In many cases artists whose practice is predominantly performance based, are recognised by the autobiographical tone of their work. Using identity as a primary credential, this article will address the consequence and expectations in terms of how certain performance artists are often framed, marketed and dramatically characterised within the wider discourse; a path that
An artist is by definition the one who creates. And, by extension, the one who becomes – however much these two combined resemble the definition of a new god. A shapeshifter shifting shapes. She is not to be satisfied with the role and position given to her, but is to fight for always new territories, to claim not only from others but also from among the artists themselves. This is perhaps also why the idea of a “super artist”(as the counterpart of the super curator) still remains unheard-of – she always already possesses the potential of being super.
Every self-respecting young artist at some point or other takes the wheel and organises a project or group show that involves others. Curation is now a multi-functional word expressing the role of the person who looks after a collection of artworks, the person who decides which objects sit next to each other in an exhibition, the person who works closely with the artist to develop a new project, to the person who displays their colleagues’ or friends’ work in an empty warehouse.
Marko Daniel is Convenor of Public Programmes at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. In 2014, he was curator of the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale: We have never participated. He was co-curator of Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape (Tate Modern, 2011; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; and National Gallery of Art, Washington).
It is rather complex, the present situation of the curator in China. The whole of China, with all its politics, economy, and culture is still in a time of substantial transition. Naturally, the structure of the curatorial is effected. The curators of the older generation have accomplished their historical missions, finished really important tasks.
I love the Venice biennale, the location, the huge numbers of participating artists, cultures, locations. I don’t mind being footsore and weary after a long day wandering from exhibition space to exhibition space. I don’t mind not liking a large number of the artworks I see and I don’t mind seeing individual shows curated by buffoons. What I do mind, terribly and painfully, to the point of wanting to stick pins in my eyes and shed someone’s blood, is visually illiterate smart arse curation infiltrating a whole biennale, shouting down individual voices and drowning out curatorial diversity.
Luc Tuymans is one of the most prominent contemporary painters, highly regarded for his paintings that draw on visual techniques from photography and film. His works are featured in museum collections worldwide, including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London.
Cui Cancan is an active Chinese independent curator. He was the winner of the CCAA (Chinese Contemporary Art Award) Critics’ Award, Critics’ Award in Chinese contemporary art by YISHU (Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art), the annual award by L’OFFICIEL Art and so on.
In this section artist curators who work internationally will describe their own situations. It should be noted that those interviewed are not working in the commercial sector with private galleries and museums and the projects described are ‘not for profit’ collaborations.
At the time of preparing this issue, the Hayward Gallery, London presents an exhibition HISTORY IS NOW: 7 Artists Take On Britain which is curated by 7 artists including John Akomfrah, Simon Fujiwara, Roger Hiorns, Hannah Starkey, Richard Wentworth, and Jane & Louise Wilson. Working with Dr Cliff Lauson, Hayward Gallery Curator, each artist was invited to curate a section of the exhibition, looking at particular periods of cultural history from 1945 to the present day.
As being outside any art institutions, I am very interested in how art institutions attract new audiences by transforming the curatorial approach, because any organization or individual applying for funding supports would come across these questions, “how to attract audience? How to develop a new targeted market?”
When referring to the definition of ‘curator’, different people working in different fields give different answers. Mostly, people describe a curator as an organizer, a director, a manager, and there are a lot of people that would think curators are personnel responsible for exhibition planning and art dealing. In the context of contemporary arts, the definitions are limited, or defined with preconceived bias. However at least, it seems ‘curator’ is a role filled with multiple identities and responsibilities.
Guided by a passion for strengthening intercultural relations, Fion Gunn works as an artist curator in the international arena. She has developed a network in the UK, Ireland and China, linking with city councils, institutions and arts organisations in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Northern Ireland.
Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire 1983. Lives and works in London. Graduated from the Ruskin School of Art (Oxford University) in 2004 and Birkbeck (University of London) in 2008, Ashcroft also studied Sculpture at The Royal College of Art (London) in 2012-13 and is co-founder of the alternative art school AltMFA.
The recent years in contemporary art witness a celebrity curator phenomenon, where curators with supreme rights occupy a variety of art resources and platforms, in the influence of which less and less attention is paid on the artworks and artists.
“I don’t think it’s about finding a new approach, but about finding a voice as a curator. If you’re a practising artist you bring a unique perspective as a maker, so it’s important to define what that is and how it can be developed as a curatorial skill, in other words – how do you convey what your ethos / passion / line of enquiry is in your practice through your curatorial work.”
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.