Welcome to the July edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of things that caught my eye over the course of the previous month. Check it out:
- A new Curating.info Conversations e-book has been released! Download it now.
This edition of Curating.info Conversations is with Karen Gaskill, the Director and Curator of Interval, and a Researcher at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool. She is also currently completing her practice-based PhD in Digital Media and Social Practice at the Digital Research Unit, The University of Huddersfield. The interview with Karen covered topics ranging from getting outside of the white cube to the expanding role of the audience.
- I recently discovered a blog called "Sideshows", written by SofÃa HernÃ¡ndez Chong Cuy. Recently Ms Chong Cuy has been publishing some really interesting interviews with young curators in China and Hong Kong. Recent examples include an interview with Kate Fowle, International Curator at the Ullens Centre in Beijing, wherein the notion of what "international" practice is today is discussed, and the second interview in the series is with Zoe Butt, Director of International Programs at Long March Project in Beijing, China. Well worth a read!
- Ms Chong Cuy, author of Sideshows, asked Kate Fowle to elaborate a bit more on the meaning of her title of "International Curator". Similarly, in this article we find founding film curator of University of California San Diego's ArtPower!, Rebecca Webb, discussing the difficulty of a title like "Film Curator". "A lot of people â when I'm here, anyway â say, 'Oh, do you work in a library or something?'" Ms Webb says. As curators, we all know titles have power and meaning, and this is usually why it is important professionally to seek appropriate credit for the work you have done. These specialist titles that were created for Ms Fowle and Ms Webb are meant to indicate an area of expertise, however, it is clear that it remains confusing for some people (sometimes because they don't understand what curators do in the first place, other times because the notion behind the specialism is so new?). Nomenclature is no small thing. I'll simply wonder aloud here: what can be done to indicate specialisation without inducing confusion?
- CultureGrrl (among other outlets) reported on the "leave" taken by Curator and Deputy Director David Franklin of the National Galleries of Canada. For me, this news story raised several ethical questions. Among all of the very obvious questions around the obligations of the gallery to its employees and to its public, the next issue that arose for me was of Mr Franklin's privacy. Curator at the National Galleries of Canada is a prominent position, to be sure, but did Mr Franklin ever imagine that his decision to take extended leave (or to effectively leave his post) would be fodder for the national and international press? I'm not sure that he did. Whatever his reasons, he isn't appealing to the press to make a case against his employer -- yet -- so perhaps he should be left alone, and we should presume his colleagues are capable of continuing his work, until we hear a statement from Mr Franklin himself. Or do any readers here think otherwise?