“I have organized two ‘Regeneration’ projects where an Art District was created in the forgotten districts of Poznan. The aim was to regenerate this dilapidated district through art. It was also important not to ‘force’ people to participate in the Art District. I made a ‘field’ which the homeless and unemployed people of the area, felt was important and this enabled them to identify with and participate in the event.”– Kasia Kujawska Murphy, artist curator
Many artist curators situate themselves firmly in the role of artist activist, a radical element in society with a responsibility to bear witness, to agitate and to be inclusive.
The passionate and ‘educative’ approached described by Brendan Jamison in his interview is one which I and most the artist curators in this feature, have put into practice, it also connects with the desire to move art outside galleries and to reach out proactively to the public rather than passively ‘waiting for them to come to us’.
Artist curators are often in a better position to address inequalities in critical/ public perception of the use of different media i.e. all media on an equal footing, with no ghettoising or hierarchy. The desire to be inclusive, which does not entail sacrificing artistic standards, is something most of us seem to share giving maximum value to each artwork and each participating artist’s voice. Echoing the views of Louise Ascroft in the section of Transformation, I would say that artist-curator are not afraid to break rules and respond intuitively to exhibition spaces; we are interested in creating shows/projects which include installations, digital/sound/video work, paintings, textiles, 3D work and performance, shows that don’t just have their eyes on the next commercial ‘big thing’ and which value contrast over homogeneity. Generally, we like to work with artists from other cultures and other disciplines because it’s interesting – it’s not ‘tidy’ or fixated only on the end product, we want to explore the process, share it, be activists and make something meaningful, something needed to be done, then do it.