Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Pick 'N Mix #74

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Sunday, September 8. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- What happened to the expert curator? “people are creating meaning themselves – online, inside, outside and in rings around the snail-paced bureaucracy that has come to characterise most cultural institutions.” Daniel Blight for the Guardian.

- "Curators are nothing without art, no matter what the most meta-inclined of curatorial theorists might argue." Frieze's Dan Fox invites eight artists to reflect on Being Curated.

- 'The Importance of Curators.' Report from last month's conference Curators: Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them at England's South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries.

- Despite boycott calls from arts communities globally, and a petition with 1,884 signatures (as of this posting), Manifesta 10 Sticking With Russian Location.
Manifesta director Hedwig Fijen is quoted as saying: “To withdraw would mean to ignore the voices of our contemporaries and emerging generations in Russia.”

Defined tags for this entry: , , , russia

Pick 'N Mix #73

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Thursday, August 22. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Visitor engagement, participation, 'gamification' and the experience economy. A polemic from The New York Times' Judith H. Dobrzynski: High Culture Goes Hands-On.

- Growing fury over the prevalence of unpaid internship positions in galleries and museums, from Museums Association.
See also:
organizations, Art But Fair, and Interns Anonymous,
recent articles:
Unpaid Interns Fight Back, Hyperallergic,
The Manifesto for Good Curatorship, Collections Trust,
Opportunity Costs: The True Price of Internships, Dissent Magazine,
and last year's piece in Forbes: Are Creative Careers Now Reserved Exclusively For The Privileged?

- M+ Museum: Hong Kong's Ambitious Undertaking on a Global Scale. On the new museum's curatorial vision.

- Gunnar B. Kvaran interviewed on his Lyon Biennial.

- Amid international outrage surrounding Russia's anti-gay laws, and calls to boycott the upcoming Olympics, Irish curator Noel Kelly calls for Manifesta, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, to “reconsider St Petersburg as their next location.” Petition at Change.Org.
German curator Kasper König has recently been named as Manifesta 2014's Chief Curator. Apparently König “has defended art against censorship by conservatives...”
-Also, Given Russia's Anti-Gay Laws, Should Manifesta Ditch St. Petersburg?. Blouin ArtInfo

Defined tags for this entry: , , , , lyon, participation, russia

Pick 'N Mix #72

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Thursday, August 8. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- A review from GalleristNY's Andrew Russeth outlines the career of trailblazing sound-art curator Barbara London.

- MoMA's Doryun Chong will fulfill the inaugural chief curatorial position at Hong Kong’s M+ Museum.

- C& has interviewed the curatorial team for Dak'Art 2014: Elise Atangana, Abdelkader Damani and Ugochukwu Smooth Nzewi.

- Next April the Met will host an international conference of museum directors. ArtsBeat

- Hou Hanru has been named artistic director of Rome's Maxxi museum.

- Jessica Verboom and Payal Arora have developed a study of the effects of the participatory Web 2.0 on museum culture: Museum 2.0: A study into the culture of expertise within the museum blogosphere – First Monday.

- 7 art podcasts that take you behind the scenes at the museum. Art Radar Asia.
Defined tags for this entry: africa, , , , , rome

Pick 'N Mix #71

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Sunday, July 21. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Ahead of the Experimenter Curators’ Hub, Art Radar Asia lays out the themes to be covered in the upcoming conference on curatorial practice in India.

- Available online: It's All Mediating: Outlining and Incorporating the Roles of Curating and Education in the Exhibition Context brings together thinkers from curating and pedagogy to speak to the roles of mediation between art and audience. From The Finnish Association For Museum Education Pedaali.

- 'Do we need buildings for digital art?' The place of bricks-and-mortar among digital art, online curation and virtual arts organizations. The Guardian.

- Oh, and 'Curating an Art Show in 10 Easy Steps - A Step by Step Guide for Art Curators.''s laughable ten-step, six-month plan for aspiring independent curators.

Defined tags for this entry: , , india,

Pick 'N Mix #70

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Tuesday, July 9. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Le Monde profiles la génération montante of contemporary curators: Curateur, le plus jeune métier du monde (French).

- The New York Times' Melena Ryzik considers the Whitney's resurrection of Douglas Davis' 'The World's First Collaborative Sentence' and museums' approaches to collecting and preserving digital art: When Artworks Crash: Restorers Face Digital Test.

- Blouin ArtInfo's 10 Cutting-Edge Curators From Around the World (Part 1 and Part 2).

- Video: The Fundamental Questions of Curating. Jessica Morgan and Jens Hoffmann in discussion at Art Basel.

- Collaborations between curators and private collectors are becoming prominent, leading to what Andrew Renton describes as "an erosion of hierarchy between the public and private sectors with regards to collecting." A pooling of expertise, Financial Times.
Defined tags for this entry: collections, , , ,

Pick 'N Mix #69

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Saturday, June 22. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Marat Guelman, head of the controversial PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, has been sacked. Russian Art Curator Fired Over Satirical Olympics Exhibits.
Also covered by NBC News.

- Chicagoan cultural producer Laura Shaeffer gives some insights into her community-building initiatives from the past decade for Bad At Sports.

- Australian curator Julie Ewington interviewed for ABC Arts.

- American arts institutions are getting a tech boost from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

- Is the life of the jet-setting cultural worker as glamourous as it looks?
Bogus Journeys: Paddy Johnson for the L Magazine.

- Julia Halperin finds that large commercial galleries are increasingly splitting their sales and curatorial teams.
Defined tags for this entry: , , ,

Pick 'N Mix #68

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Thursday, June 6. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- The 55th Venice Biennial has launched, and the (largely approving) critics have weighed-in on curator Massimiliano Gioni's lynchpin Encyclopedic Palace: Coline Milliard at ArtInfo; Vincenzo Latronico for Art Agenda; GalleristNY's Sarah Douglas; Holland Cotter for the New York Times; also Carol Vogel (1 and 2); The Guardian's Adrian Searle (1, 2 and 3); Massimiliano Gioni for Art in America (which includes interviews from past biennial curators); Jerry Saltz at the Vulture; Freize's Dan Fox; and interviews by Sotheby's Ted Loos and Artspace's Andrew M. Goldstein (among others).

- Canadian Art's Bryne McLaughlin has interviewed curators Christine Lalonde and Candice Hopkins about their ambitious, trans-national survey of contemporary indigenous art, Sakahàn.

- 'Barbara Bloom, An Artist-Curator at the Jewish Museum.' “It’s hard to pinpoint a single reason for the growing chorus of artist-curators, but it’s become common practice inside New York’s historic institutions...” ArtFCity

- The Paradox of Speed and Stillness. An interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist.

- OnCurating Issue 17--Design Exhibited--out now.

- The Wall Street Journal has profiled MoMA's photography curator Quentin Bajac: Snapshot of a Curator. Of the digital revolution, he says: "Historians and curators are facing a situation quite different from what John Szarkowski faced in the 1960s. Then, it was about access to images. Today, it's the opposite problem."

- Hou Hanru on the cultural profile of New Zealand, and curating the Auckland Triennial.

Defined tags for this entry: , auckland, , , indigenous, ,

Pick 'N Mix #67

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Friday, May 10. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Where Scotland's cultural leaders are raising the economic argument for arts funding, Tiffany Jenkins charges a "philistine approach that misses the value and point of culture."

- The Globe and Mail has published a great overview of idiosyncratic collector/curator Ydessa Hendeles, whose Art Foundation has closed after 25 years

- Artist Nicholas O’Brien and Ian Aleksander Adams (among others) have entered into a useful—if heated—discussion on Facebook regarding “cultural programming by using tumblr.” in response to Internet Archive's open call for “tumblr residencies.”

- New York's Center for Curatorial Leadership is expanding their programme after a $4 million boost.

- The Vancouver Art Gallery, along with other North American museums, is "Bulldozing great architecture in the name of housing great art."

Defined tags for this entry: , economics, , ,

Pick 'N Mix #66

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Tuesday, April 23. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Curator Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez highlights some of the issues at stake in the Guggenheim Foundation's transnational curatorial endeavours for their UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. Legaspi-Ramirez: “perhaps some collateral pleasure could come out of opening up to more than just tokenistic multiplicity and requisite pleasantries.”

- Julia Halperin has visited the Dallas Museum of Art and recognized a trend in American museums toward membership reform, free entrance, and guards clad in "laid back khaki pants and button-down shirts."

- Caitlin Jones elaborates on the place of expanded cinema and Internet art in the history of contemporary art: Conceptual Blind Spots, Mousse Magazine.

- Whitney Museum photography curator Elisabeth Sussman talks about her curatorial process with iD Magazine: “Some curators work from books and articles that have been written about the artist. I don’t like to do that. If the artist is alive I really would like to learn from them.”

Defined tags for this entry: art history, , transnational

Pick 'N Mix #65

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Tuesday, April 9. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Germano Celant is re-staging Harald Szeemann's seminal 1969 exhibition 'Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form' for the Fondazione Prada in Venice.

- [Jerry] Saltz on the Death of the Gallery Show: “There used to be shared story lines of contemporary art: the way artists developed, exchanged ideas, caromed off each other’s work, engaged with their critics. Now no one knows the narrative; the thread has been lost.”

- In a similar vein, critic Blake Gopnik takes on museums for the Art Newspaper: “The quaint old notion of the museum as a haven for the contemplation of the art it owns has given way to the museum as a cog in the exhibition-industrial complex”

- Meanwhile, museums are Looking for Ways to Groom Repeat Visitors, with free-admission, entertainment strategies, and 'frequent-flier' credits.

- Former Tate curator Emma Dexter interviewed about her movement into 'the world of private galleries': “there's so little bureaucracy in commercial galleries.”

- Review of Paul O Neill's 'The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s)' (MIT Press, 2012) at the Brooklyn Rail.

- Review from November's Curatorial Knowledge Forum held at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi, Pakistan.

- Artists, curators and advocates Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell present their Feminist Art Gallery (FAG) These self-identified “feral curators” avoid formal funding structures, focus on feminist and queer cultural production, and “approach curating from an activist position.”

Defined tags for this entry: , , , , ,

Pick 'N Mix #64

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Saturday, March 23. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- We are thrilled to announce the winner of the Musée Imaginaire Concours – the juried competition organized by and KAPSUL: Antonella Croci and Federico Florian’s I CLOSE MY EYES IN ORDER TO SEE has been awarded both Jury's Choice and Crowd Favorite. Visit KAPSUL to view all submissions to the competition.

- Flexible working: why the arts and culture sector doesn't get it yet, Claire Hodgson for the Guardian: “for a "creative" industry such as the culture sector, we have very uncreative workplaces…Our current culture promotes underpaid and overworked staff, relying on our passion for what we do.”

- The Way We Share: Transparency in Curatorial Practice. An essay by Lindsay Howard for Hyperallergic’s ‘Tumblr Art Sumposium’:
“We’ve heard the argument that everyone’s a curator online by means of blogging and reblogging, but what about the professional curators who are responsible for producing major physical exhibitions — how are they using social platforms? The ability to publicly explore new theories, archive research, and participate in creative communities, has signaled a new era of openness and transparency in curatorial practice.”

- Rhetoric of the Image: Julian Stallabrass gives a critical review of two new curatorial books: The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s), by Paul O’Neill, and Terry Smith’s Thinking Contemporary Curating. Both apparently uphold the "quasi-theoretical language… vacuous generalizations… [and] the illusion of coherence" within "curatorial rhetoric."

- The Art of the Artist Interview: Ross Simonini on Hans Ulrich Obrist's Interview Project.

- The best US exhibitions of 2012 have been voted on by over 400 professionals of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).
Artfagcity is not impressed.

- HOST AND AMBASSADOR: a conversation with curator Yasmil Raymond at #OpenCurating, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona:
“I don’t think artists need to be curated, I think artists need to be supported, enabled.”

- With the opening of his feature exhibitions at the Venice Biennial around the corner, Massimiliano Gioni states: "I Felt the Need to Do Something Unusual." Other curators react.

Defined tags for this entry: competition, , , ,

Pick 'N Mix #63

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Friday, March 8. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is to house the 2014 Manifesta Biennial. The curator, to be named this month, will face the city's notoriously conservative climate, including its ban on 'homosexual propaganda.'
An educational programme in the city has recently felt the brunt of this climate.

- ARTnews' Ann Landi offers a survey of flip-flopping amongst art critics: Split Decisions: When Critics Change Their Minds.

- Marian Godfrey has penned a personal and heartfelt manifesto for arts administrators in the latest GIA Reader: Only Connect the Prose and the Passion:
“Our institutional syntax, our claims for accountability and results, and our bland generalizations about “the arts” and their benefits to society leach pleasure from our work.”

- Tucson Pima Arts Council director Roberto Bedoya responds to recent discourse concerning audience diversity and Whiteness in American cultural policy. ArtsJournal.

- Check out the Met's 82nd & Fifth web-series, featuring 100 objects profiled by the museum's curatorial staff throughout the next year. The project recalls BBC's A History of the World in 100 Objects, and the Met's own Connections series.
Also, Google has launched its Art Talks video series, which promises discourse from curators of major international museums.

- W.A.G.E. (Working Arts and the Greater Economy) has created an “infomercial-dramedy” in response to remarks made by dOCUMENTA (13) curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev about her decision to not pay the artists represented in the mega-exhibition.

Defined tags for this entry: biennalism, criticism, diversity, documenta, , st petersburg

Pick 'N Mix #62

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Sunday, February 24. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- With the centennial Armory Show a couple weeks away, NPR recalls the 'Armory Show' That Shocked America In 1913.

- Afterall has posted video documentation from its 'Artist as Curator' symposium

- Hope for the future of art foundations in Creative Capital director Sean Elwood's Modest Proposal.

- In a peculiar public programming decision, Vienna's Leopold Museum invites nudists to visit their
Nackte Männer exhibition.

- The Getty Research Institute has acquired Harold Szeemann's archive, and produced this great overview of the collection: A Closer Look: Being Harold Szeemann.

Pick 'N Mix #62

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Saturday, February 9. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Issue 16 of web-journal On-Curating is out: Precarious Labour in the Field of Art.

- Hyperallergic has brought to light a study that finds American non-profits „suck at fundraising.“
- Another report mentioned in the post's comments: 3 Factors Impacting Nonprofit Fundraising Confidence.

- An amusing article from the Independent: Why it's time for galleries to dump the jargon.

- Artsy interviewed Rhizome Program Director Zoë Salditch for their 'Five Questions For' series.

- Amid the economic crisis, the Brazilian Government has announced its workers will receive a 50-real (€19; £16; $US25) monthly stipend for “cultural expenses,” The Art Daily reports.
- On a related note, the Vancouver Observer defends a local music venue, and speaks to the return value of government investment in arts and culture: M-O-N-E-Y: Why government investment in culture pays off.
- Similarly, Michigan Is Finding That the Arts Is a Growth Industry, Even During the Recession: “every $1 invested in the arts in the Great Lakes State yields $51 for the state’s economy.”

- Finally, we're saying goodbye to Agnes Gryczkowska, Charu Maithani and Sophia Zhou, who have been pivotal in bringing's services to you over the past six months. We're thrilled to bring in three new members of the editorial team: Luminița Apostu, Leela Clarke and Sofia Landström.
Defined tags for this entry: economics, , , public programming,

Pick 'N Mix #61

Posted by Mikhel Proulx • Monday, January 21. 2013 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Frieze’s Sam Thorne reviews three new books on curating: Pamela M. Lee’s Forgetting the Art World (MIT, 2012), Paul O’Neill’s The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s) (MIT, 2012) and Terry Smith’s Thinking Contemporary Curating (ICI, 2012).

- The Natural History Museum of London’s director Michael Dixon on free admission policy and mixed-funding models in his keynote address at the 2012 European Museum Advisors Conference.

- “Can criticism be fostered in a way that makes it accessible to interested readers while allowing writers to make a living?”
The Incredible Shrinking Art Critic by Eleanor Heartney for the Brooklyn Rail.

- Also, Linda Nochlin lectures on ‘Art Criticism and its Enemies: Art Criticism and its Would-be Friends’ at The New School.

- and Jonathan Jones’ ‘Art criticism has become too fawning’: “So where's our Robert Hughes?”

- Three new interviews have been published at 4Humanities with curators Ela Kagel, Pavel Sedlák, and’s own Michelle Kasprzak.

- Also, check out our latest edition of Conversations: Arriving at the Beginning: Interview with Cydney Payton by Lauren O’Connell.

- Only one week is left to apply for our Musée Imaginaire concours hosted by KAPSUL. Top prize of US$1000!

Defined tags for this entry: , criticism, , , public programming