belongs
teur in a way. My
We all studiedart history,but werenotworkingwithhistoryonly;we were
approach.
and,at thestart,nobodyreallyknewwhereto placeus,because
workingwithactuality
so we
art as suchdidn'tthenexistas a study,let aloneas a practice,
coniemporary
you
you
were
a
lawyer,
were
a
lawyer,
a
when
Forexample,
closelylivedthattransition.
. " . I havethe impression
a profession.
professional;
now,beingan adistis considered
at thesametimeas intotheprofesof curatoroccurred
thatthestepintotheprofession
sionof beingan arttst^'
had begunto appear-whichtendedto arise
anthologies
By the 1990s,curatorial
as partof curatorial
summits,symposia,
curators
meetings
between
from international
Meta 2: The
Beginningwith Ute Meta Bauels influential
seminars,and conferences.
New Spiritin Curating(1992),a kindof trendwas establishedwherebycuratorssat at a
thatwouldlaterbe
enactinga discussion
in frontof an audience,
iablewithmicrophones
publications
placed
publication.
theiremphathese
Without
exception,
in a
documented
practice,
and self-positioning,
as articnarratives,
first-person
curatorial
sis on individual
re-presentation".'u'
and exhibition
Oth",
statements,
ulatedthroughprimaryinterviews,
oublications.such as MIB-Men in Black: Handbookof CuratorialPractice (2004),

The Emergenceof Curatorial Discoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Present

the problemby givingsignificaniattentionto insubstantial


followedsuit, extenuating
by curatorson the subjectof theirown rarefiedpractice(in
responses
and personalized
,,biographical
accents,cheerful
theoretical
notescan be foundbesidewell-placed
which
'u'
ego pirouettes")
and embellished
goose-stepping,
of purpose,political
interpretations
by
thisamountedto statements
the "newspiritin curating,"
Whileclaimingto represent
reinforcprojects,
again
their
of
uniqueness
the
curatorsabouttheirown positionsand
discourseimpacted
An e*ampleof how this curator-led
discourse.'uo
ing a curator-led
is the now steadfast
is spokenaboutand experienced
the ways in whichcuratorship
This is evidentin
of curaiorsframingiheir own practice-position-narrative.
formulation
but one could
The
Curators,"
Dialogues:
"Rotterdam
symposium,
the aforementioned
of being
instead
(2009),
which,
alsoadd to a longlist"TheBergenBiennialConference"
curatorstalking
eventthat saw international
of artworks,was a (biennial)
an exhibition
Of
framedby the question"To Biennialor Not to Biennial?"
aboutcuratingbiennials,
Marieke
Filipovic,
Elena
the
curator-organizers
whichwere led by
these discussions,
in
w^asdemonstrated
self-criticality
a levelof generative
van Hal,and Solveig@vstebs,
a
shift
format.'"Therewas
relationto the authorialpositioninherentin the discussion
more dialogicalsettings
into
model
patriarchal
discursive
.awayfrom the egocentric,
profession
had got to its
the
how
and
done
been
backon what had
aimedat reflecting
theirspeand
forms
exhibition
currentstate,throughmorestridentanalysisof certain
cifichistories.
as the curator'smomentduringthisperiodcouldbe subdiWhatBrensonidentified
momentsin the formation
and "dominant"
"emergent,"
videdintowilliams's"residual,"
role
of the curatorin the ways
in thiscasethosemomentsspecificto the
of a discourse,
describedbelow.tuu
associated
remainsan activelyresidualelement-originally
First,demystification
with a fe w i n d e p e n d e n te x h i b i ti onmakersfromthe| ate1960s-w i ththesi deeffect
for the curatorialpositionsincethe late 1980s,at whichtime the
beingsupervisibility
to becomea formof subiecpracticeof curatingsubvertedmuseumdisplaytechniques
tivecuratorself-Presentation'
a
Second,the emergenceof a discoursespecificto curatorialpracticebeganas
publicaiions
and
and
part
in
symposia
whichsaw curatorstaking
gradualdevelopment,
practice
as theirmainsubjectmatterand discursivefocus The emerown
usingtheir
gent stage of the curator'smoment,representedby the "curatedby" attachedto every
entaileda paradigmshift in the 1990stowardcuratingas a globalprofesexhibition,
whichwill be discussedin the nextchapter'
sion,withthe emergenceof new biennials,
trainby the adventof curatorial
was accelerated
discourse
of curatorial
The exoansion
existing programsin the early1990s.studentsand programleadersbeganto lookat
precedents,
curatorial
of
established
number
small
modelsanda relatively
ingexhibition
the curatorialcomponentinsteadof
with a focuson exhibitionhistorythat scrutinized
the art.

C H APT ER

Third,sincethe 1990sthe dominantdiscoursearoundthe figureof the biennial


curatorcreateda marketfor a nomadictypeof globalcuratorat a timewhennewassocreativeformof culturalpracciationswere beingattachedto curating,as a potentially
tice and as a possiblecareer choice for artists,art historians,critics,and art
administrators.
art debatesin the 1990sattemptedto
The turn towardcuratingin contemporary
formulatea new languageand vocabularyfor curatingas a diverse,internationalized
a centralized
conceptfor an indiconfigured
practiceand,throughthesearticulations,
'
in
or activities. Interviewed
act,oftenlinkedto otherprofessions
curatorial
vidualized
in
Eindhoven,
Van
Abbemuseum
sugof
the
2003, curatorCharlesEsche,director
now wronglyapplies
gestedthatthe designation
of the curatoras Aussfe//ungsmacher
a completelydifferentconceptto a word that had been in use, sincethe eighteenth
"soyou couldsaywe should
century,to describethe curatoras the carerof a collection,
that historicalconnectionis
that
actuallyfind anotherfwordl,becauseI am not sure
As BraziliancuratorCarlosBasualdoalso stated,previousreference
very useful."'ut
pointsthatsituatethe curatoras a discerning
historian-describcriticor an interpretive
figurewho mustnegotiatethe distancebetween,on the one
unfamiliar
ing a "relatively
by criticand art historianand,on the
established
hand,the valuesystemtraditionally
pressuresand practicescorresponding
to the institutional
setting
other,the ideological
the
in whichsucheventsemerge"-areno longerusefulas a meansof understanding
curator.tun
roleof the contemporary

3alE
l l - i a fl \'l

on contemporary
art and howit is
conference
international
1.10 'A NewSpiritin Curating,"
Stuttgart,24-26 Januaty1992,with
conveyed,organizedby Ute MetaBauer,Kunstlerhaus
JohnMiller,HansUlrichObrist,Philippe
ColinDe Land,HelmutDraxler,
speakersincluding
Thomas,and Ute MetaBauer.lmagecourtesyof Ute MetaBauer.

The Emergenceof CuratorialDiscoursefrom the Late 1960s to the Present

1.11 "TheBergenBiennialConference,"
Bergen,2009.Courtesyof the BergenBiennial

C H APT ER

As these two statementsindicate,curatorshipis now articulatedas a constantly


codesand rulesof behavusingand adoptinginherited
shiftingand adaptivediscipline,
,or. There is now a long list of metaphorsthat attemptto reconcilediversemodes of
via "midwife"'ttto the "curatoras"
praciice,rangingfrom mediumor "middleman"'to
agent,manager,platformproDJ,
technician,
phenomenon-fromcuratoras editor,
vider,promoter,and scout,to the more absurddiviner,fairy godmother,and even
texts acknowledges
god.'t'Sincethe late 1990s,the main rhetoricof associated
the
subjectivenatureof exhibitionmakingand the importanceof a growingawarenessof
the curator'spartin shapingexhibitions.''"
By way of concludingthis chapter,it is worth notingthat,over the past six yearsor
so, art magazineshave begun to focus on curatorialpracticeas a major subjectfor
Alsoappearing
typicallybeingledby invitedcurators.
withsuchdiscussions
discussion,
journals
to
the
solelydedicated
subjectof curating:
recentlyare four English-language
the ManifestaJournalof ContemporaryCuratorshp (since2003), the on-linejournal
(since2OOB),
The Exhibitionist(since2010),and the Journalof CuraOn-Curating.org
torial Studies(2012)."0Althoughone explanationfor this focus may simply be that
many criticsare now primarilycurators,the actualbasisfor this concentrationis manifold. As outlined,a parallelpublishingindustryrespondedto the curator'senhanced
art, in whichthe ubiquityof the curator,a lack
withinthe fieldof contemporary
visibility
of criticalityaroundthe efficacyof the expandingfield of curating,and, most signifinumberof curators,
cantly,the growthof a newaudiencemeantthatan ever-increasing
curatorialstudents,and curatorialgraduateswere in searchof relevantmaterial.The
late 1980sopenedup a new marketand a newfoundfield of study,centeredon the
mediumof the exhibitionand those involvedin its mediation,on a more globalscale
than ever before.

fromthe Late1960sto the Present


Discourse
of Curatorial
TheEmergence

2
O FA G L O B A L I Z E D
A NDTHEE ME RG E NCE
B IE NNIACULTURE
L
lN T HECO NT E X O
TF
CURA
T I NG
:
CURA TORIADIS
L COURS E
S I NCE1 9 8 9
A ND LA RG E -S CA LEEX HI B I T I O NS
B IE NNIA LS

withincontemporarycuratorialpracticeover the past


The most evidenttransformation
twenty{ive years has been its increasingoperationat an internationaland transnaln Contempotionallevelunderthe guiseof biennialsand otherrecurringexhibitions.
rary magazine'sspecial issue on curatorship,lsabel Stevensprovideda substantive
to havebeenheldaroundthe globebetween2005
listof eightyofficialsuchexhibitions
modelacrossthe world,its
and 2006alone"'The biennialis now the defaultexhibition
to cultoolfor nationsand citybrandingmakingit irresistible
capacityas a promotional
tural policymakers,to such an extent that it has become a homogenizingforce-a
modelto be copiedratherthansubverted.
global
This chapterexamineshow and why the biennialbecamea contemporary
viewof the figure
phenomenon,'and
a moreglobalized
how biennialshaveconfigured
Ratherthanattempta comprehencommentaries.
of the curatorthroughtheirattendant
task giventhe sheernumberof suchevents,thischapsivesurvey,a near-impossible
relatingto threelandmark
ter insteadwill exploresomeof the key pointsof discussion
Martin's"LesMagiciens
MarkFrancisand Jean-Hubert
and theirinfluences:
exhibitions
de la terre"(1989);Documenta11 (2002),directedby OkwuiEnwezor;and the 50th
of the Viewer"(2003),
Venice Biennale,"Dreamsand Conflicts:The Dictatorship
Bonami.
directedby Francesco
it is notablethat "Les Magiciens
theseexhibitions,
surrounding
In the discussions
de la terre"seemedto pavethe way for the emergenceof a modelof curatorialpractice
that went beyondpreviouslyestablishedWesterncentersof arl production.Since 1989,
wilhin the context of large-scale,recurrenlexhibitions,curatorshiphas primarily

approachand lookedto the conceptof the multitudeas a


a iranscultural
maintained
productiveforce againstwhat Hardtand Negri calledEmpire:the new globalorder
At the sametime,the curatorsof suchexhibitions
civilization.
contemporary
enveloping
framefor a more
as the productive
a generalviewof culturalglobalismhavesupported
a centraltheme.
itselfproviding
withglobalism
exhibition,
inclusive
to curatorship,
Forthe purposesof thisstudyand its focuson discoursepertaining
has
continuedto
which
the
biennial
in
ways
the
to
demonstrate
this chapterseeks
This
chapterwill
position
figure
the
curator.
the
of
for
centralized
mobilizean expanded,
howthe pastdecadehasseena notableshiftawayfromthe single-author
alsoillustrate
discursive,and collectivemodels of
curatorialmodel toward more collaborative,
curating.
A Definitionof Biennial
,,biennial"
has come
(depending
on one'sculturalbackground)
or "biennale"
The term
two
to five
that
recurs
every
group
exhibition
international
to signifya large-scale,
"blockbuster
and
exhibitions"
John Milleridentifiedsuch eventsas
years.4Aftist-critic
and the Sheervolume
due to the scaleof theirattendantaudiences
"mega-exhibitions"u
"biennial"
is usedto describe
the
term
this
book,
Throughout
contents.
of theirmaterial
propensity
for
a largenumberof
a
by
typified
exhibition,
a specificgenreof large-scale
pari
art worldnexus.
of an international
works,an amplebudget,and an ambitionto be
Whetherreferredto as biennials,fairs, or recurringevents,these exhibitionshave
at theircore, in the senseof havingthe globalart worldwithintheir
internationalism
The majorityof
that oftendictatesthe natureof theirinquiries.
horizons-anaspiration
natureof culturaland artisticproduction,
the international
emphasize
theseexhibitions
of internationalwhereit is not a questionof a unifiedvisionbut rathera consideration
curatorimplies
that
contemporary
This
ways.
in
diverse
dispute
ism as a term under
global
of
cultural
networks
looks
to
and
ship transcendsgeographicalboundaries
withthe idensitscomfortably
production
Suchinternationalism
for its sourcematerial."
tity of the biennialas a temporary,mediatedspacethat is transformedat recurring
intervals.
while the specificmotivesof each biennialdivergeand changeover time, the
demarcatea
modeof ooerationis similar.lt wouldbe fair to say thattheseexhibitions
Amongotherthings,they
spacefor dialogueand diverseartisticand culturalexchange.
publics-publics
at oncelocaland global,
that
are
wider
and
art
between
are interfaces
late 1980s,the move
the
Since
and art-worldly.
residentand nomadic,nonspecialist
by a numberof
globalexhibitionmodelhas beenfacilitated
towarda moreintegrated,
Threefactorsthatcharacframeworkof newerbiennials.
key shiftswithinthe curatorial
the end of
primacy
selection;7
of
national
the
of
the
end
are
biennials
terize recent
participation
of
the
art
world;
and
the
within
embeddednotionsof the Establishment

C H APT EF

Westerncentersof art in the interestof a new transnaadistsbeyondthe established


tionalism.Theseglobaloperationsalso make apparenthow the twin conceptsof the
''glocal"
for sustaining
as two parallelleitmotifs
havefunctioned
and the "contemporary"
model.
the biennialas a dominantexhibition
Biennialsas a ContemporaryGlocalPhenomenon
the pointat whichthe localand
The term"glocal"was coinedin the 1980sto designate
pad
of continuous
dialoguebetween
As
globalintersectin a networkof interrelations.
the localand global,whereinlocaleconomiesadapt their systemsto suit their own
needswhile remainingpart of a globalmarket,the glocalcan be describedas an
"increasingly
of globalpolitical-economic
and interpenetration
densesuperimposition
parameters
frameof a single,re-scaled
withinthe
forcesand localregionalresponses
organization."workof stateterritorial
in the caseof biennials,
in which
significant
The politicsof localismare particularly
in
and
so
on,
is
usually
included
Venice,
Havana,
the city or town,from Berlinto Lyon,
place
as a
culturalstatusby framingthe
appropriating
the titleof the exhibition-event,
networks.Here,meaningsand myihsoccupythe
centralnodewithinglobalproduction
positionwithin
affordingthe locationof the bienniala centralized
imagination,
collective
becomes
the
and
site
contextat
The
exhibition-event
of art.
exhibition
an international
it prothroughthe modalityof a one-offevent.By definition,
whichart is experienced
vides a short-livedexoerienceof art and makes statementsabout the art world at a
beginsto determinewhat
givenmomentin time.In the process,the placeof exhibitions
well
determining
the positionand
are,
as
who
the
viewers
and
kindof art is included,
oas
Greenberg,
and
will be read.'As Ferguson,
locusfromwhichthe exhibition
centralized
constructs
a map of the world
exhibition
Nairnestate,"Thelocationof an international
any
of both the city and the countrythat sponsorit, underlining
from the perspective
" Biennialsconnotetemporaryspacesof mediation,
notionsof an equalityof nations."
usuallygivenoverto an invitedcuratoror team of curators,oftensupportedby a local
providean effinetworkand linkedto globalart markets.The exhibitions
sociocultural
ad economyand its
of an international
andconsolidation
cientformatfor the articulation
and fundingagencies.
marketforces,and for its sponsors,dealers,collectors,
Occurringat regularintervals,biennialsare alwaysin the processof reinventing
of the art world in their need to keep up with
themselves.They are representative
of the latesttrends,they produce,promote,and reconthings.As timelymanifestations
with
artisticpracticethroughnew commissions,
figurethe conceptof "contemporary"
produced
to correspondwith their locationor made specificallyfor a
artworksoften
framework.
Thus,biennialshavesome powerto presenta view of the
novelcuratorial
worldvia the socialsubsystemof the fieldof art. For GiorgioAgamben,the contempowith
or a discontinuity
split,a disjuncture
invokingan irrevocable
rary is "dys-chronic,"

BiennialCulture and the Emergence of a Globalized Curatorial Discourse

the past,formulating
the presentas an inescapable
stateof belongingto one,sown
time.As that whichis situatedwithinpostmodernism
and thereafter,
contemporaneity
stressesits breakwithWestern-centric
modelsof continuity
tied up with modernityand
linearprogression.
contemporaneity
is conceivedas communal-a pluralistbelonging
to the same historical
time"As such,contemporaneity
is conceivedas havingradical
potentialitywithina field of electiveforcesthat attemptto eradicateor rejectthe past."
The biennialmodelhascontributed
to thesediscourses
whilefocusingon all things
new and novelin the hereand now. Biennialsoftenend up promotingthe conceptof
the contemporary,less as a rejectionof the past than as a vehiclefor art's co-ootion
into the marketplace.
Everybiennialcuratoris underpressureto be dynamic,charismatic,and capableof identifying
newartists,artworks,
and art worldsfor theirexhibition
content.Equally,the administrative
and politicalagenciesbehindmostbiennialsasoire
to be morecontemporary
and to havegreaterglobalreachthantheircounterparts.
This
oftenresultsin a hyperbolic
culturein whichnewart is firstoverexposed
in the windows
of biennials
beforebeingsanctioned
by the art market-fromVeniceen routeto Basel.''
"Les Magiciensde la Terre"and the Curatoras GlobalAuthor
By the mid to late 1990s,the anthropological
turn in the contemporaryart world-first
afliculatedby Hal Foster(who coinedthe term "artist-as-ethnographe/,in
1996 to
describean all-encompassing
paradigmin whichfieldworkmethodologies
traditionally
associatedwith anthropological
researchwere being utilizedby arlists)-was generally
acknowledged
by art criticsand anthropolists
alike,and elaboratedby writersfromJames
cliffordto Alexcoles,MiwonKwon,JamesMeyer,and ArndSchneider.
culturesbegan
to be treatedas objectsof study,understoodas entitiesthat couldbe selectedand reorganizedby the researcher,
who then conceivedand presenteda projectbasedon his or
her findings.'3For Foster,the artisfas-ethnographer
was typicallya sanctionedinternationalvisitorcomingfromoutsideof the localculturewithwhichhe or she was engagrng.
while producingtheir (self-)representation
from the outside,Fosterargues,,,thequasianthropological
role set up for the artistcan promotea presumingas much as a questioning of ethnographicauthority."'o
MirroringFoster'sobservations,
curatorsalso
responded
to thisanthropological
turnby lookingto "theother,"as definedby the dominant culture,for their researchfocus. As Miwon Kwon argues, culturaldifferences
becameobjectifiedonce again in order to satisfy"the contemporarylust for authentic
historiesand identities."tt
This "lust"is also evidentin a sense of self-aggrandizement
enactedby curators.
Forexample,Francesco
Bonamiadmitted,
in 2001,that,1heroleof
the curatortodayinvolvessuchenormousgeographical
diversitythatthe curatoris now a
kindof visualanthropologist-nolongerjust a tastemaker,but a culturalanalyst.,"u
In lookingat the ethnographic
turn throughkey exhibitions,
it is worthtracingthis
phenomenonback a littlefurtheras a means of problematizing
the role playedby

C H APT ER

representation
of non-Westernart-one
a decontextualized
curatorsin establishing
specifics.
An earconcernsratherthansociocultural
thatlookedto formaland aesthetic
"Primitivism
in 20thCenturyArt"at the
lierlandmarkis providedby the 1985exhibition
Museumof ModernArt, NewYork.Curatedby WilliamRubinand KirkVarnedoe,with
its subtitle"Affinityof the Tribaland the Modern"makingits intentionclear,the show
its inspiration
fromtribalart. In
an aspectof Westernmodernism:
aspiredto illuminate
tribalartifactsfromAfricawereselectedbecauseof theirformalqualities,
the exhibition,
and shown as subordinatereferentsalongsideWesternmodernart. These obiects
aroundformalinterrelationships-such
as an
and classified
werearranged,organized,
was roundlycritilgboyam masknextto a paintingof a faceby Picasso.The exhibition
for the curaentailedby the conceptof "affinities";
cizedfor its erasureof all differences
partly
(beyond
due to a lack of contextualization
of objects,
tors' overaestheticization
and
the nameof the lender,therewas an absenceof authors,titles,dates,provenance,
for the displayedaftwork);and for the genericuse of the term
historicalbackground
"tribal"in referenceto all non-Western
objects,servingto positionthem as beingof
lesservaluethan the "actual,"Westernart on display.By'l 989,therewas an awarein 20thCenturyArt."In fact,in the
directedat "Primitivism
nessof manyof the criticisms
catdlogof, and subsequentstatementson, "Les Magiciensde la terre,"the curators,
as a directcritiqueof "Primitivism."
Servthe exhibition
Martinand Francis,positioned
positioning,
non-Western
artiststo
this
they invitedcontemporary
ing to substantiate
show with artistsstemmingfrom Westerncentersof artisticproductionand moved
demonstrated
distinction.As we shallsee,the exhibition
awayfromthe art-and-artifact
of whichwere inherentto the overallcurato'
someof the flawsof "Primitivism"-many
rialapproachtowardnon-Westernart.
"Les Magiciensde la terre"was originallyorganizedas a substitutefor the traditionalbiennialformaton the occasionof Martinbecomingdirectorof the ParisBiennale
fromeachof
beingselectedby culturalrepresentatives
in 1985.Insteadof contributions
proposed
that the
had beenthe case,Martin
countries,
as previously
the participating
exhibitionwould explorethe practicesof artistsin Asia, Africa,and Latin America,
worksfromthe UnitedStatesand WesternEurope.Although
alongsidecontemporary
interthe exhibitionwas co-curated,some of the earliestresponsessympathetically
BenjaminBuchloh,who christenedit
pretedit as the achievement
of one individual.
"TheWholeEarlhShow"in his interview
with Martin,invokedan understanding
of "Les
author,and laidthe onuson Martin
as a singletext,realizedby an individual
Magiciens"
in a textpublished
the
Delissechoedthisperspective
Cl6mentine
as its soleproducer.'u
"Jean-Hubert
"Les
as
Martin'sinternaMagiciens"
sameyear,in whichshe described
tional-exhibition-to-end-all-international-exhibitions,
[which]led visitorsfromone worldRarelyfocusingon the artworks,Buchloh's
and
of art,to another."'n
view,one definiiion
Deliss'scommentsconsideredthe frameworkof the exhibitionas an independent
as the mainsubjectof theircritique.For his paft,
objectfor study,withMaftinprioritized

B i e n n i a lC u ltu r ea n d th e Em e r q e n ceo f a Glo b al i zedC uratori alD i scourse

Martinhimselfwas morethanwillingto takeon the solo roleattributed


to him by talking
and writingaboutthe exhibition
as his own.'oAlthoughexhibitions
are now commonty
conceivedof as the work of a singleauthor,"Les Magiciens"
was the firsteventof its
scaleto confera worldlyviewon the figureof the singlecurator,albeitmistakenly.
"theculturalspecificity
was latercriticized
for obliterating
Althoughthe exhibition
of
artistsfromtraditionsdifferentfromthoseof the curators,"-"Les Magiciensde la terre"is
groupexhibitionto haveraised
widelyacknowledged
as the firstlarge-scaleinternational
the issueof inclusionof contemporaryan and artistsfrom non-Westerncentersof propointwithincuratorial
duction.lt remainsa primaryreference
debatesalignedto biennial
(CarlosBasualdo,
cultureand continues
to be citedby manycurator-commentators
Ute
MetaBauer,Catherine
David,OkwuiEnwezor,
CharlesEsche,HouHanru,VasifKortun,
GerardoMosquera,
GilaneTawadros,and RobeftStorr,to namebut a few)as an inflult alsoinfluenced
the subsequent
enceon laterlarge-scale
exhibitions.
useof keyopponationand community,hybridity
sitionsof marginand center,identityand difference,
localand international
as contestedtopics."Les Magiciens"may
and fragmentation,
haveopenedup suchissuesfor discussion
by bringingthemto the foreintentionally,
but
it also problematized
aft comingfrom a Westernizedgeothe questionof contemporary
culturalperspectiveregardlessof, or even becauseof, a viewpointthat was likenedto
with a Western-centered,
imperialistapproachto curating
the curator-as-anthropologist
art from elsewhere.As GavinJantjespointedout at the time:
"LesMagiciens
de la Terre"laidopenthe Western/Eurocentric
consciousness
likea
surgeon
dissecting
hisownbodywithout
an anaesthetic.
lt revealed
thattheEurocentric
gaze has distinctand dauntingproblemswhen fixedupon the "culturalother,"its
achievements
andmethodologies.
To implythatqualityin thecultural
arena,is
signified
andhistorically
by everyone
exhibiting
together
is bothillusionistic
unsound.-remainin evidencetoday,nowhere
Manyof the issuesraisedby "Les Magiciens"
globalizing
moreso thanin relationto the
effectsof biennials,
in whichmaterialfromdifferentparts of the world is broughttogetherto form seeminglycohesiveand hermetic
The exhibition
was representative
exhibitions
of globalculture.-of a widerrupturewithin
curatorialpractice,at a time when curatorsfailedto acknowledgethat contemporaryart.
was beingproducedin placessuchas Africa,Asia,SouthAmerica,andthe MiddleEast.
such as Jantjes,RasheedAraeen,and
From the late 1980s onward,writer-curators
StuartHall,andjournalssuchas ThirdText,expandedinterestin a widervarietyof artisto a wideningof postcolotic approaches
and ideasbeyondthe West,whichcontributed
place
peripheral
while
taking
in
so-called
nialdebate,
biennials
began
cities.'o
Transcultural
curatingbecameknownas a methodof "gathering"
divergentcultures.As a modelof arrangingworldwidematerial,it also riskedthe "fetishisation
of
withartists'identities
reducedto components
withinnewcuratorial
otherness,"
arrangeproposed,
thisfetishization
was reinforced
ments.'u
As JohanneLamoureux
by curators

C N APT EF

contents,"a claimthat
who made definiteclaimsof authorshipover theirexhibitions'
insofaras it
the expecteddenials-thelocusof artisticenunciation
challenged-despite
project
gathering
worksto the very
of their
in an
displacedthe focusof the individual
of the shiftof powerfromcritic
observation
Thiswas mirroredin Enwezor's
exhibition."26
of the prolifto curatorin the 1990s,which,he argued,was not only "a consequence"
and biennials,
buta resultof "theproliferaexhibitions,
erationof museums,blockbuster
have becomelegitimatemediums
Exhibitions
tion of otherformsof megaexhibitions.
for art as ihe novelhas beenfor fiction."
the curatorialapproachof "Les Magiciensde la terre"from later
In distinguishing
of "otherness."
The former
exhibitions.it is imoortantto considerrepresentations
"pluralism"
postmodernist
time,
of
the
while
the
later
approaches
appliedthe rhetoricof
of CarlosBasualdo,
Ute MetaBauer,CatherineDavid,CharlesEsche,OkwuiEnwezor,
In't985, Hal
lvo Mesquita,and GilaneTawadroscould be definedas postcolonial.
societyno longerreliedon processesof standardizaFosterarguedthat latecapitalist
instead,postmodernpluralism,in the guise of
tion in orderto functionsuccessfully;
fittedwell with an expandingglobalmarketbecauseit
heterogeneity
and difference,
placedemphasison a widerautonomyof choiceand the freedomof the consumerto
For Foster,pluralism
was
numberof availablecommodities.'u
selectfroman increasing
popular,
posited
difference
within
a celebration
of
consumer
a sham,inasmuchas it
and
culture,whileallowingincreasednetworks,spaces,and objectsfor capitalization
was
Fosterwas arguingagainstthe idea that postmodernism
culturalconsumption.
as a breakdownof distinction
betweenhigh
againstits celebration
simplyproductive,
postmodernism,
which
Foster
criticizes,
is often
viewof
and low cultures.The reductive
for freedomand its expression
the possibility
and placing
takento involvemaximizing
greatvalueon the heterogeneous,
the recognition
of differenicultures,peoespecially
ples,and societies.In this context,the curatorscouldbe seen to haveapplieda topart as a way of providing"multipleforms of
down pluralism,employingnon-Western
. . . raceand class,temporal
in subjectivity
othernessas they emergefromdifferences
geographic
locations
spatial
and dislocations."-"
On
of
sensibility]
and
[configurations
the one hand,the curatorialgesturecouldbe seen as openingup a radicalprospect,
on the otherhand,it
of the lack of visibilityof otherness;
throughan acknowledgment
could be seen as ultimatelyreifyingcertainpowerrelations,by failingto articulatea
politicalcontextthat would make more meaningfulthe variousforms of otherness
alludedto withinthe exhibition.
culturaldifferof the time that non-Western
It was a oostmodernist
commonplace
As a viewpoint,it "tellsus
from a Westernperspective.
enceswere incomprehensible
andthe cacophony
of voicesthrough
notonlyto acceptbutto revelin the f ragmentation
This was exemplified
by
whichthe dilemmasof the modernworld are understood."""
postmodernist
preoccupation
"the
with
impenetrability
of
DavidHarvey'scritiqueof the
the other"as simply"overtcomplicitywith the fact of fetishismand of indifference

BiennialCulture and the Emeroenceof a Globalized Curatorial Discourse

As such,Martin'sarticulation
of culturalpluralism
towardunderlying
socialmeanings."t'
fragments
was deemeda slipperybasisfor his inclusiveapproach,usingunconnected
"objects
sensual
which
of visualand
experience,"
are heldto
of otherculturesas the
In
background
unnecessary.t'
havean inherentaestheticvaluethat makescontextual
fact, this lookingfrom afar impliesa positionof hegemonicpower,even if only at a
postmodernist
viewpoint,which
microsymbolic
level.This is a troubling,irresponsible,
"immediately
shuts
those
and
off
regardsall difference(s)
as equivalent,
[other]voices
them with an opaque
from accessto more universalsourcesof powerby ghettoizing
the specificity
of thisor that languagegame.""
otherness,
that Martintried to incorporateinto his
corrections
Despiteall the self-reflexive
declaringhis "ethnocentric"
his
own
limitations,
visionan
methodology,
he did accept
approach;in the
side effectof his own distant,pluralistic
inevitableand inescapable
His perspective
appearsto be consistentwith
end, he couldonly look from without.to
of disparate
worldswithinmany
the superimposition
the way in whichHarveydescribes
"worlds
'other
postmodernist
which
incommunicative
between
an
novels:these are
"Les
Magiciensde la terre,"the ethnoIn
ness'prevailsin a spaceof coexistenc"."tu
graphicvoice of the curatoris heardthe loudest,overridingany seriousattemptat
elements,
and he goesto greatlengthsto decontexthe heterogeneous
contextualizing
works
for
the
sake of his own rhetoricalcuratorial
tualizethe culturaloriginsof the
narrative.
Lyotardis a crisisof narratives,
in whichthere
Postmodernism
d la Jean-FranEois
of grand narrativesand their self-legitimating
is a necessarycall for the devaluation
discourses.Maftin'sstatementevokesLyotard'sview of the postmodernas a place
"wherethere can be no differencebetweentruth,authorityand rhetoricalseductiveAt its
ness;he who has the smoothesttongue,or the racieststory has the power."tu
for Lyotardis an expression
of increduthe postmodern
most reductiveand simplistic,
lt is not enoughmerelyto refocus
lity towardthe totalizingeffectsof metanarratives.of whatis to be lookedat; rather,we shouldquestionwho is
and extendthe parameters
throughtheir
doingthe viewing,how they are doingit, and what is beinglegitimated
oroductionof new kindsof relativisticand rhetoricalmetanarratives.
"LesMagiciens
of the biennial
de la terre"had pavedthe way for an understanding
as a contestedpoliticalagent,throughwhichcuratorswereseento be enactingforms
Thi" exhibition
or evenactivism.tu
standsin relaof socialcritique,globalcommentary,
to the selection,
responses
display,and narration
of
to later,postcolonial
tiveopposition
in
which
cultures
are
derelativized.
For
example,
othernessthroughexhibitionmaking,
postmodernist
tacticof "relativizing
historical
Enwezorarguedagainstthe overarching
of rhetoricalgrand narraand contestingthe lapsesand prejudices"
transformations
soughtto "sublateand
approachto "postcoloniality"
tives.ttInstead,his epistemological
grand
new
ethical
demands
on
modes
of historicai
internarratives
through
replaceall
pretation."oo
This distinction
is mostevidentin Enwezolsanalvsisof his own curatorial

C F ]APT ER 2

approachwithDocumenta11.Whileacknowledging
"LesMagiciens"
as a breakthrough
momentin achievinga more expansiveand transnational
exhibitionmodel,he distancedhimselffromMartin'sethnographic
and colonialist
approach,
whichhe perceived
as an activityof framingthe problematics
of transnationalism
throughexhibition
making
ratherthan unravelingwhat those problemsare or what the solutionmight be. He
states:
"LesMagiciens
de la Terre"in a wayopenedup a spacefor reallyarticulating
the relationship
between
theworksmadein thewest andnon-west.However,
theproblemof
"LesMagiciens
de la Terre"was thatit was stillpredjcated
on a very redundant
viewof
whoshouldbe an artistin this"othel'space.. . . lt hada newcolonialist
eye.. . . l don,t
thinkDocumenta
11 and"LesMagiciens
de la Terre"shareanything
at all in termsof
methodology,
intermsof curatorial
interests,
in termsof intellectual
interests,
in termsof
questions,
historical
beyondthefactthatwewerereallyinterested
in thewidestpossible
notionof whereartis made.o'
For Enwezor,postcolonialism
is not a discourseof distinction
betweenelsewhere
and here,but an entirelynew way of readingthe globalentanglement
as beingpostcolonialin its very nature-it is a startingpointratherthan an end pointfromwhichto
considerour currentglobalcondition.
Thus,the "postcolonial
constellation"
is seenas a
vast rangeof artisticpracticesthat expandthe definitionof what constitutesconremporary culture.For Enwezor,the main pointof historicalintersection
withinthis arrayof
practicesis their alignmentin oppositionto the "hegemonicimperatives
of imperial
discourses."o'
Similarly,
CatherineDavid,curatorof Documenta10, understood
"Les Magiciens,,
as a reinforcement
of a mistakendivisionbetweencentraland peripheral
modernitiesthe latterperceivedas somethingexotic,archaic,or antimodern.ot
An exampleof this
was Marlin'sfocuson the "cultured"
objectseenthrougha Westernaesthetic
gaze,with
littleof the sociopolitical
providedfor the viewerand littleattention
contextof production
givento the potentially
neocolonialist
subiextof the curatorial
statement.
Whilerecognizingthat, withoutthe margins,there is no centerand vice versa,"Les Magiciens',
assumednot only that an ethnocentric
and hegemoniccriterionfor the selectionof
practitioners
from outsidethe West was inevitablebut also that such limitations
were
acceptableat that time. Martinclaimedthat an "objective,unacculturated"
perspective
pointof viewwas impossible
or a "decentered"
and,in any case,unhelpful.
Instead,he
arguedthat lookingat the culturedobjectfromthe relativepositionof the Westwould
incorporate
positionintoa transhistorical
a criticalanthropological
view.Thispositionis
representative
of the generalized
pluralism,
contemporaneous
ideaof
in whichthe lack
of any agreed-upon
criteriafor the judgmentof art or the aestheticis compensated
for
by a moraljudgment.This is Martin'sdefense,makinghim a spiritual,ethnographic
explorerinvolvedin a self-moralizing
archaeology
of the Westernized
other.oo

Biennial Culture and the Emergenceof a Globalized CuratorialDiscourse

t
As argued,Martin'stranscultural
curatorialapproacharrivedat a time in which
postmodernist
theoristswerepreoccupied
witha notionof culturalpluralism,
usingrelativismas a meansof contesting
the so-calledgrandnarratives
of Westernmodernism
ratherthanseeingmodernismas havingany emancipatory
potential;05
Enwezorcalled
this "western postmodernism's
rhetoricalpretensionsto plurality.',oo
The properties
FredricJamesonattributesto postmodernism-"notas a style,but ratheras a cultural
dominant:a conceptionwhichallowsfor the presenceand coexistence
of a rangeof
very different,yet subordinate,features"aT-s1sperceived by Enwezor as having
affordedMartina manipulative
methodof entryinto heterogeneous
zones.predicated
mainly on "very different,yet subordinatefeatures,',early postmoderntranscultural
approaches
to the peripheryallowedboth "presence"
and ,,coexistence,,
withinglobal
exhibitions,
but onlywhenthe otheris "grantedaudiencein orderto speakthe essential
truthsof theirexistence."ot
Martin'scuratorial
methodology
fell intothistrap of showing
culturescoexistingas "randomdifference,"on
with "Les Magiciens,,
proposedto be as
muchaboutbringingthe peculiarities
and particularities
of non-Western
art into a universalrelationship
with a Westernizednotionof the aesthetic,the spiritual,and the
qualitative,
as it was about rewritingrecentarl history.As GerardoMosquerahas
argued,therewill alwaysbe an asymmetrical
relationship
between"curatingcultures,,
and "curatedcultures."uo
Thisis to saythattranscultural
curatingcan alwaysbe usedas
a politicaltool, to integratecuratedculturesinto the establishedWesterncanon-a
processon the groundsof westernprinciples
totalizing
and valuesvstems.
Biennialsand GlobalCuratingfrom the 1990sOnward
In carol Duncan'sanalysisof the museumsetting,she argues that sucn spaces
achievea ritualizing
effectthroughtheirmarked-off,
liminalzonesof spaceand time,in
whichvisitorsare invitedto perlorma scriptor scenariothat has beendictatedto them
by the museum'ssetting,its architectural
symbolism,and its displaydynamics.ttAll
exhibitionsare "ritualstructures,"u'
she argues;they prescribeformalizedways of
behavingto parlicipants,viewers, and visitors alike, through the utilizationof
sequenced
spaces,lighting,
and the arrangements
of objects.The privileging
of curatorial subjectivity
in such casesconfiguresa relationship
betweendifferentworks.Any
individuality
left in the viewingexperienceis convertedinto the commonand amelioratedexperience
of a semiconstructed
communityof viewers.The pointis to avoidany
potentialcriticalpositionsoutsideof the constructednarrativeand its constructed
viewing.
The maintenance
of a givenset of powerrelationsbetweenart and its displayand
receptionis particularly
relevantto the largesurveyexhibitions
thatemergedduringthe
1990s.Biennials
tendto incorporate
suchpowerrelationsas anachronistic
elementswhat John Millercalls"surplusfrustration
as a ritualin its own right.,,"However,anv

60

C IAPT ER

re

dissentthismightimplyis safelyrecuperated
as partof the totalityof the event.In such
exhibitions,
thereis a "cycleof raisedexpectations
and quickdisillusionment,"to
which
predictable
is both
and overdetermined.
We are alwaysto remaindisappointed.
Miller
arguesthatthe socialexperience
of an, as an organized,
spectacular
event,servesas
a methodnot onlyof tellingthe viewerwhatis goingon but alsoof directingthe experiencein a way that is self-implicated
in the international
spectacle.
lt is supportedby an
overarching
curatorial
statement,
whichpurportsto offera newway of seeingthingg.
Millerarguesthat biennials,
on accountof theirscaleand populariiy,
are ideological institutions;
reifyingthe socialrelationsbetweenartworksand spectators
is one of
theirinescapable
objectives.
As the explicitpurposeof thiskindof exhibition
is to offera
comprehensive,
demographic
surveyof artworks,its termsof discourseare predetermined,they precludethe possibility
of being"transformed
in the courseof art productionand thereforesubjectto contradiction
and conflict."ut
According
to Miller,to critique
theseexhibitions
on the basisof individualcuratorialchoices,made withinan establishedframework,
is to ignorethe ideologies
underpinning
suchinstitutions
or eventhe
coniemporary
ad industryas a whole-a field of operationsrestrictedby its closely
monitoredglobalnetworks,markets,and evaluativeeconomies.
This is an industryin
which individualsorientthemselveswithin culturaleconomiesthat value reoutation
vyingfor positionthroughcultural-political
highly,with individuals
maneuverings.'u
When Millersuggestedthat the organizersof exhibitions,
such as Jan Hoet at
Documenta
I (1992),viewaudiences
as a unifiedand uncontested
socialconstituency,
he correctlyimpliedthattheydo so withoutany senseof differentiation
in the myriadof
ulteriorsubjects,constituencies,
or counterpublics.
ln the process,the institution
of the
grandexhibition
privileges
the curator'spositionas the leadingauthority,
withthe resultant exhibitionappearingas an organicinevitability.
In other words,the institutional
frameworkbehindbiennials
supportsan illusionof an overarching
curatorial
inspiration,
or evengenius,whichis presented
to imaginedand realpublicsas a faitaccompli.ut
By
contrast,the public(as people,places,or a mobilizing
concept)can be understood
not
only as a concreteentityto be deconstructed
or pluralized,
but as able to produceor
constituteitself.To see the publicas beingunderconstruction,
in turn, providesthe
exhibition
withagencythatcan affectthe social-specifically,
the kindsof publicspaces
in whichwe soclalizeand are socialized.ut
Large-scale
exhibitions
institutean assumption that there is a commonand collectiveexperienceat work, when in fact this is
broughtaboutthroughan unspokencollusionbetweenthe well-oiled
art-eventmachine
and its attendantaudiences,
madeall the morepossibleby the carnivalatmosphere
of
a grandiosegatheringof globalart worldobservers,
whichis parlicularly
evidentduring
the openingspectacleof the privateview.
In the absenceof any alternative
narrativeor substantial
opposition,
the curator
becomesthe subjectmostconspicuously
responsible
for the production
and mediation
of biennials.Embeddedin the institutional
mechanisms,the curatorbecomesthe

BiennialCulture and the Emeroenceof a Globalized Curatorial Dlscourse

producerof exhibitions
of art as statementson globalculture.The presentation
of a
unifiedand unperturbed
curatorial
spaceobscuresthe vastamountof realand immateriallaboron the partof numerousindividuals,
administrators,
and assistants
withinthe
organizational
structureof the large-scalebiennialexhibitionmodel.tnAs Charlotte
Bydleracknowledged,
a moreconnectedglobalart worldplaces,,hardpressureon the
labor marketfor culturalworkers,"as evidencedby the expansionof the biennial
model.uo
The biennialcurator'scapacityto extenda worldview leadsto the biennial
beingthe type of culiuraleventthat is in tune with capitalism's
colonialexpansionin
pursuitof new labormarkets.u'
Globalismin the contextof the grand exhibitionu'appearsvia the ar1.
world-an
ostensiblyunifiedplace in which creativeand culturaldifferences
can be integrated
while retaininga diversityof coexistingidentities.In many cases,the biennialmodel
,,process
seeminglybolstersa definition
of globalization
as a benign,accelerated
which
embodiesa transformation
in the spatialorganization
of socialrelations. . . generattng
transcontinental
or interregional
flowsand networks."ut
Exemplifying
this process,the
biennialis presented
as an inevitable
productof the contemporary
globalcondition.
The biennialformulates
the worldas an amalgamation
of differentcultures,times,
and places,all broughttogetheras a combinedrepresentation
of what DavidHarvey
calls"timeand spacecompression."uo
Harey describeshow,whenthe time it takesto
travel between disparatelocationsdecreasesas dramaticallyas it has, there is a
speeding-up
of humaninterrelations.
This effectiveshrinkageof geographical
distance
and the speedingup of temporalities
of communication
has reachedthe pointwhere
"the presentis all ihere is."uu
,,accelerBiennialssupportideasof ,,globalintegration,,,
ated interdependence,"
"consciousness
raisingof the global condition,,,
and ,,interregionalpowerrelations.""o
Here,culturalworkersand artistsfromall overthe worldare
assembledand their work is displayedinsidethe frameworkof a globalexhibitionevent,as one way of mediating
an expandedand inclusive
overviewof the wholeworld
to an audienceat one place/location/city/time.
As criticThomasBoutouxidentified,
throughoutthe 1990sthe contemporaryarr
worldembraced"theglobal"as a coherentphenomenon
thatcouldbe usedto integrate
artisticproductionpreviouslyconsideredbeyondthe Westernart historical
"unon.ut
Curatingin the contextof biennialsassumedthe uniquepositionof both"reflecting
globalismas a realityand adoptingit as an ideaor theme.',uu
Despiteany curatorialselfreflexivitytowardthe globaleffectsof biennialization,
the peripherycontinuedto follow
the discourseof the center.In the caseof biennials,
the peripherycomesto the center
in searchof legitimation
and,in turn,acceptsthe conditions
of thislegitimacy.un
charles
Eschesuggested
thatthe globalization
of art withinlarge-scale
exhibitions
has,through
a processof standardization,
absorbedthe differencebetweencenterand periphery.
Accordingto Esche,the "centerfirst"modelof globalart, largelybegunin 1989,still
holdsswayovermuchmuseumand biennialculture.lt requires"thekev institutions
of

C H APT EF

contemporary
cultureofficially
to sanctionthe 'periphery'
in orderto subsumeit intothe
canonof innovative
visualart."' Eventhoughmanyof the arlistsin eachexhibition
may
havedevelopedtheirpracticeon the fringesof the recognizedart world,theirwork is
validatedand consumedby the centerand,therefore,
the relationship
betweenrim and
hub remainsin place.ttConsistent
withthe meansof operationof globalization,
biennials occasionally
are to the economicbenefitof the patronized,
but "rarelyin the interestsof maintaining
theirautonomyand sustainability."
Althoughbiennialcuratorsacknowledgethe impossibility
of presentinga total
worldview,they also appearto considerthis limitation
productive
as a fundamentally
aspectof the globalconditionat their disposal.As CharlesEscheand Vasif Kortun,
curatorsof the 9th International
lstanbulBiennial(2005),claimed,biennials
since1989
havebecomethe vehicleon the international
art circuitthroughwhichmuchart is valipost,whichplaysa moreptvdatedand acquiresits value.t3Unlikea fixedinstitutional
otal role in the localcontext,curatorialvisionwithinbiennialscan shapethe ways in
which we form an understanding
of globalculture.Here, biennialsbecomedevices
throughwhichafi can interpretthe worldfor its viewers.Equally,suchexhibitions
demonstratehow diversecreativeactivitiescan coexistwith the modalitiesof differentcultureJs,
represented
togetherin one siteof display,akinto an organicglobalcooperation.
As well-traveled
curatorHou Hanruhas stated:
What I triedto do in exhibitions
like "Citieson the Move,"and especially
"Zoneof
Urgency,"
wasto createa klndof overlapping
of different
systems,
whichrepresented
different
speeds,different
spatialities
in the world.In someparts,you can see some
quietcornersand, in others,thereare morespeedyspaces,whileothersare more
implicit
andallthesethingshaveto be woventogether
likean organicbody.to
This porlrayalof an exhibition,
as an "organicbody"of "overlapping"
differences,
accordswithMichaelHardtand AntonioNegri'sdescription
of globalization
as an "inexprocess
orableand irreversible"
of economicand culturalregulation
o1exchangethatis
assignedto the new,sovereignglobalpowerthattheycall"Empire."'"
Accordingto one
of theircentralarguments
aboutthisglobalcondition,
in "contrast
to imperialism,
Empire
establishes
no territorial
centerof powerand doesnot relyon fixedboundaries
or barriers."76
lnstead,it has "materialized"
as "a decenteredanddeterritoriatizing
apparatusof
rule that expressively
incorporates
the entireglobalrealmwithinits open,expanding
frontiers."To counteract
this,Hardtand Negripositthe emergence
of the plural"multitude" of "productive,creativesubjectivitiesof globalization"
that have learnedto "form
constellations
of singularities
and eventsthat imposecontinualglobalreconfigurations
of the system."'u
The "multitude"
is put forwardby Hardtand Negrias a "political
subject,as posse,"that beginsto appearon the worldsceneas a "biopolitical
self-organizaIion,"made up of cooperativeand convergentsubjectswho are takingresponsibility
for directingand managing"immaterial"
modesof production,
socialwork,and creative

BiennialCulture and the Emeroenceof a Globalized CuratorialDiscourse

2.1 "Citieson the Move,"curatedby Hou Hanruand Hans UlrichObrist,HaywardGallery,


London.1997.Courtesvof HansUlrichObrist.

C H APT EF

group of
action.tnThe "multitude"reimaginesworkingclassesas a heterogeneous
migrantculturalworkers,socioculturalmovements,and cooperativenetworks,offering
resistanceto the global hegemonicpower of Empire.
some forms of collaborative
is achievedby virtueof its abilityto perAccordingto Hardtand Negri,this resistance
petuallymobilizeitselfgeographically
In the processof creatingnew
and ontologically.
populations,
and throughits abilityto be conand socialconstituencies,
subjectivities,
tinuallyin motion,the creativemovementof the multitudeproducesnew "modulations
For Hardtand Negriand iheir
of form and processesof mixtureand hybridization."so
globalcurator{ollowers,
as a network:an openand
the "multitude"
can be "conceived
expansivenetworkin which all differencescan be expressedfreelyand equally,a netso thatwe can workand livein common."tt
workthat providesthe meansof encounter
perpetual
foreverin flux, fluid,while beingseen as
means
it
remains
movement
Its
it has a slippery
bordersof the nation-state;
the geographical
capableof transcending
characteras outlinedin moredetailbelow.
and malleable
and its ultiHardtand Negri'sconceptof multitudeis notablefor its ambivalence
potentiality
productive
its
limits
as
a
or
matelyaffirmativeand optimisticstance,which
Their multitudehas an apparent
antagonisticforce accordingto certaincommentators.
which,for some,resultsin its beinga faceless,voiceless,and alwaysmarop'enness,
ginalentity.For PaoloVirno,for example,the multitudeis a by-productof the postFordist productionprocess,which is ultimatelydefined by the bourgeoisnotion of
throughwhichwork is directedtowardthe creation,administrafreedomof circulation,
As by-product
of this
of meaningratherthan materialproduction.
tion,and distribution
politiremainunableto achievecollective
willalways,therefore,
condition,
the multitude
political
of
the
sphere,
undifferenhumanistic
concept
cal agency.Instead,it remainsa
tiated by class, with its power lying in its refusalto become government.In Virno's
words,the multitudeis always"deprived""in the judicialsense of being extraneousto
potentialconnotingmasses,the multitude's
the sphereof commonaffairs."u'Although
individual
to
experiences
rather
ity as a collectiveforce remainsoutsideand confined
expressedas an
than being a constituentpower;it is "condemnedto impotence,"
JacquesRannone of whichaspiresto becomea majority.ut
ensembleof minorities,
'good'or'true' multitudes?"uo
"Areall multitudes
For him,
cidrehas askedrhetorically:
given
problematic
it
is
because
an
all-too-positive
outHardtand Negri'smultitudeis
groundedin beingin common,never
look,with littleroomfor dissensusor antagonism,
egalitarianpresupconstitutingitselfas oppositionalbecauseof its self-congratulatory,
"burdenof blowingapartall barriersand of
position.In turn,it is giventhe unenviable
perceptible
whichis madeall the more
community,"
itselfin the formof a
accomplishing
"mustbecomethe contentof whichthe Empireis
imoossiblebecausethe multitudes
the container."tu
flexibleworkforce,has
The situationof the creativemultitude,as a post-Fordist,
The
multitude
is seen as a kind of
been adoptedby the biennialto varyingdegrees.

BiennialCulture and the Emergence of a Globalized Curatorial Discourse

globalassemblage
of immaterial
labor-the laborthatproducesandfacilitates
the informationaland culturalcontentof the commodity,
whetherof artistic,cultural,or reputationalvalue.As sociologist
and art criticPascalGielenhas argued,the biennialis a
postinstitution
for immaterial
laborand the arrivalof the artisticmultitude,
in whichcurators,artists,and audiences,regardless
of theirsincerity,mustretaina degreeof cynicismand opportunism
so as to get by in a hierarchical
globalart system:"cynicismand
opportunism
are now a structuralcomponentof our globalizedsociety"and, as such,
have becomenecessarymodesof operationwithinthe contemporaryart world and its
labormarkets.tu
This fault line, identifiedby Gielen,is consistentwith virno's assessmeniof the
ways in whichopportunism
has emergedin recentyears,in relationto the post-Fordist
multitudeof curatorsas assemblers,
arrangers,mediators,
and communicators.
Here,
reputational
economiesharnessopportunism
as a negativeforce,signifying
the acceptance of forms of domination,
hierarchical
structures,
and even corruptionwithinthe
field.This is a by-product
of the economization
of the culturalfield.For Virno,as mucn
as for Gielen,the insurrections
of the multitude,
and the strugglesfor liberation
of the
multitude,are commencedby a desirefor the possible.This strugglecreatesdistinct
opportunitiesfor the multitudeto flourishratherthan opportunismfor the promotedself,
which is seekingways to extinguishpowerratherthan to conquerit.stAlthoughVirno
advancesan ideaof the multitude
as unstableand self-destructive-because
of itsconstant,narcissistic
self-reflection,
alwaysin a state of losingits equilibrium-heonly
barelyacknowledges
its darkerside,whichis surelythe pointfrom whicha rrue confrontation
withthe hegemonyof Empirecan surface.Againstthis,however,it couldbe
arguedthat biennialculture,on the whole,has adoptedthe figureof the conremporary
multitude
as an inherently
benevolent
and creativeforcefor the good.t'
In the contextof the globalbiennialof the pastdecadesor so, art originating
from
differentculturesand globalinformation
networksis suggestively
put forwardas a kind
of critical"multitude,"
expressed
as a centrally
organized
and globallyconnected
sphere
of operations
appropriate
to the modusoperandiof large-scale
international
exhibitions.
As carlos Basualdohas stated,biennialscan be "seenas an opportunity
for a wider
reflectionin which,of course,art is a very significantcomponent";tn
in caseswnere
globalart mightbe "thepointof departureor the pointof arrival-youare reallydealing
withmuchmorecomplexsystem[s]in whichyou are alsotryingto dealwiththe connection,the dialoguebetweenthe artsand otheraspectsof culturalproduction."no
The biennialexpansionoverthe pasttwo decadessupporteda visionof globalism
as an inevitableproductof our times.For example,Documenta1o (1997)was perceivedby itsdirectorcatherineDavidas an attemptto proposean enlarged,
expansive,
and recentralized
viewof arl historyand the art world,throughwhich"theextremeheterogeneityof contemporaryaestheticpracticesand mediums-matchedby a plurality
of contemporaryexhibitionspaces"-would be used to "provide a multiplicity,,

C H APT EB

rc

Bergen,2009
and HansUlrichObristat "TheBergenBiennialConference,"
2.2CarlosBasualdo
Courtesyof the BergenBiennial.

thathave"becomemanifestwiththe processof
the shiftsand redefiniiions
representing
globalisation."n'
In a similarmanner,Ute MetaBauerconceivesof the spaceof Documenta 11 (2002) as a bringingtogetherof artworksand ideas as connected"fraglikea "rhizomethat branchesintoa wholethat is not immediately
ments,"interrelated
of forms of exchange. . emphasizesthe
perceptible"
and in which "a stratification
By contrast,
the 50th
of multiplicit6;'"principleof manifoldconnections
. . . of diversity,
of the Viewer"(2003),was
The Dictatorship
VeniceBiennale,"Dreamsand Conflicts:
of "glomanticism,"
an amalgamof
Bonamias an expression
seenby curatorFrancesco
within
information
finally
intersect
and
economics
"Globalityand Romanticism,
where
Bonamidescribed
the resultsof
identityand emotions."'of an individual
the complexity
in which"a polyphony
art as a globalexhibition
hisanalysisof the stateof contemporary
"a new networkof culturalexpressions,
of voicesand ideas"cametogetherto represent
the nomadicEuropeanbienLikewise,
more
spiritual."to
whichare less dogmaticand
the biennialsof Berlin,Tirana,Lyon,and lstanbul;and many of the
nial, Manifesta;
established
acrossthe globe
and quadrennials
triennials,
biennials,
smallerperipheral
withlocalartistic
approach,
duringthe 1990s,haveall tendedto employa transnational

BiennialCulture and the Emeroenceof a GlobalizedCuratorial Discourse

production
beingtakenas the mainpointof departurelinkedto globalnetworksof artistic production
witha handfulof rovingcuratorsat the helm.""
one can imaginewhat curatorGerardoMosqueracalled"a planetin which all
pointsare interconnected
in a reticularnetwork."nu
By bringingdiverseculturestogether
in one globalexhibition,
the curator,or curators,exhibitwhatJamesCliffordhas called
an "interpretive
anthropology,"
whereinculturesare proposedas ,,assemblages
of
texts,"intendedto challenge"ethnographic
authority"by settingup more ,,discursive
paradigmsof dialogueand polyphony"
withinone maintext,namely,thatof the exhibition.ntSucha methodology
invokesPierreBourdieu's
challengeto the structuralist
versionof the textualmodel,with its capacityto reduce"socialrelationsto communicative
relationsand, more precisely,
to decodingoperations."nt
when a particularcuratorial
narrative,or art worldview,is transposedonto diversepractices,a "recodingof practice
as discourse"nn
occrrs,withthe exhibition
as the principal
textandthe curator(s)
providing the most prominentnarrativethroughwhich alignmentscan be made between
selectedworks.lf, then,the exhibition
itselfis a mediumas muchas a text,whatarethe
conditions
and possibilities
for artisticproduction
to be distributed
at thisgloballevel?
part
As
of
a
dominant
western
European
and
American
internationalism,
an
.
expanding
networkof biennials
haseffectively
embracedarl and artistsfromthe peripheries.However,as JessicaBradleyargues,theseexhibitions
functionas a spectacular
meansof distribution
that can efficiently
meetthe accelerated
rateof exchangeand consumption
parallelto
theglobalflowof capitalandinformation
today.. . . Whilecuratorial
aspirations
arefrequently
concerned
withaddressing
cultures
in fluxandeschew[ing]
cultural
nationalism,
the motivesfor establishing
theseeventsmay nevertheless
residein a desrreto promoteandvalidate
local,culturally
production
specific
withina globalnetwork.t00
As previouslymentioned,
the interrelations
betweencultureand locationare the
most obviouslymarketableaspectsof the globaltourismon which biennialsdepend.
Locality-embodied
in the promotionof touristspots,localspecialties,
sites,cultures,
and produce-is the most reliablegeneratorof economicrevenuefor manyprovincial
towns.Equally,as GilaneTawadroshas stated,art has becomepart of a "globalized
economywith the necessityfor new markets,with the growthof new marketsto sell
work,but alsoof new products,
to continueto fueland invigorate
existingmarkets,not
to mentionall the regeneration
of citiesand the way that art is beingused and biennalesin particular,
and festivalsof art,are usedas a formof accumulating
culturalcapital,as a strategyfor cities."'o'
In considering
the characterof biennialsas commodities
withina touristeconomy,Hou Hanruarguesthat suchdependence
on a touristeconomy causesa lossof what FredricJamesonidentified
as a necessary"distanceof critique."to'lvo Mesquitaalso arguesthat,duringthesetimesof ,,culture
as spectacle,,,
aftistic productionacts as a catalyst for globalizedculture, attractingfinancial

68

C I- l APT ER 2

rc

and audiences.Biennials(andart fairs)are happeningin moreand more


investments
citiesthat haveadoptedculturaltourismas a meansof securinga placein the international arena of economyand culture.There, artists,curators,critics,art dealers,
patrons,and sponsorsnurturea clearlydefinedproduction
system-a divisionof labor
lt is fairto say that eachbiennial
rolesfor the participants.'ot
that produceshierarchical
varyingin theirscale,objectives,
localprioriis unique,with eachof theseexhibitions
However,whatthey all have
and internationally).
ties,and levelsof visibility(nationally
in commonis an ambitionto boostlocalculturaltourismwithina globalcontextand,in
to the designation
of a new geographyfor international
art, its curaturn,to contribute
torship,and reception.
exhibitionfunctionsas a fleetingplaceof exchangewithinthis
Each large-scale
producedwithina biennialcontextarediscussed
wherebyexhibitions
ongoingdialogue,
and theircontemporaries,
as well as the
in relationto eachother,theirpredecessors,
Forexample,in 2002,Enwezorclaimedthat Documenta11 recogworldthey mirror.too
that had soughtto be truly international,
exhibitions
nizedthe limitsof all large-scale
a separation
betweenpublics
inclusive,
and global,but had oftenendedup maintaining
models.'ou
Documenta11 wouldinsteadexpressthe limitsof Docuand disciplinary
mentaas an institution
of globalstature,by puttingits multitudeforwardas a counterThis was a multitudeof global intersections
and
force to the power of Empire.'ou
"deterritorializing"
public-sphere
and exacerbating
what Enwezor
relations,
collectively
its reification
and homogenization,
of pure
strategyof differentiation
calls"modernism's
objectsof art in relationto valueand hierarchywithinthe aftisticcanon.."'otOn" y"ur
later,Bonamisuggestedthat the 50th Venice Biennaleattemptedto createa new
fragmentation,
century,in which multiplicity,
and
for the twenty-first
Grand Exhibition
while reflecting
the complexity
of the
diversitycouldcoexistwithina singleexhibition,
globalconditionbeyondit.'ou
contemporary
By lookingat the changesin curatorialdiscourserelatingto significantexhibi(1984)to "LesMagiciens
de la terre"(1989)to Documenta11
tions-f rom "Primitivism"
(2002)-ChristianKravagnatackledthe problemof globalcuratingand its readiness
to
Posingthe fundamental
exhibitions.
art withininternational
representnon-European
question,"How does one curatethe art of other cultures,and who has a legitimate
culclaimto curateit?,"Kravagnapointsout thatthe "one-wayimpod"of non-Western
He concludesthat "althoughthe
turesis partof a longtraditionof colonialexhibitions.
in recentyears,obstaclesto the
art has changedconsiderably
imageof non-Western
'globalization'
remain."ton
afi
of contemporary
increasein the inclusionof non-Western
Kravagna'spointis that an exponential
has neatlyavoidedthe fact that mostof theseexhibitions
art in numerousexhibitions
it is alsoimportant
to take
havetakenplacein the West.Althoughthispointis pertinent,
peripheral
number
of
cities
seeking
recogthe
ever-increasing
of
the
impact
of
account
Placesas culturally
and historically
diverse
nitionin the art worldby hostingbiennials."o

BiennialCulture and the Emerqenceof a Globalized Curatorial Discourse

as Tirana,Dakar,Havana,lstanbul,Gwangju,S5o Paulo,and Johannesburg


have
soughtto boost,or reinvent,their globalimage,by exhibitinglocalartistsalongside
thoseoperatingwithinthe moredominantculturalcenters.lt is herethatthe contempoprevailsoverany economic,
raryarLcircuit
cultural,or nationalborders.ttt
Suchprojects
producenew localities
in relationto the sphereof art, as Hou Hanruhas suggested;
if
eachlocationis the productof specific,emergentcontextsfor the "generation
of social
life,thencitiescan potentially
becomethe mostvitalspacesfor the production
of localities, when they produceinternational
or globalarlisticbiennials."tt'
Biennialsare an
efficientmeans by which these localitiescan map out a placefor themselves,at a
global level,to becomeone point in the networkedcommunication
betweenother
bie n n i a l s .
Kravagnaalso overlookswhat OkwuiEnwezorcalledthe "extraterritoriality"l13
of
Documenta1.1, in whichthe displacement
of the exhibitionprojectfrom its usualcontext in Kasselwas broughtaboutvia the production
of discursivespacesthroughthe
organization
of five "Platforms.""o
The exhibition
branchedout froma seriesof discursive events,providingwhat Enwezorcalled "deterritorializations"
of the exhibition
moment,whichnot only intervened
intothe historical
locationof Documentain Kassel
but also exemplified
the mechanisms
that makethe spaceof contemporary
art one of
m u l ti p l e
ru p tu re s .ttu
Biennialshave continuedto embraceculturalpluralismas their standard,while
producinga fragmentedexperience
of the worldthroughtranscultural,
nonlinear,
ahistoricalgroupexhibitions.
As MarthaRoslerhas pointedout, while curatorialthemes
may changefromone exhibition
to the next,the questionof inclusiondoesnot. lt is, in
fact, one of the constantsthat accompanyany biennial,whereby"globalexhibitions
serveas grandcollectors
and translators
of subjectivities
underthe latestphaseof globalization.""u
Roslerproposedthat,althougharlistsmay be selectedon the basisof
geopolitical
theiridentity,theirdifference,
position,theremustbe an
or theirperipheral
aestheticsurplusfromthe FirstWorldto maintainthe equilibrium
of proportional
representation."tThe globalized
culturalsectordoes not necessarily
behaveany differently
than globalcapitalism;
in fact,it oftenmimicsit. For MarcusVerhagen,this expresses
itselfas a failedexpectation,
wherebybiennialvisitorsexpecta progressive
modelof
globalization
in the culturalsphere,but insteadare greetedby "biennials[that]are
manifestations
of a differentkind of globalization,
one that is drivennot so much by
ecumenical
curatorial
designsas by existingmechanisms
of centralization
and dissemination."ttu
The biennialremainsa crucialnode in a largernetworkof interrelations,
a
networkthat is almostentirelypenetrated
by the market;this meansthatto isolatethe
biennialfromotherexhibition
modelswouldonlyoffera distortion
of the art worldon the
whole.Biennialscannotaspireto a cogentassessment
of globalization
becausethey
have beenwhollyshapedby globalpressure.However,as an exhibitionmodelof our
times,they remaina significant
meansof understanding
how the art worldfunctions."n

C H APT ER

The Art World as a GlobalWhiteCube


In 2005, ElenaFilipovicarguedthat biennialsand otherlarge-scale,
recurrentexhibitionshaveconfigured
a new kindof sanitizedexhibition
Filipoviccategorized
"pace.''o
biennialsas the new "globalwhite cube"-discussedand
critiquedas if they were
autonomous
entities,isolatedfromthe physicalenvironments
immediately
beyondtheir
parameters.'''Despitethe multiplicity
of creativevoiceswithineach biennial,the oortrayalof the exhibitionas a hermeticspacepersists.The work of the biennialcurator
continuesto be mediatedand discussed,
with a focuson whatthe exhibition
contains
only inasmuchas it corresponds
with the curatorialobjective.'"Filipovicsupportsher
argumentby suggesting
thatbiennials
overwhelmingly
employestablisheo
museums_
often purpose-built,
modernistdisplayspaces-in host cities.There, artworksare
shownin speciallyconstructed
settingsthat replicatethe rigidgeometrics
of the modernist"whitecube,"with whitewalls,compartmentalized
sections,and a lack of win_
dowsto the worldoutside.'"Thereis a privileging
of ihe exhibition
as the predominant
form,whereby"theselectionof artworks,a tectoniccontext,and thematicor otherdiscursiveaccompaniments
coalesceinto a particularform . . . at [the]heartof how an
exhibitionexhibits."t'o
This contributesto an articulationof the biennialas a particular
physicalspacewith its own parameters,
"throughwhichrelationsbetweenvrewersand
objects,betweenone objectand others,and betweenobjects,viewers,and their spe_
cificexhibition
contextare staged."'"
At the coreof suchcuratorial
activityremainsthe abilityto situatea givenworkof
art withina social,historical,
and culturalcontext,and to writeaboutit factually,informatively,and critically.
Withinglobalexhibitions,
ihe gradualtransitionof the curator
fromculturalarbiterto culturalmediatorhas meantthatcuratorshaveexplicated
artistic
practices
that havetraditionally
beensubordinated,
submerged,
or lackingin visibility
in
Wesiernart discourse.
Accordingto lwonaBlazwick,directorof the Whitechapel
Gallery,pluralism-whichshe attachesto postmodernism-has
political
beenan important
phenomenon
because"whatit seeksto dismantleis a singleunitarysubjectposition,
that positionwhichis white,male,heterosexual
and Euro-America-centric",,t'u
zygmunt
Baumanarguesthat it was preciselythe end of the grandWesternnarrativeand the
absenceof a single,universally
acceptedauthoritywithincontemporary
culturethat
causedcuratorsto becomescapegoats,
"becausethe curatoris on the frontline of a
big battlefor meaningunderconditions
of uncertainty."t"
Duringthisperiodof criticality,
Baumanperceivesart as havingbeen recentered
on what he calls,,theeventof the
exhibition"-amomentin whichthe "artisticexperience"
is evaluatedand mappedout
as a one-offevent,the successof whichis accordedby its ,,volume
of . . . potential,,for
viewersand participants
alike."tHere,experience
of art is acquiredthroughshorl-lived
eveniswith an experiential
aspectand a "beenthere,donethat,,attitudethat provides
the eventwith its primaryculturalvalue.only secondarily,
if at all, is the experience
of

BiennialCulture and the Emergenceof a Globalized Curatorial Discourse

E_--

For Bauman,art that


valueof the workof arl itself."12n
art evaluated"by the extemporal
is exhibitedwithinsuch a widelypublicizedevent "meetsthe standardsset for the
the shockwhile
standsthe chanceof maximising
properobjectof consumption,lhat
"" In otherwords,the workof art and the art eventconrisk
of
boredom."
the
avoiding
value.""
spireto promoteart's"entertainment
Venice,or
Johannesburg,
Veryfew biennialsoperateon the scaleof Documenta,
localized,and modestin
even lstanbul.However,while manytend to be improvised,
producedby the biennial
what they intendto achieve,it is the specifichomogeneity
heterogeneity
of
the myriadlocalizedculconditionthat is of interesthereand not the
issuesof scale,temporality,
and/or
Settingasidethe distinguishing
tural statements.
is
of curatorialpracticemade manifestby such exhibitions
locality,the transformation
politicized,
and
essendiscursive,
as
an
ovedly
curators
biennial
by
mainlyarticulated
tiallypositiveeffectof globalism.
agents
Escheand Koftunare not alonein theirregardfor biennialsas "privileged
of art"that can "identifyand definea positionfor art in the
in the planetarydistribution
f romwhichit can be furlherexplored."tt'
andcreatethe conditions
oublicconsciousness
that can activatemultiple
Hans UlrichObristreferredto the biennialas a "catalyst"'tt
of severaltimezonesin exhifor the coexistence
whereby"thenecessity
temporalities,
Whereasthe biennial
bitionsenablesa great varietyof differentcontactzones."tto
for
works
as
a
catalyst
Obrist,for Ute Meta
and
Kortun,
for
Esche
and
a
tool
appearsas
to make a
in
the
art
world
for
curators
left
Bauerit is one of the rare opportunities
"lt'snot to showoff,but to get certain
"biggerstatementto get heard."She elaborates:
on a scalemuch largerthan that affordedby the majorityof
issuesfinallyacross,"l35
This leavesthe biennialmodelopento the kindof spectacularizacuratedexhibitions.
as a
of curatingbiennials
tionthat Baueralludedto whenshe describedherexperience
"to
possibility
that hadto be usedto makea point,whichis, a certainextent,spectacuto stickout."ttuWhat is apparentis that the new whitecube
lar or very controversial,
an expansionin the globalad
aft,
requiresa spectacular as much as it necessitates
marketsto till its spaces.
engagewithpoliticsas a cultural,ratherthaninstibiennials
Ai theirmosteffective,
suggested,"Theyoughtto showthemselves
tutional,practice.As SusanBuck-Morss
thisfreedomsetsin motion,thus retrieving
which
of
that
freedom
and
of
as an exercise
practices
that endeavoredto createa spacefor culture,a
the traditionof those artistic
in
Biennialshavebecomea formof institution
soacethatshunsinstrumentalization."l"
havebegunto producean indexof
and,becauseof theirperiodicity,
and of themselves,
have helped
On the one hand,theseexhibition-events
and competition.
comparability
globalized
political
in
world.
On
the other
relations a
and
to shapenew sociocultural
withina commondiscourse
as a pointof reference
hand,as muchas eachcontributes
of cerlainforms
spacesfor the legitimation
they have becomepolarizing
on biennials,
global
praxis
industry.
culture
within
the
curatorial
of artisticand

C H APT ER

Mobilityas a Prerequisiteof Curatorshipin the Twenty-firstCentury


One of the by-products
of biennialculturehas beenthe increasein travelas a necessary paft of the curator'sjob, as muchas beingon the movehas becomethe common
conditionfor its spectators.
As importantagentswithinthe globalcultureindustry,the
nomadiccurator-identifiedby RalphRugoffin 1999as a "jet-setfl6neul'"'-emerges
as one who appearsto know no geographical
boundsand for whom globalism.and
"newinternationalism"
are the two centralissues.ttn
Suchmobileculturalsubjectsoperate as mediators,
or intermediary
agents,of certainformsof representation,
withina
givenexhibition
contextand the superstructure
of the international
culturaleconomy.In
particular,
theirrolein biennialsis to take responsibility
for the selectionand displayof
international
art, througha subjective(curatorial)
systemof mediationthat has the
notionof inclusivity
as one of its centraltenets.Biennialcuratorstendto be exceptionplug into complexglobalknowledgenetworks.
ally well traveled,and theirexhibitions
partakein a common,globalizedcuratorialdisThese curatorsand their exhibitions
course.JamesMeyerhas blamedthe "tyrannyof the curator"on the emergenceof a
globalcultureof mobilityin whichthe curatorhas a very generoustravelbudgetand
hasto be on the moveso as to keepup withwhatis happening
internationally.too
growth
The
of art fairsand corporategalleries,
of international
biennialsand multinationalmuseums,pointsto globalized
reception
and an increasingly
mobileaudience,
whom Meyerdescribedas "aficionadofs]
of art [who]musttravelfrom Veniceto MOnster,from Berlinto New York, in a constanlmotionin orderto 'keep up.""otRoving
communitiesof spectatorsand art professionals
collectively
experiencelarge-scale
exhibitions.
Travelis one of the predetermining
conditions
for the production
of art, its
circulation,
and its primaryexperience.Biennialsassist in the creationof a type of
viewerwho,as a globaltourist,is alwayson the move.Likeall tourists,he or she may
experience
otherculturesas a meansof defininghis or her own.As DeanMaccannell
argues,the touristis always"thinkingitselfunified,central,in control,universal,"'o'
while"mastering
othernessand profitingfromit."'otBut art touristsare alsosusceptible
to mistaking
theirexperience
of the globalart worldfor experience
of the worlditself.lt
is hardlysurprising
thereforethatthis cultureof itinerancy
has influenced
the termsof
artisticproduction.
The art world-regardedby JamesMeyeras havingthe "smalltown
ambience"
of an otherwiseglobalcultureindustry-enables
the development
of the cult
personality,
of idiosyncratic
an attachmentto a kind of artisanalmode of production
belonging
to somekindof guild.
Thereis alsoan assumption
thatwhathappenson the biennialcircuit,as wellas at
international
art fairs,equatesto globalculture"Thisis compounded
by the misconceptionthat curatorswho can travelto all theseeventshavea morecomprehensive
world
"lt'sthe curatorswho travelthe most,who see the greatest
view.As Meyercontinued,
range of work, who have the broadestsense of practice;the curatorswhose activitv

BiennialCulture and the Emerqenceof a Globalized CuratorialDiscourse

(exhibition)is closestto practiceand has


the greatestimpacton it . . . the vitarity
of critical debate appearsto have shifted,at reast
for now, from discourseto curation.,,,oo
certain curatorshave profitedfrom this nomadic
curturarindustry,but so have many
artistswhose practicessuit such conditions production.
of
This has led to a level of
predictabirity
as one featureof the experienceof bienniars
or, as Enwezorhas put it,
"By now those of us who travelthe great
autobahnsof the internationalcircuit,
where
art and Othernessjoin symbiotically,know
what to anticipatefp"rf,up, ioo il;ri;;
exhibitions
thatrimnthe sharpcontoursof the mufiicurturar
imageworrd.,,rou
with bienniarorganizers'growingneedto attract
the attentionof therrroamingpub_
lics,thererikewisewas a new categoryof art
in needof what Firipoviccailed,,bombastic
proportions
and hollowpremises."
Thiscategoryearneditselfthe name,,biennial
art,,,in
which accompanyingcuratorialdiscourses
der

spectacu
rar events
andextrao
rdina
ryo,"r,""llilfffi;fl ffffi:JT;T::,11t11
menton the partof the

visitoras theyfailedto deliver.'tu,,Biennial


a.t,,." u nichemarket
in itselfwas parodiedby Jens Hoffmann
and Mauriziocatteranin ,,BlownAway:
sixth
Internationar
caribbeanBienniar"(1ggg),for which they
inviteda serectionof artists_
including
VanessaBeecroft,
orafurEriasson,
MarikoMori,chris ofiri,Erizabeth
peyton,
TobiasRehberger,pipirottiRist,and Rirkrit
riravanija-who, in theirview,had been
the
most ubiquitouson the internationar
biennialcircuit.The projectwas advertised,
mar_
keted,and mediatedthroughthe standard
art and mediachanners,but, on arrivar
at St.
Kitts in the west Indies,the artistsand
curatorsenl0yeda horidaytogetherwith
no
exhibitionactuailytaking prace.Afterward,they produced
a grossy,furt_cotor
catarog
with holidaysnaps, texts, and statements
representingthe experie""".'.; inr",lnJ
"caribbeanBiennial"
couldalsobe seenas a self-reflexive
critiqueof the nomadiccurator, increasinglyresponsiblefor seekingthe
new in far_offplaces.
Parailerto the proriferation
of bienniarsin the 1990swas the emergence
of a new
type of art' Respondingto shlfts in the
structuralorganizationof culturatproduction,
bienniarorganizersrequiredartiststo respond
to their event,srocation.This caused
valuessuch as "originality,
authenticity,and singularity,,tobe ,,evacuated
from the art_
work and attributedto the site."'oo
Accordingto Kwon,therewas ,,g"n",.ur
varorization
of placesas the rocusof authenticexperience,,,*r
whichcreatedu" ,"n"" of therebeing
a coherentrelationshipbetweenplaceand
identity.The placementof aft in the context
of a bienniaris, therefore,compricatedby
the disjuncturebetweenthe rocation pro_
of
ductionand its eventuardispray.tto
A typicarexperienceis one in which the
(made
art
ersewhereand broughtto the site of dispray)
or the artist (broughtinto the city from
elsewhereto make work that respondsto it) parfly
is
removed,eitherfrom the original
site of its productionor from the place in which
the artistmainryworks.In rts new con_
text, the work becomesidentifiedthroughits
cohesivererationship
with other works in
the curated,thematicexhibitionand/orits prace
among other works serectec,
from the
international
art worldand the attendantglobalart market.
Biennialsenablea displaced

74
C H APT EF

CaribbeanBiennial,"curatedby Jens Hoffmannand


2.3 "BlownAway:SixthInternational
by ArminLinke.
St. Kitts,1999.Photograph
Maurizio
Cattelan,

while presentingan
of a fragmentedidea of globalization,
viewership,representative
market'1u1
with
the
free
flow
world
in
the
art
organizedsenseof
The biennialhas becomea ratifyingdevicefor the upperechelonsof the contempoof a more general
ary arl world,for artistsand curatorsalike,which is characteristic
by annual"best
rankingswithinthe arl world.Thisis paralleled
trendtowardestablishing
magazines
such
as Artforum
to
by
year's
previous
adhered
activity,
of" surveysof the
"hierarchical
pointed
is furarrangement"
out,this
andfrieze"tu'AsEivindFurnesvikhas
of prizes-a practicecommonto most biennials.'u'
ther confirmedby the distribution
Similarto variousbooks,such as Cream,FreshCream,Creamier,Artof Today,andArt
the current
at the Turnof the Millennium,the biennialassistsin formingor corroborating
role
emptiedof
curatorial
are
value in art and the critical
"hot list."The "contemporary"
trend.This
and easilyconsumable
any politicalchargeand reducedto a commodified

BiennialCulture and the Emergenceof a GlobalizedCuratorial Discourse

project"Biennale!,"
curated
exhibition
by theself-organized
demonstrated
was knowingly
in London
by artist Anthony Gross in a warehousecalled temporarycontemporary
invitinginternational
curatorsand a
(2005),for whichhe organizeda one-offexhibition,
film or videowork by one of theirfavoriteartpanelof expertsto selecta single-channel
as a lo{i versionof the biennialmodel,with
ists.The resultwas a seriesof minipavilions
plinths,and withheadphones.
monitors,
allworksshownon equivalent

2.4 "Biennale!ArtistFilmand Video,"curatedby AnthonyGross,temporarycontemporary,


and the artists.
London,2005.Courtesyof temporarycontemporary

C H APIER

re

Two years later,the 9th Lyon Biennial(2007),underthe curatorialauspicesof


HansUlrichObristand St6phanieMoisdon,employeda similarformatbut moreakinto
gameof curatorscuratingcurators.Forty-nine
an art fair,in a ridiculous
curatorswere
"vital"to the presentdecade,and fourinvitedto selecta singleartistthey considered
- Intendedas a
teen were reouestedto producean exhibitionwithinthe exhibition.
commenton the currentstateof globalart in a curatorial
age,withartists
self-reflective
the exerciseresultedin a parodyof the.tired
actingas representatives
of the selectors,
rhetoricof their curalorialstrategy
role of the biennialcurator.The nonauthoritarian
impliedthat givingoverresponsibility
to otherswas now a goodthing.But it resultedin
of our jaded
an exhibitionthat lackeddirectionor objective-perhapsrepresentative
curatorialized
times.

Moisdonand HansUlrichObrist,Lyon,2OO7.
2.5 gth LyonBiennial,
curatedbySt6phanie
Courtesvof the LvonBiennial.

LyonBiennialstandsin contrastto whatBruceFergusonhascalled


This pafticular
"discursive
which focus on dialogical,pedagogical,
biennials,"tuu
and local entangleplaying.
game
Two examplesare the 2008 Bienalde
mentsratherthan on curatorial
56o Pauloand the SixthMercosulBiennialin PortoAlegrein 2007. fhe biennialin S5o
pause.
Paulodramatically
reducedthe quantityof artworkto makeway for a theoretical
aroundthe needto reconsider
the exhibition's
It was devotedto debateand discussion
originalmission,as well as examiningthe biennialsystemin relationto the museum
precededthe
and discursive
activities
circuit.In PortoAlegre,a programof educational
and commitingto continue
exhibition,proactively
engagingwith localconstituencies
thoserelations
thereafter
The 2009BergenBiennialwentone stepfurther,underthe title"To Biennialor Not
the curator-organizers
and exhibited
no art at all.Instead,
helda three-day
to Biennial?,"

Biennial Culture and the Emeroenceof a Globalized Curatorial Discourse

conference
to considerthe impactof the biennialphenomenon
to date.as well as to
identifyand exploreexisting"biennialknowledge"
from differentregionsof the world
and,in turn,to reflecton the historyof biennials,
theirsociopolitical
and economicconpractices.156
texts,and theirimpacton artisticand curatorial
But Bergenrepresentsa rare momentof respitefrom the overproduction
of the
previoustwentyor so years,and,by focusingon practice,it highlighted
the heterogene"mega-exhibitions."
ity of recentinternational
Becauseof this, it also made apparent
how biennialshad enhancedopportunities
for a handfulof the 1990sgenerationof
curatorswithina growingglobalexhibitionmarket.Such figuresas CarlosBasualdo,
Ute Meta Bauer,FrancescoBonami,CarolynChristov-Bakargiev,
Okwui Enwezor,
CharlesEsche,Yuko Hasegawa,Hou Hanru,Vasif Kortun,Rosa Martinez,lvo Mesquita, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Adriano Pedrosa,Apinan Poshyananda,and Barbara
Vanderlinden
are amongthosewho havecurateda largenumberof international
biennials;theyare representative
of whatThomasBoutouxhascalled"thenew globalism
of
the art world."'5t
The Late 1990sand the MovetowardCollectiveCurating:ThreeApproaches
As we haveseen,sincethe late 1990sthe majorityof large-scale
exhibitions
have,on
powerrelationsbetweenthe selectorand the
one level,acknowledged
the hierarchical
selected.This includesOkwuiEnwezor's2nd Johannesburg
Biennial,"TradeRoutes,
Historyand Geography"(1997),and his Documenta11 (2002);FrancescoBonami,s
VeniceBiennale(2003);CatherineDavid'sDocumenta10 (1997);CharlesEscheand
Vasif Kortun'slstanbulBiennial(2005);and successiveManifestas.
These projects
pointedto a growingrecognition
of the limitations
of the singlyauthoredexhibition,
the
exhibitionmomentas a hermeticcuratorialentity,and the exhibitionas a fixed,durationalevent.
A briefglanceat recentdevelopments
withinlarge-scale
international
exhibitions
revealsa morecollaborative
approachio curating.Co-curating
or groupcuratinghas
continuedto evolveas the dominantworkingmodelfor most recurrentexhibitions,
including,
as examples,
biennials
in lstanbul(2005and2009),Tirana(2006),Sdo paulo
(2006),Berlin(2006),and the multiplecomponents
of Manifesta8 (2010).Suchgroup
workis notwithoutits problems,butthe approachhasdemonstrated
the advantages
of
poolingknowledge,
resources,
networks,and opinions,as wellas prefacing
the exhibitionswith an impliedcritiqueof the figureof the individualcurator.Pragmatically
and
ideologically,
thereare as manyreasonsfor thisshiftas thereare differentmodels,but
it is worthconsidering
at leastthreedivergentapproaches
to groupcuratingin more
detailhere:the directionof an enforcedcuratorial
team,as in Documenta11;the Manifestamodelof collaborative
curating;and curatingthe curators,as with Bonami'ssoth
V en i c eB i e n n a l e .

C H APT F R

As artisticdirectorof Documenta11, Enwezorchoseto workwith a teamof curatorstut-a modelhe had introduced


in 1997,for the 2nd Johannesburg
Biennial-asa
meansof bypassingthe single"exhibition-auteur"
modelhistorically
associatedwith
such large-scale
exhibitions.'un
Enwezorarguedagainstboth the "bigness"of largescaleexhibitions
and the claimsthat homogeneity
destroysthe differentiation
properto
practice.'uo
eachindividual
In tryingto avoidthesetwin pitfalls,he considered
the curator'scriticalresponsibility
to the artistsin makinga legiblestatementby meansof the
exhibition.
However,againstthe implications
inherentin bigness,he choseto implement a collectivecuratorialmodel,as a consciousshift away from the single-auteur
paradigm.'61
He stated:"Obviously,
it is very difficultto avoidthe positionof beingthe
you
auteurwhen
are the ArtisticDirector.
You can bringin as manypeopleas you want
to sit at the tableand you stillhavethis big questionmark.But I wantedto emphatically
make it clear in the contextof Documenta11 that therewas no singleauthorbut a
group of collaborators
very much in tune with each other'sstrengthsand weaknesses."'u'
Enwezor'smethodwas to invitea groupof curatorsto forma thinktank,to
developthe conceptand contentof the exhibitionunderhis direction,and to provide
contextualtexts.
By contrast,the aim of the ManifestaFoundationis to bringtogethera groupof
high-profilecurators (generallyfrom divergentlocationsand perspectives,often
unknownto eachother)and askthemto workcollaboratively
on a singleexhibition,
in a
geopolitical
selectedEuropeancity/region,
withan overarching
agenda.'ut
Althoughthe
Manifestamodelappearsto embracea post-Szeemannian,
multiauthored,
and transparentcuratorialattitude,problemsof authorshiphave arisenamongsome curators,
who have,themselves,
beencuratedintothe structureof Manifesta
with its Eurocentric
agenda.As Manifesta4 co-curatorSt6phanieMoisdondescribedher experience:
"Everything
was organizedin termsof geopolitical
strategies,
and I thinkthat this radical transparency
doesn'texistat all."'uo
She addedthat,as an employeeof Manifesta,
"it'svery trickybecauseyou'resupposedto be workingfreelyas a curator,becauseit's
sort of like a kingdomof the curator,but it's neverthe case . . it's not a collective
practice.lt'sa game,a power,a force."tuu
"You'remuchmoreterritorialShe continued,
you're
izedwhen
doingthis kindof work,with peopleyou didn'tchoose. . . you cannot
takeany risksbecausethereis a problemof the responsibility.
lf you takea risk,you're
not alone;thenyou cannotjustifyit, becausethereis not one voicebut three,and the
wholeorganization
behind."tuu
So it seemsthatgroupworkis notfor everyone.
AndrewRenton,co-curator
of the firstManifesta,
alsohad a tryingexperience,
but
his more balancedview acknowledges
the negotiation
inherentin all biennials,
which
on somelevelinvolvecompromise
to bringabouttheirrealization.
As Rentonstated,"it
was much harderto work as a curatorin collaborative
mode,particularly
when you've
got this obligation
to somethingbiggerthanyou in termsof the humanobligations
of a
project.I thinkthatbiennials,
large-scale
by theirveryscale,involveso muchin the way

BiennialCulture and the Emerqenceof a Globalized Curatorial Discourse

Compromisereachedits nadirwhen, underthe


of compromiseand pragmatism."'ut
of Mai Abu ElDahab,AntonVidokle,and FlorianWaldvogel,
Manifesta6 in
curatorship
Nicosia,Cyprus,was canceled.Therewas a lackof clarityaroundfundingand organioversightof the
zationalsupportfor the curatorialteam, alongsidean extraordinary
withthe politicsof the region.This meantthatthe foundacomplexities
of engagement
team had to abandontheirdesireto ooena bicommunal
tion and its invitedcuratorial
exhibition
in
both
the GreekCypriotand Turkishpartsof Nicosia.The
art schoolas
in the parachuteapproachinherthe difficulties
exhibition's
cancellation
demonstrated
nomadicbiennialmodel.Moretime and a greaterlevelof commitent to Manifesta's
ment to the part playedby local networksand agenciesare requiredto fulfillsuch
ambitiousprojects.Becauseof its itinerantnature,Manifestais ableto adaptits instituapproachrarelydemontionalimageto suitany new location.Yet sucha short-termist
to localinfrastructure,
and the foundation's
stratesa genuineinterestin contributing
support,and service
relianceon regionaland nationalculturalfunding,administrative
provisionmeansthat it is oftenleftto the electedgroupof curatorsto argueit out on
in exchangefor a modicumof cultural
behalfof the messin whichtheyfindthemselves,
capitalwithinthe field.
For Bonami,it was Szeemannagainwho provideda symbolicand magicalgesture
with whichto concludethe "goldenage of the grandcurator,"throughhis decisionto
presentJosephBeuys'sThe End of the 21st Centuryas a key work in the 49th Venice
Bonami'sown VeniceBiennalein 2003
Biennale,"ThePlateauof Humanity"(2001).'uu
represented
anotherkind of symbolicend to the curator'sgrandnarrativeby inviting
withinhisoverarching
exhibition-event.
curatorsto curatetheirown separateexhibitions
but interconnected,
for individual,
sectionsof the
Elevencuratorstook responsibility
werestagedas wellas
50thVeniceBiennale(2003).In total,elevenofficialexhibitions
"Links"and "lnterludes."
Bonamisuggestedthat,when carriedout at a certainscale,
with a singlenarrativethreadbut the resultof a
exhibitions
are no longerexhibitions
pluralityof curatorial
visions.'un
He claimedthatthe curators'namesat the entranceto
each sectionof the Arsenalewere not there to "promotethe curatorialpracticebut
"to
assertingthat it was his main responsibility
rathera way to definea 'territory,"'
maintained
its
own
legibility."tto
Whether
conscious
or
not,
ensurethat eachexhibition
centuryand the monolithic
fromthe Szeemannian
curatoBonami'ssymbolicdeparture
rial paradigmwas nowheremore apparentthan in his decisionto mark the end of
"Dreamsand Conflicts"with "UtopiaStation,"curatedby Hans UlrichObrist,Molly
which will be disNesbit,and RirkritTiravanija.This exhibition-within-an-exhibition,
territoryof transition,
fragcussedin moredetailin chapter3, presenteda Babelesque
in whichthe sheer numberof artistsand the lack of any
mentation,and multiplicity
that overartworkled io a confusedsenseof collectivism
clearlylegible,autonomous
potential
singularnarrative.'t'
shadowedany

C H APT ER

Curatingbeyondthe ExhibitionFrame
natureof the exhibition
CatherineDavid had alreadyextendedthe spatiotemporal
guest
per
"l00 Days-'|00 Guests"-one
day,takingparl in disformatby organizing
cussions,debates,and events-overthe courseof Documenta10 (1997).In addition,
paramespace,whichbreachedthe conventional
the catalogwas usedas a discursive
invited
At
texts
by
writers.
the
turn
of the
to
include
ters of exhibitiondocumentation
histhe catalogueexaminedfour emblematicdatesin contemporary
new millennium,
curatorVasif Kortun,
tory: 1945, 1967,1978,and 1989. Similarly,lstanbul-based
workingwith CharlesEsche,relocatedthe gth lstanbulBiennial(2005)to a modern
touristsite,and published
a readerof
partof the cityof lstanbul,awayfromits historical
criticalwritings,Art,City and Politicsin an ExpandedWorld,insieadof the now-stancatalog.'ttAlongwith Bonami,David,and Enwezor,Kortunand Esche
dardexhibition
extendedthe reachof such curatorialprojectsby going beyondthe parametersof the
exhibitionas a singlenarrativeand by mobilizinga field of publicinquirybeyondthe
lectures,publications,
events,perforindividualcuratorialposition,with discussions,
and attention.
mances,and off-siteprojectsbeinggivenaddedimportance
of the curatorialspace,
This relativelyrecenttrend,for the "extraterritorialization"
prerequisite
exhibitions
as
they
attemptto reflecton
within
such
has alreadybecomea
produced,
wherebydifferent
cultural
underwhichtheyare
the globaland localconditions
practitioners
integrated
underthe sameexhibfromthe worldof an are interdependently
events,workshops,
educational
activities,
interdisciplinary
Conferences,
itingconditions.
projects.
public
these
increasingly
important
elements
of
havebecome
discussions
and
now exemplifies
the approachof bienbeyondthe siteof the exhibition
This expansion
of worksof art.Forexammorethanthe merepresentation
encompassing
nialcurators,
ple,the curatorial
What,How and for Whom(WHW)organized"WhatKeeps
collective
lstanbulBiennial(2009)-whichwas accompaMankindAlive?"-the11thInternational
nied by The Texts,a readerthat not only lookedat the ways in whichthe meansof productionhave been capturedby the curatorsas part of their researchprocess,but also
of Brechtian
Marxismon theirthinkthe influence
employedtextas a meansof exploring
program,
parallel
education
as wellas its maga12's
aft
Documenta
ing and content.'to
with differentfocusesfrom aroundthe world
zine project-for which ninetypublications
were invitedto think collectivelyabout the motifs and themes of Documenta12
(2007)t'u-were intendedto act as navigationfor readersand visitors.Theseare but a
are "nowunderstood
as vehiclesfor
few examplesof the emergentviewthat biennials
oftenhave"globaldebate."Suchbiennials
and intellectual
the production
of knowledge
the ideological
underpinnings
of the
ization"as their main theme,while questioning
that is restrictedto the grandexhibitionas its
event itselfas a productof globalization
primaryoutput.176

BiennialCulture and the Emerqenceof a GlobalizedCuratortalDiscourse

Returningto the exemplaryDocumenta11, emphasiswas placedon contemporary documentaryfilm, and discursivespaceswere producedwithinthe exhibition.
Thesestrategies
combinedto shiftthe emphasisawayfrom a possiblefetishization
of
collectedobjectsfrom exoticplaces,towardan inlerdependent
relationshipbetweenart
and globalpolitical/cultural/economic
discourse."'Accordingto lrit Rogoff,the building
of criticaldiscoursearoundglobaltendencies,
beginning
withthe Platforms
and discussions,meantthat Enwezor'sprojectmanagedto dislodge"theopticalregimesof identity = v;s;5;1;1U,
of thoseprovidingstereotypical
characterizations
of 'elsewheres,'
of the
easytranslations
throughwhichthe West readseverywhere
outsideof itself,"and the
ways in whichthe art worldcontinuously
reproducesitselfas a boundedterritoriality.
For Rogoff,this Documenta"erodedsomeof thoseboundaries,
eschewedthe 'reporting from overthere'and made it abundantly
clear,in radiantvisualcacophony,
that it
was alwaysalready'overhere."'ttu
It is apparentin Rogoff'sidea-of the collapseof the classicbinaryopposition
of
"here"and "elsewhere,"
in the notionof "alreadyover here"-that thereis a common
frameof reference
betweenthe Westand non-Westwithinpostcolonial
geopolitical
discourse.She appearsto arguefor Documenta11 as a successful
deterritorialization
of
thisdiscourse,
with neitherthe time nor the placeof the exhibition
spacesin the cityof
Kasseloperatingas the territorial
nodefor thesediscussions.
By makingprovisionfor
fivediscursive
Platforms
and usingthesedomainsas the foundation
of Documenta11,
Enwezorcertainlyhad ambitionsto transcendany fixed notionof location.He later
"thepostcolonial
statedthathe was very interested
in utilizing
dimension
of Documenta
11, and [in]the mostexpansiveway thai one couldunderstandit. The postcolonial
is
notsimplythe elsewhere,
overthere,and [to considerthat]overheremeans_
something
else,butto see the entireglobalentanglement
as postcolonial
in its shape."'"
Documenta11 presentedpracticeand discourseas dialectically
entwined,with
thesis,antithesis,
and synthesisoverlapping.
The thesiswas presentedas that of a
globalart world,embodiedin shiftingbordersand abstractions
of language,
space,and
time.The ways in whichtheseabstractions
are actuallyexperienced
in social,political,
and culturallife are the antithesis,
with the synthesisbeingthe ways in whichartists
representthe thesisand antithesis
throughthe production
of art. For Enwezorand his
posf
six invitedcurators,Documenta,
as a historical
art institution
and a manufactured
colonialspace,becamea utopianplacefor intersecting
criticaldiscoursesthat transcendedterritorialization-a
meetingplacein and of itselfwith no prescribed
formsof
closure.lt becamea specific(symbolic
and actual)spacefor displacement,
dislocation,
and fragmentation.
One of the DocumentacuratorsunderEnwezor,Ute Meta Bauer,
"adoptedcountry"for intellectual
calledthisa temporarily
diasporas
fromdiverseorigins
and disciplines,
whereart functionedas "a spaceof refuge-an in-between
spaceof
transitionand of diasporicpassage."'uo
Baue,calledthis a "thirdspace,"
pertainingto
EdwardSoja's notionof thirdspaceas a meetingplace,a hybrid,multisited,and

C H APT ER

contradictory
territory.For Bauer,thirdspaceopensup a multilayered
conceptof the
where"theinevitable
exhibtionas a siteof resistance,
struggle,and liberation,
discrepthatcomewithit are notonlyretainedas a structurebut moreover
anciesand irritations
that can be developed-perare insertedas catalystsfor new forms of understanding
perhapsin fruitfulconfrontation
haps as productivemisunderstandings,
of different
methods,waysof thinking,and languages.""'
But do all roadslead to Kassel?Althoughthe Platformdiscussions
were subsequentlydisseminated
in the form of textspublishedafterthe events,the final Platform
(theexhibition)
stilltook placein Kassel,withartistsbeingimpoftedintoa physicaland
lt was still Documenta,with its culturalrelevance
discursivespace of coexistence.
globalart market.ls the
withinthe Westernart historical
canonand the contemporary
periphery
in beingvalidatedby an estababsorbedby the center,as Eschesuggested,
lishedWesterninstitution
suchas Documenta?
On a primarylevel,both Rogoff'spointand Enwezor'sintentionsare undoneby
the inescapability
of the conditions
of Documenta
itselfand the factthatthe mediumof
the exhibitionoverridesall else as the a priorilegitimating
culturalform underthese
conditions.'u'On
a secondarylevel,the reverseof both Rogoff'sand Enwezor'srationatureof the extraterritorialized
nalesare alsotrue.The discursive
and lessformalized
Platformsreinforced
the ideathattalkingcouldhappenelsewhere,
whilethe moreconcrete,real,and formalizedexperienceof art would happenover here-to use Rogoff's
term-at the art historicalsite of exhibitionthat is Kassel.On a third and final level,
perhapsthe legacyof Enwezor's
contribution
was the consciousness-raising
movethat
momentarily
shiftedthe emphasisaway from the exhibition,
both symbolically
and in
actuality,
by extendingthe parameters
beyondits exhibition
framework.lt was an attribute that continuedwith the curatingof Documenta12 and many other subsequent
gatheringsbeyondKassel
biennialprolects.'ut
By endeavoring
to organizesignificant
proposed
modelwas
underthe Documenta
umbrella,
an alternative
alongwitha clearly
position,whichtranscended
articulated
curatorial
the fixityof the exhibition
formas the
primarysite of art and its relateddiscourse.The implicitquestionsunderlyingDocumenta11 and its shiftingdiscursiveterritoriesremain:ls Kasselstillthe rightsite for
Documenta?
ls Documenta,
the rightplacefor a new geopolitical
as an institution,
disthe rightplacefor the legitimacoursearoundglobalized
art and culture?ls Documenta
tion of this discoursewithincontemporary
art and curatorialpractice?Suchquestions
couldequallybe askedof all otherestablished
and emergingbiennials.
queries
For Bauer,such
are addressedby considering
the relevanceof the art
historicalcanon,representedby Documenta,as an institutionthat consolidatesart hisplacedby Enwezoron the Platforms
tory.tuo
This was mostevidentin the significance
and the prevalence
of lengthytime-basedwork,whichmade it impossible
to view the
wholeexhibition
in a singlevisit.Kassel,as the historical
sile of Documenta,
and Documenta as a major legitimatingforce within afi history,broughta predominantly

Biennial Culture and the Emerqenceof a GlobalizedCuratorial Discourse

geopolitical
discourseto Kassel,initiallyby askinghow and from
non-Westernized
the canon
where a new canoncould be read. Documenta11 entailedreconfiguring
practice
that
were
selected.
As
Enwezor
stated,
Docuthroughthe kindsof discursive
menta11 was "aboutwherethe canonwas goingto be readfrom . . . for us the question was: how do we read the map of contemporaryart from Kassel?And that meant
emerged.
to thesevectors,whichis howthe Platforms
that Kasselhadto be connected
We
wanted
canon.
to
look
at
different
ways of
look
the
notion
of
the
. . We wantedto
at
This realignmentof the point from which historyand art can be read
working."'uu
issuesof biennialprojectssince1989.As curatorCarlos
remainsone of the outstanding
effectsof thesetypesof exhibitionstrategiesare
Basualdohas said,"The ideological
of
an
artistic
canonand ihereforethe stagingof a series
known:
the
consolidation
well
Giventhe
of inclusionand exclusionthat assuresits permanence."'""
of mechanisms
enormousnumberof artists,curators,and culturalproducersacrossthe globe who
smallnumber
haveneverbeeninvolvedin a biennial,measuredagainstthe relatively
participated
of
so
many
biennials,
it wouldbe
been
in
charge
and
of thosewho have
of the effectsof the biennialmodelon expandingour
wrongto assumeany universality
notionof the art world,nevermindthe worldat large.The aft worldis a multicentered
placeas muchas it is multicultural,
and its globalspreadmakesdifferentiation
between
past
years
that
have
Given
the
twenty
iterations
increasingly
difficult.
its numerous
genreof exhibitionhas
affordedus so many differentmodels,this no-longer-so-new
togetherso manycontradictory
of gathering
shownboththe potentialandthe difficulties
of biennials
The proliferation
occurredat a moment
representations
at a singlelocation.
field
that
went beyondmere
an
expanded
out
to
become
opened
at whichcuratorship
to take accountof the discursiveand distributional
displayand materialproduction,
what we know and the
modesof exchangewhileactingas a catalystfor challenging
ways in which it becomesknown.Althoughthe expansionof the biennialexhibition
modelis both a symptomand a conditionof our globallynetworkedage, its myriad
dissensus,
antagonism,
and counformshaveprovidedsmallmomentsof resistance,
in relationto the grandnarrativesof art history,consumerculture,mass
terspectacle
forcesof globalcapitalism.
hegemonic
and the market-driven
entenainment,
By Way of a Summary
of the art world,allowinga viewof
On the whole,biennialshaveeffecteda realignment
have
established
a widerintedacebetween
more
iranscultural.
Curators
theworldthatis
Inclusiveness
has
art and audiences,local and global,nationaland international.
becomeone of theirmainmotivations.
of biennialshave entrenchedcuratingin the
and consolidation
The proliferation
globalmarket.From "Les Magiciensde la terre"onward,attemptshave been made to
of the curator;
viewof the globalaft worldfromthe perspective
createa lessWesternized

C H APT ER

the biennialhas continuedto mutateand transformthe ways in whichwe expelence


contemporary
art beyondthe establishedcentersof artisticproduction.Biennialsemerging in the 1990shelpedto repositionthe curatorialroleas one involvingthe organization
of a complexnetworkof globalexchange.Manycuratorshaveembracedculturalpluralism as a new standardof representation
that has, in turn,facilitateda higherdegreeof
visibilityfor a new generationof aftistsand curatorsworkingon the biennialcircuitof
exhibitions.
Curatorshaveutilizedthe biennialexhibition
modelas a vehiclefor bothvalidating and contestingwhat constitutesthe internationalart world, to explicateartistic
practicesthat have beentraditionally
subordinated,
submerged,
or lackingin visibility.
Biennialcuratorshavebegunto acknowledge
the failureof the singlyauthoredmodelof
exhibition
making,particularly
whensuchexhibitions
demanda greaterlevelof access
to a widernetworkof arlisticand culturalpractices.
In orderto sustainan inclusive
model
of exhibition,
the meritsof groupworkand a poolingof knowledge
and resources
have
manifestedthemselvesin morecollectivemodelsof curating.
what beganas a critique,of bothwesternmodernismand the colonialapproach
to othercontemporary
cultures,has resultedin a rethinking
of how,where,and which
aft is seenin the contextof international
exhibitions.
Biennials
and large-scale,
temporary, recurringexhibitionshave succeededin providingmodelsof resistanceto the
hegemonicpowerof Westernart history,museums,and established
ar1institutions.
They have done this by introducing
new spacesfor criticalreflection,
overseeing
the
growthof moreheterogeneous
and transcultural
audiences,
and participating
in a complexnetworkof globalknowledge.
In doingso, they haveenableda greaterdiversityof
aftisticpositions,
so that artistsand curatorsneedno longerrelyon established
museumsand institutions.'st
Biennials
havesupported
an elitenetworkof increasingly
mobile
and well-connected
professionals
whilecontributing
to the riseof an ever moreoense
globalexhibitions
market.Biennialsas large-scale
exhibitions
have embracedglobalism as an easilyadoptablemodelfor reconfiguring
the art worldalongwith expanding
the role of the curatorand adaptingthe figureof the multitudeas a forcefor good.'t'
Curatorsand criticsalikehave articulated
mega-exhibitions
as history-making
institutionsin and of themselves.
just
Theyhaveonly
begunto recognize
the limitations
of the
biennialconstruct.This is notedby shiftsbeyondthe parametersof both the single
exhibition-event
and the individually
authoredexhibitionmodel.And finally,biennials
havecontributed
to a wideningof a "curatorial
turn,"withthe activityof curatingextending beyondexhibition-making
practicetowardthatof discourseproduction.

BiennialCulture and the Emergenceof a Globalized CuratorjalDiscourse

r-*."I

85

.3
CURA TING
A S A M E DI UMO F A RT I S T I C
P RA CT T CE
:
T HE
CONV E RGE NCOEF A RTA ND CURA T O RI APLRA CT I CE
SINCETHE 1990s

In chapter1, we saw how the late 1960switnesseda shiftf romthe ideaof curatingas
a caring,meditative,administrative
activitytowardone of a mediatingand performative
activityakin to aftisticpractice.while many metaphorswere fleetinglyappliedto the
roleof the curatorthroughout
period,the conceptof the "curator-asthistransformative
artist"was the most persistent.This suggeststhat the curatorialact is equivalentto
artisticpractice,with the distinction
betweenwhat and who constitutes
the exhibitionas-medium
and the exhibition-as-form
beingcentralto thesedebates.
As we have seen, many artists have adoptedthe practiceof curatorshipas a
mediumof production
in its own right.In turn,sincethe 1ggos,thishas impliedthe ,,dis,
solutionof categoriesinsteadof the exchangeof roles,"twhichhas resultedin a convergence of anistic and curatorial practice. This convergence necessitatesan
examinationof how curatorialcriticismhas contributedto certainconceptsof agency,
production,
and authorship,
and mostspecifically
how the boundaries
betweencurarorialand artisticpracticesare disputed.The act of curatingis implicated
in what pierre
Bourdieucallsthe "cultural
production
of the valueof the artistand of art,"in thatexhibitionsare morethanpublicmanifestations
of subjective
opinion.'Curatorship
is linkedto
processesof producing,constituting,
and instituting
art. yet, whetherit is monetary,
aesthetic,
ethical,or social,artisticvaluehas beentraditionally
conceivedof as greater
thanthat of any curatorial
role.Art is the basicrequirement
in the circulation
of cultural
capitalin the fieldof art, whetherit takesa material,conceptual,
discursive,
or other
form.Ultimately,
the production
of an exhibitionis an attemptat converting
subjective
valueand personalchoiceinto socialand culturalcapitalthroughthe arrangement
of

mightbe affordedto those


the primarymaterialthat is art. In this process,recognition
for certainideasor values.
responsible
Withina fieldof operations
suchas art and its exchangeeconomy,an individual's
is accruedby the extentto whichhis or her valuesystemis accordedattenreputation
Withthis in mind,muchof thischaptertakesaccount
and acceptance.
tion,discussion,
of the valuesgeneratedby adists and curatorsas autonomousproducersand the
havearguedfor the conflation
of art and curatdegreeto whichcertaincommentators
the two camps,thereremainsa contradictory
ing whileothersare againstit. Straddling
pull betweenartisticautonomy,on the one hand, and curatorialintervention
on the
bothin the structureof theirwork
this contestation
other.Manycuratorshavereflected
and this chaptershowshow this antinomyis oriand in the conditions
of its reception,
and comprehension
of the conceptof the
ented arounda contrastingappreciation
The chapterwill also elaboratethe ways in whichthe
mediumof art and curatorship.
can be regardedas a specificartisticformwith its own distinctspatialqualiexhibition
ties,properties,
and modalities.
Curatingand the CultureIndustry
in the production
of culturalexperiences.
Today,curators,artists,and criticsparticipate
form intrinsicand vital partsof what, in the 1940s,TheodorAdornoand
Exhibitions
Max Horkheimertermed the "cultureindustry."This implieda conjunctionof the
and economicagenciesassociatedwith the provisionof entertainment,
bureaucratic
popularmedia,and the mediationof massculture.Adornoand Horkheimer's
critique
was beingexertedwithinpopularized
mass
asseftedthat a processof standardization
at the exoenseof bothart and individualism.
entertainment
Duringthe periodsincethe 1940s,whichAdornodefinesas the "age of integral
of culture.As a
there has indeed been a gradualhomogenization
organization,"u
what couldbe calleda dialecticbetweenculture
responseto this,Adornoestablishes
(managers,organizers,
(artists,authors,producers)and administration
curators),the
role.Thistheoryshowshow even
and institutional
Iatterof whichimpliesa subordinate
production
or formof nonmechanical
risksbeingoverorganization
the mosttraditional
poweredby the "technicalsuperiorityof the organizational
type of administration."is conceivedas a neutralizing,
type of administration
bureauThus,the organizational
art's potentiality
as an autonomous
form of procraticforcewithinculture,restricting
gressiveculturalproduction.
creativity
and orgaAdorno'scritiquenotesa schismbetweencultureas individual
forceworkingagainstthis independence.
In this,he is
nizationas a counterproductive
not specifically
arguingin favor of, or against,the organizer,mediator,or curatorof
thosemostresponsible
for culture
However,froman Adornianperspective,
exhibitions.
and its organization-theartist and the curator, respectively-canbe seen as

C IAPT EF

wouldbe appliedto
oppositional
agents.In thisschema,differentconceptsof technique
party.
would
fhe
internal
of
the
work
of
art
traditionally
each
organization
be enactedby
the artist,whilethe techniqueof the cultureindustryis concernedwilh externalorganireproduction,
mediation,
zation,throughdifferentmodesof distribution,
and administrathe divisionbetweenthe artist,
tion.tThus,Adorno'sargumentcan be seento reinforce
producer,
or mediator,
and author,on the one hand,and the organizer,
on the other.'
Yet there has been evidence,more recently,of resistanceto this inclination
to
privilegethe creativeand autonomous
sideof the technicalequationat the expenseof
tendencies.
Nowadays,
the organizer's
externalizing
andcontrolling
curatorship
may be
various
category,encompassing
organizational
forms,
conceivedas a far-reaching
withincontemporary
cooperative
models,and collaborative
structures
culturalpractice
that accommodatethe generativepropertiestraditionallyattributedto artisticproductransformative,
and speculative
tion.Thisframesthe curatorial
as a durational,
activity,
indeterminate,
mobile,
in
between,
crossingover and
a way of keepingthingsin flow,
certainideasto cometo the forein
and things,encouraging
betweenpeople,identities,
process,whichpermitsmuchmorefreedomthanAdorno's
an emergentcommunicative
Whilethisshiftin operatingmodeshas beenacknowledged
conception
of organization.
it remainsan isolatedunderstanding,
and much discourse
by cerlaincommentators,'
aroundcuratorship
continuesto operatein the shadowof Adorno'sseparation
between
practices.
art and its administrators,
betweenartisticand curatorial
As Adornoand Horkheimer
outlined,masscultureis oftenexplainedin technologiparties"'o
These"interested
cal terms by those involvedin its production.
oftenclaim
processes
in it and thatcertainreproduction
that,because"millionsparticipate
are necso that accesscan be increased
essary,"highlevelsof mediationmustbe maintained
placesof consumption."
A" u technological
to serviceinnumerable
term that is often
"medium"
refers
to
the
linkedto masscommunication,
both
technological
devicesused
in the transferof information
to largeraudiences-suchas newspapers,
radio,and telelinkedto powerand the rationale
vision-and to the coerciveideological
apparatuses
of
domination.''Insteadof readingmediumin Adornianterms,the exhibitioncan be
understood
as a mediumin the senseof a particularmethodof determining
material
practices.
use of the term"medium"as "someThisacknowledges
RaymondWilliams's
thing with its own specificand determimngproperties,"with an a prioriversionof its
takingpriorityoveranythingactuallysaid,written,or shown.'tThis is to
understanding
it has specificqualitiesthat are
say that a mediumis bothstableand transformative;
from othermediinheritedover time whileit continually
determinesits distinctiveness
action,the term has also becomecompatiblewith a social
ums. As communicative
are seenas agencies
senseof media,in whicha set of practicesand theirinstitutions
In
this
the
exhibition-as-medium
sense,
has become
of mediationin and of themselves.
understood
as a primaryagencybothfor reifyingextantsocial,spatial,and art historical
practicesto enablea rethinking
practicesand lor generatingnew institutional
of these

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

realities.The exhibitionis thus a subjectivevector.As HaraldSzeemannacknowledged:"My lifehas beenat the serviceof a medium,and this mediumis notthe image,
whichis realityin itself,butthe exhibition
that presentsreality."'o
The Exhibition-as-Medium
Accordingto Bruce Ferguson,exhibitionsare always rhetorical,ideologicalmedia,
regardless
of their particular
form.'uBy this rationale,exhibitions
are part of the consciousness
industry,complextoolsof persuasion
that aim to prescribea set of values
"
and socialrelationsto theiraudiences.
lt followsthat,as a strategicsystemof representation,
an exhibition
is organizedin orderto bestexploitits inherentproperties,
fromits architecture
whichis alwayspolitical,
to its wallcolorings
whicharealwayspsychologically
meaningful,
to its labelswhichare alwaysdidactic
. . . to its artisticexclusionswhicharealwayspowerfully
ideological
andstructural
in theirlimitedadmissions,
to its lightingwhichalwaysdramatizes
. . . to its securitysystemswhichare alwaysa
formof socialcollateral. . . to its curatorialpremises,
whichare alwaysprofessionally
dogmatic,
to its brochures
and catalogues
andvideoswhichare alwaysliterary-specific
andpedagogically
directional,
to its aesthetics
whicharealwayshistorically
specific.
producebothgeneraland specificformsof communiThus,for Ferguson,exhibitions
cation.tu
Here,communication
liesat the hearlof exhibitions,
wherebythe communicative mediumis not a neutraltransmission
of information
but something
thatcontributes
to the positioning
and controlling
of the spectatorin a spaceof display.It followsthat
public-formpartof the political
exhibitions-astextsthat maketheirprivateintentions
economyof culturalproduction.
In particular,
the temporaryarl exhibition
has become
the ultimatemediumin the distribution
and reception
of art and is, therefore,
"theprincipal agencyin the debatesand criticismaroundany aspectof the visualarts."1e
In the introduction
to their agenda-setting
anthology,Ferguson,Greenberg,and
Nairnestatethat "exhibitions
havebecomefhe mediumthroughwhichmostan becomes
known."'oBy stressingthe definitivearlicle,they emphasizethat the exhibition,
as a specific culturalform, is the foremostintermediary
throughwhich ideas and knowledge
aroundart are now producedand disseminated.
In his individual
essayfor this publication,Fergusonswitchesthe emphasisfromthe definitearticleto the nounwhenhe writes,
"Exhibitions
can be understoodthen as the mediumof contemporary
art in the senseof
beingits mainagencyof communication-thebodyand voicefromwhichan authoritative
characteremerges.Exhibitions
are the centralspeakingsubjectsin the standardstories
aboutart whichinstitutions
and curatorsoftentellto themselvesand to us."''
Ferguson's
emphasison the exhibition
as the primarymediumthroughwhichcontemporaryart is disseminated
relieson the ideaof the transitory
exhibition
as a mediating eventthroughwhich art discoursesare producedand transformed.
As Florence

90

C !APT ER

Derieuxhas suggested,the rise of the temporaryexhibition-as-event


reinforcesthe
dominanceof the exhibition
withincontemporary
art discourses,
makingthe latterhalf
of t he tw e n ti e th c e n tu ry " n o l o n g e r...ahi storyofartw orks,but...ahi storyofexhi bi tions.""As alreadyargued,recentcuratorial
discourseshavefocusedprimarilyon the
ritual-experiential
spaceof the exhibition-howit is a scenarioor scriptfor spectators
to
carry out and performtheir prescribedcivic activitiesin a semiawarestate,separated
fromthe worldoutside.Exhibitions
seekto appearas beautiful,
natural,true,and legitimate,whileabsentingthe ideological
forcesbehindthem." Th"y ur" politicaltoolsfor
maintaining
the statusquo-modern ritualsettingsthat reinforceidentities,
whether
gender,racial,subcultural,
these be aftistic,avant-garde,
regional,national,international,global,etc.Therefore,
alwaysneedto be understood
exhibitions
as institutional
For some, the cultureindustryand its
utteranceswithin a largercultureindustry.'o
practiceis seenas an inescapable
implieddivisionbetweenartisticand curatorial
conThis may lead to a tendencyto view the cultureindustryas a
ditionfor curatorship.
monolithic
the act of curatingor, at worst,concondition,which,at best,straitjackets
demnsit as beingcomplicitwith the dominantorderof things,but it is by no means
withsuchoessimism.
alwaysaddressed
The Exhibition-as-Form
The groupexhibitionhas enableddivergentartisticpracticesto be exhibitedtogether
presentsa singleartistas
undera singlerubric.'u
Wh"r"u. the monographic
exhibition
its centralsubject,we haveseenthat the groupexhibitionpresentsthe curatoras the
mostvisibleproducerof meaningfor the work(s).The prominent
conception
of curating
is as a form of storytelling
in which exhibitions
are articulatedin terms of curatorial
"Everyexhibinarratives.
As BorisGroysillustrates:
concept,thematics,
or overarching
tiontellsa story,by directingthe viewerthroughthe exhibition
in a particular
order;the
exhibitionspace is alwaysa narrativespace."'uThis has meantthat the spatialand
aestheticform of the exhibitionand its distinct propertiesare often omitted from
discussion.
As well as beinglinguistic
are spatial.They induceforms
or semiotic,exhibitions
that migratebetweenfieldsof haptic,visual,and auditoryrelations.
The groupexhibition is a dramaturgicalsettingfor the stagingof spatial relationsbetweenworks and
viewers,withcuratingas an activitythatstructures
suchexperiences
for the viewerand
"Leslmmafor the work.Thiswas conveyedin Jean-Franqois
Lyotard's'l985 exhibition
t6riaux,"whichis oftenreferredto as a key momentin consolidating
the groupexhibiFocusingon the exhibition's
tionas a spatialmediumfor thoughtand experimentation.
quality,Lyotarddeclaredit a phenomenological
labyrinthine
and spatialform.In this,he
distinguished
the exhibition
as the manifestation
of a philosophy
and testedthe concept
of the exhibitionas a sensorialexperiencewith its own qualitiesand propertiesthat

Curatingas a Mediumof ArtisticPractice

T_
collectivelyproduceits own genreof ar1in which ideas,artworks,^objects,
and zonesof
philosophically,
interpretation
intersect,
sensorially,
and spatially.-'
A latter-day
illustration
of Lyotard'sideais the exhibition
"SanthalFamily:Posiiions
aroundan IndianSculpture"
(2008)at MuHKA,curatedby Grantwatson in collaboration with SumanGopinathand AnshumanDasgupta.A broadrangeof contemporary
practitioners
were invitedto respondto the sculptureSanthalFamily(1938)by Ramkinkar Baij-widely consideredthe first public modernistsculpturein India. Artist
GoshkaMacugadesignedthe layoutfor the show,and provideda numberof routesfor
viewersto navigatethroughthe exhibition.
Meanwhile,the otherartworkswere variously installed around the Santhal Family sculpture. Different artistic positions
coalescedin the resultant
exhibition
form,providing
myriadspatial,formal,and conceptual interrelations
broughtaboutby theirconnections
witha singleartwork.
In an attemptto comprehend
the spatiality
of exhibitions,
an understanding
of landscapeas an experiential
relationship
to the naturaland builtenvironment
is usefulas it
proposesa metaphorfor graspingthe properties
that couldmakeup the exhibition-asform.ForSusanStewart,"ourmostfundamental
relationto the giganticis articulated
in
our relationto landscape,
our immediateand livedrelationto natureas it 'surrounds'
us."'uAs a questionof scale,landscape
is thatwhichenclosesus visuallyand spatially,
"expressedmostoftenthroughan abstractprojectionof the body"on the world.2n
As *e
can only interactwith the worldin pari,and as it does not movethroughus, we must
movethroughit. The metaphorof the exhibition-as-landscape
is a meansof establishing a formalstructuring
device,responsive
to what I willcallthreeplanesof interaction:
the background,
the middleground
and the foreground.
lt alsoacknowledges
the spatial
world as a displayspace.ApplyingStewart'sunderstanding
of landscape(and the
gigantic)as a "containelof both objectsand mobileviewingsubjects'o
to our expenenceof the exhibition-asthat whichsurroundsus and whichwe can only know partially-one can deducea rejectionof the notionof the autonomous
objectsof an being
the primarymediumthroughwhichthe ritualized
and ritualizing
experience
of art takes
place.Thisperception
is thenreplacedby a desirefor an understanding
of theserituals
at the levelof the spaceof exhibition(s).
phenomena,exhibitionseach have their own aestheticform,
As spatiotemporal
whichis visual,haptic,and corporealby nature.An exhibition
is a temporary,
architecpossesses
potential
planes
tonic structurethat
of interaction
for the viewer,which I
woulddescribeas: (1) surrounding
the viewerwho movesthroughit, (2) interacting
only
partlywiththe viewer,and (3) containing
the viewerin its spaceof display.
The terms background,
middleground,
and foregroundare prescriptive
poinisof
reference
for thinkingabouthow exhibitions
are constructed.
Thesespatialcoordinaies
representorganizational
strategies
as muchas planesof interaction
throughwhichthe
gathersits formand is experienced.
exhibition

C H APT EF

n_i-:

The background
is the architecture
of the exhibition
space,the primarylayerof the
exhibition.
The whitewallsof eachgalleryremainintact,or are paftlypainted,covered,
or pastedoverand converted
frombeinga blankspaceintoa dominantaesthetic
experience.In this way, the neutraleffectsof the "whitecube"are eitheremphasizedor
reducedto a minimumand replacedby a visualbackground.
The middleground
is an areawith whichaudiencesare paftiallyintendedto interact. lt is shapedby the mannerin whichthe exhibitiondesignand the layoutof the
exhibitionspaceare arranged-priorto the placementof artistsand theirworks-and
the waysin whichsuchelementsfunctionwithinthe overallorganizational
frameworkof
a group exhibition.Displaystructures,lighting,galleryfurniture,seating,and overall
exhibitiondesignare consideredpriorio the exhibitioninstallation,
with the middlegroundutilizedas a meansof conditioning
and mobilizingthe viewerin prescribed
ways.Theseelementsare ofteneitheradapiedfor the exhibition-frompreexisting
artworks-or commissioned
as noveldisplaysystems,designedin collaboration
with an
artistor designer.
represents
in whichthe viewertakespart
The foreground
a spaceof containment,
in a subject-to-object
relationship
with those artifacts,images,and works of art that
cbuldbe categorized
as autonomous
objectsfor studyin theirown right.Theseworkssuchas videowork,sculpture,
and paintings,
eachof whichrequirescertainconditions
of display-arrivein theircompleteformand remainintactafterthe eventof the exhibiintervention.
tion,unchanged
by curatorial
Thesethreeorganizational
categoriesnot onlyfacilitatethe selectionof worksfor
exhibition
but can alsobe seento coherein the finalexhibition
form.The overlaoof the
variouscontestations,
threedimensionsoffersa meansof representing
conflicts,and
pointsof agreement
possiblethat havemadethe production
This is perhapsbestillus"Coalesce,"tratedby one of my own curatorial
speculations,
whichnotonlyresultedin
exhibitionbut also attemptedto elongatethe temporality
a coproductive
of the exhibition intoa durational
event.'"Coalesce"
beganwiththreeanistsbut grewto includemorethaneightyby its fifth
in 2010."-The projectforcefully
outing,heldat SMARTProjectSpace,Amsterdam,
and
self-consciously
takes the aforementioned
spatialcategoriesof background,
middleground,and foregroundas its centralorganizingprinciple,with each layerofferinga
grounding,or platform,for the other.Each successiveexhibitiongathersnew artists
and curators,with the multipleoutcomesof "Coalesce,"
acrosslocationsand times,
formingpart of a continuum,
with the projectbeingconsidered
as an unendingexhibition. Each publicexhibitiontakesthe form of a mutatingenvironment
of overlapping
artworks,in whichartworksand individualprojectsliterally"coalesce"and cohabitin
space,whilebeingpartof an accumulative
eachexhibition
curatorialproject.For each
the artistswork cooperatively
on an installation,
with theirwork(s)literally
exhibition,
merginginto each other,resultingin an overallgroupexhibitionform ratherthan an

Curatino as a Medium of Artistic Practice

accumulation
of discrete,semiautonomous
artworks.As an evolvingseriesof exhibitions,"Coalesce"is intendedto accommodate
a cross{ertilization
of differentartistic
and curatorialpositionswithina single,unifyingcuratorialprojectover an extended
period.Eachexhibitionmanifestation
is put forwardas a temporaryspaceof dialogue
betweenthese participants
and is proposedas a condensedmomentof cooperation
withthe exhibition
formemergingoveran elongatedperiodof time,at differentspeeds
and withalteringmodesof display.

r:tatii:::ri:rr:l

w
3.1 "Coalesce:
Happenstance,"
curatedby PaulO'Neill,SMARTprojectSpace,Amsterdam,
20 10 .

C H APT ER

As an exhibitionthat takes place at differentspeedsand with varying modes of


can be readas a seriesof testingsitesthat evolvethroughvarying
display,"Coalesce"
modes
participation,
and self-determined
semiautonomous
degreesof coproductivity,
are
and,viewers
Spaces,
things,
between
and mOvements
Connections
Of resistance.
"relational
"Coalesce"
techniques."through
navigated,and transformed
manifested,
foregroundsmediatingstrategiesby emphasizingexhibitiondesign,structure,and
worksof ait, but
layout,all of whichare intendedto be as dominantas the individual
point
of an idea.
in
the
trajeciory
incomplete
as an
whichalso considerthe exhibition
toolfor orderingthe work and settingout its
designoperatesas a curatorial
Exhibition
parameters,
as curatorGavinWadesuggests:
thingthat
practice
whichcanexistas a separate
designis a toolof curatorial
Exhibition
rightfrom
youuse.Buttheonlytimeit'spartof thesameimpulseis whenit'simagined
the start,i.e.,whenthe exhibitiondesignis partof the curatorialstrategy. . . to affect
design]to
artistsor visitorsor whoeverelsein certainway;you wantltheexhibition
in a certainway."controlthesituation

approachdisruptseach individualcuratorial
The cooperativemethodological
form.As it moves
of positionsin the finalexhibition
endeavor,resultingin a comingling
and aesthetic
in
a
social,
discursive,
operates
the
exhibition
iterations,
betweenvarious
multiple
conditions
the
reformulates
and
spaceof actionthat constantlydestabilizes
Spacesand
and networksof relationsbetweenwhichthe movementsoccur,"between
Hierarchies
are only
and groups,and betweenobjectsand subjects.""
times,individuals
much
as
they
are
as
disassembled,
and
assembled,
renegotiated,
temporary,always
position.
the
individual
curatorial
by,
to,
or
is not limited
oerformed.The "curatorial"
Instead,as Beatricevon Bismarckstates,its politicalpotentialis takenas beingfundaa
For her, the curatorialrepresents
mentallyrelatedto otherconceptsof "becoming."
the
positions
relation
to
vary
in
taken
the
in
which
process
of negotiation
"continuous
and appearin
takeon new directions,
othersubjectsor objectsinvolvedin exhibitions,

r$w

variousconstellations."form beinga conwith the resultantexhibition


The curatorialis alwaysdialogical,
processes
of cooperadegrees
the
presentation
varying
to
exposing
densedmomentof
possible.
the
heartof
At
made
it
have
that
tion,exchange,and agonisticcoproduciion
this projectis a call for a rethinkof the conceptof aestheticautonomyapparentin
artisticpraxisof recentyears,one that movesaway from autonomousmaterialproducand towardan undertion as a notionof separationand/orsubjeciiveexceptionality
production
of exchanges,
the
continued
toward
standingof autonomyas a sensibility
prefixed
ideaof profession,
beyondany
transformations,
and collective
commonalities,
the curatorial
case of "Coalesce,"
ln the particular
or skillset.38
fieldof specialization,
pracdivergent
the
overlapping
of
for
of
a
space
ihe
facilitation
as
can be understood
planner,
position
master
of
the
as
curator
the overt
ticesintoa mediumthatdenounces

Curatino as a Medium of Artistic Practice

producer,or author.Insteadthereis a convergence


of
as muchas thatof the individual
modesof participation
for bothartist
interestsmadepossiblethroughsemiautonomous
how immanentpowerrelations
are
and curator.In its finalpublicoutcomes,it highlights
formof overlapping
workscan stillattestto
whileits comingledexhibition
unavoidable,
administration,
and cooperation.tn
the messiness
of its processof orchestration,

WithAll DueIntent,"
curatedby PaulO'Neill,Modeland NilandArt Gallery,Sligo
3.2 "Coalesce:
2005.

96

C IAPT ER

CuratorshipcontraArtisticAutonomy
TheoristHans-DieterHuber has said that curatorshiphas been transformedinto
"something
likea signature,
a specificstyle,a specificimage,a namethatcan be assowork. What once characterized
ciatedwith specificcuratorsand their respective
the
workof an artist,namelyhis style,his signature,
and his name,is now trueof the work
Similarly,NicolasBourriaudasseftsthat the core issue in tl.rinking
of the curator."oo
practicesis one of style,and that it is no longer
aboutthe valueof individual
curatorial
a questionas to "whetheror not you are an authoras a curator,but which kind of
this ideafurther,curatorJens Hoffmannarguesfor an
authoryou are."o'Developing
work as constitutingan individualpractice
understanding
of the author-curator's
"a strongcreativesensibility"
becauseof its "thematicconsistency
of production,"
in
regardto interpretation,
and an "apparentartisticdevelopment"
overtime.-'Thisconcurs with the way Hoffmannhas describedhis signaturestyle,as beinginfluenced
by
his backgroundin theater:he statesthat he uses the "ideaof the worldas a stage:
something
thatis fluidandtemporary,
constantly
changing,evolving,unpredictable
and
in continuousprogress""He employsthe conceptof curatingas directing,with "the
lt is the ideaof the curatorhavinga
bxhibition
as a playand the playas an exhibition.
rolein the set-upof an exhibition
that is similarto the one of a directorin the set-upof a
theater play."o"
Herewe can see someof the ways in whichthe curatoris figuredas a prevalent
forcebehindexhibitions
at the expenseof artisticautonomy.
Buthowhasthisperception
of curatingevolved?ForJohnMiller,the specterof the curator-as-artist,
operating
at the
expenseof artisticautonomy,becamea pointof discussionin relationto large-scale
exhibitions
at thetimeof Jan Hoet'sDocumenta
9 in 1992.Hoetput himselfforwardas a
"curatorialarlist,"usinga diverserangeof artworksas the raw material,or "energy,"oo
for
with the exhibitionitself"intendedto act as a drive-belt"
his exhibition,
for theseenergies.ou
Advocatinga role for the curatoras the leadingcreativeagencyin exhibition
processof bringingart together,
making,Hoetdescribes
an instinctive
to makea unified
"specific
with
the
aim
in
view
.
.
.
the
exhibition]
is
exhibition,
carriedalongby one
[that
idea."ou
In its formand content,the exhibition
was intendedto show"where
controlling
decisionsaffecteach other and
the selectionprocessmust stan [and] how su_ccessive
havethe powerto createan innerstructure."-'
In the finalparagraph
of his introduction
to the catalog,Hoetwrites,"Thisexhibitionis my text;everyworkthat is contributedis a
postulate;
andthe discourse
unfoldsas onewalksthroughthe spaces.lt showshowone
can thinkin, and with,realityand it showshow one doesnot necessarily
needa blank
pieceof paperin orderto think.lt showsart."ot
Thus,Hoetproposesthe exhibition
as a
components
within
text,the curatoras an author,and art as selected
an overallstructure
that,ratherthanbeingdescribed,
couldonlybe perceived
by the audiencein the course
of the "directconfrontation
withthe realexperience"of the exhibitionitself.as

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

rF

What Milleridentifiesin Hoet'spraxisas a key momentof confrontation


between
curatorialand artisticpositionsin the contextof groupexhibitionsmay, as we have
seen in chapter1, be tracedbackevenfurther.A comparison
of two statements
made
in the early1970s-one by the artistDanielBurenand the otherby curatorKynaston
McShine-againhighlights
When Burenclaimed,in 1972,that "more
this antagonism.
and more,the subjectof an exhibition
tendsnot to be the displayof artworks,but the
he was referring
exhibition
of the exhibition
as a workof aft,"uo
specifically
to the workof
HaraldSzeemannand his controversial
Documenta5. By suggestingthat artworks
servedas merefragments,makingup a compositeexhibitionin the nameof the curator, Burenwas alsoreferring
to the emergence
of the ideaof the exhibition
organizeras
an authorof a tableauof an actingat the "limitof the exhibition
of art,"or the limitations
art has createdfor itselfbecauseof its complicitrelationshio
with the curator.5l
This
positionhad alreadybeenaccurately
curator-as-author
describedin McShine's
catalog
essayfor "lnformation,"
an exhibition
he curatedat MoMAin 1970:"l havepurposefully
made this text short and very general.Informationwill allow for a more carefuland
thoroughanalysisof all the aestheticand socialimplications
of the work.My essayis
reallyin the galleriesand in the wholeof thisvolume."-'
ln manyways,it mightseemthat littlehas changed.Writingin 2004,Burenelaboratedon his earlierasseftionwith littlevariation:
arelparticular
detailsin the serviceof the workin question,
the exhibition
of
lArtworks
our organiser-author.
At the sametime-and this is wherethe problemhas become
pointedenoughto createthe crisisin whichwe findourselves-the"fragments"
and
other"details"
exhibited
are,by definition
and in mostcases,completely
and entirely
foreignto the principal
workin whichthey are participating,
that is, the exhibition
ln
53
..
quesilon.
Buren'spast distastefor group exhibitionsacquiringthe status of quasi-artworks
remainspalpable.He seesa residualconception
of the curatorialhandat work,in that
the curatortransforms
the work of each adistinto a usefulfraqmentin his or her own
production
of an exhibition-as-art.5'
Buren'sstatementwas publishedin responseto Hoffmann'sassertionthat the
"NextDocumentaShouldbe Curatedby an Artist."By invitingBurenand thirtyother
artiststo respondto his curatorialprojecVexhibition/publication,
Hoffmann'sintention
was to openup discussion
the
of
an
around effectiveness
artist-led
curatorial
modelas
a way of analyzingthe distinctionbetweenaftisticand curatorialpractices.One of the
made by Mark Peterson,was that it "ulticriticalresponsesto Hoffmann'sinitiative,
matelyuses a similarcuratorialstrategyas the one he is criticizing,
namelyto invite
project
nothing
artiststo illustratehis thesis. . . this
is in fact
elsethan anotherexhibiPetersongoes on to arguethat Hoffmann's
tion."uu
attemptto involveartists-in questioningnot only his own curatorialpracticebut also the variousmechanismsand

C H APT ER

dy nami c s o fh i s m e d i u m,h i s p ro fe ssi on,andthew aysi nw hi chexhi bi ti onsgai nformtrap, that of selectingand coldeflectsattentionaway from Hoffmann'sown curatorial
framework"
withina singlecuratorial
laiinga numberof artisticpositions
is a familof curatorand artist,followingAdorno'srationale,
opposition
Peterson's
what is differenthere is how
iar. persistentsiancewithincurrentcuratorialdebates'
practicethat is no
distinguished
a
as
petersonattributescenainvaluesto curating,
the artist Today'
of
activities
longerdeemedseconoaryto the so-calledautonomous
the mediumof curatormustconsiderwhatconstitutes
of the discipline
any conception
authorship
modeof subjective
shipand the extentto wnichthe act of curatingis its own
right'
own
its
in
mediumof presentation
and a subjective
Curatingas a Mediumof Self-Presentation
a curator'scourtingof the gaze,in which
The exhibitionis now a form of self-portrait,
betweenartisticpositionsas
meantngis derivedfrom the relationship
an exhibition's
as an activitydisis primarilyunderstood
presentedby the curator"Today,curatorship
manageria|,and faciIitatory
tinct from its |imitedjob description_itsadministrative,
aspects.As von Bismarckclaims:
takesonly
post,curating
withthe fixedinstitutional
associated
of the iasksoriginally
matericultural
and
for
artistic
with the aimof creatingan audience
ihai of presentation.
presentation
key
becomesthe
o{ makingthemvisible,theexhibition
alsandtechniques,
itseltfreesthe curatortrom
curating
duties,
other
medium.ln contrastto the curatocs
oi the iob, givinghim/heran otherwiseuncommondegreeoi {reedom
the invisrbitity
anda prestigenotunlikethatenioyedby artists.'u
withinthe museuminstitution
of the ubiquityof the curatorwithinthe
Thus,for von Bismarck,one of the by-products
industryis that"Professionalisation
and differenever-expanding
culturalentertainment
tiationwithinthe art world have turned'curating'into a hierarchically
structuredjob
coveringa wide rangeof activities"""
She goeson to claimthatthe advent
description
of so-calledindependent
curatingis the structuralconsequence
of an expandingart
market,in which "internationally
networkedserviceproviders"offer their skillsto a
theircurator,al
diverseexhibition
market,oftenpresenting
conceptas artisticproduct.tu
As NathalieHeinichand MichaelPollakargue,the contemporary
art.museumnow
tends to placeits emphasison the researchand mediationof temporaryexhibitions
ratherthanfocusingon its collection.
This privileging
of one-off,short-term
exhibitions
withinmuseumsindicatesa growingspecialization-through
surveys,historicaloverviews,geographically
specificand thematicexhibitions-articulated
from
or nationally
perspective
program,
Withinsucha subject-centered
the
of the curator(s).-exhibition
"theexhibition
a measureof famewhicheludesothercolcurator'sfunctionauthorizes
leaouesto the extentthat an exhibitionassumesthe quiseof a culturaleventwhose

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

,n

positionsand meritsare publiclydiscussedby a cultivatedaudience."6o


Curatorsare
and installation
involvednot only in the selection,
consignment,
of artworksbut also in
role of determining
a conceptual
frameworkand working
the expandedadministrative
fromotherspecialist
fields.Thus,the curatorassumesa formalposiwithcollaborators
presentation.
in termsof a curatorial
The curatoris recognized
tionof authorship
as the
for the exhibitionas an objectof studyand experience,
agent responsible
and is no
cooperation
within.apublic
longerperceivedas merelypartof a chainof administrative
for extracting
institution;
insteadhe or she is seento be responsible
art fromits position
worksof art gathernew meanings
openingup a spacewhereindividual
or circulation,
for publicconsumption."
and valuesby virlueof theirregrouping
Curatingwithin the Fieldof CulturalProduction
thathaveemergedsincethe 1990sis well
The diversityof curatingstylesand practices
documentedin BarnabyDrabbleand DorotheeRichtels ongoingproject,"Curating
partlya series
DegreeZeroArchive"(CDZA),whichbeganin 1998.--Partlya resource,
of exhibitionstructuresor designscontainingthe archive,CDZA is an expanding
researchprojectas curatorialpractice.The archivalmaterialincludesexhibitioncatapresscuttings,and other articles,as well as videos,CDs, images,
logs, interviews,
Web sites,and textualmaterialrelatingto over a hundredparticipants
selectedand
practices
invitedby curatorsDrabbleand Richter.A wide rangeof
is represented,
but
with the potentialities
commonto mostis a criticalengagement
of curatingas a space
for exploration
beyondthe parameters
of the institutionalized
exhibition
while
structure,
never rejectingthe exhibitionitselfas anotherpossiblespace for this exploration.
Drabbledescribeshow the projecttries "to look at more liminalpositions"withinthe
field,particularly
at curators"whohad started. . . as artistsand weredevelcuratorial
oping their artisticpracticein a curatorialdirection,[and]otherswho had produced
of particularhistoricalpositionsbut
materialwhich involvedselectionor reclamation
in one form or another,"as well as thosecurators
were presenting
it as art production
"who were workingregularlywith institutions
but approachingthis with a freelance
to implementquitecriticalprojects,then
logic,droppingintoinstitutions
and attempting
jumpingback out again."""The sheervolumeof materialin the archivepointsto the
practicehaveexpandedsince
myriadways in whichthe parameters
definingcuratorial
the 1990s,and to how the tradiiionalcategoriesof afiistand curatorhave been conformsof creativepractice.
flatedwithinmanydivergent
curatinghas becomean integralpart of
Theseinsightsshow how contemporary
culturalproduction,
a conception
thatfitswith PierreBourdieu's
description
of the many
differentagenciesat workin thisfield:

C H APT EF

zep
Arch
he.'
p*g
Iy_Sing, m
onc 'ourg? cio:r: o te'oliol)

(Ailer Freder'ck Kiesre') CorclJoord ;ot/ ^c'; o;r'-

/ 'r''

'/J

: .

Northern
DegreeZeroArchive,"
curatedby BarnabyDrabbleand DorotheeRichter,
3.3 "Curating
1998.CourtesyCDZA.
Art,Sunderland,
Galleryfor Contemporary

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

The-subject"
of the production
of theart-work-ofitsvaluebutalsoof its meaning-is
notthe producer
whoactually
createsthe objectin its materiality,
but ratherthe entire
in thefield.Amongthesearethe producers
setof agentsengaged
of works,classified
criticsof allpersuasions
(whoarethemas artists(greator minor,famousor unknown),
middlemen,
selvesestablished
in thefield),collectors,
curators,
etc.,in short,all those
whohavetieswithart,wholiveforartand,to varying
degrees,
fromit,andwhoconfront
eachotherin struggles
wheretheimposition
of notonlya worldviewbutalsoa visionof
participate
ihe ad worldis at slake,andwhothroughthesestruggles,
in the production
of the valueof the artistandof art.Bourdieuassertsthatany perception
of the art worldmustgo beyondan understanding
of art as something
to be appreciated
solelyin termsof aesthetics,
to includeconcepts
of value,classification,
and characterization
withinthe sociocultural
sphere.""He articulatesthe fieldof culturalproduction
as a "sharedlanguage"amongthoseinvolvedin a
specificfield.Fromthisperspective,
formsof communication
are activelyproducedand
maintainedfrom withinthe socialand culturalfield of art by all those who have an
investmentin it.uuFurther,artistsand curatorsare cooperativeproducersof culture,
regardless
of what it is that distinguishes
theirmode of agency;all culturalproducers
relateto eachotherthrougha commonfieldof referenceand sharedvocabulary,
both
the expression
of whichare usedto articulateand to "structure
and the experience
of
the work ol art.."u'
Hencebothartistsand curatorspartakeequallyin the reststances,
conflicts,and divisionsthat run throughthe field of culturalproductionas a whole,
equallyengagingin the strugglesfor an expandedconceptionof the worldand of art
and theiroperations.
The Exhibition-as-Medium
for both Artists and Curators
The groupexhibitionas the principalmediumof curatorialself-articulation
was highlightedin a 1987polemicby JonathanWatkins,directorof lkonGallery,Birmingham,
in
his essay "The Criticas Artist"""Ratherthan Barthes'spoststructuralist
analysisof
Watkinsdrawson OscarWilde'sideathat objectsare transformed
authorship,
intoart
by the criticwritingaboutthem,in whichit is the eye of the beholderthat producesthe
work of art.6e
Watkinsarguesfor curatingas a type of artisticpractice,with individual
(everydayfoundobjects
artworksbeinganalogousto MarcelDuchamp'sreadymades
"manipulation
takenas art),theirdisplayaidedby the curator's
of the environment,
the
lighting,the labelsand the placement
of otherworksof art."Watkins'sloosedescription
of the rolestaken on by curators,artists,and critics
withinthe exhibition
harmonize
contextmay not completely
withthe departureof curapractice
parameters
gallery
fromthe
torial
of
and museumexhibition
displays.Yet his
argument-thatthe invisibility
of the curatorialhand can reinforcethe "beliefthat art

C H APT ER

speaksfor itself"and thatcuratingis a "necessary,


if insufficient,
mediumthroughwhich
the communication
betweenart and its audiencetakesplace"-remainsin tunewiththe
positionswithinour culturaleconomy,with its expansion
cross{ertilization
of individual
of the notionof artisticpracticeto includecuratingas anotherof its potentialmediums.'
Withindiscussions
aroundart,therehas beena clearshiftawayfroman artist-centered
culturalhierarchytowarda postproductive
discourse,in whichthe functionof curating
partof the expandedfieldof art making.
has becomeanotherrecognized
Thisshiftis substantiated
by the relatedideathatthe curatorand artistnow closely
imitateeachother'spositions,
whichis indicative
not onlyof how curatinghas changed
but also of how artisticpractice-inparticular
duringthe late 1980sand early1990sbeganto incorporate
curatorialstrategy,methodology,
and exhibitiondesign.''For a
comparativeexampleof how artist-and curator-ledprojectsformallyand conceptually
imitateeach other,one can considerthe similarities
betweenLiam Gillick's"lnstructions"exhibition,
at Gio MarconiGallery,Milan,in 1992"-for whichthe artistemployed
a well-wornconceptual
art approachby invitingotherartiststo provideinstructions
for
himto executein theirabsence-andHansUlrichObrist's"do it" project,ongoingsince
1993,for whichthe curatorhas invitedartiststo providewritteninstructions
thatcan be
executedby the curator,galleryvisitors,or readersof the instructions
insteadof by the
artiststhemselves.Ta
The self-conscious
recurrence
of curatorial
modelsfromthe pastin laterexhibition
constructswas alreadyhighlighted
by Gillick,when he claimedthat his projectwas
moreabouttestingpreviousstrategies:
Now,of course,thiskindof model,of takingon something
thathasalreadybeendone
andis already
wellknown,is sortof exhausted.
. . . Butin factthatwasdefinitely
partof
a testingprocess
thatwasveryself-conscious,
aboutretesting
something
thatyouknew
hadalreadybeendonerelatively
recently(inthe previoustwentyyears). . . to seewhat
newconditions
it wouldproduce
andwhatnewsituations
it wouldprovide.
Andthemost
profounddiscovery
fromdoingit wasthe absenceof the artists.. . . [That]wasthe crucial element,that theirworkoftendidn'treallysustainany conceptual
termsas we
wouldunderstand
them.. . . So manyof theinstructrons
involved
doingthingslikeprintphotograph
inga
for someone
or building
something
on theirbehalf.lt becamepurely
an exercise
in carrying
out,or makingsomeone's
artwork,
whichisn'tparticularly
profound.Whatwasmissing
wasthatnuanceor presence
of theartist."
Revisiting
Gillick'sexemplar,its similarity
to Obrist'slater"do it" projectis clear.In both,
there has been a conflationof artisticand curatorialpractices.but there is a distinct
contrastin how they were mediatedby theirprotagonists,
and latterlyhow they have
beeneitherabsentfromor includedin recentcuratorial
histories.
For Gillick,read:'lust
anotherartist'sprojectwith otherartists,"lookingback at the late 1960s;for Obrist,
projectby a curator."As Richternotes,"it seemsperhapsas if a
read:"a paradigmatic

Curatino as a Medium of Artistic Practice

103

+
shiftin powerin favorof the curatorhas taken place,especiallysince
the role of the
curatorincreasingly
allowsfor moreopportunity
for creativeactivity.Thus,the curator
seemsto employthe artisticexhibitsin partas the sign of one text,namely,
his or her
text'"t6SigridSchadeechoesthis opinionwhenshe statesthat curators
now sell their
curatorialconceptsas the artisticproductand "sellthemselvesas
the artists,so the
curators'swallowup' the worksof the artists,as it were. In such
cases,the curators
claimfor themselves
the statusof geniustraditionar
in art history.,,tt
In a bid to reducethe perceptual
and conceptualdistancebetweencuratorsand
artistsevenfurther,JustinHoffmannsuggestswe apprythe term ,,curture
producerto
thoseformerlyknownas eitheradistsor curators,as a possiblemeans
of dissolving
"the boundaries
of the variousgenresof arr.,,"As he correctlyargues,thereis now
a
vast numberof differential
curatorialmodelsthat transcendthe groupexhibition
of artworksas the primaryend formfor theirpraxis.Theserangefromcurators
who realize
exhibition
projectswithoutany artistsor artworks,to curatorswho initiateprojects
and
gatherparlicipants
withoutcuratingan art exhibition,
to thosewho initiatemoredialogical projectswith artists,in whichthe primaryobjectiveis to set a temporarprocess
in
motionratherthanfocusingon the outcomeof any finalexhibition.
Addedto theseare
onlineand text-basedcurating,which prioritizethe editorialframe
as their mode of
practice'This expansionin understanding
aroundthe curatorial
allowsprotagonists
to
switchbetweendifferentarea_s
of activity,thus increasingthe potentialfor a heteronomv
of articulation
withinthe field.Te
Let us relurnnow to Huber,who goes a step furlherby suggesting
that there is
evidence,withina numberof recentartisticpractices,of a complete
confiscation
of
curatorialmethodolgy.
Fromthe time of Haraldszeemannonward,he claims,artists
workingcuratorially
haveattempted
"a leapto thismeta-level
of the curator,usrngcuratorialselectionand galleryarrangements
to producetheir unmistakable,
artistic,and
societalstyleon this meta-level."to
For Huber,manyartists-suchas FareedArmaly,
Tiloschulz,MarinaGrzini6,Arexander
Koch,christophKeller,JuttaKoether,and Apo_
lonijaSu5ter5id-haveemployedthe languageof curatingto create
clearlyidentifiable
signaturedesignstylesfor their prolects.ttHubersuggeststhat the
artisticdesireto
employcertaincuratorialmechanisms
not onlyarisesbecausethis is now seenas the
highestand newestform of art, but also becausecuratingprovidesa
meansof analyz_
ing and contestingwhat constitutesartisticproduction,throughthe
confiscation,
or
appropriation,
of the positionof powerthat ls identified
with the historical
figureof the
curator.t'Employingthe exhibitionsite as theirmedium,theseartistsproouce
spatial
installations
in theirown distinctstyles,whichprovidethe environmental
settingfor the
stagingof discussions,
events,and visitorparticipation.
one of the many exampresthat iilustratethis pointis artistFareed
Armary,scor_
laboration
with Ute MetaBauerfor "NowHere,"
an exhibition
Bauercuratedat the Loui_
siana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark,in 1996.tt Deveropingthe
concepruar

104

O H APT ER

each
frameworkof the projecttogether,artistand curatorworkedto "counterbalance"uo
way
for the
the exhibiother.lt becameobvious,however,thatArmalywas responsible
tion looked.Featuringmany of his signaturedesignelements-suchas text applied
publications
could
directlyontopartlypaintedwalls-the displayand the accompanying
project
possessed
while
the
as
a
whole
signature
style,
having
Armaly's
identified
as
be
thatwas similarto manvof his otherworks.
framework
a conceptual
The Artist-Curator
The mergingof the rolesof artistand curatorwas furtheroutlinedin GavinWade'stext
a largenumberof artistswho werecommit"Artist+ Curator=" (2000).Wadeidentified
in parallelwith the tented to expandingtheir practiceinto the realmsof curatorship
"artist-curator,"
which once simply
The
term
to
act
as
arttsts.uu
dency for curators
referredto exhibitionscuratedby artists,is appliedby Wade to those practitioners
and curatorialstrategiesas a way of
structures,
usingexhibitiondesign,architectural
presenting
otherartists,to createcompositepublicoutcomes.In
alongside
themselves,
objects,
may includethe displayof autonomous
thisway,the workof the artist-curator
part
provision
of
his or
structureas
of an overallcuratorial
design,or the
the exhibition
are now a distinctive
model
by arlist-curators
herexpandedartisticpractice.Exhibitions
of curating,with the group exhibitionbeing employedas the main mode of adistic
production.
precedents,
phenomenon
has manyhistorical
of the artist-curator
The burgeoning
initiatives,
suchas GroupMaterialand
artist-curatorial
includingmoreovertlypoliticized
were oftenintendedas artists'intervenGeneralldea fromthe 1980s.Such initiatives
tions, to exposeunreflexiveassumptionsabout what constitutedan exhibition.For
with GroupMaterialbetween1979and
example,JulieAult describesher involvement
1996 in the followingway: "The temporaryexhibitionwas a mediumthroughwhich
wereposited,andthroughwhichrules,
structures
modelsof socialand representational
exhibitionprojectsevolvedfrom
Specific
subverted.
venues
were
often
and
situations,
process
its principles
engagement,
of discursive
and expandeduponthe collaborative
of practice."uu
For John Miller,the momentumof this convergenceof practices-theartistas
curatorand the curatoras artist-had been buildingsince the 1980sthroughwork
by aftistssuchas
critiquein the US,as orchestrated
linkedto laterformsof institutional
JulieAult,JudithBarry,LouiseLawler,GroupMaterial,and Fred Wilson."This perwho pointsout thatany potentiallineageof unconspectiveis echoedby Jim Drobnick,
(operating
and historical
counterto museumconventions
strategies
ventionalcuratorial
art of the 1960sbut frequently
paradigms)
is oftentracedbackto conceptual
exhibition
practicethattook placebetweenthe late 1960s
omitsthe periodof engagedcuratorial

Curating as a Medium of Attistic Practice

rtr

and 1990s,in particular


the developments
withinartisticpracticethatusedcuratingas a
mediumduringthe 1ggOs.uu
As an exampreof 1980spractice,GroupMateriarmadea prea
for the understand_
ing of "creativityunrestrictedby the marketplaceor by categories
of specialization,,,
by
takingcuratoriar
prerogatives
and the worksof otherartistsand emproying
themas part
of theirown practice.
As a meansof expressing
a desirefor an alternative
to the autonomy of the artist,the curator,andthe critic,theyset aboutredefining
the roleof curbting
fromthe positionof a groupof artistsworkingtogetheron exhibitions.r,
Artists,groups
such as GroupMaterialand Generalldea were centralto
establishing
the idea that
exhibitionsare as much aboulhow art is seen as about which
arris seen,and that artistswho considerthe spacesin whichtheirwork is displayed part
as
of theirstrategic
remitare alreadycuratingfrom withintheirown practice.
Generalldea were already
uslngcuratorialmechanisms
as a meansof contesting
the formalconventions
of the
exhibition,
puttingthe groupexhibition
forwardas a meansof self-organization
as well
as a primarymediumin a hybridized
formof artisticpractice.The group,sexpression
of
theircollective
identity"as parasites
led [them]to establish[their]own universeof an art
worldwithin[their]artmaking."no
As one of their members,AA Bronson,stated,,,we
were at once theoreticians,
critics,artists,curatorsand bureaucrats,
the penurtimate
shape-shifters.
The metastructure
of our artmakingincludednot only the studio,the
anistand the artworkbut arsothe museum,the archive,the gailery
shopanc,eventhe
massmedia. . . as a soft of armouror carapacewe worefor
invadingthe artworld.,,et
Generalldea'sdiverseapproaches
to mediation,
distribution,
and collaborationwhichincludedpublishingotherartists'projectsalongsidetheir
own in theirself-pub_
lishedF/LEMegazine(1972-1989),and the establishment
of a distributioncenterand
exhibition
spacefor artists'editionsand multiples-extended
the parameters
of curatorial work beyondthe galleryspace into multiplechannels
of disseminatron.
General
Ideapresented
suchactivityas a partof theirinterestin workingwithother
artistswhen
in 1974theyset up Arl Metropore
in Torontoas an exhibition
spacewiththe purposeof
exhibitingand pubrishing
artists'editions,but they arsoarguedfor the prorecras
an
evolvingartworkin and of itself.
with its rotatingcast of membersbetween1979and 1996,
GroupMateriararso
employedthe processof groupexhibitionmakingas a spacefor political
and social
formation;
the exhibition
functioned
as a sharedsiteof participation
amongindividuals,
withthe eventof the exhibition
conceivedas pubricforum.For exampre,the exhibition
"The People'schoice,"at East i3th street in New york
city in 19g1,subvertedthe
standardized
mannerin which art had come to be disprayedand the ways
in which
suchformations
wereestablished.
Interrupting
the traditional
museumcollection
model,
"The People'schoice"presentedmaterialselectedby nonprofessionals:
rocalswere
invitedto contributethingsfrom their homesto the exhibition.
,,Americana,,,shown
in
the contextof GroupMaterial'sfirst institutional
show at the 1986 whitney Biennial,

106

C H APT EF

.'

'i:i*$.,

:ii 'rr:

3.4 Generalldea,Fin de Sidcle,1994.CourtesvGeneralldea.

Curating as a Medium of Arlistic Practice

concerns,
artistswith sociopolitical
presenteda salon des r6fusdsof marginalized
alongsideproductsfrom supermarketsand departmentstores,thus breakingthe
the functionof culturalreprebetweenhighand low cultureby questioning
boundaries
production.
"Democracy,"
at the DIA Foundahierarchies
of
cultural
sentationand the
of
discussion-led
eventsand
tion between1987and 1989,was organizedas a cycle
"Politics
showsdividedinto four sections:"Educationand Democracy,"
collaborative
A CaseStudy."All ol
"CulturalParticipation
and AIDS,"and "Democracy:
and Election,"
and conventional
display,
of classification
these projectsexaminedthe complexities
to
and discursiveapproach exhibition
whilestressingthe needfor a transdisciplinary
comwhateverformtheytake,are the resultof divergent,
making.All groupexhibitions,
plex, and dialecticalrelationsbetweencurators,artists,and all those providedwith
apparentfrom
By makingthese interrelations
agencyin the processas coproducers.
"the
betweencollaborathe meansof production, difference
the outset,and articulating
duringa processof coproduction
tiveand authorialstructures""converges
of the
of both GroupMaterialand Generalldea as forerunners
The significance
part
of the
were
selected
as
when
they
group
was
highlighted
work
currenttrendfor
in
2005.
This
in Kassel
at KunsthalleFridericianum
Creativity"
exhibitjon"Collective
positedthe viewthat all creativeworkwas
publication
and supporting
majorexhibition
groupwork as some form of resiswhile evidentlyarliculating
alreadycollaborative,
thensupported
modelof production
individualistic
market-driven
tanceto the dominant,
the Zagreb-based
curaThe curatorsof the exhibition,
institutions.
by our sociocultural
WHW (What,How and for Whom),calledfor greatervisibilityof group
torialcollective
formsof sociability
as the resultsof alternative
work presented
oractice,with collective
the
collective
elementof his"Collective
documented
Creativity"
and self-governance.
and Fluxus,alongsidean eclecmodels,suchas Dada,Surrealism,
toricalavant-garde
groupactivities
fromacrossEurope,LatinAmerica,
tic mix of recentand contemporary
to
approaches
and the UnitedStates.As such,the projectreflectedon heterogeneous
presented
the
divides.
WHW
and
historical
acrosssocial,cultural,
multipleauthorship
with the generalspiritof collectivism
projectas an act of kinship,a show of solidarity
for whomjointworkprovidesa potentially
exhibitors,
sharedby manyof the assembled
utopianspacefor discourse.
essayfor the
was an importantsurvey.In theirintroductory
"Collective
Creativity"
potential
of comcalledon the emancipatory
catalog,WHW declaredthatthe exhibition
production
for the good of the whole,in which
munalformsof work and collaborative
individualenergiesare bundledtogether,allowingcommonintereststo prevailand a
may havebeen,the exhiYet nobleas theseintentions
sharedresultto be achieved.et
"collective"
groups
as generically
bitionitselfwas flawed:the packagingof the various
Group Material
translatedinto a flatteningout of each group'sspecificdifferences.
with Generalldea;Gilbedand Georgewith lrwin;and so on.
becomesinterchangeable
a benevolent,
idealisiicnotion
as presenting
It was hardto avoidseeingthe exhibition

C H APT EF

3.5 "Americana,"
curated
by GroupMaterial,
whitneyBiennial,
whitneyMuseum
of American
Art,
NewYork,1986.
Courtesy
GroupMaterlal.

of a// collective
work.Surely,what is commonto each groupis that the individuals
in
prefer
them
to workwith specificmembers.As muchas they alsodemonstrate
how all
work is collaborative,
each initiativehas distinctculturalformationsand capacitiesfor
action,dependingon theiraccessto the meansof production.
why, then, is therea
need to conceiveof "collectivity"
"creative,,
as a single,unified
body?WHW offereda
similarself-critique
sometimelater,whenthey stated:"we are not primarilyinterested
in exploringthe formalstructureof organizations
(networks,
communities,
groups,platforms,etc.),as muchas theirattemptsto redefinethe categories
of site,status,and the
functionof art in the publicspace.Althoughthereare manycommonsitesof departure,

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

practicesare not a unifiedmovement."e4


organizednetworksand self-organized
Howprocess
project
in
they
ever, the
of organizingthis
demonstrated
that amalgamated
group researchis part of any curatorialprocess,which,like artisticproduction,is a
cooperative
endeavorand one that is oftencurtailedbv the measureof accessto the
meansof production.t'
At times,then,the convergence
of curatorial
and artisticpracticeis theorizedneitheras a threatto aft (a curatorial
takeoverof aftisticautonomy)nor as a celebration
of
the individuality
of the curator(with curatingas simplyanotherartisticmedium).In
termsof culturalproduction,
the convergence
of ariisticand curatorialpracticecan be
seenas an opportunity
to engagein a critiquewithinthe fieldof culturalproduction
as a
whole.In the process,the emergenceof the figureof the artisfcuratorcan be seenas
an attemptto move beyondthe dominantroleswithinthe normaldivisionsof the art
world-a refusalthat has contributedtowardemergentformsof collectiveagency.
The New CuratorialRhetoricand lts Discontents
It is evidentthat curatorialpracticeand discoursehave becomeestablished
compoproduction.
preceding
nentswithinthe fieldof contemporary
cultural
In the
chapters,I
have plottedthe evolutionof contemporary
curatorship
and the growingconfidence
of
curatorial
discourse"
The latterhas reachedthe pointat whicha new curatorial
rhetoric
is well established
and, in many ways,takenfor grantedas a pointof departurefor
thinkingaboutcontemporary
art.
The |990ssaw a new curatorial
rhetoricof flexibility,
connectivity,
transformativity,
intersubjectivity,
contextuality,
collaboration,
and hybridity.
This rhetoriccan be seenin
the networkof artist-curators
withthe waysin whichworksmightbe transfigconcerned
ured by an exhibition's
concept.Indicative
of this is the longlist of artist-curator
initiatives that have emergedin the UK, Europe,and the US, which includessignificant
projectsby artistsas diverseas Artlab(Charlotte
exhibitions,
events,and collaborative
Cullinanand JeanineRichards),
JulieAult, Bank,Dave Beech,UrsulaBiemann,Bik
Van der Pol, John Bock, Cummingsand Lewandowska,
MaurizioCattelan,Jeremy
Dellerand Alan Kane,Elmgreenand Dragset,Flatpack,Luca Frei,LiamGillick,Matthew Higgs,Per Huttner,PierreHuyghe,lrwin,GoshkaMacuga,JeremyMillar,Dave
Muller,North Drive Press, ElizabethPrice, Sarah Pierce,Raqs Media Collective,
Superflex,
temporarycontemporary,
temporaryservices,PhilippeThomas,Jeannevan
Heeswijk,Marionvon Osten,RichardVenlet,AntonVidokle,GavinWade,and Artur
Zmijewski,among many others.Whereassome have employedthe mediumof the
groupexhibition
as a contextualizing
devicefor ideasaroundtheirpractice,othershave
considered
the exhibition
formas theirartwork.
Moreoftenthan not,the artist-curator's
effortsare presentedas a combinedexhibition-work,made up of otheranworksand usuallysupportedby a unifyingconceptual,

110

C IAPT EP

physical,and structuraldisplay framework.outcomes are heterogeneousbut often


resultin a slipperygameof simultaneous
role-play,
in whichthe conceiver
and producer
are the same person.For example,in artist-curatorsarah pierce's The Meaning of
Greafness(2006),the curatorialreadsas a complexinquiryinto culturalinheritance,in
whicha multiplicity
of authorshipsand historicalartifactsare caughtin a tangledweb of
conflatedtimes,pedagogicalmethods,and hand-me-down
evaluations.pierce'sinstallation is split into four distinctspaces by an X-shapedblack curtain,a pasticfreof a
RichardSerrasculpturethat dividesher room.Despitethe curtain'ssoft,tactileedges,
its scale and form are oppressive.In one of the four allotmentscreatedby it, the artist
has remadeEva Hesse'sUntitled(Rope Piece)(1970).with the juxtapositionof these
two sculptures,
theirformand formlessness
meetin a singlespaceandtime.The installationalso includesdrawingsmadeby Pierce'smotherwhenshe was a studentin the
1950s,photographs
froma studentculturalcenterin Belgradein the 1970s,test pieces
made by FineAft studentsin 2006,and a compilationof textsavailableas a take-away
zine.Eachelementaddsto the entanglement
of what is beingexhibited,
whereart and
artifact,documentand documentary,
and authorand editorare conflatedintoa single

3.6 sarah Pierce,TheMeaningof Greatness,2006,


shownhereas part of the exhibition"lf I
Can'tDance,I Don'tWantto Be Partof YourRevolution:
Editionll: Episode4: FeministLegacies
and Potentialities
in contemporaryArt Practice,"curatedby FrederiqueBergholtzand Annie
Fletcher,MuHKA,Antwerp,2008.originallycommissioned
by Grantwatson for projectArts
Centre,Dublin.Photograph:R. McCrea.CourtesySarahPierce.
Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

work.Diggingup the pastis just one way of revealingpossiblecluesas to how legacy,


canon,and ideasof greatnessmightbe taughtor learned.
ln anoiherexampleby an artist-curator,
GoshkaMacuga'sKabinettder Abstrakten (2003) at BloombergSpace, London,was comprisedof a selectionof artworks
of her creation.Macuga'scontribution
installedinsidea sculpturalenvironment
to the
projectwas the overallconcept,the selectionof worksby otherartists,and the exhibition designwithinwhichthe workscouldbe seen."-She also designeda libraryof pripillars,influenced
vatelyloanedbooksand art objectsand two totemicsculptural
by the
workof KazimirMalevich,
whichwereusedto displaya clayfigureand smallsculptures
by Ben Parsonsand JacquiChanarin.Her projectsharkbackto a utopianmomentof
earlymodernistdisplaysystems,in whichdesignwas usedas a meansof producing
new experiences.
Previousexhibitions
employedsimilarstrategies,
including"Picture
of the flexible,unfoldingpicGallery"(2003)at Gasworks-anambitiousreproduction
ture galleryat Sir John Soane'sMuseum-and "Cave"(1999)at Sali Gia Gallery,a
made from packingmaterialsand crumpledbrown
cavernousdisplayenvironment,
paper,evocativeof the Surrealist"ErosInstallation"
(1959)at the CorderieGalleryin
of AllanKaprowand ClaesOldenburg
fromthe early
Paris,as wellas the environments
cabinet,madeup of fourindeMacugapresented
a constructed
1960s.For Bloomberg,
pendentshelves,whichwere openedfor visitorsby a galleryattendant.The cabinet
includedloanedartworksby AndyWarholand PeterLiversidge
and artifactssuchas a
"spacedog suit"f roma Sovietexperiment
dated5 October1959.Whilepayinghomage
of new waysin whichtheirworkcan
to artistspastand present,throughthe production
trait
of
Macuga'sexhibitio,ns
is theirbeing
be displayedand consumed,the signature
clearlydemarcated
and mediatedas the combinedworkof one artist."
The termsof the new curatorialrhetoriccan be seen as the groundfor another
from2003:"l Am a Curator"by Per HUttnerat London'sChisenhale
exhibition
Gallery.
than
even
more
convoluted
that
of
Macuga,
inviting
Huttneremployedan approach
membersof the publicto makeproposals
to curatea seriesof one-dayart exhibitions
in
whatwas disingenuously
describedin the pressreleaseas "an experiment
in democraprocess."""
curators,includingHiittner,proSix invitedinternational
tisingthe curatorial
vided a selectionof artworks that gallery visitors could choose from for display.
designeda customized
Artist-curator
GavinWadeand architectC6lineCondorelli
envithatdoubledas a storageunitfor the
ronmentfor the gallery:a flexibledisplaystructure
aftworksavailablefor selection(via index cards designedby Scott Rigby).With the
and uploadedontothe gallery'sWeb site,thirtydifresultsfrom eachday documented
of the artworksoccurredduringthe projectat the instigationof budferentpermutations
alike.nn
In thisway,a mutatingexhibition
was putforward
dingcuratorsand noncurators
whichresultedin a mediation
as boththe workof art andthe workof art as exhibition,
of
produce
that
the
as
the
artist.
Stating
his
aim
was
to
the artistas the curatorand
curator
new "experiences"
of curating,HUttner
claimedthathis project"staftswiththe question:

C IAPT EF

::ir1:ri:r:::ri:t::
:ali:::ii:i:]iii:l

i::iililt
l

:ll:r:lrl:t::ir
:,:i::iltil

3.7 GoshkaMacuga,Kabinettder Abstrakten,2003.PhotoAndy Keate.courtesyNottingham


Contemporary
and KateMacGarry,London.

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

.tt'...

.,,.,,l:
,.l.::

:::lta:.:llllii

3.8 "l Am a Curator,"


curatedby Per Huttner,Chisenhale
Gallery,London,2003-Courtesyof Per
Huttner.

whatare the intentions


of the artist,and are thoseintentions
morefruitfulthanthe interpretationof the visitor?"As a statementof intent,this suggestsa degreeof neutralityon
behalfof the conceiver.
lf "l Am a Curator"is the answer,thento whomis the question
beingaddressed
and who is definingthe termsof this reductive
curaiorial
engagement
in the firstolace?
In the new curatorialrhetoric,curatorshavefoundjustification
for questioning
the
relationship
betweencuratorial
selectionand exhibition
displayby shiftingthe emphasis
awayfromwork beingchosenby the curator.Jens Hoffmannis exemplaryof this way
(2003)at Casey KaplanGallery,New
of working.For "Exhibitions
of an Exhibition"
York, he invitedfour young curatorsto write a text (to be availablein the gallery),
explainingthe makeupof his exhibition,
with the objectiveof providingfour different
"curatedshows"ratherthan one curatorialperspective.'oo
For "Londonin Six Easy
Steps"at the ICA in 2004and 2005,he invitedsix curatorsto curatean exhibition
for
one week each,'otundera singletitle.For "Artists'Favourites:
ACT I and ll" (2004)at
the lCA, Hoffmanninvitedoverfortyartiststo selectone of theirfavoriteworksof art by
anotherartist,madebetween1947and2004.ln his introductory
notesfor the exhibition
manual/guide,
Hoffmannwrites,"The significanceof the artworksis alteredas it
becomesapparentthat,in thiscontext,theystandnot onlyfor themselves
or the artists
who createdthem,but also representthe artistswho selectedthem and the motives
behindtheirselections."'n'

C N APT EF

3.9 "Londonin six Easysteps,"Instituteof contemporaryArts,London,2004 and 2005.


Courtesyof the lCA.

3.10 "Artists'Favourites:
ACT I and ll," curatedby Jens Hoffmann,Instituteof contemporary
Arts,London,2004.Courtesvof the lCA.

Curating as a Medium of Artistic practice

proposition
was not unanimously
endorsedby the aftists
curatorial
Yet Hoffmann's
was
expressedby the artistparticipating
The bluntestcritique
in "Artists'Favourites."
collectiveArt & Language,who selectedCharlesHarrison'sFairestof ThemAll (2004).
plinthand spotlitfrom above,
This was a framedtext panel,placedatopa lectern-like
that read:
a mystification,
disguising
thefact
is founded
on andseeksto perpetuate
Theexhibition
of
the
curator.
lt
is
curatbrialinto
the
condition
that artistshavealreadybeendrawn
requires
of theartist.Theauthorsof the"Summary"
workthatthe institution
and-worse
Butthe mystification
comesunstuck
attestto this,albeitunwittingly.
andthe"Narrative"
betweenartistand curatorthe
to makea realdistinction
rathereasily.ln appearing
"artists
arenotcurators."
ln fact,thecurahaveproposed
a singlenegation:
organisers
The resultis a doublenegative:
the
hasbeendoubled.
in theexhibition
torialpresence
artistis simplynot not a curator.And that'sin fact how it is. A differentkindof workis
negation.'o'
andreintroduce
a critical
thedistinction
neededif we areto reshape
For Arl & Language,in sucha situaiionthe artist'spracticeis alreadyconditioned
thatthe curatorhas put in place;the normalpowerand presenceof the
by ihe structure
preciselybecausethe choicesof
by thisstructure,
curatoris not effacedbut reinforced
structure.
In otherwords,
overarching
to the exhibition's
the inviteesmakeno difference
Hoffmannsimplyobscuresthe positionof the curatorand insulates
for Art & Language,
it from criticism.But, howevervalid Art & Language'scritiqueis, and whateverthe
projects,it has becomeclearthatthe roleof the curatorno
of Hoffmann's
shortcomings
of existingworksor the supplyingof an overarchlongerprimarilyinvolvesthe selection
threadrelatingworksto one another.Rather,Hoffmanntakesit for granted
ing narrative
that the curator'swork involvesthe provisionof a framework,or curatorialstructure,
eventuallygatherform. ln otherwords,his positionis prethroughwhich exhibitions
rhetoric.
curatorial
scribedandjustifiedby contemporary
This newfoundurgencyto seek a common languageis exemplifiedby the
as a collectiveactivity,
curatorswho havetreatedexhibitions
numberof international
production
processes
throughtempoof artistic
usingthemas a meansto explorethe
rary mediationsystemsratherthan presentingart and its exhibitionas a finished
product.Despitetheirdiverseapproaches,manycuratorswho have gainedan intersincethe 1990s-such as Ute Meta Bauer,CharlesEsche,Maria
nationalreputation
andthe l atel gorZabel -have,i n
Ba
, rb a raV anderl i nden,
Lind,N i c o l a u sS c h a fh a u s e n
that has
of a curaiorialmethodology
to the development
theirown ways,contributed
and dialogicalmodelof curatingin whichthe exhimovedtowarda moreperformative
betweenthose involved.As alreadyoutbitionis a spaceof constantrenegotiation
perspectives
may be regardedas a reaction
linedin chapters1and2, theseshifting
mega-exhibitions
of the
against,or a responseto, the heavilyauthored,uber-curated
1980s.

to

C IAPT EF

HansUlrichObristhasdescribedthe ideaof the exhibiiion


as an ongoing,expanding projectthatevolvesovertime:
Insteadof certitude,
the exhibition
possibilities.
expresses
connective
The question
of
evolutionary
displays.
An ongoinglifeof exhibitions.
Exhibitions
as complex,
dynamic
learning
systemswithfeedback
loops,basically
question
theobsolete
ideaof thecurator as a masterplanner.
As you beginthe processof integration,
the exhibition
is only
emerging.
Exhibitions
underpermanent
construction,
the emergence
of an dxhibition
withinan exhibition"
Thisideaof renouncing
or questioning
a masterplanalsomeans
that,very often,organizing
an exhibition
is to invitemanyshowswithinthe shows,
almostlikea kindof Russian
Matroyshka
doll.10a
A key illustration
of this moveis foundin the aforementioned
"Utopiastation,,,t05
which
attendedto such issuesby focusingon a collaborative
exhibitionframeworkratherthan
selectedartistsor works. lt was describedin the press releaseas ,,Nothingmore or
nothinglessthan a way station,a placeto stop,to look,to talk and refreshthe route . .
"
as a whole [it] should be understoodto be the compositeof its many layers,each
unfolding
at different
speedsin different
timesand places:seminars,meetings,
stations,
posters,performances
and booksare comingen roLlte.,,tou
The "UtopiaStation"projectdisplayedmany of the curatorialstrategiesfamiliar
fromobrist'spreviousexhibitions-suchas "do it" and "TakeMe (l'm yours),,(19g5)whichemployedmanyarlists,emphasized
processover product,mediatedthe exhibition as a flexiblestructure,broughtthe visitorsinto play, instructedartiststo fulfill
specificroles,and conceivedthe exhibition
as a mobileunitthat couldtakeon numerousformsovertime.By foregrounding
mediating
strategies
withinthe design,structure,
and layoutof the exhibition,
the curatorial
elementof "Utopiastation,,was intendedto
be as dominantas the works of ar1.Indeed,the curatorialstrategydetractedfrom a
consideration
of individualartworks.Inslead,emphasiswas placedon the visitors,
experience
of the exhibition-as-event,
by presenting
the exhibition
as a totalinstallation
and a singularsiteof evolutionary
display.Arlists'pafticipation
wasframedin termsof a
contribution
io the totality,whetherit was RirkritTiravanija's
designof the displaystructure,LiamGillick'sdesignfor the seating,or the 158artists(to date)askedto contribute
a poster.In theirstatementof intent,the curatorsalludedto termssuchas ,,nonolan.,,
"portability,"
"multiplicity,"
"temporality,"
and "flexibility"
in an attemptto breakdownany
discernible
boundaries
betweenindividual
artisticstatements
and an overarching
exhibitionassertion.
But,ratherthanbeinga sitefor artworks,the exhibition
was emploved
as a sitefor programmed
discussions,
events,and performanc"s.tot
Although"Utopiastation"emphasized
processoverproduct,onlya reldurational
ativelysymbolicrelational
proposition
was created.The exhibition
spacesymbolized
a
collective
dimension
for art as a socialized
and openwork,with participation
conceived
of as taking part in a processof evaluationratherthan activation.More interestinqin

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

byMollyNesbit,
seating
design
for"Utopia
Station,"
co-curated
HansUlrich
3.11 LiamGillick's
2003,curated
by Francesco
50thVeniceBiennale,
Bonami.
Obrist,andRirkntTiravanija,
Courtesy
of theSerpentine
Gallery.
projectsthathavetranscended
thisrespect,though,havebeenthe numberof curatorial
participation
primary
meansof
withthe exhibition
form.This shiftrepthe eventas the
resentsa key developmentin curatorialpracticeof the past twentyyears,wherebya
process-oriented,
viewof exhibitions
was manifested
cooperative,
discussion-based
by
curatorsemergingin the '1990s,a timewhencurators
a newgeneration
of performative
and artistsworkedtogethercloselyon projectsand adoptedactivitiesthat were tradiwitheachother'sapproachwithintheirspecificfieldsof inquiry.
tionallyassociated
practicebecameperformative
and offereda new paradigm
In the 1990s,curatorial
newformatsof collective
culturalaction,and greateremphasison
for experimentalism,
withinthe contemporary
atl field.The newlyascendantdiscourseof
self-organization
and multiplydistributed
discursivity
that resulted
curatingbroughtwith it an intensified
in dialogicalapproachesto exhibitionproduction.For example,when Maria Lind
curated"What lf: Art on the Verge of Architectureand Design"(2000)at the Moderna
as a "filter"through
Museetin Stockholm,she invitedartistLiamGillickto participate
whichthe artworkswouldtakeshapein the designand layoutof the exhibition.
As with
a numberof otherexamples,including"NowHere"and the later"UtopiaStation,"the

C H APT ER

delegating
of installation
decisionsto an artistproduceda dynamicwithinthe exhibition
that mightnot havebeenpossiblehadthe curatorworkedalone.'o'Gillickdescribeshis
rolewithinLind'sexhibition:
Oneof the mainthingsthatI didwasto maketheexhibition
nondemocratic
in termsof
possibly
quite
space,becausethereis usuallyan assumption,
correctly
for historical
reasons,
in termsof thedistribution
thatoneshouldbe somewhat
democratic
of space
to artistswithinan institution,
andif not,onlywhenit is entirely
appropriate
to Whatthe
(a)Youtryto be equaland(b)Youtryto be appropriate
workrequires:
to thework.'ot
Gillicksuggeststhathis"filter"rolewas onlypossiblebecausehe was notthe main
curatorof the exhibition;havingbeen giventhis ancillaryposition,he could behave
more as a disruptiveartisticagent.His acknowledged
contribution
was the exhibition
designas an artwork,whichincludedlighting,layout,and decidingon the finalplacementof the worksselectedby Lind.t'o
"Whatlf" addressedthe link betweenart, architecture,
and designby employing
the exhibitionspace as the site of production,in which many of the artworkswere
broughttogetherto createa specificphysicalenvironment.
Worksbecameutilityobjects
br furnitureand formeda divisionof areasintothoseset asidefor discussions.
evenrs.

3.12 "Whatlf: Art on the Vergeof Architecture


and Design,"curatedby MariaLind,Moderna
Museet,Stockholm,
2000.Courtesvof MariaLind.

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

or just hangingout."' Lind describesthis as an experimentin how to put togetheran


processesand established
structures
the communication
whilequestioning
exhibition,
to eachartist'svestedinterest
of exchange.Whilethe exhibitionremainedresponsive
remit,Lind'stacticof invitingGillickto providea nondemocratic,
in the cross-disciplinary
spatialarrangementof other artists'work effectivelydistancedher from
interruptive
tasksshe normallywouldhavecarriedout as curator'
the failureof
LikeLind,manycuratorsoverthe pastten yearshaveacknowledged
when such exhibitions
the singly authoredmodel of exhibitionmaking,particularly
ln
demanda greaterlevelof accessto a widernetworkof artisticand culturalpractices.
pooling
group
work
and
a
merits
of
the
exhibiting,
model
of
orderto sustainan inclusive
modelsof
themselvesin morecollective
of knowledgeand resourceshavemanifested
curating,whichalso stretchout overtime beyondthe limitsof the hermeticexhibition.
expressionof a strategyfor the productionof
Curatingis seen as the performative
exposing,and
as a compulsory,
the exhibition
meaningand being,conjuredthroughout
of norms
practiced la JudithButler-as the embodyingand dissimulation
approximate
that is neverfullydetermined.
as a forcibleproduction
A recentexampleof this way of workingis EastsideProjectsin Birmingham.
withartistsRuthClaxtonand
Foundedby gallerydirectorGavinWade,in collaboration
EastSimonand Tom Bloor,designerJamesLangdon,and architectC6lineCondorelli,
side Projectswas conceivedas an "artistrun spaceas publicgalleryand incubatorof
was called"Thisls the Galteryand the
ideasand forms."The 2008inauguralexhibition
transmutative,
and evolving
for
an
expansive,
title
Galleryls Many Things"-an apt
sitesof tangled
the spaceand its programas equallyconsidered
projectthatintertwined
Takingits titlefrom Bart de Baere's"Thisls the Show and the Show ls
coproduction.
principle
was thatit mirroredthe
maincuratorial
(19g4),"'the exhibition's
ManyThings,,
production
processes
and formaof
exhibition
potentiality
in
the
inherent
transformative
the Eastsideprogram.
tion,whichunderwrites
and socialized
De Baere'sexhibiiionis a good exampleof the more "relational"
which
the curator
calling
for,
in
to
be
appear
Groys
Rogoff,
and
that
he,
counterstrategy
evolving
an
exhibitionby
experience
resiststhe exhibitionas a closed-offevent-oriented
Described
at
betweenworks,aftists,and viewers.
makingprocessthroughconversations
a museum
thetimeby onecriticas "a fun palace,a rumpusroom,a discountwarehouse,
the
marvelous
and
the inconof
and a Wunder-Kabinett
withoutwalls,a wasteland
[sic]
adapted,
made,
remade,
unmade,
were
artworks
manyof the exhibition's
sequential,""t
encounters,
and alteredby artistsand galleryvisitors,akinto a seriesof conversattonal
The gallery,as muchaSthe resultant
sentences.""o
gestures,
or "unfinished
incomplete
form,was alwaysseeminglyunderconstruction-inits makingand its recepexhibition
whichdemandedthatviewersworkthings
confusion,
tion.Therewas alsoan intentional
as to what was completed
withoutany labelsor clearexplanation
out for themselves,
or to wherethe gallerybeganand ended.Although
andwhatremainedunderproduction

C H APT ER

the showmayhaveintended
to resistthe ideaof any reconcilable
or fixedauthorial
roles
(for afiists or curator),the overarching"processual"
structureevidentlyprovideda certain overlyvisiblesign structurethroughwhich the artworkscould be read, interacted
with,or affectedby the visitor.This appearsto be the unavoidable
attributionfor curatorshipas a whole.
In the caseof "Thisls the Galleryand the Galleryls ManyThings,,,
boththe show
and the galleryopenedwithan emptyspaceand evolved,overa nine-week
perjod,into
multipleexhibition
formsand momentsof publicdisplay,all of whichwerephotographed
by commissioned
artiststuartwhipps and shownon the gallery'sweb site.Although
therewas no singleoverarching
theme,the exhibition
was reconfigured
throughoutits
duration,makingmyriadconnections
betweenobjectsand establishing
new configurations-artworks were added,taken away,displaced,repositioned-tocreatea continuous meshof freshrelationships
juxtapositions.
and meaningful
EastsideProjectsis representative
of the recenttrendfor durationalexhibitionprojects,whichhaveincludedinstitutions
and parainstitutes.
OtherexamplesincludeMaria
program
Lind's
of activitiesat KunstvereinMunich(2001-2004),Grantwatson,stenure
at ProjectArtscentre,Dublin(2001-2006),
artistJeannevan Heeswijk's
four-yearprolecI The Blue House, ljburg (2005-2009),and ongoing projectsat GrizedaleArts in
cumbria (since1999),Homeworksin Beirut(since2002),and, in particular,
Annie

3.13 "Thjsls the Galleryandthe Galleryls ManyThings,"curatedby Gavinwade, Eastside


Projects,Birmingham,
2008.Courtesyof Eastsideprojects.

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

rc-r

Bergholtz's
nomadic"lf I Can'tDanceI Don'tWantto Be Part
Fletcherand Frederique
which comprisesepisodicexhibitions,performanceprograms,
of Your Revolution,"
screenings,
and discussioneventsthat continueto unfoldover time, establishing
an
the exhibition
as a temporalevent.
accumulative
approachthatelongates
As a whole,theseprojectsare representative
of durational
and evolutionary
curatorialendeavorsthat are discursively
stretchedout overtime.They advocatea formof
them,and employingthe
analysisthroughdoing,makingthingsappearby performing
momentas a researchtoolfor furtherinvestigation
exhibition
and discourseproduction.
The projectsconfigurethe practiceof curatorialresearchas part of an evolving,epinetworkthatemploysmultiple
sodic,discursive,
and perpetually
unfolding
collaborative
agencres.
We mightsay thatcuratorship
has becomenormalized
or reacheda certainhegemonicposition.The rhetoricmentioned
above,thatof duration,accumulation,
nonplan,
portability,
multiplicity,
temporality,
and flexibility,
is a demonstration
of curatorial
confidence,enablingcuratorsto withstandquestioning,
uncertainty,
and change.This is not
to say that curatorsare beyondcriticismbut ratherthat they are no longerso worried
and are now, in fact,ableto takefor grantedtheirbeinga site of
aboutself-definition
practiceand discontradiction,
and conflict.This mightbe a signof curatorial
diversity,
withinthe contemporary
fieldof culturalproduction,
coursebecomingestablished
but it
mightalsosignalthe reinvention
of curatorship
by a new generation
uninterested
in the
ideaof the closed-off,
model.
event-based,
singlycuratedexhibition
Antagonismto the New Curatorship
As alreadystated,the fact that curatorship
has achieveda normalized,
or integrated,
positionwithinconiemporary
art production
and discoursedoesnot meanthatit is withIndeed,it might be expectedthat these changesin reputational
out its discontents.
economiesduringa discursiveshiftof emphasisfromthe figureof the artistto that of
the curatorwouldbe perceivedby some as a mistakeor as somethingdetrimental
to
contemporaryart.
betweenthe once-disparate
Despitethe obviousconflationsand convergences
rolesof artistand curatorand the many projectsthat have questionedthe curatorial
frameworksinceJonathanWatkins'spolemicwas publishedin 1987,resistance
to the
formulationremainsactivetoday.Writingfor his regularcolumnin
curator-as-aftist
frieze in 2005, curator Robert Storr expressedhis concern about the notion of the
curator-as-artist
by refusingto call curatinga medium, since that "automatically
point
the
to those who will elevatecuratorsto the status criticshave
concede[s]
process.""uLike Watkinsbeforehim, Storralso
achievedthroughthe 'auteurization'
in OscarWilde,againignoring
situatesthe originsof the idea of the curator-as-artist
analysis.Storrnonetheless
revivesFoucault'swarningthat "the
any poststructuralist

C H APT ER

task of criticismis not to bringout the work'srelationship


withthe author,nor to reconbut ratherto analyzethe workthrough
structthroughthe text a thoughtor experience,
its structure,its architecture,its intrinsicform,and the play of its internalrelationships,"
as well as considering
the relationship
of each author'swork to both his or her own
widerbodyof workand to thatof otherauthorsworkingwithinany fieldof discourse.ttu
As a curator-criticwritingfor an aft magazine,Storr'sconclusiveresponse-"I do not
thinkthat curatorsare artists.And if they insist,thenthey will ultimately
be judgedbad
curatorsas well as bad artists""t-reinstatesthe artisVcurator
divide.Incidentally,
contraryto Foucault'sthesis,Storr'sresponsealso aims to returnthe powerof judgmentto
withhim,he echoedhis previous
the critic-suchas Storrhimself.In my 2005interview
position,statingthat "[the]curatoras auteuris anotherversionof the ideathat the curator is an adist,and that what we're more interestedin is the thoughtof the curatorin
relationto somethingmorethanwe'reinterested
in the worksand theirrelationto each
other,and l'm prettymuchtryingto avoidthis ideaas muchas I can.""'
lmplicitin Storr'sdismissalof curatingas a modeof authorshipis a rejectionof the
idea of exhibitionsas mediatedtexts. Such texts (after Bafthes)constitutea "multidimensional
space"tt'in whicha varietyof "theological"
meaningsand messagesare
bonveyed,passedon, and openlyavailableto the reader,the viewer,the translator.For
Storr,the notionof the exhibitionas text,and of the curatoras its author,is eitherabsent
from or "beneaththe work in question."As Barthesmighthaveput it, Storr'sresponseis
"to imposea limiton that text,to furnishit with a finalsignified,to closethe writing"-and
"whenthe Authorhas beenfound,the text is 'explained'-victoryto the critic."''o
Storr's rejectionof the idea of curatingas havingany authorialagency restricts
curatorshipto the selectionand showingof artworksthat somehowrevealthemselves
entirelyat the pointof theirindividualencounter.
This viewpointappearsto suppoda
narrowunderstandingof the parametersof contemporarycuratorialand artisticpractice, which may stem from his careeras a curatorat MoMA from the late 1980s until
2OO5.t"Evidenceof a restrictedunderstanding
of what constitutedthe roleof the curator is apparentin his portrayalof this experience:"l think actuallyat the Modern,
they did not wantto use 'curate'as a verb;they
becauseof theireditorialpossibilities,
wantedto use 'curator'as a nounonly.. . . And I thinkthereis some importantdistinction becausecuratorsare essentiallyresponsiblefor collections,whereasmakingan
exhibitionmay or may not draw on a collectionbut it isn'tthe same activity."t"Perhaps
Storr's positionis overly informedby an experienceof curatorshipconfinedto the
museumcontext,but it seems nrore likelyto be a kind of nostalgiafor the perceived
certaintyof the fixed divisionof labor betweenartist,curator,and critic.Eitherway, it
showsan inabilityto eithergraspor acceptthe diversityof curatorialpracticesthat have
emergedbeyondthe museumstructuresinceas earlyas the 1960s.Storr'sargument
againstthe curator-as-aftist
doesnotallowfor the simultaneity,
convolution,
or embodiment of today'scurator-artist;
nor does it allow for the inversionof the art-as-curating

Qurating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

initiatives.
artisticprojectsassumingthe guiseof curatorial
equaiion,for postconceptual
Storr'spositionpermitslittleinsightinto hybridprojectssuch as "do it" (as a late conArt
ceptualartwork);"BlownAway:The SixthCaribbeanBiennial"(as a performance);
project/art
and,
shop/bookshop/gallery
Metropote,by General ldea (as a curatorial
most importantly,an evolvingartwork);ReenaSpaulding'sFineArt (a realcommercial
the
galleryin NewYorkas an afiworkbasedon a workof fictionby an artists'collective,
such
as
numerous
artist-museums
2005);
the
in
established
BernadetteCorporation,
Art
or
artist
Museumof Contemporary
Tadej Pogada/sP.A.R.A.S.l.T.E.
artist-curator
and metafictionalart
Goran Djordjevic'sMuseum of AmericanArt (a parainstitution
artistAntonVidokleand curatorTirdadZolghadr'sMadrid Trial(as discurinstallation);
film by Hila Peleg,
and backdropfor a documentary
sive aftwork,publicperformance,
program,
year-long
(as
artwork,
discussion
2007), and Vidokle'sunitednationsplaza
model,2007)."3
and a school-as-exhibition
Regardlessof the recentprevalenceof such hybridcuratorialproiects,Storr'sposiandthe curator
tionis notan isolatedone.The critic(andsometimecurator)lritRogoff''o
events,mobilizingdifferent
Bart de Baere claimedin 1998 that, as identity-staging
curatorialprojectstoo often employ"curatorialstratemodesof audienceparticipation,
in the guiseof
in the exhibition
theirmodeof parlicipation
giesihat dictateto audiences
theyl
work
to
achievepreinstead
experience-fbut
a
cultural
of
a democraticization
possibilities
for a self-articulation"'2u
on the partof
ciselythe opposite-theycloseoffthe
their audiences.Rogoff'sissue with curatorialprojectsthat involveinstructiveviewer
thatsustainthem.
assumptions
parlicipation
is notwiththeireffectbutwiththe curatorial
cultural
institutions
by giving
"processes
of
democratizing
the
Suchassumptions-about
the materialsof everyday
taskto carryout and involving
audiencessome mechanical
etc'"-Rogoff
anonymousphotographs,
life; old clothes,chewedgum, newspapers,
themclaims,ensurethat littleattentionis paidto the powerbasesof the institutions
legitimate
whereas
the
potentiality
voice;
of
their
to
the
selves,io audienceneeds,and
"galvanised
to
aci
out
familiar,popular,and everydaynatureof the materialexhibitedis
somefantasyof democracyin action."''"Sucha perspectivewas echoedten yearslater,
in BorisGroys'sratherlazyassessmentthat curatorsruinart and its experiencein some
degradingway:"Thecurator'SeverymediationiSSuspect:he is seenas someoneStandthe viewer'sperception
manipulating
ing betweenthe artworkand its viewer,insidiously
the public."
withthe intentof disempowering
(a curatorsincethe late1990sand nowdirector
in 2003AlexFarquharson
Similarly,
questioned
exhibitionsthat foregroundtheir own sign
of NottinghamContemporary)
structure,and thus risk,in his words,"usingart and artistsas so manyconstituentfibers
or piecesof syntaxsubsumedby the identityof the whole"curatorialendeavor.'" He
arguedthat we are more likelyto rememberwho curated"UtopiaStation"than which
"UtopiaStation"soughtto operateoutside
artiststook part.Whateverits shortcomings,
the conventionaldistinctionsbetween curator and artist. That Farquharsondid not

C H APT EB

a projectby AntonVidokle,Berlin,2006.Courtesyof AntonVidokle.


3.14 unitednationsplaza,

3.15 MariaLindin Madrid Trial,by AntonVidokleand Tirdad


Zolghadr,stillfrom a film by Hila Peleg,2007.Courtesyof united
nationsplazastudios.

Curatingas a Mediumof ArtisticPractice

125

that RirkritTiravanija,an artist,


understandthis can be seen in his failureto acknowledge
projectssuchas Obrist's"do it" and "TakeMe
was one of the curators.For Farquharson,
(Kunst-Werke
"A LittleBit of HistoryRepeated"
Berlin,2001)
(l'mYours)"or Hoffmann's
of
the
curators'conceptual
resultin a relegationof artiststo the statusof mere envoys
premises,whichleadsto curatorialconceitacquiringthe statusof quasi-artwork.''n
Thosevoicingthis commonopinionseem to yearnfor the primacyof the cultural
valueof the arlistoverthatof the curator,a positionthat is certainlyrootedin a convenof artistand curator.Yet many
tional,explicit,and rigiddivisionbetweenthe activities
have been expressedagainstthis opinion.As writerGertrudSandqvist
reservations
the identityof the artistor the curator.
shouldnot reinforce
warns,the curatedexhibition
For her,thereis a dangerthat curatorscan becomemereagentsfor an artistor group
as a kindof trademark"
on behalf
of artistsandthatartistsand curalors"riskfunctioning
(andthe curatedexhibition)
curatorship
of eachother.Instead,she proposesregarding
positionsin the processof art-circulation."
Accordas "oneof the rare,moreintellectual
point,or a producerof meaning"in the
ingly,she callsthe exhibition"a condensation
form of a specifictext throughwhich"the contextat once createsand destroysthe prothe purposeof each curatedexhibition
ductionof meaning."In such circumstances,
may weltbe at oddswiththe art marketand,quitepossibly,alsoat oddswiththe purposesof the artistsinvolved.tto
for the antagonism
thathas beenongoing
According
to MariaLind,one explanation
shiftof interestin favorof the curator,whichhas
sincethe 1990shasbeenthe perceived
that have continuedto defendthe autonomyof the arlistic
resultedin counterpolemics
position.She claimsthat it is oftenargued(againechoingAdorno)that manycuratorial
projectspreventartistsfrom realizingtheir "true potential."Thus, attemptsto prioritize
of a givenprojectareseenas havingquiteseriousimplications
component
the curatorial
for the status,and perceivedroles,of art and artists.'"'Lind claimsthai she is "very
influencedby arlisticpractice,"and that "so many of [her]ideasand many of the methods [sheuses]comefrom lookingat artworkand talkingto artists."Yct whileshe under-lines that "the startingpoint is art itself,the artworksthemselves," Lind also makes
clearthat total reverencefor the artistas the sole creativeforce behindaft, in whichthe
work of art is put forwardas the resultof autonomousproduction,carriesits own probthat is undoneby
of arl as havingcreativepotentiality
lematic.For her,an understanding
closeto the ideaof art as an isolatedactivity,
seemssuspiciously
curatorialintervention
detachedf romthe restof our existence.This notionof art is also likelyto conceala belief
in the idea of the curatoras a "pure provider"of supportfor artists,wherebycuratorial
or its reception.'""
For her part,
artisticproduction,
activitydoesnot affectthe exhibition,
curatorialpositionthat combines"the roleof the provider,
Lind proposesa hybridized
aft, as muchas possibleon the
for producingand exhibiting
who createspossibilities
Harald
auteur,"who thinksand
with
as
Szeemannian
terms,"
the
creator
own
artists'
culture."'ta
She statesthat the
and contemporary
feelsthrough,who digests,historical

C H APT EF

providerrole "is often procreative,in the sense of helpingto produceand exhibitnew


work withoutother artistsand the works beingtoo close,,,whereasthe positionof the
creator"discernspatternsand posesquestions,makessuggestionsand strivesto make
exhibitionsmore than the sum of their parts."ttuFor Lind, the exhibitionoffers one of
many momentarysites of discussionbetweenthose involvedand their audiences;the
exhibitionis "a statementor a questionwhichis meantto be a culturalconversation.,,t'u
Here,Lindis in agreementwith ReesaGreenberg'sdescriptionof exhibitionsas idiscursive events"tttthat conlurea processualsite of performativity
for all thoseinvolved.
The resistanceof Storr,Farquharson,
and othersto performativecuratingdemonstratesthe ongoingtensionaroundwhat actuallydistinguishes
the workof the curator
from that of the artist.This is not simplya questionol what this distinction
is, but of
whetherit is the rightdistinctionto make.The briefestglanceat some of the statements
madeby a generationof curatorsto haveemergedin the 1990sdemonstrates
the ways
in whichtheirunderstanding
of curatorship
differsradicallyfromthe conventional
view
found,for example,in Storr.Againstthe historicalidea of the curatoras one who looks
aftera collection,
the viewsof this new generation
are firmlygroundedin an emergenr
viewof curatingas creativeauthorship
and discursive
coproduction.
Many curatorshave also supportedthe idea of curatingas a mode of aftisticproduction.For example,artistand curatorGavinwade statedthat,for him, the only distinctionbetweenartist and curator is that "the artist and the art are primaryand the
notionof curatingand being a curatorhas to be secondary,and so it always comes
down to the fact that reallyyou'rean artistand it's art, that the role of the curatorls to
makeart."tttFroma traditionalperspective,
thls wouldseemto be a contradictory
statement,but it becameorthodoxyin curatorialcircles,makingthe distinctionbetweenartist
and curatorinconsequential,
uninteresting,
and no longerclearlyapplicable.
It should be emphasizedthat the new curatorialrhetoricis in no way unifiedbut
rather markedby its diversityand only connectedby a set of family resemblances.
Amongcontemporary
curatorsformulatingcuratorshipand its relationto culturalproduction in otherways,NicolasBourriaudassertsthat curatingis pa1 of the technical,,vocabulary" used to author exhibitionsthat, in themselves,result in forms of materialized
"language."ttn
For Nicolausschafhausen,ail exhibitionsinvolvesomedegreeof ,,curatorial authorship"because"curatorialpracticehas nothingto do with democracy,,
in terms
of how art getsselectedor displayed,regardlessof the extentto whichthe activityof the
curatoris prioritized
in the resultingexhibition.lao
schafhausen
goes on to makea distinctionbetweenthe authorshipof an exhibition,on the one hand,and beingan ar.tistor
curatoron the other.For him,"a curatoris not an artist,but curatingis an artisticproduction;it's like beinga director,but this does not meanthat you are usingthe individual
artists."to'Likewise,for curator Eric Troncy there is always a two-way arrangement
betweenthe curatorand the artistin whichthe work of the artistand the curatoroperate
on equalcreativeterms with one another.He describesthe "seriouswork of a curato/,

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

as beingthat of having"unexpectedideas"and of "propos[ing]a temporaryexperience


of aft that doesnot explainwhatthe artworksare, but triesto be at the same levelas the
artworksthemselves."to'
projectsis howfinethe lineis betweenthe work
Evidentin Troncy'sown exhibition
of ar1and the workof the curator.Worksare oftenforcedto sit withone another,on top
methodology
thatprioritizes
intoan overarching
a single
of one another,and integrated
that beginto definea storywith
components
form,made up of overlapping
exhibition
(Le Magasin,GrenoDifferent"
one another.In his trilogyof exhibitions-"Dramatically
(Galeriefur Zeitgenossische
Kunst,Leipzig,1998),
ble, 1997),"WeatherEverything"
(CollectionLambert,Avignon,2003)-the statusof the curatoras
and "Coollustre"
as a
auteurwas exploredby askingquestionsin relationto the notionof an exhibition
autonomy
limitations
of
the
of
the
art
object
in
spacein itself,whichtestedsomeof the
artworksof similarform
relationto the whole.For example,in "WeatherEverything,"
and stylecohabitedwithone another,with LiamGillick,SarahMorris,and Dan Graham
Different"works literallyintersected
with
occupyingone room,while in "Dramatically
(1966-1
997)as the backone another,withone roomhavingWarhol'sCow Wallpaper
groundto a coupleof Alan S6chaspaintingsand the visualbackdropto PaulMcCar(1994),anotherroom similarlyemployingLily van der
thy's TomatoHead installation
and so on.
wallpaperas the surfaceon whichhungAllanMcCollumpaintings,
Stokker's
from
one
another,
the overAlthoughworksretainan integraldegreeof separateness
as a singleform,madeup of fragmentsthat havebeen
ridingsenseis of the exhibition
Althoughthere
betweenthe curatorand artist(s).
broughttogetherthroughnegotiation
whichbecamemoreand moreobvious
aesthetic,
was a heightened
senseof exhibition
acrossthe three exhibitionplatforms,the limitsof what was permittedor allowedto
position.
rangthroughas the curatorial
affectthe artworkand theirjuxtaposition
of ExhibitionMaking
The Emergenceof a DialogicalUnderstanding
havethe potentialto activatediscurRatherthan textswaitingto be read,exhibitions
betweencurators,aftists,
sive processesthat enabledialogicalspacesof negotiation
and theirpublics.Such an approachto exhibitionmakingis durational-inthe sense
the exhibithat evolveovertime,they do not prioritize
exhibitions"
that,as "discursive
tion-eventas the one-offmomentof display,or its eventas exhibition.Instead,they
processes
interruption,
and possibilcumulative
of engagement,
allowfor open-ended,
view of exhibitionswas
discussion-based
ity. This cooperative,process-oriented,
of curatorsemergingin the 1990s,whencuratorsand artformedby a new generation
istsstarledworkingcloselywith one anotheron projects,as wellas adoptingactivities
associatedwith each other'sapproacheswithintheir specific
that were traditionally
that framingthe
arose on the understanding
fieldsof inquiry.These collaborations
provider
(and,
therefore,
invisible)only
curator'srole as somethingakin to a neutral

C H APT ER

reinforceda modernistmyth that artistswork alone,their practiceunaffectedby those


with whom they work. At the same time, artisticand curatorialpracticeconvergedin a
varietyof projectsthat soughtto underminethe assumptionthat the productionof art,
its reception,and its meaningscouldever occurwithoutexternaladvice,suggestion,
curators,critics,and productionpartners.'o'
from "procreative"
and intervention
production
to exhibition
are
pedagogical,'oo
approaches
and dialogical
Discursive,
becomingmoreprevalent,with curatorstendingto work closelywith aftistson an aspect
of the overallexhibitionschema(as determinedby the curator)or on longercoproducexhibitionshave tended to
tions. As curatorialwork has become more collaborative,
participation
practitioners
acrossculturalfieldsof
to
involve
and
art
includenonspecialist
To curateis no longerconfinedto a specificmuseumor galleryprogramor to the
inquiry.
acts of selecting,organizing,and displayingonly art. In the contextof more recentprojects,the triangularnetworkof afiist,curator,and audienceis replacedby a spectrumof
of art's authorship,
as
potentialinterrelationships.
Such a shift in the understanding
that art is not producedin
acknowledges
somethingbeyondthe handof an individual,
isolationand that it shouldnot be understoodas beingautonomousfrom the restof life.
spatialmedium,resultingfrom varyingformsof negotiaExhibitionsare a coproductive,
adaptation,and collaborationbetweensubjectsand objects,across
tion, relationality,
spaceand time. ln somecases,the curatorialframeworkand its structuralcontestations
form.
are mademoremanifestthanotherswithinthefinalexhibition
Contemporarycuratorialpracticehas become a key componentwithin art disof the creativeand semiaucourse.which.sincethe 1990s,has madethe formulation
positionpossible.Forthoseunwilling
to acceptthe provisionmade
tonomouscuratorial
culturalfieldof production,
critical
for the figureof the curatorwithinthe reconfigured
in which
antagonism,
at the levelof an oversimplified
responsehas been maintained
the practicesof artistand curatorare kept separatefrom one another.For those (artists
or curators)who have acceptedcuratingas anothermediumof artisticproduction,the
groupexhibition
positionhas beenachievedthroughthe multifarious
creativecuratorial
modelsthat have been used as a meansof contestingthe criticaland aestheticautonomv of art and the mediationof artisticvalue.

Curating as a Medium of Artistic Practice

NOTES

Introduction
1. Theterm"exhibition"
is usedthroughout
thisbookto implya temporary
spacefor publicpresentation withinwhichan overarching
curatorialframeworkis providedas a meansof bringingtogethera
numberof artists,with the curatoras the agentresponsible
for the selectionof theseanistsand/or
theirworks.(Thus,it assumesa groupor collectiveexhibition
as opposedto a solo,monographic,
or
surveyexhibition
of the workof an individual
artist.)
2. For a chronoiogy
of the final-yearexhibitions
at Le Magasrnbetween1987and 2006,see Yves
(Grenoble:
Aupetitallot,
ed.,Le Magasin1986-2006
Le Magasin;
Zurich:JRP Ringier,
2006),1Sg-244.
3. The ISPwasfoundedin 1968,the otheroptionwithinit beinglhe StudioProgram.Everyyearsince
1987,aroundten studentshavebeenselectedfor the Curatorial
and CriticalStudiesProgram,halfof
whomare admittedunderthe curatonalstrand.Fora reviewof the WhitneyISP'shistory,see Howard
"ln Theoryand Practice:A Historyof the WhitneyIndependent
Singerman,
StudyProgram,"
Artforum
42, no.10 (February
2004\,112-117,170-171.
"A BriefHistoryof lSP,"in Gutterman,
4. RonClarkcitedin ScottGutlerman,
ed.,Independent
Study
Program:25 Years(NewYork:WhitneyMuseumof AmericanArt, 1993),25. This publication
also
provides
a chronology
ol the ISPbetween1968and 1993,witha listof the alumnigraduating
during
thisperiod.
5. For Habermas,participantsin any discourseare always"real human beingsdriven by other
motivesin additionto the one permittedmotiveof the searchfor truth.Topicsand contributions
have
to be organized."
The organization
of individual
ofteninvolvesthe arrangement
contributions
andcontrollingof the opening,
adjournment,
and resumption
of discussion,
whichmustbe orderedin sucha
way as to "sufficiently
neutralizeempiricallimitations"
and any avoidable"internaland externalinterference,"so that the idealizedconditionsare "alwaysalreadypresupposed
by panicipantsin argumentationlthat] can at least be approximated."
Jurgen Habermas,Moral Consciousness
and
Communicative
Action,trans.ChristianLenhardtand ShierryWeberNicholsen(Cambridge,
Mass.:
MITPress,1990),92.

vol 2 of
of Language,
,,discourse"
is describedin Ralphw. Fasold,The sociolinguistics
6. The term
and Adam
coupland
Nikolas
also
see
65'
1990),
Blackwell,
(oxford:
to sociolinguistics
lntroduction
1999).My bookconsiders"theconstrucReader(London:Routledge,
Jaworski,eds.,Ihe Discourse
andthe
areasof knowledge
discourse
written
or
linl structuring
tiveanddynamicroleof eitherspoken
art andcurating.see chriscontemporary
with"
associated
are
practices
which
institutional
socialand
andBengtNord,.Genera|
PerLine|I,
Gunnarsson,
in Britt-Louise
Preface,,,
Editor,s
tooherN. Cand|in,
ix'
1
997)'
Longman'
(London:
Discourse
of
Professional
berg,eds.,TheConstruction
90. See also .
of Knowtedge(1972;London:Rout|edge,2003)'
7. MichelFoucault,The Archaeology
90-131,
to Hans Ulrichobrist, lnterviews'ed'
g. see MichaelDiers,"lnfiniteconversation,"introduction
ThomasBoutoux,vol. 1 (Milan:Charta'2003)'
.,Network:
The Art WorldDescribedas a System,''Artforum(December
9. See LawrenceA||oway,
1 97 2\,3 1.
Fallacy,"sewaneeBevlew54 (1946)'
and w. K. wimsatt's"TheIntentional
10. ln MonroeBeardsley
not liewiththe author'sintention'
does
work
literary
a
of
meaning
the
468-488,the autnorsarguethat
of evidence:
on threecategories
draw
can
a
text
of
interpretation
critical
the
that
suggest
they
Instead
"External
fact;
of
matter
as
a
work
the
of
,,lnternal
form
and
whichis presentin the content
Evidence,"
pub|ications
aboutthe
in
other
made
Statements
as
such
work,
to
the
is
externa|
which
Evidence,,,
,,Contextual
whichconcernsthe meaningderivedfromthe panicularwork'srelaEvidence,"
work:and
tionshipto otherworksby the sameauthor"
whilea numberof hisand cross-generational;
transcultural,
are International,
11. The interviewees
as Briano'Doherty
such
or
artists
siegelaub
toricalfiguresfromwithinthe field-such as curatorseth
projectsfromthe late
in
key
involvement
their
about
interviewed
been
and Lawrenceweiner-have
realizedcuratorialprojectsin
1960s,the principaltocus has been on those individualswho have
as a methodof gather
interview
audio
the
of
Europeand/orNonhAmericasince1987.The technique
to recentart
approaches
scholarly
merit-within
inherent
its
own
has
accounts
historical
ingevidential
times'
events'
cultural
understanding
for
history,socialscience,and culturalstudies-as a vehicle
The
otherwise
documented
or
effectively
again
experienced
be
and placesthat cannot
exhibitions,
citedthroughout'
been
have
project
and
to
this
provide
foundation
the
recordedinterviews
"co&co&co: co-produc12. see catherineQu6loz,Lilianeschneiter,and Alicevergara'Bastiand,
188'
1986-2006'
Magasin
Le
Aupetitallol,
in
Co-llaboration,"
tion.Co-operation,
Ihe Power of Display:A History of Exhibitionlnstallationsat the
staniszewski,
Anne
13. Mary
Mass: MIT Press'1998)'xxi'
Museumof ModernArf (Cambridge,
An
contemporary
of International
14. MichaelBrenson,"Thecurator'sMoment:Trendsin the Field
Art Journat57, no.4 (Winter1998),16'
Exhibitions,"
of Knowledge,9O
TheArchaeology
15. Foucault,
lThe Emer genc eof c ur at or ia|Dis c our s ef r o m t h e L a t e l 9 6 0 s t o t h e P r e s e n t
An Interviewwith AndreaFraser
1. ArtistAndreaFraser,quotedin stuart comer, "Arl MustHang:
ed',Aftetthought:New writing
sperlinger,
Mike
in
Program,"
study
Independent
aboutthe whitney
2OO5)'32
Arf (London:Rachmaninoff,
on Conceptual
Suhrkamp,1974);in Eng|ishaS PeterBurger,
(Frankfurt:
2' Pele| Birger, Theorieder Avantgarde
Universityof MinnesotaPress'
(Minneapolis:
Shaw
Michael
tfans.
Avant-Garde,
the
of
The Theory
19 84 \.22 . s eeals oG r egor s t em m r ic h, "He t e r o t o p i a s o f t h e c i n e m a t o g r a p h i c : l n s t i t u t i o n a l c r i t i q u e

132

Notes to Pages 3-10

and Cinemain the Art of MichaelAsherand Dan Graham,"in AlexanderAlberroand SabethBuchmann,eds.,Aft afterConceptual
Art (Cambridge,
Mass.:MIT press,2006),137.
3. See Burger,Theorieder Avantgarde.
4. See both ClalreBishop,"lntroductron^y'iewers
as Producers,"
in Bishop,ed.,participation(Cambridge,Mass.:MITPressandWhitechapel,
2006),and RudolfFrieling,"TowardParticipation
in Art,',in
Frieling,ed., TheAri of Pafticipaflon
(London:Thamesand Hudson;San Francisco:
San Francisco
Museumof ModernArt,2008).
5. Fora detailedaccountof MarcelDuchamp,SalvadorDali,andAndr6Breton'sinvolvement
withthe
Surrealistexhibitions
of the 1930and 1940s,see LewisKachur,Displayingthe Marvetous:
Marcel
Duchamp,SalvadorDali,and Surrealist
Exhibitiontnstattations
(Cambridge,
Mass.:MIT press,2001).
6. see Georgsimmel'sessayfrom1903,"TheMetropolis
and MentalLife,"in GaryBridgeand sophie
watson,eds.,rhe Blackwellcity Reader(Malden,Mass.:Blackwell,
2001),11-19,or walter Benjamin'sTheArcadesProiect(Cambridge,
press,1999).
Mass.:BelknapPressof HarvardUniversity
7. see JudithBarry,"Dissenting
spaces,"in ReesaGreenberg,
BruceFerguson,
and sandy Nairne,
eds.,Thinking
aboutExhibitions
(London:Routledge,
i 996),31O.
8. ln 1924,whenKieslerdesignedthe "Exhibition
of NewTheaterTechnique"
at Konzerthaus.
Vienna.
he inventedthe "Legerand rragef' or "L" and "T" system,whichcreateda new languageof ,,form
composedof freestanding,
demountable
displayunitsof vefticaland horizontal
beamsthatsuoported
'vefticaland horizontal
panels."Citedin MaryAnneSlaniszewski,
rectangular
Thepowerof Display:A
Historyof Exhibitionlnstallations
at the Museumof ModernArt (Cambridge,Mass.:MIT press, 199g),
4. see alsoPaulo'Neill,"curating(u)topics,"
Art Monthly,no.272 (December-January
2o0j),7-1o.
9. See lreneCalderoni,
"CreatingShows:SomeNoteson Exhibition
Aesthetics
at the Endof the Sixties,"in Paulo'Neill,ed., curatingsubTecfs(London:open Editions;Amsterdam:De Appel,2007),
66. For detailedaccountsof theseearly avant-garde
exhibitions,
see BruceAltshuler.The AvantGardein Exhibition:New Aft in the 2OthCentury(NewYork:Abrams,1994);Staniszewski,Thepower
of Display;Brian o'Doherty,lnside the white cube: The ldeologyof the Galleryspace (Berkeley:
University
of California
Press,1999).At the veryend of the 1990s,publications
alsobeganto appear
that focusedon individualcuratorialinnovations
from the twentiethcentury,such as the exploration
intoMarcelDuchampandSalvadorDali'scuratorial
rolesin the Sunealistexhibitions
of the 1930sand
1940sin Kachut,Displayingthe Marvelous.Sybil GordonKanlor,Alfred H.Barr,Jr. and the Inteilectual originsof the Museumof ModernArt (cambridge,Mass.:Mlr press,2oo2),lookedat the role
playedby AlfredH. Ban in the foundations
of the Museumof ModernArt-part intellectual
biography,
part institutional
history;AlexanderAlberro,Conceptual
Art and the Politicsof pubticity(Cambridge,
Mass.:MIT Press,2003),focusedon Seth Siegelaub's
curatorialpracticeof the 1960s,and three
monographs
on HaraldSzeemannhavebeenpublished
sincehisdeath:Hans-JoachimMiJller,
Harald
Szeemann:
ExhibitionMaker(Ostfildern-Ruit:
HatjeCantz,2005);TobiaBezzolaand RomanKurzmeyer,Harald Szeemann:with by through becausetoward despite:Catatogueof Ail Exhibitions,
1957-2001(Vienna:SpringerVerlag,2007);and and FlorenceDerieux,HaratdSzeemann:
tndividuat
Methodology
(Zurich:JRP Ringier,2007).
10. SeeSabethBuchmann,
"Who'sAfraidof Exhibiting?,"
in SabineFolieand LiseLafer.eds..unExhibit(Vienna:GeneraliFoundation,
2O11),176-177.
11. SeeCalderoni,
"Creating
Shows,"
66-70.
12. Altshuler,TheAvant-Garde
in Exhibition,236.
13. The title represents
whatwas thenthe population
of Seattle,the city in whichthe exhibition
was
held.

Notes to Pages 10-1 4

E:-ir

133

appearedin Arlforum(November1969)and is citedhere


14. PeterPlagens'sreviewof "557,O87"
of the Art Obiect from 1966to 1972 (1973;
from Lucy R. Lippard,Six Years:The Dematerialization
whichtook placein variousvenuesat
of CaliforniaPress,1997),xiv. "557,087,"
Berkeley:University
the SeattleAn Museum'sWorld Fair Annex,includedcard catalogs,indexcards,and earthworks.
Many of the outdoorworkswere fabricatedor producedby Lippardherself,accordingto aftists'
This was determinedas much by economiclimitationsas by the curator'stheoretical
instruclions.
production.
approachto exhibition
15. Plagens,citedfromLippard,Sx Years,xv.
(Seattle:
16. Lucy Lippardcited in one of the 137 indexcardsfrom the catalog557,087/955,000
Art Gallery,1969,1970),cardsunpaginated.
Vancouver
SeattleArt Museum;Vancouver:
was usedby HaraldSzeemannto describe
maker,"as opposedto "curator,"
17. f he term"exhibition
his own practiceup unlil his deathin 2005.For a personalhistoricalreflectionon this period,see
RobertFleck,"TeachingCurating,"MJ-Manifesta Journalof ContemporaryCuratorship:Teaching
2004),18-21.
no. 4 (Autumn-Winter
Curatorship,
"AftePoveraArt Povera,"FlashAtt, no.5 (November-December
1967).
18. ln 1967,Celantpublished
Celant'stext also appearedin the catalogAfte Povera/lmSpazio(Genoa:La Bertesca/Masnata/Trenthe exhibition
of the samename.Theterm
in the sameyearto accompany
talance,1967),published
exhibition
andwas
"ArtePovera"or "PoorArt"wascoinedby Celantin thistextandthe accompanying
workingin ltalyduringthe late 1960sand
usedto describea broadgroupof artistspredominantly
MarioMerz,
Anselmo,
Alighiero
E. Boetti,LucianoFabro,JannisKounellis,
1970s,ihcluding
Giovanni
Pistoletto.
Celantidentified
among
Penone,
and Michelangelo
MarisaMerz,GiulioPaolini,
Giuseppe
these artiststhe frequentuse of "poor"ephemeralmaterials,includingboth organicand industrial
the relationships
betweenlifeandart.
matter,employedto investigate
on the careerhistoriesof PontusHult6nand WalterHopps,see "Pontus
19. For furlherinformation
ed. ThomasBoutoux,vol. 1 (Milan:
Hult6n''and "WalterHopps,"in Hans UlrichObrist,Interviews,
Charta,2003),450-466and411-430,respectively.
9 Mayto 15 June
20. At Kunsthalle
Bern,22Marchto 23 April1969;MuseumHausLange,Krefeld,
to 27 October1969.
Arts,London,28 September
1969;Institute
of Contemporary
1970,organized
withHansSohm.
Kunstverein,
21. At Kolnischner
NewYork,1969.
22. At SethSiegelaub
Gallery,
Museum,
Amsterdam,
1969.
23. At Stedelijk
Art,NewYork,1969
24. At WhitneyMuseumof American
25. At Museumof ModernArt,NewYork,1969.
1969.
Art Museum,
26. At Seattle
27. At Museumof ModernAd. NewYork.1970.
withcontemporary
curawasthe umbrellatitlefor a seriesof publicdiscussions
28. "TheProducers"
of Newcastle,
in GatesArt and the University
tors organizedby the BalticCentrefor Contemporary
were publishedas SusanHillerand Sarah
head,England,between2000and 2002.Thetranscripts
5 vols. (Gateshead:Baltic
Curatorsin Conversation,
Manin,eds., The Producers:Contemporary
2OOO-2OO2),The
Producers(1),
Art; Newcastle:Universityof Newcastle,
Centrefor Contemporary
and ClivePhillpotand MatthewHiggs;Ihe Pro2000,featuredJamesLingwoodand SuneNordgren,
ducers(2),2000, featuredGilaneTawadrosand Hans UlrichObrist,FrancesMorrisand Charles
featuredSharonKivland
TheProducers(3),2OO1,
Esche,and Guy Brettand DeannaPetherbridge;
and Adam Szymczyk,RalphRugoffand RichardGrayson,and Lisa Corrinand Jon Bewley;Ihe

134

Notes to Pages 14-1 6

Producers (4), 2001, featured Carolyn Christov-Bakargievand Liam Gillick, Ute Meta Bauer and Mark
Nash, and Jeremy Millar and Teresa Gleadowe; The Producers (5),2002, featured Andrew Renton
and Sacha Craddock, Jonathan Watkins and Laura Godfrey-lsaacs,and James Putman and Barbara
L On OOn .
29. Calderoni,"CreatingShows," 65.
30. For a more detailed analysis of these developments rn relationto these exhibitions,see ibid. lt is
worlh noting that, in 1973, Lucy Lippard began archiving and documenting many of these conceptual
art exhibitions, performances,occurrences, and publications in order to establish a history of these
events. See Lippard, Six Years.For a comprehensivechronology of these exhibitions,see also Susan
Jenkins, "lnformation, Communication, Documenlalion: An Introductionto the Chronology of Group
Exhibitionsand Bibliographies,"in Ann Goldstein and Anne Rorimer, eds., Reconslderingthe Object
of Art: 1965-1925 (Los Angeles: MoCA, 1996).
3 1 . Ca ld e r o n i,"Cr e a tin gSh o ws,"6 4 - 6 5 .
32. Tommaso Trini, "The ProdigalMaster'sTrilogy,"Domus, no.478 (September 1969), unpaginated.
33. Robert Barry, "lnterview with Patricia Norvell, 30 May 1969," in Alexander Alberro and Patricia
Norvell, eds., Recording Conceptual Aft (Berkeley:Universityof California Press, 2001), 97, italics in
o r ig in a l.
34. One of the earliest definitionsof "conceptualart" can be traced back to Henry Flynt's essay "Concept Art" from 1961, in which he stated that "Concept an is first of all an afi of which the material is
concepts, as e.9., the materialof music is sound. Since concepfs are closely bound up with language,
concept art is a kind of art of which the material is language." See Henry Flynt, "Concept Arl," in La
Monte Young, ed., An Anthology of Chance Operations, lndeterminacy, lmprovisation, Concept Art,
Anti-Art, Meaningless Work, Natural Dlsasters, Stories, Diagrams, Music, Dance, Constructions,
Compositions, Mathematics, Plans of Action (New York: La Monte Young and Jackson Mac Low,
1963), unpaginated,italics in original."Conceptualart" has become most widely applied to a group of
artists interestedin the "dematerialization"of the art object in the period between 1966 and 1972 in the
Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia as documented in Lippard, Sx Years. More recenily, peter
Osborne described it as "aft about the cultural act of definition-paradigmatically, but by no means
exclusively, the definition of 'art."' See Peter Osborne, Conceptual Art (fhemes and Movements)
( L on d o n :Ph a id o nPr e ss,2 0 0 2 ) ,1 4 , ita lic si n ori gi nal .E xhi bi ti onssuch as "Gl obalC onceptual i sm"at
the Queens Museum of Art, New York, have argued for an expansion in the geographicalbreadth of
conceptual an activity during the 1960s and 1970s to include Soviet Russia, Eastern Europe, and
China. See the catalog from the exhibition:Luis Camnitzer, Jane Farver, Rachel Weiss, eI al.. Gtobal
Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 7950s-7980s (New York: Queens Museum of Art, 1999).
35. Seth Siegelaub, interviewwith the author, Amsterdam, 27 July 2OO4.
36. Much of the discussion around Siegelaub's curatorial projects benefits from considerable hindsight for, even during the 1960s, the term "curator"was never used by Siegelaub in relationto what he
was doing at the time. lt is only in the context of other people's subsequent texts about his practice of
the 1960s and as part of curatorialdebates in the 1980s and 1990s, that Siegelaub has been called a
curator. In my interviewwith him, he stated:
I probablywouldn'lhave used the word "curator"at the time, althoughI have recentlydone so in retrospect becausethere is a wholebody of curatorialpracticethat has quantitatively
evolvedsincethen. . . .
While I can look back now and say that curatingis probablywhat I was doing,it is not a term that I would
have used when I was activefor one simple reason:the dominantidea of the curatorat the time was
basicallysomeonewho workedfor a museum.Sincethen,the definitionof the term curatorhas changedThis is just anotherfacet which reflectshow the art world has changedsince the 1960s/early1970s;the

Notes to Pages 16-1 9

135

art world has becomemuch bigger,richer,more omnipresent;


there are many more museums,galleries,
artists,art bars, art schools,art lovers,etc. lt is has also becomemore centraland more attachedto the
dominantvaluesol capitalistsociety.. . . lt is clearthat, in the last thirtyyears or so, ad has becomea
more acceplableprolession,even a type ol business,a more acceplablething to do, both as a practitioner, as well as an art collector.One can think of becomingan artistas a possible"careerchoice"now,
whichjust didn'texistback then. One just didn'thavethis opportunity.The questionof the curator,in this
context,is also relatedto anothermodernphenomenontoday:the needfor lreelancecuratorialenergyto
invigoratemuseumsthat no longerhavethis kind of energy.(lbid.)
For a comprehensiveexaminationof Siegelaub's practice between 1965 and 1972, see Alberro, Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity.
37. Seth Siegelaub quoted in Hans Ulrich Obrist, "A Conversationbetween Seth Siegelaub and Hans
U l r i c hO br ist,"Ir a n s> , n o . 6 ( 1 9 9 9 ) ,5 6 .
3 8 . S e t h Sie g e la u bq u o te d in ib id .
39. I use the term "independentcurator" to imply a curator operating primarilyoutside a fixed institut i o n a lp o s t, su ch a s a m u se u m o r o th e r p u b liclyfunded organi zati onor l argecommerci algal l ery.S ee
Paul O'Neill, "The Co-dependent Curator," Art Monthly, no. 291 (November 2005), 7-10, where I
argue in greater detail that all curators ultimately have a codependent relationshrpwith such institut i o n s a n d th a t so - ca lle din d e p e n d e n tcu r a tin gc annot exi st w i thout the necessi tyto w ork w i thi n, or
receive supporl from, public instrtutionsat some stage or other.
40. "Dematerialization"was the term used by Lucy Lippard and John Chandler to ascribe certain
values to ideas-basedart practice of the 1960s, when they suggested that a more general shift in arl
at the time might result in the object becoming wholly obsolete" Their text was written in 1967 and
published in 1968. See John Chandler and Lucy R. Lippard, "The Dematerializationof Ar1,"Aft lnternational (February 1968), 31-36.
41 . The address listedwas that of a Post Office box in Los Angeles,and the telephone answeringservice had a message describingthe piece. See Alberro,ConceptualArt and the Politicsof Publicity,118.
4 2 . S e e Ka r l M a r x, Ca p ita l,vo l. l, tr a n s. Be n Fow kes (1867; London: P engui n,1976).Marx begi ns
Capital wilh an analysis ol the idea of commodity production, in which a commodity is defined as a
utility object that is external to us and produced for exchange on a market. Marx suggests that all
commodities have both "use value" and "exchange value," with Marx insistingthat exchange value is
less easily quantifiedthan use value and changes according to its time and place, necessitatingfurther examination.Marx argues that changes in the exchange value of an object can be understood in
terms of the amount of labor input required to produce the commodity or, rather, the socially necessary labor, that is labor exerted at the average level of intensity and productivityfor that branch of
activity wrthin lhe economy. Marx's theory of the value of labor assefts that the exchange value of a
commodity is determined by the quantity of necessary labor time requiredto produce the commodity.
43. Albeno, Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity, 120.
44. lbid., 1 18-120.
45. Siegelaub in an interviewwith Elayne Varian, June 1969, cited here from Alberro, Conceptual Aft
and the Politicsof Publicity,56.
46. tbid.
47. See Jack Burnham, "Systems Esthetics,"Arfforum 7, no. 1 (September 1968), 30-35.
48. Alberro, Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity,18.
49. Dan Graham cited in Alberro, ConceptualAft and the Politics of Publicity,20.

tJo

Notes to Pages 19-21

50. LawrenceWeiner,interview
withthe author,NewYork,I November
2005.
51. SeeOsborne,Conceptual
Art.
52. In my interview
withO'Doherty,
he described"Aspen5+6"as
thefirstconceptual
exhibition
outside
a museum.
Thefirstconceptual
exhibition
givento Mel
is generally
Bochner,
a fewmonthsbeforethat,in whichhe gotartists'notebooks
andhe exhibited
themat, I thinkit
wastheNewSchool,
or theSchoolof VisualArts-oneof theseplaces;
it'sin thehistory
books-andAlex
Alberro
wasthehistorian
of conceptualism
here.AndthethingI did. . . it'sworthlooking
up,there'sa {air
bitof literature
aboutit, because
I wentaroundwithmy littletaperecorder
andI produced
this'box-ina
wayit wasa cube-andin it wererecords,
films,textsof mygeneration;
I hadBochner
andSolLewittand
DanGraham,
andmyself,
andhadthetirststructure,
myfirststructural
plays,Sol'sfirstserialpiece- . . I
got SusanSontagto writeon the"TheAesthetics
of Silence,"
I got RolandBarthes
to writeabout"The
years. . . she mentions
Deathof theAuthor,"
LucyLippardmentioned
it brieflyin Sr,)(
it briefly,but not
enough. . . lhadJ ohnCageint her e . . . l e v e n g o t t e x t s f r o m R o b b e - G r i l l e t , a n d t e x t s f r o m B e c k e t t .
Brian O'Doherty,intervrewwith the author,New York, 10 November2005. See onlinearchiveof
Aspenbackissuesat http://ww.ubu.com/aspen
(accessed10 October2006).
53. Siegelaubaskedeachanistto supplya twenty{ive-page
piece,on standard872x 11 inchpaper,
to be reproduced
serigraphically.
54. The advertisement
(4%"x 43/4"),
read,"This/4 pageadvertisement
appeaingin the November
'1968issueof Artforummagazine,
on page8, in the lowerleftcorner,is oneformof Documentation
for
the November1968exhibition
of DouglasHuebler,SethSiegelaub,
1100MadisonAvenue,NewYork,
N.Y. 10028.'See Alberro,ConceptualArt and the Politicsof Publicity,131.
55. Szeemanncited in FriedhelmScharfand GiselaSchirmer,"Off the Wall:Artists'Refusalsand
Rejections:
A Historyof Conflict,"
in MichaelGlasmeier
and KarinStengel,eds.,50 yearsDocumenta
1955-2005:Archivein Motion:DocumentaManual(Kassel:KunsthalleFridericianum;
Gottingen:
Steidl,2005),
120.The quotation
is the authors'translatron
into Englishfrom Szeemann's
original
statementpublishedin German:HaraldSzeemann,
"Einfuhrungsvortrag,"
in HeikeRadeck,Friedhelm
Scharf,and KarinStengel,eds.,Wiedervorlage
d5 (Hofgeismar:
HatjeCantzVerlag,2OO1),21
.
56- Beatricevon Bismarckcitedin Schadand Schirmer,"Offthe Wall,"120.Von Bismarck's
position
was originallypublishedin Beatricevon Bismarck,
"DieMeisterderWerke:DanielBuren'sBeitragzur
Documenta5in Kassel1972,"\n Uwe Fleckner,MartinSchieder,and MichaelF. Zimmermann.
eds..
Jenseltsder Grenzen:Franzosische
und deutcheKunstvomAncienRdgimebiszur Gegenwaft,vol.s
(Cologne,2OOO),222-223.
Von Bismarckreliesheavilyon a previoustextby WalterGrasskamp.
See
WalterGrasskamp,
"ModelDocumenta
odelwie wirdKunstgeschichte
gemacht,"
KunstforumInternational,no.49 (April-May
1982),15-22.
57. See lrit Rogoff,"Smuggling:
A CuratorialModel,"in UnderConstruction:
Perspectives
on InstitutionalPractice(Cologne:
WaltherKonig,2006),132.
58. tbid.
59. Siegelaub,
interviewwiththe author.
60. GillesDeleuze,"Mediators,"
in Negotiations1972-1990(NewYork:ColumbiaUniversityPress,
1990),125.See alsoa recentanalysisof the culturalunderstanding
of the contemporary
curatorand
the figureof the mediatorin SorenAndreasenand LarsBangLarsen,"TheMiddleman:
Beginning
to
ThinkaboutMediation,"
in O'Neill,CuratingSubTecfs.
"Residual,"
61. Seedefinitions
of "Dominant,"
and"Emergent,"
in RaymondWilliams,
"Dominant,
Residual,and Emergent,"
in MaaismandLiterature
(1977;Oxford:OxfordUniversity
Press,1986),121-126.

Notes to Pages 21-25

137

See also Paul O'Neill and Mick Wilson's essay on the "Emergence"of curatorialdiscourseat http://www
.ica.org.uk/Emergenceok2}by"k2}Paul'k2)O"k27
Neill%20&%38%20Mick%20Wilson+17186.tw1
6 2 . W i l l i a m s ,"Do m in a n t,Re sid u a l,a n d Em e r g e n t."
6 3 . t b i d . ,1 2 3.
64. tbid., 123-124.
65. Carl Andre, Hans Haacke, Donald Judd, Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Dorothea Rockburne, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, and Robert Smithson. Five of the anists-Haacke, Lewitt, Le
Va, Rockburne, and Serra-exhibited at Documenta 5 despite their protest, whereas the other five
w i t h d r e wf r o m th e e xh ib itio n .
66. The manifesto was published in Artforum (June 1972) and signed by Carl Andre, Hans Haacke,
Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, Barry Le Va, Robert Morris, Dorothea Rockburne, Fred Sandback, Richard
Serra, and Robert Smithson. See Amy Newman, ed., Challenging Aft: Attforum 1962-1974 (New
Y o r k : S o h o Pr e ss,2 0 0 0 ) ,5 1 8 a n d 3 4 9 - 3 5 4 .
67. See Grasskamp, "Model Documenta oder wie wird Kunstgeschichtegemacht," 15-22.
68. Muller, Harald Szeemann: Exhibition Maker,42-43.
69. Beatrice von Bismarck cited in Scharf and Schirmer, "Off the Wall," 122. See also Von Bismarck,
"Die Meister der Werke," 222-223.
70. Andrea Fraser was probably the first to use the term "institutionalcritique"in print in her essay on
Louise Lawler: Andrea Fraser, "ln and Out of Place,"Aft in America 73, no. 6 (June 1985), 124. She
wrote that, "while very diflerent, all these artists engage(d) in institutionalcritique."The term is often
applied to a number of artists from the neo-avant-gardeof the 1960s such as Michael Asher, Marcel
Broodthaers,Daniel Buren, and Hans Haacke as the second generation of artists engaging in institutional critique (after Duchamp and the Dadaists),followed by a third generationof artists such as Mark
Dion, Andrea Fraser, Ren6e Green, Louise Lawler, and Martha Rosler, practicingfrom the late 1970s
of institutionalcritique
onward. See also Fraser's assessment of the subsequent "institutionalization"
in Andrea Fraser, "From the Critique of Institutionsto an Institutionof Critique,"Arlforum 44, no. 1
(September 2OO5),278-283. For a recent anthology of texts looking at the legacy of institutionalcritique, see John C" Welchman, ed., InstitutionalCritique and After (Zurich: JRP Ringier, 2006). This
publicationstems from a symposium that was held in May 2005 at the Bing Theater at Los Angeles
County Museum of Art.
71. The "neo-avant-garde"was the generalterm used by Burger,probablywith pejorativeintent,to represent postwar artisticdevelopmentsfollowingthe historicalavant-garde.lt is unlikelythat Burger was
familiarwith the practicesof Buren, Haacke, Weiner, et al. when he first publishedhis text in 1974.
72. Hal Foster, The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century (Cambridge,
M a s s . :M I T Pr e ss,1 9 9 6 ) ,2 0 .
73. See Stemmrich, "Heterotopias of the Cinematographic," 137. See also Burger, Theorie der
Avantgarde.
74. Benjamin Buchloh, "Conceptual Art 1962 to 1969: From the Aesthetics of Administrationto the
Octo b e r ,n o . 5 5 ( Win te r1 9 90),105-143.
C r i t i q u eo f I n stitu tio n s,"
s an Insl i tuti onof C ri ti que,"281.
7 5 . S e e F r a se r ,"F r o m th e Cr itiq u eo f In stitu tio n to
76. tbid.

138

Notes to Pages 26-28

77. The notionof the Gesamtkunstwerk


was takenfrom Wagner'samalgamation
of poetry,dance,
and musicas a meansol shapingbothart and life,in a text publishedin 1849as "DasKunstwerk
der
Zukunft."The Englishtranslationis publishedas "The Aftworkof the Future,"in RichardWagner,
ProseWorks,8vols.,trans.WilliamAshtonEllis(NewYork:BroudeBrothers,1966).He statedthat
"theanworkof the futureis a jointartwork,and it can onlyemergefroma jointdesire."(Citedin M0ller,
HaraldSzeemann:
Exhibition
Maker,78.)For a moredetailedexamination
of the term"Gesamtkunstwerk,"publishedin English,see David Roberts,"The Total Work of Art," IhesrbEleven,no. 83
(November
2005),105-121.
78. See Jean-MarcPoinsot,"LargeExhibitions:
A Sketchof a Topology,"in Greenberg,Ferguson,
and Nairne,ThinkingaboutExhibitions,
39-66. ln the 1980s,numeroustextsand publications
dealt
withthe transformation
of museums,theircollections
primarilylinkedto the postcoand conventions,
lonialand/orpostmodern
approaches
to museology
and modernmuseumstudiesthatemergedin the
1980sand early 1990s.Manywritersbasedtheir critiqueon the Westernmodernistnotionof the
museumas an absolutepurveyorof historicalknowledgeincluding,
mostnotably,TonyBennett,Ihe
Birthof theMuseum:History,Theory,Politics(London:Routledge,
1995);JamesClilford,"OnCollecting Aft and Culture,"in Out There:Marginalization
and ContemporaryCultures(Cambridge,Mass.:
MIT Press,1990);EileenHooper-Greenhill,
ed.,Museumsand the Shapingof Knowtedge(London:
Routledge,1992);DanielJ. Shermanand lrit Rogoff,eds.,MuseumCulture:Histories,
D/scourses,
Spectacle(Minneapolis:
University
of MinnesotaPress,1994);PeterVergo,ed.,Ihe New Museology
(London:ReaktionBooks,1989);and StephenE.Weil, Rethinkingthe Museum(Washington,
D.C.:
Institution
Smithsonian
Press,'1
990).
79. RudiFuchs,"lntroduction,"
in Documenta
7,vol.1(Kassel:
Documenta
GmbH,1982),vii.
80. See HansUlrichObrist,"MindoverMatter:An Interview
withHaraldSzeemann,"
Arfforum35, no.
3 (November
1996),foundat http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_n3-v35/ai
18963443
(accessed10 July2006).
81. RolandBarthescited in Poinsot,"LargeExhibitions:
A Sketchof a Topology,"57. See Roland
(Paris:Seuil,1970),209.
Barthes,Mythologies
82. Poinsot,"LargeExhibitions:
A Sketchof a Topology."
83. See ibid.,56-58;and seeJohanneLamoureux,
"TheMuseumFlat,"in Greenberg,
Ferguson,
and
Naine, Thinkingabout Exhibitions,
in whichshe examinesthese off-siteexhibitions
comparativelv
andin detail.
84. See the catalog:Mary Jane Jacob, P/aceswith a Past:New Sife-SpecificArt at Charleston's
Spo/etoFestival(NewYork:RizzoliInternational,
1991).
85. WhenTateModernopened,in 2003,it escheweda hangingof its collection
accordingto chronology and, instead,hungselectedworksaccordingto the followingthemes,in four separatesuitesof
galleries,eachtakingas its startingpointa traditional
artisticgenre:Landscape/Matter/Environment,
Still-Life/ObjecvReal
Life,History/Memory/Society,
and Nude/Action/Body.
Seewww.tate.org.uk
86. Rudi Fuchscitedfrom a 1983interviewin DeboraJ. Meijers,"The Museumand the Ahistorical
Exhibition,"
in Greenberg,
Ferguson,
and Nairne,ThinkingaboutExhibitions,lS.
87. Fuchscitedfromibid.,19.
"TheMuseumandtheAhistorical
88. Meijers,
Exhibition,"
19.
,
8 9. t bid.10.
90. LiamGillick,"The Bible,the CompleteWorksof Shakespeare
and a Luxuryltem,"in Ute Meta
Bauer,ed., Meta2: A New Spiritin Curating(Stuttgart:
KUnstlerhaus
Stuttgart,1992),5-10. Aside

Notesto Pages28-30

Martin,
curatorsin the 1980s-suchas RudiFuchs,Jan Hoet,Jean-Hubert
froma handfulof practicing
the
US-it
Collins
&
Milazzoin
Nickas
and
or
Robert
Europe,
in
Szeemann
Harald
and
Konig,
Kasper
of contemporary
art
itselfin the foreground
practrce
established
was not untilthe 1990sthatcuratorial
profession
but
on
the
curatorial
of
aspect
functional
on
the
focused
practice
no
longer
practice.Such
levelof visiThe 1990sbroughtan unparalleled
curatingas a creativeactivityakinto artisticproduction.
SaskiaBos,NicolasBouniaud,Dan
of curatorssuchas DanielBirnbaum,
bilityto a wholegeneration
Enwezor,CharlesEsche,Matthew
Okwui
Baere,
Bart
de
David,
Catherine
Lynne
Cooke,
Cameron,
Higgs,HouHanru,MaryJaneJacob,UteMetaBauer,JeremyMillar,RobertNickas,HansUlrichObrist,
someof whomhad begunpracticing
EricTroncy,and BarbaraVanderlinden,
NicolausSchafhausen,
generatton
hascometo thefore,manyof
new
1
a
late
990s,
part
the
1980s.
Since
ol
the
latter
the
toward
BarnabyDrabble,
programs-including
CarlosBasualdo,
curatorial
whomhavestudiedon postgraduate
Pethick,
Polly
Staple,Adam
Emily
Lind,
Maria
Hoffmann,
Jens
Annie Fletcher,Maria Hlavajova,
szymczyk,and Grant Watson,among others-many of whom I have interviewedas part of my
researchprocess.
91. PatrickMurphy,"spirallingOpen,"in Mika Hannula,ed.,Stoppingthe Process:Contemporary
(Helsinki:
NIFCA,1998)'187.
Viewson Art and Exhibitions
18Exhibition,"
"TheMuseumandtheAhistorical
92. Meijers,
93. lbid.
by aftists
19. In the 1990s,exhibitions
Exhibition,"
Museumand the Ahistorical
94. Meijers,,'The
museological
means
of
contesting
a
as
commonplace
became
workingwithinmuseumcollections
(BrooklynMuseum,New York,
histories.such as JosephKosuth's"ThePlayof the Unmentionable"
1992)and,later
'1990)or FredWilson's"Miningthe Museum"(MarylandHistorical
Society,Baltimore,
1996).
See
JosephKosuth,
van
Beuningen,
(Museum
Boijmans
"Viewing
Matters"
on, HansHaacke's
ptay of the Unmentionable:
An tnstatlationby Joseph Kosuth at the BrooklynMuseum (New York:
"Mining
see
the Museum,"
of FredWilson's
1992).Foran overview
Museum,
NewPressandBrooklyn
the Spectacleof Culture,"in Greenberg,Ferguson,and Nairne,Thinking
lvan Karp,"Constructing
about Exhibitions,267.
"l curate, You curate,we curate . . . ," Atl Monthly,no. 269 (September
95. Alex Farquharson,
20 03 ),7-1 08.
curatorialpractice,see the selectionof essays
surrounding
of the vocabulary
96. For a development
Bethanien,
eds.,
Tischler,and Kunstlerhaus
Tannert,
Ute
in
Christoph
to
2004
1990s
writtenfromthe
2004)"
am Main:Revolver,
MIB-Men in Btack:Handbookof curatorialPractice(Frankfurt
withthe authof,Paris,27 January2OO4.
97. NicolasBouniaud,interview
in catherineThomas,ed.,TheEdge
gg. JoshuaDecter,"Atthe vergeof . . . curatorialTransparency,"
on CuratorialPracfice(Banff,Canada:BanffCentrePress,2000),102-103.
of Everything:Reftections
withthe author.
interview
99. Siegelaub,
100. rbid.
ix. For a historicalanalysisof the evolutionof the
101. CatherineThomas,TheEdgeof Everything,
The Curator'sEgg: The Evolutionof the
Schubert.,
Karsten
see
also
museums,
curator'srole in
MuseumConceptfrom theFrenchRevotutionto the PresentDay (London:One Off Press,2000).
102. Mriller,HaraldSzeemann:ExhibitionMaker;Bezzolaand Kurzmeyer,HaraldSzeemann:with by
through becausetoward despite:Catalogueof Att Exhibitions,1957-2001; and Derieux,Harald
Szeemann:tndividuatMethodology.See noteI abovefor the full citations'
Sublects.
Turns,"in O'Neill,Curatrng
Momentsand Discursive
103. SeeMickWilson,"Curatorial

140

Notes to Pages 31-33

i C"3.BlaKeStimson,'The Promiseof Conceptual


Art,"in AlexanderAlberroand BlakeStimson,eds.,
conceptualArt: A criticalAnthology(cambridge,Mass.:Mlr press,1999).see alsoAlberro,con_
ceptualAft and the Politicsof Publicity,whichpresentsa historyof Siegelaub'scuratorialpracticeup
to 1972.
105. HaraldSzeemanncitedfrom an interview,RobertStorr,"Princeol fides,,'Artforum37, no. 9
(May1999),foundat http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi-m0268
lis-9_37lai_54772288
(accessed
21 August2006).Seealso,in particular,
Obrjst,"MindoverMatter:An Interview
withHaraldSzeemann.,,
106.Williams,
"Dominant,
Residual,
andEmergent,"
121-125.
107. O'Doherty,
interview
withthe author.
108. Williams,
"Dominant,
Residual,
andEmergent,,,
122
109. CharlesEsche,"BetiZerovcInterviews
CharlesEsche,"in Esche,ed., Modestproposals(lstanbul:BaglamPublishing,
2005),90-96.
110. RobertStorr,interviewwiththe author,Brooklyn,
30 March2005.
111.AnnieFletcher,
interview
withtheauthor,Amsterdam,
20 September
2005.
1 12. t bid.
113. t bid.
114. MichaelBrenson,"TheCuratolsMoment:Trendsin the Fieldof International
Conremoorarv
Art
Exhibitions,"Arf
Journal57,no.4 (Winter1998),16.Seealso16-27.
115. The symposium"RotterdamDialogues:The Curators"formedone strandof the project,,Dialogues,"the othertwo being"TheArtjst"and "TheCritic";togetherthey resultedin the followingpublication:206 Gray et al., eds.,RotterdamDialogues:The Critics,the Curators,the Aftists(Rotterdam:
Wittede With,2009).
116. cited fromsusan snodgrass,"Manifesta
4: DefiningEutope?,"
Art in America,no. 91 (January
2003)' 42-45' See the Manifesta4 Web site statementat http://www.manifesta.org/manifesta4
(accessed10 December
2006).Manifestais a Dutchinitiative
for a nomadicpan-European
biennialof
contemporary
art that relocatesto a new Europeancity everytwo years.lt was jnitiallyconceivedin
responseto dramaticpoliticalchangesin Centraland EasternEurope,in the aftermathof the fall of
the BerlinWall(November1989),and to the perceivedinabilityof traditional
large-scale
events,such
as Documenta
and the VeniceBiennale,
to respondadequately
to the newcircumstances.
See www
.manifesta.org
for a briefhistoryby HenryMeyricHughes.
117. Snodgrass,
"Manifesta
4."
118. Francesco
Bonami,"l Havea Dream,"in Francesco
Bonamiand MariaLuisaFrisa.eds..50fh
Biennaledi Venezia:Dreamsand Confticts:The Dictatorshipof the Viewer(Venice:Marsilio,2003),
xxi.The curatorswereCarlosBasualdo,DanielBirnbaum,
CatherineDavid,Massimiliano
Gioni,Hou
Hanru,MollyNesbit,HansUlrichObrist,GabrielOrozco,GilaneTawadros,RirkritTiravanija,
and lgor
Zabel'See also FrancescoBonami,"GlobalTendencies:
Globalismand the Large-Scale
Exhibifion,,,
Artforum42, no.3 (November20OA),152-169.
119. See Bonami'sstatementsin "GlobalTendencies."
For reviewsof the Biennale,see Tim Griffin,
LindaNochlin,and scott Rothkopf,"picturesof an Exhibition,"
Attforum42, no.1(september2003),
174-181.
120. AndrewRenton,interviewwiththe author,London,25 October2004.
121. TetryEagleton,
ldeology:An Introduction
(London:Verso,1991),5_6.

Notesto Pages33-37

122. Roland Barthes, "Myth Today" (1956), in A Bafthes Reader (London: Vintage, 2000), 103. A key
illustrationof this lies in Barthes's example of how the "signification"of an image in Paris-Match, ol a
"young Negro in a French uniform" saluting the French tr;color, as an image of the great French
emprre, also covers over many factors that produced such a myth, such as the history of the colonized, which is, for Barthes, already built into the meaning of the myth itself: "The meaning is already
complete, it postulates a kind of knowledge, a past, a memory, a comparative order of facts, ideas,
decisions."
123. Barthes, "Myth Today," 93.
124. Julia Bryan-Wilson,"A Curriculumfor InstitutionalCritique,or the Professionalizationof Conceptual Art," in Jonas Ekeberg, ed., New lnstitutionalism,Verksted no.1 (Oslo: Office for Contemporary
Art Norway, 2003), 102-103.
u r se ,"in B auer,Meta2,18.
l
1 2 5 . H e l m u t Dr a xle r ,"T h e In stitu tio n aDisco
126. Greenberg, Ferguson,and Nairne, Thinkingabout Exhibitions,2.
127. tbid.,4.
128. Altshuler,The Avant-Garde in Exhibition,L
129. tbid.
130. Staniszewski,ThePower of Display,xxi.
1 3 1. t b i d .
132. Poinsot,"Large Exhibitions:A Sketch of a Topology,"40133. Greenberg, Ferguson,and Nairne, Thinkingabout Exhibitions,2-3.
134. tbid.
135. O'Doherty,lnside the White Cube. This was originallypublished in Aftforum as a series of three
a r t i c l e si n 1 9 7 6 a n d fir st p u b lish e din b o o k fo r m in 1986.
136. See Staniszewski,The Power of Display, xxi-xxviii.
137. O'Doherty,lnside the White Cube, 55.
138. Thomas McEvilley,"Foreword,"in O'Doherty,lnside the White Cube,9.
i n H i l l erand Marti n,
13 9 . O b r i s t ,c ite d in Gila n eT a wa d r o sa n d Ha n s Ulri chObri st,"l n C onversati on,"
The Producers (2),26. Obtist has also been a significantinfluence in bringing the ideas of Alexander
Dorner, innovativedirector of the Hannover Museum in the 1920s, to the fore- Dorner anticipatedthe
idea of the museum as a space of permanenttransformationwithin dynamic parameters;the museum
as a heterogeneous space of exhibition; a space that oscillates between object and process; the
museum as laboratory;the museum as time storage; the museum as kraftwerk; the museum as a
locus between art and life; and the museum as a relative historicalspace that is permanently"on the
move."
140. See Hans Ulrich Obrrst, interview with the author, originally recorded on 26 January 2004 and
edited with intervieweebetween 2005 and 2006.
1 4 1. O b r i s t q u o tin g M a r y An n e Sta n isze wskiin a paper l ater publ i shedi n Taw adrosand Obri st,"l n
Conversation,"27.
142. Obrist, cited in Paula Marincola, ed., What Makes a Great Aft Exhibition? (Philadelphia:Philadelp h i a E x h i b i t i o n sIn itia tive2, 0 0 6 ) ,3 1 .

142

Notes to Pages 37-41

143. Someof theseinterviews


are publishedin Obrist,Interviews,
vol. 1. See alsoObrist'sBrief Historyof Curating(Zurich:JRP Ringier,2008),a colleclionof his recordedinterviews
withcuratorsmade
since 1997,featuringdiscussions
with JohannesCladders,Anne d'Harnoncourt,
WernerHofmann,
WalterHopps,PontusHult6n,Jean Leering,FranzMeyer,Seth Siegelaub,HaraldSzeemann,and
WalterZanini.SeeObrist'sprefaceto his interview
withJeanLeeringin HansUlrichObrist,"A Protest
againstForgetting:
HansUlrichObristInterviews
JeanLeering,"
in O'Neill,CuratingSubjecfs,
in which
"Thisprojecthasto do withwhatEricHobsbawmcallsa 'protestagainstforhe stateshis reasoning:
getting."'As Obriststates,"ln a BBC breakfastinterviewwith DavidFrost,Hobsbawmsaid:'l mean
our societyis gearedto makeus forget.lt's abouttodaywhenwe enjoywhatwe oughtto; it's about
tomorrowwhen we have morethingsto buy,whichare different;it's abouttodaywhenyesterday's
newsis in the dustbin.Buthumanbeingsdon'twantto forget.lt's builtintothem."'SeealsoTawadros
and Obrist,"ln Conversation,"
28.
144. Obrist,"A ProtestagainstForgetting."
145. Lucy R. Lippard,"Curatingby Numbers,"Tate Papers,no. 12 (2009),foundat http://www.tate
.org.uk/research/tateresearch/tatepapers/o9autumn/lippard.shtm
(accessed11 November
2011).
146. LucyLippardcitedin Obrist,A BriefHistoryof Curating,197.
'147.JensHoffmann,
interview
withthe author,London,11 August2004.
148. MichelFoucault,The Governmentof Selfand Others:Lecturesat the Colldqede France 19827983(London:
Palgrave
Macmillan,
2010),4.
149. BenjaminH. D. Buchloh,"SinceRealismThereWas . . . ," in L'Exposition
lmaginaire:
The Artof
Exhibiting
in the Eighties(TheHague:Rijksdienst
BeeldendeKunst,1989),96-121.To sustainsuch
discourses,
curatorsnow lookto otherexhibitions
and curatedprojectsfor their references.
Exhibitionsare nowreviewedin relationto one another;biennialsare comparedto theirpreviousiterations;
art fairs now evidentlyattemptto critiquethemselves
throughcurateddiscussionprograms,suchas
the FriezeArl Fairtalks program,which runs alongsidethe commercialside of the fair (see www
.friezeartfair.com).
All exhibitions,
includingtalksprograms,are an intermediate
meansof conveying
ideasaboutart that now includethe positionof the curator.Manyof the writersand readersof art
magazinesare curalors,for whom each groupexhibitionis consideredas part ol a "common"discoursearoundcuratorial
Dractice.
150. DaveBeechand GavinWade,"lntroduction,"
in GavinWade,ed.,Curatingin the 21st Century
(Walsall:NewArt GalleryWalsall;Wolverhampton:
University
of Wolverhampton,
2000),9-10.
151. Wilson,"Curatorial
Momentsand Discursive
Turns,"202.
'152.Liam Gillickquotedin SaskiaBos, "Towarda Scenario:Debatewith Liam Gillick,"De Appel
ReaderNo. 1: ModernityToday:Contributionsto a TopicalArtisticDiscourse(Amsterdam:De Appel,
2OO5),74.
153. Greenberg,
Ferguson,
and Nairne,Thinking
aboutExhibitions,3.
154. Thosethat resultedin the publication
of theirproceedings
include:PeterWhite,ed.,Naminga
Practice:CuratorialSfrateglesfor the Future (Banff,Canada:Banff Centrefor the Arts, 1996);Hannula,Stoppingthe Process;BarnabyDrabbleand DorotheeRichter,eds., CuratingDegreeZero:An
lnternational
CuratingSymposium(Nuremberg:
Verlagfur ModerneKunst,1999);Thomas,TheEdge
of Everything;Wade,Curatingin the 21st Centuy; Hillerand Martin,Ihe Producers;and PaulaMarincola,ed., CuratingNow: ImaginativePractice/PublicResponsibility(Philadelphia:
PhiladelphiaExhibitionsInitiative,
2001).
155. Whiletheirethosrunscounterto that of the power-sharing
elite,this parallelsthe way in which
AnthonyDavies,StephanDillemuth,
and JakobJakobsenarticulate
the functionof self-organization.

Notes to Pages 41-44

143

I n t h e i r c o a u t ho r e de ssa y "T h e r eis n o Alte r n a tiveT: HE FU TU R E l S S E LF OR GA N IZE D ,"sel f-organi z a t i o n i s d e s cr ib e d ,a m o n g o th e r th in g s, a s "a so c i al process of communi cati onand commonal i ty
b a s e d i n e x c h a n g e ;sh a r in go f sim ila r p r o b le m s,know l edgeand avai l abl eresources."S ee A nthony
D a v i e s , S t e p h a n Dille m u th ,a n d Ja ko b Ja ko b se n ,"There i s no A l ternati ve:TH E FU TU R E l S S E LF
ORGANIZED Part 1," in Nina Montmann, ed.,Arl and lts lnstitutions (London: Black Dog Publishing,
2006),176-178.
156. Bruce Ferguson cited from his "Keynote Address" at the Banff 2000 InternationalCuratorial
S u m m i t , B a n ff Ce n tr e , 2 4 Au g u st 2 0 0 0 , in M e la ni e Tow nsend, "The Troubl es w i th C urati ng,"i n
Townsend, ed., Beyond the Box: Diverging Curatorial Practices (Banff, Canada: Banlf Centre Press,
2003), xv.
157. Daniel Buren, "Where Are the Arlists?," in Jens Hoffmann, ed., The Next Documenta Should Be
Curated by an Arflst (Frankfurtam Matn: Revolver,2004), 31.
158. Thomas Boutoux, "A Tale of Two Cities: Manifesta in Rotterdam and Ljubljana," in Barbara
Vanderlindenand Elena Filipovic,eds., Ihe Manifesta Decade: Debates on ContemporaryArt Exhibitions and Biennialsin Post-Wall Europe (Cambridge,Mass.: MIT Press' 2OO5)'2O2.
159. tbid.
1 6 0 . S i n c e L e M a g a sin in Gr e n o b le la u n ch e dth e fi rst postgraduatecuratori altrai ni ng program i n
E u r o p ei n 1 9 87 ,th e r e h a s b e e n a n e xp a n sio no f p r o fessi onalcurati ngcoursesthroughoutE uropeand
North America, already outlined in my introduction.For a brief history of the most prominent ol these
c o u r s e s i n E u r o p e a n d No r th Am e r ica ,se e An d r e a B el l i ni ,"C uratori alS chool s:B etw een H ope and
lllusion," FlashArt 39, no- 250 (October 2006), 88-92. The total number of students enrolled in all
these courses has differedover the years, but to give an indicationof the quantityof students graduati n g f r o m t h e m , wh e n I wo r ke d a s a visitin gtu to r o n the MFA C urati ngcourse at Gol dsmi thsbetw een
2006 and 2007, there were twentyjive first-yearstudents padicipatingin a two-year course. Between
1995 and 2003, sixty students completed the de Appel CuratorialTraining Programme, which takes
on a relativelysmall group of approximatelysix students per year. For the names of these students
see Edna van Duyn, ed.,lf WallsHad Ears: 1984-2005 (Amsterdam: De Appel, 2005), 668.
1 6 1. C a t h e r in ed e Z e g h e r ,in te r vie wwith th e a u th o r,N ew Y ork, 11 N ovember2005. A notherexampl e
is Robert Storr's assessment of his own fortuitousentry into curating in the 1980s, which he described
as follows (Storr, interviewwith the auto0:
time in the eighties,so I knew how to put showstogetheron that
I'd been an art handlerfor a considerable
side,the technicalside,whichwas acluallyfar more importantthan goingto a curatorialprogramin many
respects.But that's it . . . l'm a painterand I went to a regularsort of studioart collegeaffairin Chicago,
and a coupleof other placesbeforethat, and I spenta lot of time in museumslookingat what was there,
got to the back roomsoJa certainnumberof themjusl by persistenceand interestand so on so . . . but no,
no, I have no formalart hlstorytrainingat all.
practi
ceandi ts
al
1 6 2 . T h e r e h asb e e n a sig n ifica n tp u b lish in g in d u stryaroundcontemporarycuratori
r e l a t e dd i s c o ur sesin ceth e la te 1 9 8 0 s,a n d in p a r tic ul arthroughoutthe 1990s,w hi ch has conti nuedto
i n t e n s i f yu n t i lto d a y. Du r in gth is p e r io d ,o n e o f th e m aj or changesi n the an w orl d has been the si gni fi cant transformationof the role(s) of the curator of contemporary art exhibitions and the discourses
sunounding exhibitionmaking in an internationalcontext. In chronologicalorder, key curatorialanthologies include: Bauer, Meta 2; White, Naming a Practice; Anna Harding, ed., "On Curating: The Contemporary Aft Museum and Beyond," Aft and Design Magazine, no. 52 (London: Academy Editions,
1997); Hannula, Stopping the Process; Drabble and Richter, Curating Degree Zero; Thomas, The
Edge of Everythlng;Wade, Curating in the 21st Century; Hiller and Martin, Ihe Producers; Carolee
Thea, Foci: lnterviews with 10 tnternationalCurators (New York: Apexad, 2001); Marincola,Curating
Now: Carin Kuoni. Words of Wisdom: A Curator's Vade Mecum (New York: lndependent Curators

144

Notes to Pages 44-45

lnternational
BeyondtheBox;Tannert,Tischler,and Kunsilerhaus
IlCl],2001);Townsend,
Bethanien,
MIB-Men in Black; Liam Gillick and Maria Lind, Curatingwith Light Luggage(Frankfurt
am Main:
Revolver,
2005).
163. Tannert,Tischler,and Kunsflerhaus
Bethanien,
MIB_Men in Black,10.
164. Lateranthologiessuchas What Makesa GreatExhibition(2OoB),CuratingSub/ects(2007),
and
CuratingCritique(2007),and dedicatedjournalssuch as later issuesof ManifestaJournat
for ContemporaryCuratorship(first issue published2003) or The Exhibitionisf(since 2009), have
tried to
correctthisself-presentation
biaswithvaryingdegreesof success.
165. Seewww.bbc2oog.no
166.Williams,
"Dominant,
Residual,
andEmergent,,,
121_127.
167. One dominantaspectof theseemergentdiscourseswas the continueduse of
analogy,metaphor, and comparisonbetweencuratingand other professions.
As curatorand criticTom Morton
wrole:
"curatingas . ." constructions
speakof a welcomeself-reflexivity
and plurality
of approach,
butthey
almostinevitably
stickin thecraw.There'sa faintatmosphere
of subterfuge
aboutthem,of borrowing
the
glamour
or gravitas
of anotherprofession
in an attempt
to graftit ontoonethatwe,reawareis,for all its
possibilities,
aisocommonly
boundupwiththegrey,clerk-ystuffof lundraising
andfillingoutloanforms.
(Amongthesecontradictions,
the worstoffenders
I'vecomeacrossinclude"curator
as anthropologist,,,
"curator
as stylist"andonce,unforgivably,
"curator
as DJ.")Moreimporlanfly,
thefashionfor analogy
in
framing
thefigureof thecuratorpointsto a certainlackol self-confidence
in thefield,as thoughcurating
is an activitythatcan onlybe understood,
or evenvalidated,
withreference
to activities
thatexerta
greater
gravitational
pull.
Tom Morton,'The Nameof the Game,"frieze,no.97 (December2005),foundat http://www.frieze
.com/column_single.asp?c=304
(accessed
21 November
2006).
WhatMortonarguedfor was a returnto the ideaof the curatoras beinginvolvedin the
activity
of curatingas a form of authorship,similarto how a novelistis an author,regardless
of whatever
metaphorscan be usedto describehow differentkindsof novelwritingcan existat
any one time,
and how variousmethodsof writinga novelcan produceindividualmodelsof authorship.
Modon
supportsthe ideaof the functionof the curatoras an authorbecause,for him,the author,s
functionis
to providea viewof the worldthat we do or do not yet know.He goeson to rejectthe
variousways
in whichcuratinghas beenlinkedto otherprofessions,
especially
the ideaof the ,,curator
as editor.,,
becauseit relieson analogyeverybit as muchas the ,,curator
as arlist,,does.
168. Esche,"BetiZerovcInterviews
CharlesEsche,,,89.
169. CarlosBasualdo,"TheUnstableInstitution,"
in Marincola,
What Makesa GreatAft Exhibition?.
ilo. onor""..n and BangLarsen,,,TheMiddteman.,,
171. Maria Lind, interviewwith the author,Munich,31 October2004. Lind states:,,1
am actually
detachedfromthe 'cura'paftof it: the caringpartof it, withempathybeinginvolvedwithsomething,
fo
helpit comeaboutsomehow.I think,for me, it is alsoconnected
withthe roleof the curaroras a son
of midwifewho is assistingin bringingsomething
new intobeing."
172' See MariusBabiasand FlorianWaldvogel,
"ls the Curatorthe DJ of Art?,"ChristophTannert.
,,Godls a curator,,'in
"curatorsas Technicians,"
andJustinHoffmann,
Tanneft,Tischler,
and Kr]nsfler_
hausBethanien,
MIB-Men in Black,4g-s2,135-136,and 107,respectively.
On the notionof curatoras editor,CatherineDavidstates:"l neverlikedthe discourse
around
the ideaof the curatoras an adist.I thinkit's verychildishand I don'tthinkit's veryinterest'ng.
I think
it's the work of editing,putting,articulating
ideas,formsin a certainmomentand I thjnk it,s nothino

Notes to Pages 46-49

145

less,nothingmore,and afterthat you can be very intuitive."SeeCatherineDavid,interviewwith the


author,Paris,14 April2005.
173. Thomas,TheEdgeof Everything,ix.
www.on-curating.org,
www.manifestajournal.org,
and
174. See www.the-exhibitionist-journal.com,
lor inJormation
aboutthese. In the past few
www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=205
issueon "CuratedSpace"(2005);essayswith
yearsalone,thesehaveincluded:
a-n'ssupplementary
"CUj'aIot
and Artist,""TheCo-dependent
titlessuchas "CuratingThenand Now,""CuratingU-topics,"
"CuratingDoubt,"and"l am a Curato/'haveappearedin Aft Monthly
Curator,""TheInvisibleCurator,"
"Speciallssue on Curators"(2005)containedtwentyinterviewswith
since 2003; Contemporary's
Globalismand the Large-Scale
Exhibion "GlobalTendencies:
curators;Artforum's2003discussion
tion" includedFrancescoBonami,CatherineDavid,OkwuiEnwezor,and Hans UlrichObrist;F/ash
askedcuraArf's "NewVoicesin CuratingI and ll" surveysin 2002and 2003,led by JensHoffmann,
tors to answer"whatare the pressingissuescuratorsare debatingabout?";Art Papers's"Curating
Tom Mortonand
Now:An InformalReport";friezehas regularcolumnsby curatorsAlex Farquharson,
RoberlStorr,who haveall publishedtextsaboutthe shiftsin powettowardthe curatorand awayfrom
led by curatorssuch as
the criticand/orartist,as well as interviewswith curatorsand discussions
Bonami;andMJ-ManifestaJournal:
"Debate:Biennials"
withcuratorsCharlesEscheand Francesco
curatorialissues,
the firstquarterlydedicatedto contemporary
Curatorship,
Journalof Contemporary
whichwereeditedby curators-thelatelgorZabelandViktorMisiano-withessaysalmostentirelyby
for
ManifestaFoundatlon(the organizationresponsible
curators,copublishedby the International
issuesof MJ-ManifestaJournal.Each
Manifesta).
Therehave,so far, onlybeentwelveintermittent
collectionof texts has beenconstrucledarounda dominanttheme,with the first elevenissues{or
2003);"Biennials,"
no. 2
exampletitled:"The Revengeof the WhiteCube?,"no. 1 (Spring-Summer
2004);"TeachingCura(Winter2003-Spring2004);"Exhibition
as a Dream,"no. 3 (Spring-Summer
2005);"Archive:
2004);"Artistand Curator,"no. 5 (Spring-Summer
torship,"no. 4 (Autumn-Winter
no. 7 (20092005);"TheGrammarof the Exhibition,"
Memoryol the Show,"no. 6 (Autumn-Winter
"Historyin the Present,"
"The
no.9 (2009-2010);
no.8 (2009-2010);
2010);"Collective
Curating,"
no. 11 (2010-2011).
a-n:
and "TheCanonof Curating,"
no. 10 (2009-2010);
Curatoras Producer,"
from artistswho frequently
2005)includedcontributions
FutureForecast:CuratedSpace(November
curatesuch as JananneAl-Ani,ShezadDawood,JeremyDeller,and RachelGarfieldand curators
suchas DavidA. Bailey,LouiseShort,EricaTan, GavinWade,and MarkWilsher.Articlesthat have
"Curatorand Artist,"ArtMonthly,no. 270 (Octoappearedin Art Monthlyinclude:Alex Farquharson,
"l Curate,You Curate,We Curate. . . ," Art Monthly,no. 269
ber 2003),13-16;Alex Farquharson,
(September2003),7-10; Craig Burnett,"The InvisibleCurator,"Art Monthly,no. 291 (November
Arf Monthly,no.291 (November
2005),7-10;
Curator,"
2005\,1-4; PaulO'Neill,"TheCo-dependent
PaulO'Neill,
"Curating
Monthly,no.272(December-January2003),7-10;
PaulO'Neill,
U{opics,"Art
"CuratingDoubt,"Art
J. J. Charlesworth,
"l Am a Curator,"Att Monthly,no.275 (April2OO4),7-10;
Thenand Now,"Art Monthly,no.275
Monthly,no.294 (March2006),1-4; and AlexColes,"Curating:
(April2004),1-4. Thecuratorsinterviewed
in Contemporary
21, no.77 (2005),wereDanielBirnbaum,
Gioniand MaurizioCattelan,lsabelCarlos,Suzanne
Francesco
Bonami,DanCameron,Massimiliano
JensHolfmann,
Cotter,DavidElliot,RichardFlood,RoseleeGoldberg,HouHanru,YukoHasegawa,
Vasif Kortun,BarthomeauMar[, Edi Muka, Hans UlrichObrist,
Laura Hoptman,Udo Kittelmann,
NormanRosenthal,BeatrixRul, and AdamSzymczyk.Jens Hoffmann,"NewVoicesin Curating1,"
2OOZ),
andJens Hoffmann,"NewVoicesin Curatingll," Flash
FlashArt, no.222 (January-February
by curatorsworkingbothinde2003),werecompiledfrom responses
Art, no.228 (January-February
postsin Europe,the US, and SouthAmerica,
pendently,but mainlyin the contextof institutional
ToneO. Nielsen,
ChusMartinez,
and
Gioni,SsrenGrammel,
AdamBudak,Massimiliano
including
Exhibition,"
CristinaRicupero.The discussion"GlobalTendencies:Globalismand the Large-Scale

146

Notes to Page 49

Artforum42, no.3 (November2003),152-163,was introducedby Tim Griffinand moderatedby


JamesMeyerwithcuratorsFrancescoBonami,CatherineDavid,OkwuiEnwezor,HansUlrichObrist,
and artistsMarthaRoslerand Yinka Shonibare."CuratingNow: An InformalReport,"Aft Papers
(September-October
2005),was structuredaroundquestionsand answerswith curatorsworking
'n
"ls the Pen Still
the US and Canada.Articlesthat haveappearedin friezeincludeAlex Farquharson,
(June-July-August
"Bureaux
2005),
1
18-1
1
9;
Alex
Farquharson,
Mighlier?
frieze,
no"
92
de Change,"
,"
frieze,no. 101(September
2006),156-160,whichlookedat newinstitutional
strategies
developedby
in Europesuchas MariaLindat Kunsterverein
curatorswithinsmallerinstitutions
Munchen,Catherine
Davrdat Wittede With,CharlesEscheat Rooseum,Malmo,and NicolasBourriaud
and J6rdmeSans
at Palaisde Tokyo,Paris;RobertSton, "ReadingCirclePartOne,"frieze,no. 93 (September
2005),
27, and "ReadingCirclePartfwo," frieze,no. 94 (October2005),25;Tom Morton,"TheNameof the
The Shapeof ThingsloCome,"frieze,
Game,"frieze,no.97 (December2005);
JorgHeiser,"Curating:
no. 81 (March2OO4),
52-53:and FrancescoBonamiand ChadesEsche,"Debate:Biennials,"
fneze,
no.92 (June-July-August
2005),104-105.
2 Biennial Culture and the Emergenceof a Globalized Curatorial Discourse
21, no.77 (2005),22-32.The figures
1. lsabelStevens,"lt's So Two YearsAgo,"Contemporary
regardinghow manybiennialsexistacrossthe globehavevariedaccordingto howtheyare defined
by the individualauthor/researcher
and the levelof impacVvisibility
these so-calledbiennialsmay
havein an art worldcontext.lvo Mesquitasuggested
thattherewereoverfortybiennialexhibitions
in
2003,a full listof whichis providedon the titlepageol his essay"Biennials,
Biennials,
Biennials. . . ,"
in MelanieTownsend,ed., Beyond the Box: DivergingCuratoial Practices(Banff,Canada: Banff
CentrePress,2003),63-67. In the periodbetween1984(thefirsteditionof the HavanaBiennial)and
the presentday, a largenumberof majorinternational
biennialshave been established,
including
(1995),
thoseof lstanbul(1987),Lyon (1992),SantaFe (1995),Gwangju(1995),Johannesburg
(1996),Bedin(1996),
(1998).
Shanghai
andMontreal
2. fhere havebeenmanytransformative
momentsin the historyof the biennial.As the firstincarnain 1895as a nationalexhibition
tion,the VeniceBiennalewas eslablished
oi ltalianar1,basedon the
nineteenth-century
world'sfairs,whichreserveda sectionfor the art of differentnations,selectedby a
jury.By contrast,
thef irstBienalde SdoPauloin 1951 intendedto transformthe cityand itsculture,as
partof a postwarreconstruction
program,whilethe inceptionof Documenta,
in 1955,was intendedas
a postwarinitiative
to reconnecta defeatedGermanywiththe restof the world.Documenta1 (1955),
Documenta2 (1959),Documenta3 (1964),and Documenta4 (1968)were all directedby Kasselbasedacademicand DainterArnoldBodeand Germanart historianWernerHofmann.Documenta1
was a retrospective
accountof classicalmodernismthat included"degenerate"
an rejectedby the
Nazi partyalongsideyoungerartists.This show set a precedentfor Documentaas a retrospective
modelthatdisplayedold and newart sideby sideas partof whatBodefamouslycalled"a museumof
100 days"in the 1964catalog.
Politics,Economicsand Culture
3. See DavidHeld,AnthonyMcGrew,et al.,GlobalTransformations:
(Cambridge:
PolityPress,1999),2-10. See also DavidHeldand AnthonyMcGrew,eds.,TheGlobal
TransformationsReader:An lntroduction to the GlobalizationDebate (Cambridqe:Politv Press.
2003),75-83.
"TheUnstableInstitution,"
4. Fot a briefgenealogy
exhibitions,
see CarlosBasualdo,
of large-scale
in
(Philadelphia:
PaulaMarincola,
ed.,WhatMakesa GreatArt Exhibition?
Philadelphia
Exhibitions
Initiative,2006),52-61,firstpublishedin MJ-ManifestaJournal:Biennials,
no. 2 (Winter2003-Spring
2004\.50,62.

Notes to Pages 51-52

147

5. See John Miller, "The Show You Love to Hate: A Psychology of the Mega-exhibition,"in Reesa
Greenberg,Bruce Ferguson,and Sandy Nairne, eds., Thinkingabout Exhibitions(London: Routledge,
19 9 6 ) ,2 6 9 .
has been i nvoked.Gl obal 6 . I n t h e c a s e o f b ie n n ia ls,th e te r m "g lo b a lism "r a therthan "gl obal i zati on"
ism implies an ideologicalpush toward a greater degree of diversity residing in wider social and cultural networks, leading to greater connectivity in both the movement of ideas, information,images,
and practices around the globe and in the movement of people who carry ideas and informationwith
them across the planet. In the context of the internationalart field, globalism could also be described
as an attempt to explain global patterns of production,characterized by networks of intercontinental
connectionsthat attempt to transcend local, national,and state concerns in the name of greater diversity in transculturaland social connectivity.By contrast,"globalization,"which has certainlycontributed
t o t h e s i g n i f ica n tr ise o f b ie n n ia ls,with n e o lib e r al i smas a domi nant vari ant, transcends nati onal
boundaries in the name of economic free trade. Globalization results in a shrinkage of space-time
distances,leading to economic global interdependence;it also has homogenizingeffects on vernacul a r c u l t u r e st h a t co m e u n d e r its swa y. In o th e r wo rds, gl obal i zati on,as a w i deni ng,deepeni ng,and
speeding-up of worldwide economic interconnectedness,involves processes of transformationwithin
contemporarysocial and cultural life. Biennialsoften tiptoe between globalismand globalization,occasionally in tow with global art market flows, movements, and expansions.
7. An exception to this is Venice, where a structure of national representationis still applied by committee in the selection of artists for each of the national pavilions,although a greater emphasis on the
curated iomoonents now prevails,at least in published discussionsand debates.
8. See Neil Brenner, "Global Cities, Glocal States: Global City Formation and State Tenitorial
Restructuringin Contemporary Europe," Review of InternationalPolitical Economy 5, no. 1 (Spring
1 9 9 8 ) , 1 6 . " Glo ca liza tio no" r ig in a llyr e la te dto th e adaptati onof cenai n farmi ngtechni ques,i n w hi ch
produce, crops, and services were customized to suit local cultural conditions,while being intended
for the global market. Glocalizalionwas popularized by sociologist Roland Robertson in the 1990s,
extending its understanding to the evolution of social practrces that adapted existing sociological
behaviorsto suit local characteristics.See Roland Robertson,"The Conceptual Promise of Glocalization: Commonality and Diversity," found at http:/iartefact.mi2.hr/-aO4llang-enltheory-robertson
en.htm (accessed 24 July 2009). See also Roland Robenson, "Globalization or Glocalization?,"
Journat of lnternationalCommunication 1, no. 1 (1994), 33-52, and Roland Robertson,"Glocalization:
in Mike Featherstone,Scott Lash, and Roland RobertTime-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity,"
son, eds., Globat Modernitles (London: Sage Publications,1994), 25-44- See also Zygmunt Bauman,
Gtobalization:The Human Consequences (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998).
9 . S e e B r u c e F e r g u so n ,Re e sa Gr e e n b e r g ,a n d Sandy N ai rne,"S hi fti ngA rt and E xhi bi ti ons,"i n B arbara Vanderlinden and Elena Filipovic,eds., Ihe Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art
Exhibitionsand Biennialsin Post-Wall Europe (Cambridge,Mass.: MIT Press, 2OO5),47-62'
1 0 . l b i d . ,4 7 .F o r a fu r th e re xa m in a tio no f th e r o le of l ocati oni n bi enni alexhi bi ti ons,see H ou H anru,
"Toward a New Locality: Biennials and 'Global Art,"' in Vanderlinden and Filipovic, The Manifesta
Decade,57-62. See also Claire Doherty,"CuratingWrong Places . . . or Where Have All the Penguins
Gone?," in Paul O'Neill, ed., Curating Sublecfs (London: Open Editions;Amsterdam, De Appel, 2007)'
1 0 1 - 1 0 8 ; a n d Cla ir eDo h e r ty,"L o ca tio n ,L o ca tio n ,"A rtMonthl y,no.281 (N ovember2004),7-10.
1 1. See Giorgio Agamben, "What ls the Contemporary?,"in What ls an Apparatus? and Other Essays
(Stanford:Stanlord UniversityPress, 2009), 40-41.
12. As Hans Belting correctly acknowledged in his introduction,"ContemporaryAn as Global Ar1:A
Critical Estimate," in Hans Belting and Andrea Buddensieg, eds., The Global Art World (Ostfilden:
Hatje Cantz, 2009), 38-73.

148

Notes to Pages 52-54

Mass.:MIT
in TheReturnof the Real(Cambridge,
13. See Hal Foster,"TheArtistas Ethnographer,"
Pr es s , 1996) , 171- 203.
ldenAft and Locational
14. lbid.,197.SeealsoMiwonKwon,OnePlaceafterAnother Slfe-Specl/ic
138-139.
Mass.:MITPress,2004),
tlty(Cambridge,
1 5. t bid.
in CarinKuoni,ed.,Wordsof Wisdom:A Curator'sVadeMecum
Bonami,"Statement,"
16. Francesco
2OO1),
32.
(NewYork:Independent
Curatorstnternational,
The Politicsof Representation
andthe Repre"FromFormto Platform:
17. SeeJohanneLamoureux,
Art Journal64, no. 1 (Spring2005),65-73; Hal Foster,"The PrimitiveUnconsentationof Politics,"
sciousModern,"October,no. 34 (Autumn1985),45-70; and BruceW. Ferguson,"Exhibition
Rhetorics,"in Greenberg,Ferguson,and Nairne,Thinkingabout Exhibitions,175-190.Although
Jean-HuberlMartinhad alreadybegunworkon "Les Magiciensde la terre"by the time of "Primitivism,"his curatorialdecisionswere,in part at least,a criticalresponseto someof the failuresof the
This was reflectedin his decisionto workonlywith livingartists,his wishto exhibit
MoMAexhibition.
origin,and his desireto presentthe selectedworksbecause
of non-Western
fiftypercentpractitioners
forms.
meanings,basedon culturaldifferenceratherthantheirhomogeneous
of theirheterogeneous
Martinand MarkFrancis,LesMagiciensde la terre(Paris:CentreGeorgePompiSee Jean-Hubert
"TheWholeEarthShow,"Art in America(May1989),150H. D. Buchloh,
dou,1989),andBenjamin
de la
see the specialissueon "LesMagiciens
to the exhibition,
158.For otherreviewsand responses
from LesCahiersdu Mus6eNationald'arl Moderne,ThirdText,no.6 (Spring1989).
terre"translated
18 . Buc hloh, "TheW holeEar t hSho w , " l 5 6 . B u c h l o h c o n s i s t e n t l y r e f e r s t o t h e e x h i b i t i o n a s t h e p r o p is alsoaimingat decenterertyof the curator,whendirectinghis commentsto Martin:"Yourexhibition
of thean public.. . ."
socialdefinitions
ingthetraditional
(September-October
1989),48.
Tricks,"Arfscrlbelnternational
Deliss,"Conjuring
19. Cl6mentine
20. Martinand Francis,LesMagiciensde latene.
Ferguson,
and
the Spectacleof Culture,"in Greenberg,
21. lvanKarpand FredWilson,"Constructing
Nairne,Thinkingabout Exhibitions,265.
22. See GavinJantjes,"Red Ragsto a Bull,"in RasheedAraeen,ed.,TheOtherStory:Afro-Asran
Artistsin Post-WarBritain(London:HaywardGallery,1989).
exhibitions,
see
and scattered-site
betweenlocation,biennials,
23. For an analysisof the relationship
in Doherty,ed.,
Location,"
T-10. SeealsoClaireDoheny,"TheNewSituationists,"
Doherty,"Location,
2004),7-14.
FromStudioto Situation(London:BlackDogPublishing,
24. Okwui Enwezorcited in "Curatingbeyondthe Canon:Okwui EnwezorIntervlewedby Paul
O'Neill,"in O'Neill,CuratingSublects,110.
"FromFormto Platform."
25. Lamoureux,
26. rbid.
27. OkwuiEnwezor,interviewwiththe author,Bristol,4 February2005.
28. Hal Foster,"AgainstPluralism,"in Recodings:Atl, Spectacle,CulturalPolltlcs(Seattle:Bay
in TheLocaandthe Poslmodern,"
Press,1985),13-32. SeealsoHomiK. Bhabha,"ThePostcolonial
andJamesCli{fordandGeorgeE. Marcus,
20OG),245-282,
tionof Culture(1995;London:Routledge,
eds., Writing Culture: The Poeticsand Politics of Ethnography(Berkeley:Universityof California
to repreobjectiveapproaches
to rejectauthoritative,
Press,1986),whichimploredanthropologists
sentingtheir subjectsand insteadconsidernew methodsthat could take accountof the multiple
voicesof the subjectstheywerestudyingand representing.

Notes to Pages 54-57

149

29. See Andreas Huyssen, "Mapping the Post'Modern,"New German Critique 33 (1980), 50.
30. lbid.
B l ackw el l ,1989),116
3 1. S e e D a v i d Ha r ve y,T h e Co n d itio n o f Po stm o d e rni ty(Oxford:
3 2 . J e a n - H u be r tM a r tincite d in Bu ch lo h ,"T h e Wh o le E arthS how ," 152.
33. Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity, 117.
3 4 . J e a n - H u be r tM a r lin cite d in Bu ch lo h ,"T h e Wh o le E arthS how ,"211.
35. Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity,113-114.
36. Jean-Frangois Lyotard cited in Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernify, 117. See also JeanFrangoisLyotard, The Postmodern Condition (Manchester:Manchester UniversityPress, 1985).
37. See Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition, xxiv-xxv.
3 8 . S e e J a m e s M e ye ls co m m e n tsin th e d iscu ssion,"Gl obalTendenci es:Gl obal i smand the LargeScale Exhibition,"Attforum 42, no.3 (November2003),163-212, which was introducedby Tim Griffin
and moderated by James Meyer with curalors Francesco Bonami, Catherine David, Okwui Enwezor,
Hans Ulrich Obrist, and artists Martha Rosler and Yinka Shonibare. For a recent study of art and globalization, see Charlotte Bydler, Ihe Global Artworld lnc: On the Globalisation of Contemporary Art
(Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet,2OO4),and, lor an exhibition (curated by Philippe Vergne, Douglas
Fogle, and Olukemi liesanmi) that attempted to consider how the globalizationof cultural contexts
impacts current forms ol art practice, with artists selected from Brazil, China, India, Japan, South
Africa, Turkey, and the United States, see Hou Hanru, Vasif Kortun, and Philippe Vergne, eds., How
LatitudesBecome Forms: Aft in a Global Age (Minneapolis:Walker Art Center, 2003).
39. Okwui Enwezor, "The Black Box," in Documentall
H a t j e C a n t z ,2 OO2 ) ,4 5 ,

Platform 5: The Catalogue (Ostfildern-Ruit:

40. tbid.
41. Okwui Enwezor cited in "Curatingbeyondthe Canon:Okwui EnwezorInterviewedby Paul
O ' N e i l l , "1 1 3 .
42. Okwui Enwezor cited in Gilane Tawadros, "The Revolution Stripped Bare," in Gilane Tawadros
and Sarah Campbell, eds., Faulf/rnes: Contemporary African Art and Shifting Landscapes (London:
inlVA, 2003), 29. See also Okwui Enwezor, "The PostcolonialConstellation:Contemporary Art in a
State of Permanent Transition,"Researchin African Literatures34, no.4 (Winter 2003), 57-82.
43. See the responses of Catherine David, Okwui Enwezor, and James Meyer in "Global Tendenc i e s , "1 6 3 - 2 1 2 .
4 4 . S e e J e a n- Hu b e r l M a n in in te r vie we db y Be n ja mi n B uchl oh pri or to the exhi bi ti on'sopeni ng i n
B u c h l o h ," T h e Wh o le Ea r thSh o w," 1 5 0 - 1 5 9 .
45. Harvey, inThe Condition of Postmodernity,l0l-1o2, consideredthe depthlessnessof postmodernism and its cursory understandingof pluralism as a form of fetishizationof the commodity (pace
Marx), in which it capitalizeson its own "overt complicity with the fact of fetishism and of indifference
toward underlying soctal meanings" rather than engaging with issues such as division of labor and
alienation.
46. Okwui Enwezor, "Between Worlds: Postmodernismand African Arlists in the Western Metropolis," in Olu Oguibe and Okwui Enwezor, eds., Reading the Contemporary:African Aft from Theory to
the Marketplace (London: inlVA, 1999), 249"

.150

Notes to Pages 57-60

47-. Fredric Jameson, postmodernism,


or' The
' ve\tt'vva't'Irttt' or,
tne Ct
cultural Logic of Late
ig91),4.
Capitatism (London: Verso,
48. Enwezor,,,Between
Worlds,,,249.
4 9 . tb id .
50' Gerardo Mosquera, "some probrems
in Transculturar curating,,,
visions: Toward a New Internationatism
in Jean Fisher, ed.,
Grobat
in the visuar ArTs(London:
Kara press, .r994), 135_137.

iJ;.lii-!fl"'

Duncan'
civitizhsRituats:
pubfic Ar7Museums(Abinsdon,
Inside
U.K.:Rouredoe.

5 2 . t b id .
53. Miller, ,'The Show you
Love to Hate," 270.
5 4 . t b id .
5 5 . t bid .
56. lbid., 270_272.
57. tbid.,272.
58. I am here indebted t(

:1i,"j:::ff
l*;*u*lfihtrrf*J:
:H2::,7::;;
i?:ffiii;j',:::ff
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1,sethsieseraub
et ar.carred
rora ,demysrirication,,
orthe

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i5n',.lf'l,u,",o,,nn.un

u",
j_m,;l;
;,11"1"
d#i,f,::mhi;,:::"":#1",:Xl:
nnk *11""'liil;lillll.#
60. Bydler,TheGtobatAftworld
lnc., SS.
McEvitey,"Fusion:Hot or cord,,,
in oguibe and Enwezor,Reading
:Ju.tnor"r
thecontemporary,

imp,ied
sca,e
orsuch
exhibitions
buta,so
by
ii::H:iJ?:?T;X;:J:l,fffft,"JIi::l:"r""::,1"
*:rld
travelis thusreacasr
cultured
activity,
as an essenriary
associatJ;;#;;:",lll;

Ii1"""'l
ott<nowreoge,lll
such
experience.
tnet,"nsrution
,","
or
"*n'i,,illl"11l[iLlijl;iheacquisition

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AnIntroduction,,,in
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65. See ibid.

. .._,vvHU,,uc, rureu. bee


narvey, The Condition of postmodernity,
240.

fl: J:ii3:iff:'il":f.

n'*t Grobarization
Debate:
AnInrroduction,"
3.see1-45rortheirread-

:"ls;Ji3:tr:;.,X:Xg*:,Ll,liruln"l*t
lti"l:ii"-?_1i";"il;;';,ll[ifl
orsclmundiar/wuggenig02-en.htm
laccessJd
ro *r"ru roorr.

Notesto pages60_62

67. Thomas Boutoux, "A Tale of Two Cities: Manifesta in Rotterdam and Ljubljana,"in Vanderlinden
and Filipovic,The Manifesta Decade,2O2.
6 8 . t b i d . ,2 0 3.
6 9 . C h a r l e sE sch e ,"De b a te :Bie n n ia ls,"fr ie ze ,n o .92 (June-A ugust2005)' 105.
70. lbid.
7 1. l b i d .
72. tbid.
73. Charles Esche and Vasif Kortun, "The World ls Yours," in Ar7, City and Politics in an Expanding
World: Writings From the 9th tnternationallstanbul Biennial (lstanbul: lstanbul KUltUrSanat Vakli,
2005\,24-25.
74. Hou Hanru, interviewwith the author, Paris, 26 January 2OO4
75. For Hardt and Negri, "Empire" is that which controls territories, markets, populations and the
entirety of social lile that has come to replace imperialism as the domain of actions and activities.
" M u l t i t u d e "i s th e te r m th e y e m p lo y a s th a t wh ich is proposedas a countermodelto the homogeni zi ng
and totalizing forces of Empire. See Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Emplre (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, 2000), xi-xvii. See also Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, The Multitude:
War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (New York: Penguin Group, 2004), and Paolo Virno, A
Grammar of the Muttitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life (New York: Semiotext(e),
2004).
76, Hardt and Negri. Empire. xli.
77. lbid., italics in original.
7 8 . t b i d . ,6 0 .
7 9 . l b i d . ,4 1 0 - 4 1 1 .
8 0 . r b i d . ,6 0 - 6 2 .
81 . Hardt and Negri, The Multitude, xiii-xiv.
82. Paolo Virno, "Virtuosity and Revolution:The Political Theory of Exodus," in Michael Hardt and
paolo Virno, eds., RadicalThought in ttaly: A Potential Politlcs (Minneapolis:Universityof Minnesota
Press, 1996), 2OO-201.
83. lbid.
84. Jacques Rancidre,"The People of the Multitudes?,"in Rancidre,Dissensus:On Politics and Aes, 0 10 ) , 8 9 .
t h e t i c s( L o n d o n :Co n ttn u u m 2
8 5 . t b i d . ,8 4 -9 0 .
86. Pascal Gielen, Ihe Murmuring of the Artistic Multitude: Global Art, Memory and Post-Fordism
(Amsterdam:Valiz, 2009), 36-37.
87. See interviewwith Paolo Virno, http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpvirn02.htm
88. See Matteo Pasquinelli,Animal Spirits:A Bestiary of the Commons (Rotterdam: NAi Publishers,
2008), for a critique of Virno's positivisticand contradictorystance on the concept of the multitude.
8 9 . C a r l o s B a su a ld o ,in te r vie wwith th e a u th o r ,Ve ni ce, 10 June 2005.
90. lbid.

152

Notes to Pages 62-66

91. See CatherineDavid,"lntroduction,"


in DocumentaX: ShotlGulde(Ostfildern-Ruit:
HatieCantz.
19 99) . 11- 12.
92. Ute MetaBauer,"The Spaceof Documenta11,"in Documentall_platform
s: The Catatogue,
105. For a delinitionof the term "rhizome,"
see GillesDeleuzeand F6lixGuattari,A Thousand
plateaus:Capitalism
and Schizophrenla,
trans.BrianMassumi(London:Athlonepress,t 9B8),3-26. See
alsoHardtand Negri,Empire,398413.
93. FrancescoBonami,"r Havea Dream,"in FrancescoBonamiand MariaLuisa
Frisa,eds.,soth
Biennaledi Venezia:Dreamsand Conflicts:The Dictatorshipof the viewer (venice:
Edizioni.LaBiennaledi Veneziaand MarsilioEditori,2003),xxi_xxii.
94. Bonami,
"l Havea Dream,,'xxii.
95' AlthoughI acknowledge
the historicaland culturalsignificance
of established
bienniats-suchas
s6o Paulo,slrE sante Fe,Sydney,and Havana-theyhaveonrybeena cursory
aspectof my inves_
tigationas each deservesits own closeanalysis.For a substantialoutlineof
the historyof global
biennialculture,see SabineB. Vogel'sBienniats:
Art on a GlobalSca/e(Vienna:Springer,2010)and,
for an anthologyof someof the mostsignificant
essaysin recentyearson the riseof the biennial,see
ElenaFilipovic,Mariekevan Hal,and solveigevslebo,eds.,rhe BienniatReader(Bergen:
Bergen
Kunsthall;
Ostfildern:
HatjeCantzVerlag,2009).
.t33.
96. Mosquera,
"Someproblemsin Transcultural
Curating,,,
.97. See JamesClifford,ThePredicament
of Cutture(Cambridge,
Mass.:HarvardUniversitypress,
1988),41. clifford'stext looksat the commonality
betweennewmodelsof anthropology
and new historicismin the late 1980s,whichhe identified
as a recurringtendencytoward',etl-rnographic
self-fashioning" Extendinghis notionof the ethnographer
as a typeof storyteller,
a providerof fictionaltexts,
he statesthat "everyethnographer
[is] somethinglofl a surrealist,a reinventorand [a] reshufflerof
realities"(147).I am not suggestingthat everybiennialcuratorfollowsthe
ethnographic
approach
outlinedby Clifford,but, in manycases,the curatordoes seem to take on the
authoritative
role of
narrativeprovider,with his/herviewof the (art)worldactingas the lynchpinof
mostlarge-scate
internationalbiennialssince"LesMagiciens
de la terre.,'
98. PierreBourdieu,outtineof a Theoryof Practice,trans. RichardNice (Cambridge:
cambridge
University
Press,1977),1.
99. tbid.
100. JessicaBradley,"lnternational
Exhibitions:
A Distribution
Systemfor a NewArt WorldOrder,,,
in
Townsend,Beyondthe Box, Bg.
101. GilaneTawadros,interview
withthe author,London,30 March2006.
102. See Hou,"Towarda NewLocality,"
56.
103. SeeMesquita,
"Biennials,
Biennials,
Biennials.
. . ,,63_67.
104. For example,see "Globalrendencies,"1s2-163; MJ-Manifesta Journal:
Biennials,no.2
(Winter2003-Spring2004);and many of the essaysin Vanderlinden
and Filipovic,TheManifesta
Decade.
105. See Enwezor,"TheBlackBox,,,42-56.
106. I usethe term"multitude,"
as Enwezorhimselfrefersto it, as derivedfromHardtand Negri,suse
of the termas a resistantforce,as an alternative
politicalorganization
of globalflowsand exchanges
that can constitutea counter-Empire
opposedto the biopowerof Empire.see Hardt and Negri,
Empire,xv.
Throughoutthecatalog
Documental
1-Platform5, Enwezorsetsupadialoguewith,,Les

Notes to Pages 67-69

tr

M a g i c i e n sd e la te r r e ,"in vitin gco m p a r iso nb e twe e nthe tw o exhi bi ti onmodel s. For hi m, Jean-H ubed
Maftin, as an anthropologicalcurator, showed a subjective,single-handedapproach to exhibitingthe
other, in which distance and notions of the exotic were inflated.By contrast, Enwezor was more interested in an "anthropologyof proximity,"by which the exhibitionwould give advocacy to a multitudeof
voices, valorizing the wandering, nomadlc, hybrid producer. See Enwezor, "The Black Box"; Reesa
Greenberg, "ldentity Exhibitions:From Magiciens de la Terre to Documenta 11," Art Journal (Spring
2 0 0 5 ) ;a n d J oh a n n eL a m o u r e u x' sa n a lysiso f th e d ial oguebetw eenthe tw o exhi bi ti ons,"From Form to
Platform." For Lamoureux, Documenta 1t had a reflexivitythat allowed the politics of representation
(assocratedwith the Western cultural explorer)to llip around and articulatea representationof politics,
something she argues Martin's approach failed to address because of its unwillingnessto engage in
t h e p o l i t i c so f d isco u r seb e yo n d th e e xh ib itio n .F or other revi ew s of D ocumenta 11, see: Mi chael
Gibbs, "Documenta 11/1," Art Monthly, no. 258 (July-August 2002), 1-5; Alex Lapp, "Documenta
1112,"Art Monthly, no. 258 (July-August 2002), 7-10; Jens Hoffmann, "Reentering Art, Reentering
P o l i t i c s , "F l a s hAtt 3 4 , n o . 1 0 6 ( Ju ly- Se p te m b e2r 0 0 2), 106; Massi mi l i anoGi oni ,"Fi ndi ngthe C entre,"
F l a s hA r l 3 4 , no . 1 0 6 ( Ju ly- Se p te m b e2r0 0 2 ) , 1 0 6 - 1 07.
107. Enwezor, "The Black Box," 53.
1 0 8 . B o n a m i,"l Ha ve a Dr e a m ,"xix.
109. Christian Kravagna, "TransculturalViewpoints: Problems of Representation in Non-European
Art," in ChristophTannert, Ute Tischler,and KunstlerhausBethanien, eds., MIB-Men in Black: flandbook of CuratorialPractice (Frankfurtam Main: Revolver,2OO4),93
110. Many of the exhibitionsdiscussed in relationto colonialistand transculturalcurating have taken
p l a c e i n E u r o p e ,su ch a s "L e s M a g icie n sd e la te r r e" (P ari s),"The S hort C entury:Independenceand
L i b e r a lM o v e m e n tsin Afr ica "( cu r a te db y Okwu i En wezorfor MuseumV i l l a S tuck,Muni ch,and Marti nG r o p i u sB a u , Be r lin ,to u r in gto th e Un ite dSta te s) ,a nd D ocumenta11 (K assel ).
11 1. See Hou, "Toward a New Locality,"57-62.
1 1 2 . t b i d . ,6 2 .
"Fi rstl y,bydi spl aci ngi tshi stori cal
contextof
1 1 3 . O k w u i E n we zo r e xp la in sth is"e xtr a te r r ito r ial i ty"as:
Kassel; secondly, by moving outside the domain of the gallery space to that of the discursive; and
thirdly, by expanding the locus of the disciplinarymodels that constitute and define the project's intellectual and cultural interest."(Enwezor, "The Black Box," 42-56.)
1 14. Enwezor, "The Black Box," 49. Enwezor describes the term "Platform"as "an open encyclopedia
for the analysis of late modernity;a network of relationships;an open form for organizing knowledge;
a nonhierarchicalmodel of representation;a compendium of voices, cultural, artistic,and knowledge
circurts."The platforms were born out of discussions and debates that took place in Vienna, New
D e l h i ,B e r l i n ,St. L u cia , L a g o s,a n d Ka sse l ( 1 5 M a r ch 2001-15 S eptember2002).The fi ve pl atforms
w e r e : ( 1 ) D e m o cr a cyUn r e a lize d (; 2 ) Exp e r im e n tsw i th Truth:Transi ti onalJusti ceand the P rocesses
of Truth and Reconciliation;(3) Cr6olit6 and Creolizatron;(4) Under Siege: Four African Cities-Freetown, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos; and (5) Exhibition Documenta 1 1 and related catalog. For a
thorough discussion of the various platforms, see Stewart Martin, "A New World At1? Documenting
Documenta 11," Radical Philosophy, no.122 (November-December2003), 7-19.
1 1 5 . M a r t i n ,"A Ne w Wo r ld Ar t? ,"4 0 .
1 1 6 . M a r l h a R o sle rcite d in "Glo b a lT e n d e n cie s,"154.
1 1 7 . l b i d . ,1 61.
1 1 8 . M a r c u sVe r h a g e n ,"Bie n n a leln c.,"Aft M o n th ly, no.287 (June2005), 1-4.

154

Notes to Pages 69-70

119 . tb id.
120. See ElenaFilipovic,"The GlobalWhiteCube,"in Vanderlinden
and Filipovic,The Manifesta
Decade,63-84.
12 1. tbid .
122. tbid.
12 3. tbid .
124. lbid.,79,italicsin original.
125. tbid.
126. lwonaBlazwick,"NowHere-Work in Progress,"
in Mika Hannula,ed.,Stoppingfhe process.'
ContemporaryViewson Art and Exhibitions(Helsinki:NIFCA,1998),15.
127. SeeZygmuntBauman,"OnArt, Deathand Postmodernity-And
WhatTheyDo to EachOther,,'
in Hannula,Stoppingthe Process,31.Exhibitions
are framedbothas specific,readabletextsand as
discursiveevents,whichare not dependenton, or confinedto, the art withinthemor by theirinterior
aestheticcontents.Treatingeachexhibitionas an eventthat is discussedin relationto otherexhibitions with similarobjectives,and to issuesthat go beyondthe aestheticmeritsof the art therein,
enablessubjectsto be addressed
thatgo beyondquestionsof valueto includeculturalidentity,globalism, ethics,politics,and sexuality.This is an understanding
of exhibitions
that departsfrom what
ReesaGreenberg
definesas "a text:a spatialtext laidout in threedimensions;
a temporally
finitetext
with fixed pointsof commencement
and closure;a thematicor narrativetexu a text incorporating
hegemonic
or subversive
metatexts;
and in all instances,
a text 'read'by viewers""Instead,it includes
whatGreenberg
calls"an exhibition
as discursive
event[which]demandsawareness
oi an exhibition's
underlyingstructuresand unpredictable
repercussions."
See ReesaGreenberg,"The Exhibitionas
DiscursiveEvent,"in Longingand Belonging:From the FarawayNearby(SantaFe: SITE Sante Fe,
19 95 ),12 0-1 25 .
128. Bauman,"OnArt, Deathand Postmodernity,"
31.
129. tbid.
130. tbid.
1 31 . tb id.
132. Escheand Kortun,'The Worldls Yours,"26.
133. HansUlrichObrist,interviewwiththe author,Paris,20 April2006.
1341tbid.
135. Ute MetaBauer,interviewwiththe author,London,17 October2004.
136. tbid.
quotedin Mesquita,
137. SusanBuck-Morss
"Biennials,
Biennials,
Biennials. . . ," 66.
138. See RalphRugoff, "Rulesof the Game,"frieze,no.44 (January-February
1999),47-49.
'|39. I usethe term"newinternationalism"
here,as definedby GilaneTawadros,as a configuration
ol
"a globalprojectionof the ideaof culturalpluralism,or multiculturalism,
as it has beenformedin the
West"and beyond"as a networkof interrelations
and exchanges
acrossthe globein termsof artistic
discourse."
SeeGilaneTawadros,"NewInternationalism,"
in Fisher,G/obalt/isions,4 and 11.
140. See Meyer'scommentsand generalresponsesto relatedquestionsin "GlobalTendencies,"
163-212.

Notes to Pages 7G-73

1 4 1. t b i d .
142. Dean Macoannell, The Tourist:A New Theory of the Leisure C/ass (1976; Berkeley: Universityof
C a l i f o r n i aP r e ss, 1 9 9 9 ) ,xxl. F o r a d e ta ile dd iscu ssionon the fi gure of the touri stand the rel ati onshi p
b e t w e e n l e i s u r e ,m o b ile sp e cta to r sh ipa, n d th e fo r mati onof the moderni stmobi l e subj ect,see al so
John Urry, The Tourist Gaze: Leisureand Travelin ContemporarySociefy (London: Sage, 1990).
143. MacCannell,The Tourist,xxi.
1 4 4 . " G l o b a lTe n d e n cie s,"2 1 2 .
and P ostcol oni al i sm,"
n : t in the A ge of Gl obal l \,4i grati on
1 4 5 . O k w u i E n we zo r ,"ln clu sio n /Exclu sio Ar
frieze, no.28 (March-April1996), 89-90.
1 4 6 . S e e F i lip o vic,"T h e Glo b a l Wh ite Cu b e ," 6 6 . For exampl e, S anti ago S i erra's bl ocki ngof the
S p a n i s h P a v ilio na t th e 5 0 th Ve n ice Bie n n a le - b y a bri ck w al l renderi ngthe pavi l i oni naccessi bl e
except to the Spanish public,and then only on presentationof an official nationalidentificationcard; or
S i e r r a ' sa c t i ona t th e o p e n in go f th e 4 9 th Ve n ice Biennal e,w hen he bl eachedthe hai r of tw o hundred
migrant workers from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, who could then be identified during the first
w e e k s o f t h e bie n n ia lb y vir tu eo f th e ir d istin ctiveh a irstyl es.
147. See Maurizio Cattelan and Jens Hoffmann, Blown Away: Sixth Caribbean Biennial (Lyon: Les
Presses du R6el, 2001). See also Tom Morton, "lnfinite JesIer," frieze, no. 94 (october 2005),
150*1 55.
'148. Kwon, One Place after Another, 52.
1 4 9 . l b i d - K wo n p r o vid e sth e e xa m p le o f "Pla ce sw i th a P ast" (1991), curated by Mary Jane Jacob,
which took the city of Charleston,South Carolina, as the backdrop, the main subject matter, and the
principal location for the commissioningof new works by artists conceived in response to the specific
s i t e s i n a n d a r o u n d Ch a r le sto n .
150. Kwon, One Placeafter Another. According to Kwon, "site-specific"has been replaced by terms
such as "socially engaged," "site-oriented,""site-responsive,"and "context-specific"as a way of
rethinking how meaningful relationshipscan be established between the site of production and the
receptionof an aftwork that considers its place within the social sphere as its main focus.
1 5 1 . S e e V e rh a g e n ,"Bie n n a leln c.,"1 *4 .
152. See Arlforum 45, no. 4 (December 2006), which ran the cover "Besl of 2006," as selected by
curators, artists, and critics, and frieze, no. 104 (January-Februaty2007), which began 2007 with a
review ol the "Best in An, Music, Film, Design, Books" from the preceding year.
153. Eivind Furnesvik,"Phantom Pains: A Study of Momentum: Nordic Festival of ContemporaryArt
( 1 9 9 8 a n d 2 00 0 ) a n d th e Jo h a n n e sb u r gBie n n a le (1995 and 1997)," i n Jonas E keberg,ed.' N ew
lnstitutionatism,Verkstedno. 7 (Oslo: Office for ContemporaryArt Norway, 2OO3)'41.
154. See Vivian Rehberg's review in frieze, no. 112 (January-February2008)' 50-51 .
1 5 5 . B r u c e W . F e r g u so n a n d M ile n a M . Ho e g sb erg,"Tal ki ng and Thi nki ng about B i enni al s:The
Potentialof the Discursive,"in Filipovic,van Hal, and Ovstebs, The Biennial Reader,361-375.
Fi l i povi c,vanH al ,and
1 5 6 . S e e w w w.b b c2 o Og .n o fo r m o r e d e ta ils,a n d thesubsequentpubl i cati onof
Ovstebo, The Biennial Reader.
1 5 7 . B o u t o ux,"A T a le o f T wo Citie s,"2 ' 15 .
15 8 . E n w e z orin vite dCa r lo s Ba su a ld o ,Ute M e ta Bauer,S uzanneGhez, S arat Maharaj ,Mark N ash,
and Octavio Zaya.

tco

Notes to Pages 73-79

159 For the 2nd Johannesburg


"TradeRoutes,Historyand Geography 1gg7,
Bienniar,
,,,in
Enwezor
workedwith MahenBonetti,Hou Hanru,KeilieJones,yu yeon
Kim,GerahoMt"qr"r", corin Richards, and octaviozaya. see the catarog,okwui Enwezoret ar.,
eds., Trade Routes,History and
Geography:
2nd Johannesburg
Biennial(Johannesburg:
GreaterJohannesburg
Metropolitan
council,
1997).
160. See Enwezor's
commentsin,,Global
Tendencies,,,
163_212.
1 61. tbid.
162. Enwezor,
interviewwiththe author.
163 For a surveyof Manifesta,see Vanderlinden
and Filipovic,The ManifestaDecade,and,
for a
critiqueof thatbook,see pauro'Neiil,"Manifesta,',
Art Monthry,no.299 (september2006).44.
164. St6phanieMoisdon,interviewwiththe author,paris,18 April
2005.
165. tbid.
166. tbid.
'167.AndrewRenton,interview
withthe author,London,25 October2OO4_
168.SeeBonami,
"l Havea Dream,,,xix.
169. Bonamicitedin,,Global
Tendencies.,,
157.
170. tbid.
171. see http://www.e-frux.com/projects/utopia
(accessed21 october2006).For a genearogy
and
detailedhistoryof the multiplemanifestations
of the orchestration
of ,,utopiastation,,,seealso Liam
Gilfick,"Fora Functionar
position,',
Utopia?A Reviewof a
in o,Neiil,curatingsuby.ecfs,
123_136.
'172.see catherine
Davrd,ed.,Documenta
X (ostfirdern-Ruit:
Hatjecantz, 1999).
173. See Escheand Kortun,',TheWorldls yours,,,24_35.
1 74 wHW et al , eds , what Keeps M ank in d A t i v e ? T h e T e x t s ( l s t a n b u l :
1 1 t h I n t e r n a t i o nl satla n b u l
Biennialand lstanbulFoundation
for CultureandArts,2009).
1T5 Documenta's
magazineprojectresultedin the publication
of threeissues:Modernlty?, Life!, and
Education.
176. SeeFilipovic,',The
GlobalWhiteCube,"66.
177. See Enwezor,"TheBlackBox.,,
178. frit Rogoff, "of Fear,of contactandof Entangrement,,,
in Judithstewartet ar.,eds., strangers
to
Ourselves(Hastings:HastingsMuseumand Art Gallery,2OO4),52.
179. Enwezor,interview
withthe author.
180. See Bauer,"TheSpaceof Documenta
1.l," 103_107.
1 81 .tb id. 103.
,
182 1am not suggesting
herethat Enwezorand Rogoffare in completeaccordance
witheachother,
and I do notwishfor theirpositionsto be misreadas a unifiedone,
butthereare distinctsimilarities.
I
am specifically
referringto their apparentlymutualunderstanding
of ,,place,,
as a contestedsite of
postcolonial
discourse.
183' This approachcontinuedwith Documenta12 artisticdirector
RogerM. Buerghel,who invited
curatorGeorgschollhammer
to reflecton certainkeyquestionsbeforethe openingoi the
exnibition
at
Kassel(on 16 June2007).over eightyprintand onlineperiodicals
fromaroundthe worldwereinvited

Notes to Pages 79-83

to consider Documenta 12's three leitmotifs-ls modernity our antiquity?What is bare life? What is to
be done? The first Documenta 12 magazinewas assembled to summarize these debates in a "journal
of journals" published as Georg Schollhammer, ed., Documenta 12 Magazine No. 1, 2007 Modernity?
( C o l o g n e :T a sch e n Gm b H, 2 0 0 7 ) , with issu e s 2 a n d 3 fol l ow i ngi n the spri ng and summer oI 2007.
Each issue offered a perspective-elaborated jointly by more than eighty editors of journals-on one
(accessed10 Januo l t h e c o r e t h em e s o f Do cu m e n ta1 2 . Se e www.d o cumenta.l 2.dei magazi ne.htm
ary 2O07).
1 8 4 . B a u e r .i nte r vie wwith th e a u th o r .
1 8 5 . E n w e z o r ,in te r vie wwith th e a u th o r .
186. Carlos Basualdo,"The Encyclopediaof Babel," in Documental 1 Platform 5: The Catalogue, 60.
187. See Enwezor, "The Black Box," 53.
s n d th e A nti nomi esof a Transnati onalGl obal Form," i n
1 8 8 . O k w u i E n we zo r , "M e g a - Exh ib itio n a
MJ-Manifesta Journal: Biennials,no. 2 (Winter 2003-Spring 2004)' 31
3 C u r a t i n g a s a M e d iu m o f Ar tistic Pr a ctice
1 . J u s t i n H o ffm a n n , "Go d ls a Cu r a to r ," in Ch r is toph Tannert, U te Ti schl er, and K unstl erhaus
Bethanien. eds., MIB-Men in Btack: Handbook of CuratorialPractice (Frankfurtam Main: Revolver,
2004),10e.
2. See Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production (New York: Columbia University Press,
19 9 3 ) , 2 6 1.
3 . T h e o d o r W . Ad o r n o a n d M a x Ho r kh e im e r ,"T h e C ul ture Industry:E nl i ghtenmentas Mass D ecepIion," in Diatectic of Enlightenment,trans. John Cummings (Dialektikder Aufklarung,1944; London:
Verso Classics, 1997), 120-1 67.
4 . S e e i b i d . ,1 2 1 .
5. Theodor W. Adorno, The Culture lndustry (1972; London: Routledge, 1991), 108
6 . l b i d . ,1 0 9 ; se e a lso 1 0 7 - 1 3 1 .
7 . l b i d . ,1 0 1 .
8 . l b i d . .1 0 7 : se e a lso 1 0 7 - 1 3 1.
.

9. For an excellent theorization of the curator as mediator, see Soren Andreasen and Lars Bang
L a r s e n ' s" T h e M id d le m a n :Be g in n in gto T h in k a b o u t Medi ati on,"i n P aul O'N ei l l ,ed., C urati ngS ubi ects
( L o n d o n :O p en Ed itio n s;Am ste r d a m :De Ap p e l,2 OO7),20-30.
10. tbid.
11 . t b i d .
'12. tbid.
1 3 . R a y m o n dWillia m s,Ke ywo r d s( L o n d o n :F o n ta n aP ress,1983)' 204' i tal i csi n ori gi nal .
"H aral d S zeemann's
1 4 . H a r a l d S ze e m a n n cite d in F a b ie n Pin a r o lia n d K arl a G. R oal andi ni -B eyer,
Biography (Bern, 1933-Tegna,2005)," in Florence Derieux, ed., Harald Szeemann: lndividual Meth'
o d o l o g y ( Z u r i ch :JRP Rin g ie r ,2 0 0 7 ) , 1 9 5 .
1 5 . S e e B r u ce F e r g u so n ,"Exh ib itio nRh e to r ics,"in R eesa Greenberg,B ruce Ferguson,and S andy
Nairne, eds., Thinkingabout Exhibitions(London: Routledge, 1996)' 178
16. tbid.

158

Notes to Pages 83-90

1 7. tb id.
1 8. tbid .
19 . lbid .,1 79 .
20. Greenberg,
Ferguson,
and Nairne,Thinking
aboutExhibitions,2.
21 . Ferguson,
"Exhibition
Rhetorics,,,
176.
22. See FlorenceDerieux,"lntroduction,"
g_10.
in Derieux,HaraldSzeemann,
zJ.

carof Duncan,civilizingRituats:tnsidepublic Art Museums(Abingdon,


u.K.: Routledge,1995),

o.

24. tbid.,179.
25. The thematicgroupexhibition
emergedas a formativemodelfor definingwaysof engagingwith
suchdisparateinterestsas exoticism,
feminism,identity,multiculturalism,
othernessano queerness.
As arguedin chapter2, the ubiquityof the biennialmodelsincethe 1990s-and the
consistency
of
suchexhibitions
in beingcenteredon an overarching
transcultural,
cross-national,
and inclusivethematicstructure-hashelpedto definethe modesof art'sengagement
with a varietyof sociopolitical
and globalculturaltopics.Throughtheirdiversityof outcomes,groupexhibitions
haveatsoofferedan
alternative
to moretraditionalWesternmuseumexhibitionparadigms,
such as the monographic
or
genreexhibition,
or the permanent
collection.
SeeOkwuiEnwezor,interviewwiththe author,Bristol.4
February2005.
26. BorisGroys,"on the curatorship,"
in Art power (cambridge,Mass.:Mlr press,2008),44_45.
27. See,in particular,
DanielBirnbaumand Sven-OlovWallenstein,
"Thinkingphilosophy,
Spatially:
Jean-Franqois
Lyotard'sLes lmmat6riaux
andthe Philosophy
of the Exhibition,,,in
DanietBirnbaumet
al., eds.,ThinkingWorlds:TheMoscowConferenceon Phitosophy,Potiticsand Art(Berlin:
Sternberg
Press,2008),123-146.
28. SusanStewart,"The Gigantic,"in On Longing: Narratives
of theMiniature,the Gigantic,the Souvenir,the Collection(Durham:DukeUniversity
press,1993),71.
29. tbid.
s0. tbid.
31- In spiteof the apparentcontradiction
in describing
one of my own projects,givenmy critiqueof
self-positioning
withinthe curatorial
field,thisdurational
exhibition
perhapsbestillustrates
my hypothesis.Fromthe outset,"Coalesce"
wasself-consciously
and explicifly
intendedas a practicalmeansof
testingout how all exhibitions
gathertheirformthroughthesethreespatialplanes.Tnereare many
otherexamplesof exhibitions
that haveconsidered
this spatialproposition,
althoughtessdirectly.In
eachcase,the curato(s)broughtboththe processual
conceptof curatingand the exhibition-as-form
to the fore.Whilealso relatingtheirprojectsto historicalcuratorialprecedents,
eachof theseshows
considered,exhibitiondesigncomponents,
a layeringof works,and elaboratinguponthe different
spatiotemporal
qualitiesof the finalexhibitionform.Includedin this long list wouldbe: ,,unExhibit,,
at
the GeneraliFoundation,
Vienna(2011);"voids"at Kunsthaile
Bern(2009);MartinBeck,s,,Aboutthe
RelativeSizeof Thingsin the Universe"
at Casco,Utrecht(2007);"protections:
This is not an Exhibition," KunsthausGraz (2006);JonathanMonk's"continuousprojectAlleredDaily,',
lcA, London
(2005);"MakingThingsPublic,"ZKM, Karlsruhe(2005);,,permaculture,"
poect Art centre. Dubtin
(2001);"Formless"at the PompidouCentre,Paris(1999);"The Instituteof Cultural
Anxiety,,'lCA,
London(1994);andso on.

Notes to Pages 90-93

project,begunin 2003at LondonPrintStudioGallery,andto


is an ongoingexhibition
32. "Coalesce"
eachone evolvingfrom its previous
date realizedin five differentvenuesas five distinctexhibitions,
with artistsKathrinBohm,JaimeGili,and EduardoPadilhaas constantcollaborators
incarnation(s),
growingfromthreeartiststo a showof over eightyartistswhen it
throughout
and withthe exhibition
Happenstance."
in 2010underthe title"Coalesce:
took placein SMARTProjectSpace,Amsterdam,
at LondonPrintStudioGallery,
33. To date,the projecthas takenthe formof five distinctexhibitions
UK (2003);GaleriaPalmaXll, Villa Franca,Spain(2004);The Modeland NilandGallery,Sligo,lreat SMARTwhichinvolvedthe
tand(2005);Redux,London,UK (2005);andthe mostrecentexhibition
DavidBlandy,Het BlauweHuiswith M2Mradio,
followingartists:DaveBeechand MarkHutchinson,
KathrinB6hm,NinaCanell,OrianaFox,Freee,Generalldea,JaimeGili,ClareGoodwin,LotharGotz,
CyrilLepetit,Ronan
TellervoKalleinenand OliverKochta-Kalleinen,
Tod Hanson,TobyHuddlestone,
Mcgrea,JonathanMosleyand SophieWarrenwithCanAltay,Jem Noble,lsabelNolan,HaroldOffeh,
MarkOrange,EduardoPadilha,GarrettPhelan,SarahPierce,ManuelSaiz,Savage,temporarycontemporary,RichardVenlet,RobinWatkins,LawrenceWeiner,Matt White,MickWilson."Coalesce"
lilm programinvolved:UrsulaBiemannand AngelaSanders,JakupFeni,EsraErsen,Adla lsanovic,
Museumof Contemporary
An,
Helmutand JohannaKandl,TadejPogadarand the P.A.R.A.S.l.T.E
by lrishmusicresearch
MarkoRaatselectedby B + B. Specialopeningevent:musicalperformance
consistsof Nollaig6 FiongroupTradFutures@W2.0,
organizedby MickWilson.TradFutures@W2.0
ghdile,BrianO Huiginn,
PatrickDalyandBillWright.
as it impliedby BrianMassumi,as the technicaluseof nettechniques,"
34. I usethe term"relational
For Massumia rethinkingof the dichotomy
technologies.
and transportation
work communications
betweenobiectsand subjectsneedsto considerhowthe receptionof spacemustgrow"beyondthe
and altersoursensesthroughhaptic
realmof the an object"to accountfor howspatialplaystimulates
"Who'sAfraid
and relationalmodesof physicalactivity.Massumicitedhereirom SabethBuchmann,
(Vienna:GeneraliFoundation,201
1),
in SabineFolieand LiseLafer,eds.,unExhibit
of Exhibiting?,"
17 7.
withthe author,London,2 June2005.
35. GavinWade,interview
Curatorsin the Field
"Curatorial
On the Roleof Freelance
Criticality:
36. See Beatricevon Bismarck,
Revolver,
2007),68.
ed.,CuratingCitique (Frankfurt:
Art,"in MarianneEigenheer,
of Contemporary
37. tbid.
Turn
seeJannaGraham,"Betweena Pedagogical
38. Fora moredetailedanalysisof thisdistinction,
in
Paul
O'Neilland MickWilson,eds.,Curatingand the
with
Conditions,"
and a HardPlace:Thinking
De Appel,2010)'124-139.
Amsterdam:
lurn (London:OpenEditions;
Educational
Universityof Minnesota
39. GiorgioAgamben,MeanswithoutEnd:Noteson Politics(Minneapolis:
Press,2000),57.
in Tannert,Tischler,and Kiinstleras Artists?,"
Huber,"Artistsas Curators-Curators
40. Hans-Dieter
MIB-Men in Black,126.
hausBethanien,
interviewwiththe author,Paris,27 January2004'
41. See NicolasBourriaud,
137-142.
42. See Jens Hoffmann,"A CertainTendencyof Curating,"in O'Neill,CuratingSub.1'ects,
Hoffmann'sessaytakesits titlefrom FrangoisTruffaut'slandmarktext,firstpublishedin 1954,which
the theoryof Iheauteurin cinemaat a timewhenfilm directorssoughtto be perceivedat
introduced
Truffaut,"A CertainTendencyof the FrenchCinema,"
the samelevelas literaryauthors.See Frangois
Press,1976).
of California
University
in BillNichols,ed.,Moviesand Methods(Berkeley:
withthe author,London,11 August2004.
interview
43. SeeJensHoffmann,

160

Notes to Pages 93-97

S**

r]f.

-.:r-

S:-n:a-:

l+'::

"1,-

- -*2

-i::'?J::i:r'

.:,:ra-i:

rsa:a:i*L,-:l-C

iit:::r

rCr

r3Sff

?=

:at-r-g-=

":

Se: -,:,-- \r ='. 'A'cl: i,{acht Spass?.' in Jens Hoffmann. ed.. Ihe Nert Documenta Should Be
2:?. .., z' A.i sl rFranKurt am Main: Revolver.2004), 59.
Hoet. -An lntroduction."20.
tbid.

48. tbid.,21.
49. tbid.,20.
(1972),cited in "WhereAre the Artists?,"Buren's
50. DanielBuren,"Exhibitions
of an Exhibition"
contributionto Hoffmann,The NextDocumentaShouldBe Curatedby an Artist,26.
51- Buren,"WhereAre the Artists?,'26-27.
52. KynastonL. McShine,"lntroduction,"
in lnformation(NewYork: Museumof ModernArt, 1970),
1 41 .
53. Buren,"WhereAre the Artists?,"
30.
54. tbid.
55. Mark Peterson,cited in Hoffmann,The NextDocumentaShouldBe Curatedby an Artlst, 80-This
commentwas originally
madeas partof an OpenForumthattookplaceon www.e-flux.com.
56. Beatricevon Bismarck,"Curating,"
in Tannert,Tischler,and Kunstlerhaus
Bethanien,
MIB-Men
in Black,99.
5 /.

to to .

58. tbid.
59. NathalieHeinichand MichaelPollak,"FromMuseumCuratorto ExhibitionAuteur:Inventinga
SingularPosition,"
in Greenberg,
Ferguson,
and Nairne,ThinkingaboutExhibitions,23T.
60. tbid.
61. See Jean-MarcPoinsot,"Art and lts Contextor a Questionof Culture,"in De(ieux,Harald
Szeemann.23.
62. For a full listof contributors
to the project,its touringhistory,a detailedbibliography
and a state(accessed10 February2009).
mentby the curators,see www.curatingdegreezero.org
63. BarnabyDrabble,interviewwiththe author,London,28 April2005.Seealsowww.curatingdegreezero
.org.As the archivetours,it alsogathersnewmaterialfromthe particular
networksof the hostvenues.
Mostof the curatorsin the archivefavorworkingtogetherwith artistsand otherpractitioners,
rather
than with discreteobjectsor existingartworks.As part of an ongoingresearchprojectdedicatedto
collatingand archivingthe work of freelanceor noninstitutional
curalors,anist-curators,
new-media
curatorsand collaborative
curatorialgroups,the archiveis an essentialresourcefor any interested
researcher
withinthe field.lt alsohasa usefulWebsiteand onlinebibliography
o{ literature
cataloged
as partof the archive.In general,the makeupof the archivearticulates
curatingas a mutating,differential,discursive,
multifarious,
and unlixedindividualdiscipline.Eachtime the archiveis displayed,
Drabbleand Richterinvitean artist,artists'collective,
the archiveandsupplya
or curatorto reinterpret
designedsupportstructurefor displayof the material.For example,whenthe exhibition
took placeat
lmperialCollege,London,in 2005,Artlab(artistsCharlotteCullinanand JeanineRichards)recycled,
remade,and reusedexistingelementsfromtheirsignature
brownand whitesculptures
and produced
an environmentin whichto displaythe archive.The artistssuppliedseating,tablesand towering

Notes to Pages 97-100

tb l

displayunitsmadefrompiled-upcircularcablereelsthatwereas dominantas the enormousamount


containedwithintheirdisplaystructures.Bothstruclureand
of files,archiveboxesand publications
displayedmaterialsworkedin tandemand,on the whole,the CDZAprojectappears10questionwhat
(1) the exhibition
The mainfocusof the projectappearsto be foutJold:
as an
is reallybeingexhibited.
as a representation
of the diversityof
for interested
visitors;(2)the exhibition
archivemadeaccessible
of an artwork-as
curatorialpractices;(3) the exhibitionas a placefor the production
contemporary
of
the structurefor supportingand displayingthe materialand (4) the exhibitionas a combination
initiative.
theseelementsas a curatorial
64. Bourdieu,TheFieldof CulturalProduction,261.
65. lbid.,261-262.
6 6. tbid .,26 1.
67. tbid.,261-262.
68. JonathanWatkins,"TheCuratoras Atlisl,"Art Monthly,no. 111(November1987),27.
69. See also RolandBafthes,"The Deathof the Author,"in Image-Music-Iexf(London:Fontana
Paperbacks,1977), 142-148
70. Watkins,"TheCuratoras Artist,"27. SeealsoOscarWilde,TheCriticas Artist(1890;Los Angeles:SunandMoonBooks,1997).
71. Watkins,"TheCuratoras Artist,"27.
72. DorotheeRichter,"CuratingDegreeZero,"in DorotheeRichterand Eva Schmidt,eds.,Curating
DegreeZero: An InternationalCuratingSymposium(Nuremberg:Verlagfur ModerneKunst, 1999),
1 6.
73. LiamGillick,interviewwiththe author,NewYork,3 May2004.
(accessed21 February
74. See http://www.e-flux.com/projects/do_iVhomepage/do_it_home.html
2008).
75. Gillick,interviewwith the author.Gillickgoeson to describethe projeclas tryingto complicate
"certainquestionsof authorship. . . the ideaol the showwas howto test the assumplion,
alreadyin
to referto any art thatwas being
evidenceat that point,that peoplewereusingthe term 'conceptual'
producedin Britainat the time that wasn'tpainting.So I usedthe old modelof doingan instruction
show. . . [asking]GillianWearingor JeremyDelleror GiorgioSadottiandso on,to giveme an instructionthat I couldcarryout in the galleryon theirbehalf."
76. Richter,"CuratingDegreeZero,"16"
in Richterand Schmidt,CuratingDegreeZero, 11.
77. SigridSchade,"Preface,"
"Godls a Curator,"108.
78. See Hoffmann,
79. Ibid.
80. See Huber,"Artistsas Curators-Curatorsas Artists?,"126.By contrast,JustinHoffmannproposesthatthreenewercuratorialmodelshaveemerged:(1) curatorswho realizeexhibitions
without
aftists,(2) curatorswho do not curateanything,insteadinitiatingprojectsand gatheringparticipants
together,and (3) curatorswho initiateprojectswithanists,butwithoutart,wherethe primaryaim is to
processesin motion,ratherthan presenting
finishedproducts.See Hoffmann"God
set art-producing
ls a Curator,"103-108.As I havealreadyarguedin chapter2, sincethe late1980s,otherinstitutional
issueshavecome into playthat haveconfiguredcuralingas a nomadicinternaand infrastructural
reiterates
this:
tionalpracticecenteredon the biennialcircuit.AlexFarquharson

162

Notes to Pages 102-1 04

' .::=

+
---i

:- - z- .- =- a=

.--

{ + - E=

z: 2- z:.zE-

: l-c

- - = :'.-

- ,:r

'- E+- :

- ,1i :r

-.

a"l"n" 'o. a re,l 3.eeoc' c--a:o.-'cie;einterdisciplinary


in- outlook.
in command
of severar
ranguages:- :-: -:,e. lntemationalt/networteO.
expanded
anddirections
in an increasingly
accelerated,
cultural
field.
r,ro rrgnt discempatterns
--

"l Curate,You Curate,We Curate. . . ," Att Monthly,no. 269 (September


2003),
AIexFarquharson,
7 -10 .
Thefocuson the deployment
of artworksas partof a curatorialobjectivehasalsobeenevident
sincethe first postgraduate
curatingcourseopenedits doors,at Le Magasin,Grenoble,in 1987.Le
(including
Magasin'smodelhas beenfollowed,and adapted,by numeroussubsequentinstitutions
the RoyalCollegeof Art, London;De Appel,Amsterdam,and EcoleSup6rieuredes Beaux-Arts,
Thetemplatefor suchcoursespredominantly
involvesworkHauteEcoled'ArtVisuelHES,Geneva).
ing on a group curatorialproject,with the final productusuallytaking the form of a collectively
curatedthematicgroupexhibition.
LiamGillick,
GoshkaMacuga,
Philippe
Parreno,
81. Manyarlistscouldbe addedto thislist,including
Superflex,
RirkritTiravanija,
GavinWade,and manyothers,who oftenmovebetweenmakingautonomousartworksand involvingotherartistsandworkin theirprojects.
82. Huber,"Artistsas Curators-Curators
as Artists?,"126.
Education,
Entertainment,"
in AnnaHarding,
83. SeeUteMetaBauerand FareedArmaly,"lnformation,
ed., "On Curating:The Contemporary
An Museumand Beyond,"Art and DesignMagazine,no. 52
(London:AcademyEditions,1997),83.
Light Therapy,whichwas commissioned
by curatorMaria
84. Anothereiample beingSustersid's
Lindas a ModernaMuseetProjekt.A completely
whiteroom,withwhitefurniture,
wasdesignedby the
to intenseartificialdaylight,under
artistas a spacewherevisitorswereinvitedto exposethemselves
controlled
conditions,
as a formof treatmentfor SeasonalAffectiveDisorder(a conditioncommonto
peoplelivingin the Nordiccountries
wherethereis littledaylightduringthewintermonths).The project
was accompanied
by workshops,guidedtours,film screenings,
and a lectureprogramorganizedby
Apolonija.ModernaMuseetProjekt
the artistand curator.See MariaLind,"lntroduction,"
in SuSfer5li,
4.2-14.37999(Stockholm:
ModernaMuseet,1999),6-7.
85" GavinWade,"Artist+ Curator=,"AN Magazine(April2000),10-14.Wade'stext was accompaniedby statements
amongothers,
by KathrinBohm,PerHuttner,TaniaKovats,and KennySchachter,
in an attemptto clarifyhow curatingand artisticpractice,involvingsome levelof collaboration
or a
of roles,had becomea commontrendby the late1990s.
combination
fromthe Eighties:
in O'Neill,CuratingSublecfs,
86. JulieAult,"ThreeSnapshots
On GroupMaterial,"
between1981and 1989.
exhibitions
32-Ault'sessayprovidesa detailedaccountol GroupMaterial's
87. Miller,"ArbeitMachtSpass?,"59- Millerarguesthat Jan Hoet'stechniqueof "confrontational
hanging"was lessaboutthe exposureof "non-reflexive
assumptions
aboutwhatmakesup an exhibitionandwhatthatmightmean"-whichwouldhavebeenin keepingwiththeseartists'curatorial
interof works[which]equatesanistrywith
ventions-and more about"the wilfullyarbitraryjuxtaposition
freeexerciseof subjectivity."
to his interviewwith DougAshford,JulieAult, FelixGonzalez88. See Jim Drobnick'sintroduction
"Dialectical
Tones,and membersof GroupMaterial,in Jim Drobnick,
GroupMaterialism:
An Interview
AgainstAIDS,New York1987-1994,12thSeswith GroupMaterial,"in AIDSRiot: AtlistCollectives
Le Magasin,2003),281" Thisinterviewwasfirstpublishedin
sionof the Ecoledu Magasin(Grenoble:
Parachute,
no. 56 (October-December
1989).

N o t e s t o P a g e s ' 1 0 4- 1 0 5

163

"Dialectical
in A/DSRiot,278-279.
GroupMaterialism,"
89. See Drobnick.
as Virus:Generalldea'sBookshell1967-1975,"in Fern
90. AA Bronson,"Mythas Parasite/lmage
Bayer,ed.,The Searchforthe Spirit:Generalldea 1968-1975(Toronto:Galleryof Ontario,1997),19.
91 . tb id.,19 -20.
Summitat the BanffCentreon
Curatorial
92. In his keynoteaddressfor the Banff2000International
issuesin contemporary
curating,
thethird
threerecurring
24 August2000,BruceFergusonhighlighted
See MelanieTownsend,
and authorialstructures."
betweencollaborative
of whichwas "thedifference
"TheTroubleswith Curating,"in MelanieTownsend,ed., Beyondthe Box: DivergingCuratorialPracflces(Banif,Canada:BanffCentrePress,2003),xv.
(Frankfurt:
Revolver,
2005).
93. See Ren6Blockand AngelikaNollert,eds.,CollectiveCreativity
94" Seewww.spike-island.org.uk/?q=node/285
theirambitiouslstanbulBiennialof 2009,"WhatKeeps
is notedthroughout
95. Suchan assessment
MankindAlive?,"in whichthey portrayedan alliedbut nonunifiedglobalaft multitude,while being
of theirselection.For example,in the catalogessay,theystatedthat
explicitaboutthe demographics
28 percentol the artistsselectedwere born in Europeand NorthAmerica,but 45 percentare now
twentytwowere livingoutsideol theircountryof
residingthere.Of the seventyartistsrepresented,
artistsoriginallybeingfromthe MiddleEast,eighteenfrom EasternEurope,ten
origin(twenty-seven
fromWesternEurope,fivefromCentralAsia,and so on).Thuswithlessthanhalfof the artistsresidprovidingan
represented,
differentnationalities
thirty-eight
ing in the.West,therewere nonetheless
indicationof the diasporicnatureof the art worldvia a curatorialstatement.See What How and for
Whom (WHW),What Keeps MankindAlive? Guide to the 11th lstanbulBiennial(lstanbul:lstanbul
for CultureandArts,2009\,22-27.
Foundation
of JeremyMillar'sinclusionof the helmetwornby DonaldCampbellduring
96. Thiswas reminiscent
"TheInstitute01CulturalAnxiety"at
his successful
worldlandspeedrecordattempt,in the exhibition
Arls in 1994.In fact, in exhibitionscuratedby anists-from Joseph
the Instituteof Contemporary
at the BrooklynMuseum,New York (1990)to Hans
Kosuth's"The Play of the Unmentionable"
(1996)and"MixedMessages"
at
Haacke's"ViewingMatters"at the MuseumBoijmansvan Beuningen
the Victoriaand AlbertMuseumand the SerpentineGallery(2001),and from RichardWentworth's
"Thinking
Aloud"at the CamdenArtsCentre(1999)to numerousdisplaysby FredWilson,MarkDion,
objects
and Cummingsand Lewandowska-theinsertionof everydayand historical
HaimSteinbach,
trope.
has becomea curatorial
intoarl exhibitions
Att Monthly,no.275 (April2OO4),7-1O.
97. See PaulO'Neill,"l Am a Curator,"
Gallery,London,5 November-14
98. Seepressrelease{or"PerH[ittner:I Am a Curator,"Chisenhale
December
2003.
displaysystemwas puzzlinggiventhat
99. The presenceof Condorelliand Wade'stransformative
display.Wade,
contextfor eachpotentialexhibition
the galleryitselfprovidedan efficientarchitectural
with both Huttnerand Macugaon numerousprojects,also provided"support
who has collaborated
systems"for the aspiringcurator.Aimedat assistingdecisionmaking,theseincludeda listof thingsto
do if you were stuck;a selectionof gamesincludingJengaand Connect4; phonenumbersof wellcuratorsfromhisown"littleblackbook"of curators;contactdetailsof localmateknowncontemporary
rial suppliers,shopsand merchantsand an excellentlibraryof literatureon curating.Manyof these
supportive
elementscouldhaveproducedtheirowncohesivecuratorialprojectand,likeotherexhibitiondesignsby Wade,the presenceof an overallcentralsupportstructurealreadyproduceda rather
were
displayaesthetic.See O'Neill,"l Am a Curator,"10" Both of these exhibitions
all-enveloping
placedat the
mediatedas the workof the artistwiththe nameof the artistandthe titleof the exhibition

164

Notes to Paoes 106-1 12

and "Per Huttner:I Am a


top ol each pressrelease:"GoshkaMacuga:KabinettDer Asbstrakten"
For documentation
of these projects,see "GoshkaMacuga:Kabinettder
Curatol' respectively.
in pressbrochure,BloombergSpace,London,4 October-29November2003,and Per
Abstrakten,"
Gallery,2005).
Huttner,ed.,I Am a Curator(London:Chisenhale
of an Exhibition
1OO.SeeGregoryWilliams,"Exhibitions
,"Aftforum42, no.2 (October2003).
Display,"B + B's (SarahCarrington
were:CatherineWood's"Emblematic
101. The six exhibitions
and SophieHope's)"RealEstate:Art in a ChangingCity,"Tom Mortonand CatherinePatha's"Evena
StoppedClockTellsthe RightTimeTwicea Day,"Guy Brett's"Anywherein the World:DavidMedal"The RealMe,"and GregorMuils 'The Georgeand DragonPublic
la's London,"GilaneTawadros's
House."SeeJensHoffmann,ed.,Londonin SixEasySteps(London:lCA,2005).
ACT I and ll (London:lCA,2004).
release,Aftists'Favorites:
brochure/press
102. Exhibition
Artlsts'Favorlexivity,Curatingandthe 'DoubleNegativeSyndrome':
103. See PaulO'Neill,"Self-Ref
2004,"TheFuture,no. 1 (2004),10.
ites:ACT 1 andACT ll. lCA,London,5 June-s September
Praced.,CuratingNow:lmaginative
in PaulaMarincola,
104. HansUlrichObrist,"PanelStatement,"
2001),23-24.
Initiative,
(Philadelphia:
Philadelphia
Exhibitions
tice/PubticResponsibility
105. Co-curatedby MollyNesbitt,HansUlrichObristand RirkritTiravanilaFirstincludedas part o{
Francesco
Bonami's2003VeniceBiennaleand latershownat Hausder Kunst,Munich,2004.
(accessed12 December
106. See http://universes-in-universe.de/carlvenezialbien5olutopia/e-press.htm
2010).
and MollyNesbit,HansUlrichObrist,and Rirkrit
107. lbid.See alsowww.e-flux.com/projects/utopia
Tiravanija,
"Whatls a Slation?,"in FrancescoBonamiand MariaLuisaFrisa,eds.,50th Biennaledi
Venezia:Dreamsand Conflicts:TheDictatorshipof the Viewer(Venice:EdizioniLa Biennaledi Venezia and MarsilioEditori,2003),319-415.
108. See MariaLind,"Whatlf,'in Lind,ed., Whatlf: Art on the Vergeof Architectureand Design
(Stockholm:
ModernaMuseet,2000)(posterset in box,unpaginated).
109. Gillick,interviewwiththe author.
11 0. Lin d,"Wha tlf . "Seeals oAlex Far quhar s on, "C u r a t o r a n d A r t i s l , " A r tnMoo. 2n7t h0l(yO, c t o b e r
intothe exhibitionlayoutwas to groupthe worksof seventeenof
2OO3),
13-16.Gillick'sintervention
clusterwithinthe gallery.Otherworkswerealso
the twenty-one
artistsintoa tightlypackedgeometric
or as a programmed
event,
buildingor in a publication
beyondthe mainexhibition
shownelsewhere,
BraslllaHall (1998-2000)and works by Jorge Pardo, Rita
while DominiqueGonzalez-Foerster's
of the space.
McBride,and MartinBoycetook up three-quarters
111. Lind,"Whatlf." SeealsoLiamGillick,"Whatlf We Attemptedto AddressThatWhichSeemsSo
Apparent?,"in Lind,Whatlf .
Kunst,Ghent.
112. At Museumvan Hedendaagse
'113. SeeAdrianSearle,"Thisls the Showand the Showls ManyThings,"frieze,no' 19 (November2004).
December
114. FabriceHybertcitedin the catalogessayby curatorBartde Baerein Bartde Baere,"Gestures
in lhls /s the Showand the Show/s ManyThings(Ghent:SMAK,1994),'13.
Relations
Conversation,"
2005),27'
115. RobertStorr,"ReadingCirclePartOne,"fieze, no.93 (Septembet
"Whatls an Author?,"in TheFoucaultReader,ed. PaulRabinow(London:
116. See MichelFoucault,
PenguinBooks,1984),103.

Notes to Pages 1

.14-123

Curator,"Arf
117. Storr,"ReadingCirclePart One,"27. See also PaulO'Neill,"The Co-dependent
2005),7-10.
Monthly,no. 291 (November
30 March2005.
withthe author,Brooklyn,
118. RobertStorr,interview
119. SeeBarthes,"TheDeathof the Author,"146.
120. lbid.,147.
''12'1
. See Storr,interviewwiththe author.
122. tbid.
withBoris
wasan art projectby AntonVidoklein collaboration
123. http://www.unitednationsplaza.org
NikolausHirsch,Tirdad
Groys,JalalToufic,LiamGillick,MarthaRosler,NataschaSadrHaghighian,
Zolghadr,and WalidRaad.
programin Curatorial
Knowledge
at Goldsmiths,
Univer124. Rogoffis alsodirectorof the MPhil/PhD
sityof London,since2007-Fordetailsof thiscourse,see http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/visual-cultures/
php
curatorial-knowl.
125. See Bartde Baereand lrit Rogoff,"LinkingText,"in MikaHannula,ed.,Stoppingfhe Processj
(Helsinki:NIFCA,1998),129. In anotheressay,Rogofl
Viewson Arl and Exhibitions
Contemporary
"Take
Obrist'scuratedexhibition
furtherillustrates
her positionthrougha critiqueof bothHans-Ulrich
Me (l'm Yours)"atthe SerpentineGallery,London(1995),and ChristineHill'sThriftShop at Docupredicated
on a predetermined
strategy.See
as exemplars
of modelsof participation
menta10.(1997)
in Hannula,Stoppingfhe Process,142.To illustrate
lrit Rogoff,"How to Dressfor an Exhibition,"
Rogoff'spositionfunher,one could also include,as examples,many subsequentexhibitionsthat
suchas "UtopiaStation"at
and socialinteraction
invokedprescribed
modesof audienceparticipation
posters,and bags
of publications,
the 2003VeniceBiennale-whichinvolvedthe readydistribution
aftistsassoci(designedby AgnesB) to visitors-andthe practiceof manyof the "service-providing"
Aesthetlcs(Dijon-Quetigny:
Les
ated with RelationalAesthetics.See NicolasBournaud,Relational
Aesthetics"
was the term used by Bouniaudto representthe
Pressesdu R6el,2002)-"Relational
duringthe 1990s,such as LiamGillick,Dominique
commoninterestsof a groupof artistspracticing
He definedrelational
art as a "setof artisPhilippeParreno,and RirkritTiravanija.
Gonzalez-Foerster,
and practicalpointof departurethe wholeof humanrelatic practiceswhichtake as theirtheoretical
and privatespace."Relationalaesthetics
tionsand theirsocialcontext,ratherthan an independent
theoryconsistingin judgingartworkson the basisof the
was definedby Bouniaudas an "aesthetic
inter-human
relationswhichthey represent,produceor prompt"throughcommonforms of aftistic
practicethat transcendtheir objectivityto includeparticipation
and programmedsocialinterstices
betweenpeoplewithinthe contextof the exhibitionevent.See 112-113and 114. For a critiqueof
and Relational
Aesthetics,"
Bourriaud's
analysisof art in the 1990s,see ClaireBishop,"Antagonism
"CuratorandArtist,"and PaulO'Neill,"CuratOctober,no. 110(2004),51-80.SeealsoFarquharson,
2003-January
2OO4),7-1O.
Arf Monthly,no.272 (December
ing U-topics,"
142.
126. See Rogoff, "Howto Dressfor an Exhibition,"
45.
127. Groys,"OntheCuratorship,"
"l Curate,You Curate,We Curate,"10,
128. Farquharson,
1 29 . tb id.,7 - 10.
in RichterandSchmidt,CuratingDegree
Criticism,"
130. GenrudSandqvist,
"Context,Construction,
Zero,43-44.
in Hannula,Stoppingthe Process,239.
131. MariaLind,"StoppingMy Process?A Statement,"

166

Notesto Paoes123-126

132. Maria Lind, interviewwith the author, Munich, 31 October 2004_


1 3 3 . S e e L i n d ," S t o p p in gM y p r o ce ss? ,,,2 3 9 .
134. tbid.,240.
135. lbid.
136. tbid.
1 3 7 . S e e a l s o B r u ce W. F e r g u so na n d M ile n aM . Ho e g sberg,"Tal ki ngand Thi nki ng
about B i enni al s:
The Potential of Discursivity,"in EIena Filipovic, Marieke van Hal, and solveig
avsrcbo, eds., rhe
Biennial Reader (Bergen: Bergen Kunsthail;ostfirdern: Hatje cantz Verrag,2009),
36i-375.
1 3 8 . W a d e , i n t e r v i e wwith th e a u th o r .
1 3 9 . B o u r r i a u d i,n t e r vie wwith th e a u th o r .
l40

Nicolaus schafhausen, interviewwith the author, London, 15 october 2004_

14 . tbid.
'
142. Eric Troncy, interviewwith the author, 28 October 2005.
143. Filipovic,van Hal, andAvsrcba,The Bienniat Reader,239_240144. Alongside the emergent idea of exhibitions as discursive events, considerable
concession is
now made to interdisciplinarydiscussion,talks, conferences,and educationalprograms
as an jntegral
part of museum programs, mega-exhibitionsand an fairs alike, accommodatrng
the partjcipationof
less materializedand more discursive modes of group practice. Historically,these
discussions have
been peripheralto the exhibitionas such, operating in a secondary role in relation
to the display of art
for public consumption' More recently,these discursiveinterventionsand relays have
Decomecentral
to contemporarypractice;they have now become the main event or',exhibition.,,This part
is
of a wider
"educationalturn" in art and curating, prompted by considerationof
the recurrentmobilizationof pedagogtcal models within vartous curatorialstrategiesand cntical aft projects. projects
that manifest this
engagement with educationaland pedagogicalformats and motifs diverge in terms
of scare, purpose,
modus operandi, value, visibility,reputationand degree of actualization.They include
the ,,platforms,,
of Documenta 11 in 2OO2;education as one of the three leitmotifs of Documenta
12 in 2OO7;the
unrealizedManifesta6 experimentalart-school-as-exhibition
and the associatedvolume, lvotes for an
Art school; the subsequent unitednationsplaza and Night schoo/ projects; protoacademy;
cork
caucus; Be(com)ing Dutch: Eindhoven caucus; Future Academy; paraeducation
Departmenti
cop,enhagen Free University; A.G.A.D.E.M.y.; Hidden curriculum; Tania Bruguera's
Afte de con_
ducta in Havana; ArtSchoot Patestine;Manoa Free l.Jniversity; Schoot of Missing Studles
in Belgrade;
ArtSchool UK; The Centre for PossibteStudies in London, and so on. This is just
a short list, serving
to indicatethe broad distributionof the work placed under considerationby the term ,,educational
turn,,
and to note the propensity of this work to foreground collective action and collaborative
discursive
praxis. These initiativesquestion how we might restructure,rethink
and reform the way rn which we
speak to one another in a group setting. Without oversimplifyingthese projects,they
can generally be
described as a critique of formal educationalprocesses and the way these processes
form subjects,
but they also suggest a kind of "curatorialization"of education whereby the educative process
often
becomes the object ot curatorialproduction,and when the discursiveframework is
as much about the
curatorial in action as the organizationof an exhibitionspace for the display of objects
or ideas. See
O'Neill and Wilson, Curatrng and the Educationa! Turn, and Mick Wilson, "Curatorial
Moments and
DiscursiveTurns," in O'Neill, CuratrngSub/ecfs.

Notes to Pages 126-1 29

to/

INDEX

Abu ElDahab,
Mai,80
A.C.A.D.E.M.Y.,167n144
Activelyresidualelement(Williams),
03_34,46
Adorno,TheodorW.,88_89,99, .126
Advenising,
13,1B,20-21
Aestheticvalue,58
Agamben,
Giorgio,
53
Agency,of exhibitions,
2, 39,61,87,89_90,97,
102
artistas agent,8e-99, 102
curatoras agent,25, 29, 32, 43,73,g8_89,
.10 0,
1 02 ,1 1 0,123,131n1
.vieweras agent,11
"A-historische
Klangen,',
30
Al-Ani,Jananne,
146n17
4
Alberro,Alexander,21,33, 133ng,137n52
Alloway,Lawrence,13
Altay,Can,160nS3
Altshuler,
Bruce,14,39
"Americana,"
106,109
Andre,Carl,15,22,l38nn65_66
Andreasen,
Soren,137n60
Anselmo,
Giovanni,
134n1g
Anthropological
turn,54,56,59,68,15.1n62,
15 3n 97 ,15 4n 106
"Anti-lllusion:
Procedures/Materials,"
16
"Anywherein the World:DavidMedalla,s
London,"
16Sn1
01

Araeen,Rasheed,56
Armaly,Fareed,104-1Os
Arman
Le Plein,13
AN
consumption
ot,57, 63,68,72,75, 1OO,
112
167n144
as dtscursive
practice,1g
as materialpractice,1g
Ar t &L a n g u a g e , 1 i 6
Artaud,Antonin,29
An discourse,
33,42,7i ,90-9.1
. Seea/soArt:
as discursive
practice;Arl history;
Criticism,
art
Ane P o v e r a , 1 61,3 4 n 1 8
Art event,61,72
Art farrs,69,73,77, 143n149,167n144
Ad history,
4,39, 41,45,60,66,83_85
Aft institutions.
13.35.82,85
Artistas ethnographer,
54.Seea/soAnthropo_
Iogicalturn
Ar t is t- c u r a t 1o ,r3, , 6 , 1 9 ,1 0 5 - 1 1 01, 1 1 , 1 1 2 ,
124,161n69
Artisticexperience,
71
"Artists'
Favourites:
ACT I and 11,,,
114,115,i 16
Ar t lab l,1 0 , 1 6 1 n 6 3
Art magazines,
3, 28,38,49

Art market,26, 38, 53, 54,75,83, 126,148no


106
Aft Metropole,
ne, 167n144
AtlSchooI Palesti
ArtSchoolUK,167n144
Asher,Michael,27, 138n70
Ashford,Doug,163n88
"Aspen5+6,"22,24, 137n52
6, 66, 68
Assemblage,
132n,|1
Audiointerview,
105,
110,
163nn86,88
Ault,Julie,
Yves,131n2
Aupetitallot,
14, 16,47
AusstelIungsmacher,
22, 102.Seea/soCurator:as
Authorship,
auteur/author
atl, 10,27
Autonomous
26, 88-89,
Autonomyo1artisticproduction,
9 5-9 6,9 9,126
Avant-garde,
historical,
9-1O,27,39, 108,
138n71
165nt 01
B + B, 16 0n 33,
Babias,Marius,131n172
92-93
Background,
Bailey,David4., 146n174
BangLarsen,Lars,137n60,158n9
Bank,110
Ban,AlfredH.,40,133n9
Barry,Judith,105,133n7
Barry,Robert,18,19-21,22, 25
lneft GasSerles,20
Banhes,Roland,22, 29, 37, 102, 123, 137n52,
142n122
Basualdo,Carlos,47,56, 57, 66, 67,78, 84,
1 41n118 , 147n4,156n158
Bauer,UteMeta,45,47, 56,57, 67,72,78,
82-83,1O4,116, 135n28,140n90,
144n162,156n158
Bauhaus,29
Bauman,Zygmunt,71-72, 148n8
Bayer,Herbert,40
Monroe,
3, 132n10
Beardsley,
Beck,Martin,159n31
Beckett,Samuel,22, 137n52
Be(com)ingDutch:EindhovenCaucus,167n144
Beech,Dave,43, 110, 160n33
Beecroft,Vanessa,74
Beeren,
Wim,16
Andrea,144n160
Bellini,
Hans,148n12
Belting,

170

Tony,139n78
Bennett,
BergenBiennial
, 46, 48,67,77-78
"TheBergenBiennialConference,"
46,48,67
Frederique,
111,122
Bergholtz,
BerlinBiennial,
53,67,73,78,147n1
124
Bernadette
Corporation,
Beuys,Joseph,29, 80
Bewley,
Jon,134n28
Bezzola,Tobia,133n9
HomiK., 149n28
Bhabha,
Ursula,160n33
Biemann,
Bienalde SdoPaulo,70,77,78,147n2,
153n95
"Biennale!
ArtistFilmandVideo,"76
5, 36,61,63,64,67,69,
Biennale
di Venezia,
72,73,78,80, 118, 141nn'116,118,
147n2,
1 4 8 n 7 1, 5 6 n 1 4 61,6 5 n 1 0 51,6 6 n1 2 5
Biennials,
5-6, 44,46,51-85, 147nn1-2,
148n6,
153n95
model,5, 54,62,72,76,80,84,
biennial
159n25
curatorsof, 5-6. 35-36.44. 47,54,62-63,
7 1-72, 73, 77, 81, 85, 153n97
model,67,80, 141n1
nomadic
biennial
16
BikVanderPol,110
Birnbaum,
Daniel,140n90,
141n1
18,146n174,
159n27
Bishop,
Claire,10,133n4,166n125
Bismarck,Beatricevon,22,27, 95, 99, 137n56
Blandy,David,160n33
BlauweHuis,Het,160n33
Blazwick,lwona,71
Block,Ren6,164n93
Bloor,SimonandTom,120
"BIownAway:Sixthlnternational
Caribbean
74,75,124
Biennial,"
Mel,137n52
Bochner,
Bock,John,1 10
E.,134n18
Boetti,Alighiero
160nn32-33,
163n85
Bohm,Kathrin,
5, 46, 51, 54,67, 69,78,
Bonami,Francesco,
18,146-147n174,
80,81, 118,141n1
150n38,165n105
Mahen,157n159
Bonetti,
Bos,Saskia,140n90
Boubnova,lara,36
Bourdieu,Pierre,68, 87, 100-102
Nicolas,
32,35,97, 127,147n174,
Bourriaud,
166n125
Boutoux,Thomas,45,62,78

Index

BoyceMa
, rtin,1 65n110
Bradley,Jessica,68
Brenner,
Neil,148n8
Brenson,Michael,5, 35,46
Breton,
Andr6,133n5
Brett,Guy,134n28,165n101
Bronson,
AA,106
Broodthaers,Marcel,27, 138n7O
Bruguera,
Tania
Afte de Conducta, 167n144
Bryan-Wilson,
Julia,38
Buchloh,BenjaminH. D.,27, 28, 42-43,55,
149nn'17-18,150n44
Buchmann,
Sabeth,133n10
Buck-Morss,
Susan,72
Budak,Adam,35, 146n174
Buddensieg,
Andrea,148n12
Buerghel,
RogerM.,157n183
Buren,Daniel,27, 44, 98, 138nn70-71
Biirger,Peter,10,27, 138n71
Burnett,Craig,146n174
Burnham,Jack,136n47
Bussman,
Klaus,29
Bydler,Charlotte,
62, 150n38
Cage,John,22,137n52
Calderoni,
lrene,16,18,133nn9,1
1
Cameron,Dan,140n90,146n174
Camnitzer,
Luis,135n34
Campbell,Donald,164n96
Candlin,
Christopher
N., 132n6
Canell,Nina,160n33
Carlos,lsabel,146n174
Carrington,
Sarah,165n101
Catalogs,exhibition,
3, 4, 15, 40, 43-44,74,81,
'
90,97-98,108
catalog-driven
discourse,
44
Cattelan,Maurizio,
74, 75, 100,146n17
4
"Cave,"'112
Celant,Germano,
16,134n18
Centrefor PossibleStudies,The,167n144
Chagall,Marc,30
Homageto Apollinaire, 30
"Chambres
d'Amis,"29
Chanarin,
Jacqui,112
Chandler,
John,136n40
Charlesworth,
J. J., 146n174
Christov-Bakargiev,
Carolyn,35, 78, 135n28
"Citieson the Move,"63, 64
Cladders,
Johannes,143n143

Index

Clark,Ron,131n4
Claxton,Ruth,120
Clifford,James,54, 68, 139n78,149n29,
153n97
Closed-off
exhibitionmodel,12O,122
"Coalesce,"
93-96, 159n31,160nn32,33
Co-curating.
SeeCollaboration
Cofes,Alex,54, 146n174
Collaboration,
5-6, 89, |06, 108-t10,128-129,
163n85,167n144
in curating,6, 36, 52, 55, 62,78-75,ej , BS,
108-110, 116-1 18, 120,122,129,
161n63,164n92,167n144
"Collective
Creativity,"
108
Collectivism,
65,80, 108-110
Collectors,
19,39,53,136n36
Collins,Tricia.SeeCollins& Milazzo
Coflins & Milazzo,14On9O
Comer,Stuart,132n1
Commissioned
works,28, 29,121,163n84
Commonality,
44, 144n155
Communication
chain,25
Completework,exhibition
as, 15
Complexity,
36
Conceptual
aft, 18-22,33, 103, 1O5,124,
135n34
Condorelli,
C6line,112,120,164n99
Connectivity,
44, 110,117,148n6
Constructivism,
10,11, 27
Contemporaneity,
54
Contextualization
of art,40
Contextualization
of space,40
Convergence
of artisticand curatorial
practice,
6, 14,87, 105, 110, 122.Seeatso
Artist-curator
Cooke,Lynne,140n90
"Coollustre,"
128
Copenhagen Free University, 167nl 44
Coproduction,
6, 44,93,95,108, 120,127,129
CorkCaucus,167n144
Corporealinvolvement,
11,92
Corrin,Lisa,134n28
Cotter,Suzanne,146n174
Coupland,Nikolas,132n6
Craddock,Sacha,135n28
Creativity,
as movementor llow (Deleuze),
25
Critic-curator,
17
Criticism,artt,26-28, 39, 44, 54
Critiqueof institutions
(Biirgeo,27. Seeatso
Institutional
critique

110,161n63
Charlotte,
Cullinan,
22
Culturalcirculations,
Culturalevent,62, 99, 132n11
Culturalfield,6, 34, 66, 102,129
32, 1O8,124
Culturalinstitutions,
1, 66, 74, 84, 87, 88, 90,
Culturalproduction,
100-102, 108, 110, 122,127
Culturalworkers,62, 65
Cultureindustry,6, 72-73,88-91
Cultureof curating,7
110, 164n96
Cummingsand Lewandowska,
"Curatedby,"32,46
100,101,
"Curating
DegreeZeroArchive,"
161nn62-63
Critic-curator
Curator.Seea/soArtist-curator;
as agent,25, 28,32,43, 73, 88-89, 100,
102, 110, 123, 131n1
amateur,45
as arbiterof laste,1, 30, 71
5, 14,28,34,57,79,
as auteur/author,
99-100, 111, 121, 122-123,126-128,
145n167
as cater,9,47
as creator,14
of, 9, 19,25, 32-38, 46,
demystification
151n59
36, 99
as facililator,
global,47, 65, 69
invisible,
32-33,128,151n59
as mediator,1, 4, 9, 14,18-22,25-27, 38,
43,66,71,73,88-89,137n60
162n80
nomadic,
5, 47,73-74,154n106,
procreative,
127,129
16,88,91,96, 102,104
as producer,
of, 28, 37, 151n59
remystification
oI,7, 34,41, 44, 45, 159n31
sell-positioning
n59
of, 32-35,46, 15'1
supervisibility
as write r,4,19, 56
38-39,45, 144n162
anthologies,
Curatorial
1-7, 9, 26, 32, 34, 38, 43,
Curatorialdiscourse,
46,69,74,91, 110
gesture,4, 42, 43,57, 80
Curatorial
history,41, 43, 103.Seea/so
Curatorial
history
Exhibition
7, 4142
knowledge,
Curatorial
models,52, 79, 98, 103-104,
Curatorial
162-163n80
model,6, 56, 78,
singlycuratedexhibition
85, 120, 122(seea/soCurator:as auteur/
author)

17 2

praxis,1, 6, 14,26,32,38,40,72,98,
Curalorial
104
research,18,41, 54,8 1, 99, 110, 122
Curatorial
rhetoric,11O-116,127
Curatorial
36,38,41,44,59,61
statement,
Curatorial
22, 105,116
structure,
Curatorial
training,2, 3, 38, 46, 144n160
Curatorial
vocabulary,
32
Curatorial
1-7, 14, 21,22, 38-39, 43, 46, 49,
Curatorship,
51-52,84, 87-91,97,99, 110, 121-123,
126-127
formsof, 6, 36, 52, 55, 62,
collaborative
.,|20,
78-:79,
81,85, 108-110,116-118,
122,129,161n63, 164n92,167n144
c o n t e m p o r a r1y, ,3 - 4 , 9 , 2 6 , 3 8 , 4 3 ,6 5 ,6 6 ,
100, 116, 123,127, 129,144n162,164n92
approaches
to, 6, 46,77,95,116,
dialogical
118,128-129
professionalization
of, 43, 45, 99
89
as transformative,
34, 36-38,79
transparency,
exhibiiions,
116
uber-curated
29
Czech,Hermann,
Dada,10, 27, 1O8,138n70
70
DakarBiennial,
10,133nn5,9
Dali,Salvador,
Daly,Patrick,160n33
29
Gabriele,
D'Annunzio,
44, 56,57,59,66,78,81,
David,Catherine,
140n90,14 1n118, 145n172,146147n174,150n38
Davies,Anthony,143-144n155
Dawood,Shezad,146n174
TrainingProgramme,
De AppelCuratorial
144n160,163n80
De Baere,Bart,120,124,140n9O
Decter,Joshua,27, 32
Gilles,25, 153n92
Deleuze,
55
Deliss,Cl6mentine,
Deller,Jeremy,110, 146n174, 162n75
practices,19,21-22
Dematerialized
91, 133n9
Florence,
Derieux,
63, 69-70,82
Deterritorialization,
45
De Zegher,Catherine,
Anne,143n143
D'Harnoncourt,
108
DIAFoundation,
Dibbets,
Jan,15
132n8
Diers,Michael,

l ndex

Dillemuth,
Stephan,143-144n1Ss
Dion,Mark,27, 13BnZ0,164n96
Discourse
production,
85, 122
Discourse
theory,3, 6,4245
Discursive
approaches
to curating,6, 1OB,129
Discursive
formation(Foucault),
3, 6-7
Discursive
practice,curatingas,22,42
Discursive
space,70, 81, 82, 8g
Discursive
turn,33
Displaced
viewership,
75
Displaypractices,11-13, 18,21, 39-40,71.
92-95, 105-106, 112,117,133n8,
16 1-1 62 n63, 164n99
Dissensus,
6, 65, 84
Distribution,
oI aft,21,68, 72,89, 90, 106
Documenta,
44, 69,70, 72, g2-83,141n116,
147n2,157n'175
Documenta
5, 26-27,gg, 13gn65
Documenta
7, 28
Documenta
9, 44, 61,9Z
Documenta
10,44, 59,66,79,81
Documenta
11, S, 44,51, 59,69,70,78-79,
82-84, 154nn106,11O,114, 167n144
Documenta
12, 81, 83, 157-15en183,
167n144
Doherty,Claire,14Bn10, 149n23
Dominant,residual,
and emergent(Williams),
25-26,33.-34
Dorner,Alexand
er, 13,4O41, 42, 'l42n1gg
Drabble,
Barnaby,
100,101,140n90,
149n154,
144n162, 161n63
"Dramatically
Different,"
128
Draxler,Helmut,38,47
Drobnick,
Jim,105,163n88
Duchamp,Marcel,1O,22, 29,40, 1O2,
'
13 3n n5 ,9,138n70
Mileof String,11,12
Duncan,Carol,60, 159n23
Durational
process,117, 128
Duyn,Ednavan,144n160
Eagleton,
Terry,141n121
Ecoledu Magasin,2,
163n88
Educational
turn,167n144
Eliasson,Olalur,74
Elliot,David,146n174
Elmgreenand Dragset,11O
"Emblematic
Display,"
165nl01
Emergent.
SeeDominant,
residual,and
emergent

Index

Empire(Hardtand Negri),52, 63-66,69,


'152n75,
153n106
Enwezor,Okwui,44,51,56, 57, 58-60,69-70,
74, 78-79, 91,82-84, 140n90,146_
147n174,1SOnngB,42,4g,
153_154n106,
1 5 4 n n1l 0 , 11 3 , 11 4 ,1 5 6 n 1 5 8 ,
157nn1
59,182, 1S9n25
"ErosInstallation,"
112
Ersen,Esra,160n33
Esche,Charles,30, 34,47, 56,57, 62, 65,72,
78, 81, 83, 116, 154n28,140n90,
146-147n174
"Evena StoppedClockTellsthe RightTime
Twicea Day,"165n101
Evolutionary
displays,117
Exhibitions.
Seea/soBiennials;
Group
exhibitions
aestheticformof, 91
ahistorical,
5, 28, 30-31
as art,31, 100, 105
blockbuster,
52, 57
colonial,69
discursive,
128
episodic,122
as event,6, 53, 72, 80, 85
as Gesamtkuns
twerk, 28-29, 139n77
as landscape,
92
large-scale,
5-6, 14, 29,44, 51-52,56,
61-62, 66, 69,71_73, 78_79,85,97
mega-exhibitions,
52,E7,78, 85, 116,
167n144
m o n o g r a p h9
i c1, , 1 3 1 n 11, 5 9 n 2 5
nationalrepresentation
in, 52, 9.1,99, 147n2,
148n7
ongoing,100, 103, 117, 16]ng2
process-oriented,
118,121, 127,12g,
159n31
recurrent,
6, 51,71, 78 (seea/soBiennials)
g1
as ritualstructure,60,
spatialform oI,4, 13,39,88, 91-93, 129,
155n127,173n31
standardization
of,62, 88, 106
temporality
of, 10,39, 52-59,72,92-94,
1 1 7 ,1 2 2
as text,90, 123
as theater,97
thematic,
5, 13,27,28,30-91,3A,74, 91,
9 9 , 1 5 9 n 2 51, 6 3 n 8 0
Exhibition
design,4, 10-11, 39-41, 93, 95, 103.
Seea/so Displaypractices

fotmal,22, 38
Exhibition
guides,114
Exhibition
Exhibition
history,3, 5, 14,39-42,46.Seea/so
history
Curatorial
Exhibition
maker,10, 14, 16,22, 46, 134n17
22,78,122
Exhibition
moment,
35
Exhibition
of discourse,
"Exhibition
11,
of NewTheaterTechnique,"
133n8
14,19,21,98
Exhibition
organizer,
Exhibitions
market,85
"Exhibitions
114
of an Exhibition,"
Exhibition
space,9-13, 40,66,71,82, 91, 93,
11 7,1 19
Experience
of art, 10-1 1, 36, 40, 44, 53,61,71 ,
83,92
Extantworks,5, 28
13
Extraterritoriality
, 6,70, 81,83,154n1
Fabro,Luciano
TheJudgmentof Paris,30
Faiseurd' expositions,14
Farquharson,
Alex,32, 124,126,127,146147n174,162-163n80,165nl 10, 166n125
Farver,Jane,135n34
Fasold,RalphW., 132n0
Ferguson,
BruceW.,44, 53,77,90, 144n156,
148n9,149n17,164n92,167n137
Feni,Jakup,160n33
FILEMegazine,1OG
Filipovic,
Elena,46,71, 74,153nn95,1
04,
156n156, 157n163
Filter,artistas, 118-119
narratives,
7, 45
First-person
Fischer,
Konrad,16
"557,087,"
14-15,16, 134n14
Flanagan,
Barry,15
Flatpack,110
Fleck,Robert,'134n17
Fletcher,
Annie,34, 36, 122,140n90
Flexibility,
1 1,1 10,112,117, 122
Flood,Richard,146n174
Fluxus,16 ,108
Flynt,Henry,135n34
Fontana,Lucio
AmbienteNero, 13
Foreground,
92-93
"Formless,"
159n31
Foster,Hal,2, 27, 54,57, 149n17

174

Foucault,
Michel,3, 6,42, 122-123
Fox,Oriana,160n33
Mark,5, 51, 55, 149n17
Francis,
Fraser,Andrea,27, 28, 132n1, 138n70
Freee,160n33
F r e i ,L u c a , 1 1 0
Friedrich,
CasparDavid,29
Frieling,
Rudolf,10,133n4
Frost,David,143n143
Fuchs,Rudi,5, 28,30,31, 140n90
Eivind,75
Furnesvik,
Future Academy,167n144
Gance,Abei,29
Rachel,146n174
Garfield,
Gaudi,Antoni,29
Generalldea,105-108,124,160n33
Geopolitical
discourse,
82-84
"Georgeand DragonPublicHouse,The,"
'1 6 5 n 1 0 1
Gesamtkun stwerk, 28-29, 139n77
156n158
Ghez,Suzanne,
154n106
Gibbs,Michael,
Gielen,Pascal,66
GilbertandGeorge,108
Gili,Jaime,160nn32-33
, 18-120,
Gi l l i c kL, i a m 3
, 0 ,4 3 , 1 0 3 ,1 1 0 , 1 1 7 1
128,135n28,145n162,'|'57n171,
162n75,
16 3 n 8 11, 6 5 n n110 - 111 , 1 6 6 n n 1 2 3 , 1 2 5
141n1
18,146n174,
Gioni,Massimiliano,
154n106
29
GlassChainmovement,
Teresa,135n28
Gleadowe,
5, 6, 52,62,66,72,73,78,148n0
Globalism,
148n6
Globalization,
53, 148n8
Glocalization,
Laura,135n28
Godfrey-lsaacs,
Goldberg,Roselee,146n174
Dominique,
166n125
Gonzalez-Foerster,
10
BrasiliaHall,165n1
Felix,163n88
Gonzalez-Tones,
Goodwin,Clare,160n33
Gdtz,Lothar,160n33
Graham,Dan,21,27, 128,'137n52
Janna,160n38
Graham,
Grammel,Sarcn,146n174
58, 60, 80, 84
Grandnarratives,
Walter,|37n56,138n67
Grasskamp,
G r a y , Z o E , 1 4n111 5

lndex

G r a y s o n ,R j c ha r d ,j3 4 n 2 8
G r e e n ,R e n 6 e ,1 3 g n 7 0
G r e e n b e r g ,R e e sa ,3 8 , 4 4 , 5 3 , g O, 1 2 7 ,

Hiller, Susan, 134n28, 143n154, i44n162


Hrrsch,N i kol aus,166n123
Hlavajova,Maria, 140n90

1 5 4 n 1 0 6 ,1 5 5 n i2 7
G r i f f i n ,T i m , 1 41 n 11 9 , 1 4 7 n 1 7 4 ,1 5 0 n 1 3 8
G r i z e d a l eA n s , 1 2 1
G r o s s ,A n t h o n y,7 6
G r o u p e x h i b i t io n s.j_ 7 , 1 6 ,2 8 , 3 1 _ 3 2 ,3 9 ,
56,
7 0 , 9 1 . 9 4 , 9 8 , 1 0 2 _ 11 0 , 1 2 9 , 1 4 3 n 1 4 9 ,
15 9 n 2 5 , 16 3 n 8 0 .Se e a /so Bie n n ia ls
G r o u p M a t e r i a l,1 0 5 _ .1 0 61, 0 8 , 1 0 9 , 1 6 3 n n 8 6 ,8 g
G r o y s , B o r i s ,91 ,1 2 0 , 1 2 4 , 1 6 6 n j2 3
G r Z r n i i ,M a r i n a,1 0 4
G u t t e r m a n ,S c ott, i3 l n 4
G w a n g j uB i e n n ia l,7 0 , 1 4 7 n 1

H omogeni zati on
of cul ture,S 1, gg, 14gn6
H ooper-Greenhi lE
l , i l een,139n78

Haacke, Hans, 27 , 13gnn65_66,70_71


, 14)ng4,
164n96
H a b e r m a s ,J u r ge n ,3 , 1 3 1 n 5
H a g h i g h i a nN
, ata sch aSa d r , 1 6 6 n 1 2 3
H a l , M a r i e k ev an ,4 6 , 1 5 3 n 9 S
H a l l ,S t u a n ,5 6
H a m i l t o n ,R i c h ar d
an Exhibit, 13
"Hang zum Gesamtkunstwerk,

Hobsbawm, Eric, 143n143


H oet,Jan, 5, 29, 35, 97, 44, 61,97_98,
140n90,
163n87
H offmann,Jens, 05, 41-.42,74,75,
97, 98_99,
1 14-1 16, 126, 140n90, 1 46n174, 1
54nl 06,
'158n1,
160n42,i 65n101
Hoffmann,Justin, 104, 1 45n172, 162n80
Hofmann, Werner, 1 43n143, 147 n2
H omeWorks,121

Der,,,2g_29

Hannula, Mika, 144n162


H a n s o n ,T o d , i 6 0 n 3 3
" H a p p e n i n ga n d F lu xu s,,,1 6
H a r d i n g ,A n n a , 14 4 n 1 6 2
Hardt, Michael, 52, 63-65, 152n75,
15 3 n n 9 2 , 10 6
H a r r i s o n ,C h a d es
Fairestof Them Att, 116
H a r v e y ,D a v i d , S 7 - SB,6 2 , 1 5 0 n 4 5 ,15 1n 6 4
Hasegawa, yuko, 78, 146n174
H a v a n a B i e n n i a l,5 3 , 7 0 , i4 7 n 1 , 1 5 3 n 9 5
n e e s w i j k ,J e a n n eva n , 11 0
The Blue House,121
t i e g e m o n i cd i s c o u r se 5
,9
H e i n i c h ,N a t h a l i e,9 9
H e i s e r ,J o r g , 1 4 2n 1 7 4
H e i z e r ,M i c h a e l ,i5
H e l d , D a v i d ,1 4 7 n3 , i5 1 n n 6 3 ,6 6
H e S S e ,E V a
Untitled (Rope piece), 11 1
H idden Curriculum, 167 n144
H i g g s ,M a t t h e w ,11 O,j3 4 n 2 8 , 1 4 0 n 9 0
H i l l ,C h r i s t i n e
Thrift Shop, 166n 125

Hope, S ophi e,165n.101


Hopps,Watter, 16, 134n19, 14}nj 4g
Hoptman, Laura, 1 46n174
Horkheimer,Max, 88, 89
Hou H anru,35, 37, 56, 63, 64, 68, 20,
7g,
.1
40n90, 141n1 1B , 1 46n174, 14B nl
O,
150n38,157n159
Huber, Hans-Dieter, 97, 104
Huddlestone,Toby, 160n33
Huebl er,D ougl as,19,22, ZS , 137n54
Hughes,H enry Meyri c,141n116
Hul t6n,P ontus,13, 16, 41, 134n1g,14gni 4}
Hutchi nson,Mark, 160n33
Huttner,P er, 110, 112, 114,163n85,164n99
Huyghe,P i erre,110
Huyssens,Andreas, 1S0n29
"l A m a C urator,"112, 114, 146n174
"lf I Can't Dance I Don't Want to
Be part

of your

R evol uti on,"111, 122


lmmaterial labor, 66
"lmmat6riaux,Les,,,9.1
"ln formati on,"16, 99
Informationsociety, 19
ln stal l ati onan, 10, 13, 104,1i 7
In stal l ati on
desi gn.S ee E xhi bi ti ondesi gn
"ln sti tuteof C ul turalA nxi ety,The,,,
159n13.,,
164n96
ln sti tuti on,art as, 10, 14,27_28
lnstitutionalcritique, 27-28, 1 OS,1 3Bn7
O
"ln structi ons,"
103
Intentionalfallacy, 3
Interactiveviewershrp,10-1 1
ln te rnati onal i sm,
14, 52,68, 73, 155n139.S ee
a/so Globalism

Inoex
175

120
spatialarrangement,
Interruptive
lrwln,10 8,11 0
lsanovic,Adla,160n33
63,67,70,72,78,81, 147n1
Biennial,
lstanbul
,
164n95
Jacob,MaryJane,29, 140n90,156n149
Jakob,143n155
Jakobsen,
Jameson,Fredric,60, 68
Jantjes,Gavin,56
"January
5-31,1969,"16,17
Adam,132n6
Jaworski,
Susan,135n30
Jenkins,
70,72,78,79,147n1
Biennial,
Johannesburg
,
157n159
Jones,Kellie,157n159
Judd,Donald,138nn65-66
Lewis,133n5,9
Kachur,
Tellervo,160n33
Kalleinen,
Wassily,29
Kandinsky,
160n33
Kandl,HelmutandJohanna,
Kane,Alan,110
Kantor,SybilGordon,133n9
Kaprow,
Allan,13,112
Karp,lvan,14On94,149n21
104
Keller,Cristoph,
Edward,16
Kienholz,
11,40,133n8
Kiesler,
Frederick,
Kim,Yu Yeon,'157n159
Udo,146n174
Kittelmann,
Kivland,Sharon,134n28
Klein,Yves
Le Vid e,1 3
Koch,Alexander,104
Oliver,160n33
Kochta-Kalleinen,
Jutta,104
Koether,
Konig,Kasper,29, 140n90
Koolhaas,Rem,34
Kortun,Vasif, 56, 63,72, 78, 81, 146n174,
150n38
164n96
Kosuth,
Joseph
, 19,22,25,14On94,
Jannis,134n18
Kounellis,
Kovats,Tania,163n85
69, 70
Kravagna,
Christian,
Kuoni,Carin,144n162
Kuvmeyer,Roman,133n9,140n102
4, 156nn149-l 50
Kwon,Miwon,54,74, 149n1

56, 139n83,
149n17,
Johanne,
Lamoureux,
154n106
Langdon,James,120
L a p pA
, lex,154n106
La Villette,30
Lawler,Louise,105,138n70
Leering,Jean,'14,143n143
Lepetit,Cyril,I60n33
Le Va, Barry,138nn65-66
LeWitt,Sol, 15,22, 137n52.138nn65-66
16
Licht,Jennifer,
Limrnalzones,60
Lind,Maria,1 16, 118-120, 121, 125,126-127,
140n90,145nn162,171
, 147n174,163n84
James,134n28
Lingwood,
Lippard,Lucy,4, 14-15, 16, 41, 134n14,
135n30,136n40,137n51
El,10,11,40
Lissitzky,
AbstractCabinet,11
"LittleBit of HistoryRepeated,
A," 126
Peter,112
Liversidge,
London,Barbara,135n28
"London
in SixEasySteps,"114,115, 165n101
Lueg,Konrad,16
36,53,67,77,147n1
LyonBiennial,
58, 91-92
Lyotard,Jean-Franqois,
M2Mradio,160n33
Dean,73
MacOannell,
Macuga,Goshka,92, 11O,1 I 2, 163n81, 164n99
Kabinettder Abstrakten,112, 113
"Magiciens
de la terre,Les,"5, 30, 51, 54-60,
153n97,154nn1
06,110
69.84,149n17,
Maharaj,Sarat,156n158
"Making
ThingsPublic,"159n31
Malevich,Kazimu,29, 112
Manifesta,
36,67,78,79-80,141n116,
146n174,157n163, 167n144
ManoaFreeUniversity,167n144
Marcus,
GeorgeE., 149n28
146n174
Mari,Barthomeau,
Marincola,Paula,144n162
5, 30, 51, 55-56,58-60,
Martin,Jean-Hubert,
85
, 4n106
1 4 0 n 9 01, 4 9 n n 1 7 - 1 1
Martin,Sarah,134n28,143n154, 144n162
154n1
18
Mafiin,Stewart,
Chus,146n174
Martinez,
Martinez,Rosa,78
150n45
Max, Karl,81, 136n42,

I\,4aterial
objectivity,22
M a y o , N u r i a En g u ita ,3 6

creative,65_66
Murphy, patrick, 31
Museographi cal
emergency(Tri ni ),1S
Mystificationof the artisticprocess,
34
Myth,37, 43,142n122

M c B r i d e ,R i ta , 1 6 5 n 1 1 O
McCarthy, paul
T o m a t oH e a d ,1 2 g
M c C o l l u m ,A lla n , 1 2 8
M c C r e a ,R o n a n , 1 1 1 , .1 6 0 n 3 3
M c E v i l l e yT
, h o m a s,4 0
M c G r e w ,A n th o n y, 1 2 9 , 1 4 7 n 3 ,1 5 1 n n 6 3 ,6 6
M c S h i n e ,K y n a sto nL ., 1 6 ,9 8
Medium specificity,22
M e i j e r s ,D e b or aJ,, SO,3 1

Neo-avant-garde, 27, 1 ggnnTO_71


Neocriticality,42-43
N esbi t,Moi l y,80, 118, 141n1.18,165nn10S ,107
N ew man,A my, 13gn66

M e r z , M a r i o ,13 4 n 1 9
M e r z , M a r i s a,i3 4 n 1 g
Mesquita, lvo, 57, 68, 7A, j47n1
Meyer, Franz, 143n145
M e y e r ,J a m e s, 5 4 , 7 3 , 1 4 7 n 1 7 4 ,1 5 0 n n 3 8 ,4 3 ,
15 5 n 14 0
Middleground,92-93
Milazzo, Richard.See Collins & Milazzo
M i l l a r ,J e r e m y , I 1 0 , 1 3 5 n 2 8 ,1 4 0 n 9 0 ,.1 6 4 n 9 6
M i l l e r ,J o h n , 4 7,5 2 ,6 0 _ 6 1

,9 7 _ 9 8 , 1 0 5 ,

M i n i m a l i s m3,
"Mixed Messages,,'.l64n96
Mobility,gtobat,7g
M o d e r n i s m ,9 , 1 1 , g 9 _ 4 0 ,4 5 , 5 5 , 6 0 ,

69, 85, 92,

M o n k , J o n a t h an ,1 5 9 n 3 1
M o n t e ,J a m e s , 1 6
M o n t r e a lB i e n nia l,1 4 7 n 1
. M o r i , M a r i k o ,7 4
Morris, Frances, 134n2g
Morris, Roberl, 22, .l3gnn65_66
M o r r i s ,S a r a h , 12 9
Morlon, Tom, 1 4Sn167, 1 46_147n174,
1 5 6 n 1 4 7 , 16 5 n 1 0 1
M o s l e y ,J o n a t h an ,1 6 0 n 3 3
M o s q u e r a ,G e r ar d o ,5 6 , 6 0 , 6 g , 1 5 7 n 1 5 9
M u i r , G r e g o r ,1 65 n 1 0 1
M u k a , E d i , 1 4 6 n i7 4

M u l t i t u d e5
, 2 , 6 3 -6 6 , 6 9 , 8 5 , 15 2 n 7 5 ,
153-1 54n 106

rnoex

.i6 3 n 8 7

N i ckas,R obert,14On90
N i el sen,Tone O., 146n174
N i ght S chool ,167n144
N obl e,Jem, 160n33
Nochl i n,Li nda, 141n119
Nol an,l sabel ,16On3O
N ol l en,A ngel i ka,164n93
Nonpl an,117,122
N ordgren,S une, 134n28
Norvell, Patricia,13Sn33

129,139n78,147n2
m o d e r n i s td isp la y,4 0 ,7 1 , 1 1 2
Moholy-Nagy, Leszlo, 19, 40
M o i s d o n ,S t 6 p ha n ie ,A6 ,7 7 , 7 9
M o n d r i a n ,p i e t , i0 , 2 9

M u l l e r ,D a v e , 1 ' 1 0
M L i l l e rH
, a n s - J o a ch im1, O3 n 9
M u l t i p l i c i t y6, 9 , g O,1 1 7 , 1 2 2

Nairne, Sandy, 38, 53, 90, .148n9


N ash, Mark, .135n28,156n.158
N egri ,A ntoni o,52, 63_65, 152n75,153nn92,106

Notes for an Aft School, 167n144


N oval i s,29
"N ow H ere,"104, 11g
Obrist, Hans lJtrich,29,35, 36, 41
, 42, 47, 64,
67, 72, 77, 78, 80, 103, 117, 118, 126,
134n28, 140n90, 141nnl 05,.118, 1 42n1
39,
1 43n14A, 1 46_147 n174, 150n38,
165nnl 05,.1
07, 166n125
O'D oherty,B ri an,22,24, gO,94,40, i r3}n11,
133n9, 137n52, 1 42n135
Offeh, Harold, 160n33
Ofi l i ,C hri s,74
O Fi onghdi l e,N oi l ai g,160n33
O H ui gi nn,B ri an, 160n33
Oldenburg,C l aes, 112
The S tore,13
O' N ei l l ,P aut,94,96, 133n4,136n39,
13gn61,
146n174,157n163,164nn97,99,165n.103,
166nn112,125,167n144
Opacity, 34, 36
"Op losse schroeven: Situaties
en cryptostruc_
turen,"16
Or ange,Mark, 160n33
Or ozco,Gabri el ,1 41n11g
Osborne, Peter, 22, 135n34

Osten,Marionvon, 110
Otherness,56-58, 73-7 4, 159n25
bvslebo,Solveig,
48, 153n95,156n156
Padilha,Eduardo,160nn32*33
Paolini,
Giulio,134n18
Department,167n144
Paraeducation
122,124
Parainslitutions,
Pardo,Jorge,165n1
10
Parreno,
Philippe,
163n81
, 166n125
Pa rso ns,
Be n,112
Pasquinelli,
Matteo,152n188
Patha,Catherine,
165n101
Pedagogical
approaches
to curating,6,77, 90,
129
Pedrosa,Adriano,78
134n18
Penone,
Giuseppe,
"People's
The,"106
Choice,
Performativity,
87, 116, 118, 120,127
global,59-60, 62-63,67,69-70,83
Periphery,
"Permaculture,"
159n31
Peterson,Mark,98-99
Petherbridge,
Deanna,134n28
Pethick,Emily,140n90
Peyton,Elizabeth,
88
Phelan,Garrett,160n33
Ph ela n,
Pe gg y , 151n59
Phillpot,
Clive,134n28
Pierce,
Sarah,110-111, 160n33
TheMeaningof Greatness,111
Pinaroli,
Fabien,158n14
Pistoletto,
Michelangelo,
l34nl 8
"Places
witha Past,"30, 156n149
Plagens,
Peter,14,15
"Playof theUnmentionable,
The,"140n94,
164n96
Pluralism,
5, 54,57-60,70,71,150n45,
cultural,
155n139
Tadej
Pogadar,
P.A.R.A.S.l.T.E.
Museumof Contemporary
\rt,124,160n33
161n61
Poinsot,
Jean-Marc,
153n78,
Pollak,Michael,
99
Popart,3
Apinan,78
Poshyananda,
Postcolonialism,
5, 56-59,82, 139n78
16
Postminimalism,
Postmodernism
, 54,57-60,71, 139n78,150n45
Poststructuralism,
11, 22, 1O2,122

110
Price,Elizabeth,
"Primitivism
in 20thCentury
Art,'55,69, 149n17
Proactive
viewer,11
art, 18
Process-oriented
"Protections:
This ls Notan Exhibition,"
159n31
Protoacademy,167n144
Putman,
James,135n28
Qu6loz,Catherine,132n12
Raad,Walid,166n123
Raat,Marko,160n33
Rancidre,
Jacques,152n84
'110
RaqsMediaCollective,
"RealEstate:Art in a ChangingCity,"165n101
"RealMe,The,"165n101
Reception
of art, 11, 13, 90, 156n150
ReenaSpaulding'sFineArt, 124
Rehberg,
Vivian,156n154
Rehberger,
Tobias,74
Reich,Lilly,40
Relational
166n125
aesthetics,
Relationality,
11,28,95, 117,120,129,160n34
Renton,
Andrew,36,79, 135n28
Reputational
economy,34, 35, 66, 122
Residual.
See Dominant,
residual,
and emergent
Richards,
Colin,157n159
110, 161n63
Richards,
Jeanine,
Richter,Dorothee,100, 101, 103, 143n154,
144n162,161n63
Ricupero,
Cristina,146n174
Rigby,Scott,112
Rist,Pipilotti,
74
KarlaG., 158n14
Roalandini-Beyer,
Alain,22, 137n52
Robbe-Grillet,
Roberts,
David,139n77
Robertson,
Roland,148n8
Dorothea,138nn65-66
Rockburne,
Rodchenko,
Aleksandr,
40
Rogoff,lrit,22, 82, 83, 120,124,139n78,
157n182,166nn124-125
Rosenthal,
Norman,146n174
Rosler,Martha,70, 138n7O,
147n174,150n38,
166n123
Rothkopf,
Scott,141n11I
"Rotterdam
Dialogues:
The Curators,"
20, 35,
37, 46,141n115
Rubin,William,
55
Ruf,Beatrix,146n174

tnoex

Rugoff, Ralph, 73, 134n28


R u n g e ,p hitip pOr to ,2 9
S a d o t t i ,Gio r g io ,1 6 2 n 7 5
S a i z , M a nu e l,1 6 0 n 3 3
Sandback, Fred, 138nn6S_66
S a n d b e r g ,Wille m ,1 3 , 4 0 ,
41
S a n d e r s ,An g e la , 1 6 0 n 3 3
S a n d q v i s t,Ge r tr u d ,j2 6
S a n s ,J 6 r 6m e , 1 4 7 n 1 7 4
S a n t a F e Bie n n ia l,.t4 7 n t,
1 S3 n 9 S
5 6 o p a u l o . Se e Bie n a ld e
SAo p a u lo
S a v a g e ,1 60 n 3 3
S c h a c h t e r ,K e n n y. 1 6 3 n 8 S
S c h a d e ,S i g r id ,1 0 4
S c h a f h a u s e n Nico
,
la u s,1 i6 . 1 2 7 , 1 4 On g O
Scharf, Friedhelm, 137n55
Schneider, Arnd,34
Schneiter, Liliane, 132n12
S c h o l l h a m m e rGe
, o r g , 1 5 7 _ 1 5 8 n .1
83
School of Missing Studles,
167n144
Schuben, Karsten, 1 4On1O1
S c h u t z ,T i t o , 1 0 4
Schwitters,Kurt
Cathedral of Erotic Misery.29
Scott, Kitty, 20
S6chas, AIan,12B
S e t t c r i t i c i s m ,1 0 , 1 4 , 3 6 ,
46
Self-organizatio
n, 63, .143_144n1Ss
r n a r t i s t i cpr a ctice ,7 6 ,
1 0 6 ,1 0 9 , .l1 g
^ e r r a ,R i c h a r d ,
S
1 S, 1 .11 , 1 3 g n n 6 5 _ 6 6
S h a n g h a iB i e n n ia l,1 4 7 n 1
S h e i k h ,S i m o n, 1 5 in 5 8
S h e r m a n ,D a n ie lJ., iO9 n 7 8
' Shonibare, yinka,
147n174.150n3g
Short, Louise, 146n174
S i e g e l a u b ,S e t h, 4 , 16 , 1 7 ,
1 s- 2 1, 2 2 , 2 3 , 2 5 ,
32, 33, 152n11, 133n9, 1
35_136n36,
13 7 n S 3 ,141n 1 0 4 , 1 4 Bn 1
4 3 , 1 S1n 5 9
s i g n a t u r es t y l e , 1 6 , 9 7 ,
105
S i n g e r m a n ,H o wa r d , 1 S1
n3
SITE SantaFe, 153n95
"Skulptur projekt Munster,,,
29
S m i t h s o n ,R o b e r t,13 8 n n 6 5 _ 6 6
S n o d g r a s s ,S u s an , j4 1 n l
16
S o h m , H a n s , 1 3 4n 2 1
Sontag, Susan, 22, 137n52
Staniszewski,Mary Anne,
39_41, 133n9
Staple, Poily, 140n90

Inoex

StedelijkMuseum, Amsteroam,
13, j34n23
S tei nbach,H ai m, 164n96
Steiner, Rudolf, 29
S temmri ch,Gregor,132n2,j 3B n73
S tevens,l sabel ,51
Stewart, Susan, 92
Stimson, Blake, 33
Stokker, Lily van der, 128
Storr, Robert, 34, 56, 45,
56, 122_124, 127,
144n161,146-147n174
Storytelling,curating as,
91
S uperfl ex,110, 163n8.1

1 0 , 1 1 ,1 2 ,1 o B ,1 ] , 2 , 1 3 3 n n 5 , e
!u11ea]ism,
Susteriid,Apotonija,104,
16Sn84
Syberberg,
HansJr.irgen,
29
Symbolic
value,29,35
ar""T:T, Haratd,4,
s, 16,17,22,26_27,
28_29,30,33,41,42,79,
80,90, 98, 104,
126,.133n9,134n17,137n55,.140n90,
'143n145
Szymczyk,
Adam,134n28,140n90,146n174
"Take Me (l ,m yours),,,
1 17
Tan, E ri ca, 146n174

t1 0

Tannert, Cristoph, 14On96,


145nn162,172
Tatlin, Vladimir,29
Taw adros,Gi l ane,56,
57, 68, 1A 4n2B ,141n118,
155n139,165n10.l
Taxonomic systems, gO
temporarycontemporary,
76, 110, 160n33
temporary services, .110
Thea, Carolee, 144n162
"ThinkingAloud,,,.1
64n96
Thirdspace,82_83
"This ls the Gallery and
the Gallery ls Many
Thi ngs,,,12O-121
"This ls the Show and
the Show ls Many
Thi ngs,,,120
Thomas, Catherine, 33,
1 4gn154, 1 44n162
T homas,phi l i ppe,47, 1
10
T iranaB i enni al ,67, 70, 78
T i ravani j a,R i tkri t,74,B O,
117,11g, 126,
1 41n11A , 163n81,j 65nn105,107,
166n125
Tischler, Ute, 140n96, 14ilni62
Toufic, Jalal, 166n123
Tourism, cultural,31, 6g_69,
73
I ownsend, Melanie, 144n156,
145n162, 164n92
TradFutures@W2.0,1
60n33
T r anscul tural i smS ,52, :
,
4gn6

transcultural
curating,5, 52, 56, 60, 70,
84-85,159n25
18
Trini,Tommaso,
Troncy,Eric,127-128,140n90
Truffaut,Frangois,'160n42
Tucker,Marcia,16
Tyrannyof the curator(Meyer),73
"unExhibit,"
I59n31
Urry,John,156n142
"UtopiaStation,"80,
117,118,124,157n171,
166n125
Barbara,78, 116,140n90,
Vanderlinden,
'153n104,
|57n163
Varian,Elayne,136n45
Varnedoe,Kirk,55
Venice.SeeBiennaledi Venezia
Venlet,Richard,160n33
Alice,132n12
Vergara-Bastiand,
150n38
Vergne,Philippe,
Vergo,Peier,139n78
70, 156n151
Marcus,
Verhagen,
Vidokle,Anton,94, 110,124,125
124, 125, 166nl 23
unitednationsplaza,
"ViewingMatters,"140n94,164n96
66, 152nn75,88
Virno,Paolo,65,
22, 39
Visuality,
Vogel,SabineB., 153n95
"Voids,"
159n31
"Vonhieraus,"29
Wade,Gavin,43,95, 105, 11O,112,120,127,
143n154,144n162,146n174,163nn81,85,
164n99
Wagner,Richard,29, 139n77
Florian,80, 145n172
Waldvogel,
159n27
Wallenstein,
Sven-Olov,
Andy,112
Warhol,
Cow Wallpaper,128
Warren,Sophie,160n33
Watkins,Jonathan,1O2,122,135n28
Watkins,Robin,160n33
Watson,
Grant,92, 1 l1, 121,140n90
162n75
Gillian,
Wearing,
128
"WeatherEverything,"
Weil,StephenE., 139n78
Weiner,Lawrence,19-20, 21, 22, 25,27,
132n11
, 138n71, 160n33

180

One Hole in the GroundApproximatelyOne


Foot by One Foot. One GallonWaterBasedWhitePaintPouredinto ThisHole,
20
Weiss,Rachel,135n34
Welchman,
JohnC",138n70
Wendler,Jack,22
Richard,164n96
Wentworth,
Westernafr,4, 39, 45,62,71, 83,85
art,5, 4445,54-60, 69,
and non-Western
84-85 (seea/soGlobalism)
What,Howandfor Whom(WHW),81, 108-109,
164n95
"Whatlf: Art on the Vergeof Architecture
and
D e s i g n ,1"1 8 - 11 9 ,1 6 5 n 1 0
"WhenAttitudesBecomeForm:Works,
Situations,
Concepts,Processes,
16,17
lnlormation,"
Whipps,Stuart,121
White,Matt,160n33
White,Peter,143n154
Whitecube,40,71-72,93
109
WhitneyBiennial,'106,
StudyProgram,2, 27,
WhitneyIndependent
131nn3-4
165n100
Williams,
Gregory,
25-26,33,46,89, 137n61
Raymond,
Williams,
Wilsher,Mark,146n174
149n21,164n96
Wilson,Fred,105,140n94,
Wilson,Mick,33,43, 138n61
, 160n33,167n144
W. K.,3, 132n10
Wimsatt,
Wolfli,Adoll,29
165n101
Wood,Catherine,
Wright,Bill,160n33
Wuggenig,
Ulf,151n66
"XeroxBook,"
22,23
Young,La Monte,135n34
18,146n174
Zabel,lgot,116,141n1
Zanini,Walter,143n143
157n1
59
Zaya,Octavio,156n158,
Artur,110
Zmijewski,
f ndad,124, 125, 166n123
Zolghadr,
"Zoneot Urgency,"
63

an

AND THE CURATINGOF CULTURE(S)


THE CULTUREOF CURATING
Pa u l O'N eill
Once considereda mere caretakerfor collections,the curatoris now widelyviewedas a globallyconnectedauteur.Over the last twenty-fiveyears,as internationalgroup exhibitionsand biennialshave
becomethe dominantmode of presentingcontemporaryart to the public,curatorshiphas begunto be
of creativeactivitiesnot unlikeartisticpraxis.The curatorhas gonef rom beperceivedas a constellation
organizerand selectorto a visible,centrallyimportantculturalproducer.In lhe
ing a behind-the-scenes
Cultureof Curatingand the Curatingof Culture(s),PaulO'Neillexaminesthe emergenceof independent
curatorshipand the discoursethat helpedto establishit.
temporaryprojectswith
O'Neilldescribeshow,by the 1980s,curatedgroupexhibitions-large-scale,
work
of curator-auteurs.
creative
as
the
understood
to
be
fragments-came
artworkscast as illustrative
in
the
1990s
createda cohort
exhibitions
international
of new biennialsand otherlarge
The proliferation
In
the
1990s,
curatorial
Kassel.
globallymobilecurators,movingfrom Veniceto Paristo
of high-profile,
and artisticpracticeconverged,blurringthe distinctionbetweenartistand curator.
was shapedby a curator-centered
of curatorship
O'Neillarguesthatthis changein the understanding
curatorialpractice.Drawing
independent
new
authorized-the
advocated-and
discoursethat effectively
curators,
critics,art historians,
leading
with
interviews
on the extensivecuratorialliteratureand his own
ways
it has been conand
the
model
and artists,O'Neilltracesthe developmentof the curator-as-artist
tested. Ihe Cultureof Curatingand the Curatingof Culture(s)documentsthe many ways in which our
perceptionof art has beentransformedby curatingand the discoursessurroundingit.
paul O'Neillis Directorof the GraduateProgramat the Centerfor CuratorialStudiesat Bard College.
Widelyregardedas one of the foremostscholarson the historyof exhibitionsand curatorialpractice,
O'Neillis a curator,artist,and writerwho has co-curatedmorethanfiftyprojectsacrossthe world.He has
beenpublishedin books,anthologies,
iournals,and art magazines.
*paul O'Neillguidesus throughthe conflictingclaimsthat surroundthe developmentof curatingas an
implicatedset of roles.Focusingon the debatesand differencesthat are part of curatorialpractice,this
book showswhat is still requiredand may be possible.By exposingthe historicaloriginsand congested
terrainof cbntemporarycuratorialpractice,O'Neillwill stir a new generationto action."
-Liam Gillick,Artist
,,lnthis timelybook, Paul O'Neillprovidesa much-neededoverviewof the historicaldevelopmentand
centralissuesof contemporarycurating.In clear,jargon-freeprosehe minesthe curatorialliteratureto
of the curator.
discussdisparateexhibitionstrategiesand criticallyanalyzethe changingself-conception
This is a bookthat shouldbe readby anyoneinterestedin exhibitionsand exhibition-makingl'
MuseumStudiesProgram
-Bruce Altshuler,Directorof NewYorkUniversity's
,'Thisbook is a thoroughand convincingsurveyof the curatorial.lt coversthe changingrelationsbetweenthe curatorand the artistor art institutionoverthe lastfiftyyearsand showshow this trianglehas
of art. lt offersreadersa digestiblehistoryof
beencrucialto the way the publicperceivesthe possibilities
perception
art and how it is understoodtoday-"
of
profoundly
our
influences
a phenomenonthat
Director,Afterall,London
Co-editorial
-Charles Esche,Director,VanAbbemuseum,Eindhoven;
-_---H

The MIT Press


Instituteof Technolo,
Massachusetts
Ca mb ridge, M as s ac h u s e tts O2 l 4 2 ;' i .,' l i
mit.edu
http://mitpress.

978-0-262-01772-5

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