Welcome to May's Pick 'N Mix:
- An interesting ethical issue is raised by Regina Hackett in her great, new-ish blog, Another Bouncing Ball. In a post entitled "Curators who are loath to credit art dealers", she outlines a few examples wherein collectors were acknowledged, but the dealers who helped to make an artist's career weren't. She asks: "Isn't it time to abandon the illusion that dealers are all about money and curators are all about art?" It's an underdiscussed topic, and I think Hackett is exactly right: the lines between the roles of all participants in the art ecosystem can be a bit fuzzy at times, and certainly the psychological barriers set up between for-profit practice and other areas is less than useful (though that doesn't mean it should escape critical examination).
- In a similar, why-does-this-happen-when-it-makes-no-sense kind of vein (though I apologise for the lack of a direct relation to curating), Jennifer Higgie writes a piece on the recent Turner Prize shortlist for Frieze's blog, noting that once again critics are braying about the "weirdness" of the shortlisted artists' works. Read the article to find out Higgie's hilarious counterpoints to the supposed weirdness of the nominees.
- I quite liked this interview in BOMB Magazine, where a curator is the interviewer, rather than the interviewee. Again -- sorry for the tenuous link, but I think Pedro Reyes is a really interesting artist, and Tatiana Cuevas does a great job interviewing him.
- On a final note, I'm happy that it's Futuresonic Festival time again in Manchester. Festival Director Drew Hemment and Art Programme Manager Dennis Hopkins have curated the main exhibition, and has decided that rather than hold the usual gallery tours conducted by himself or gallery staff, he will have external curators give tours of the exhibition, that will be "honest, open, warts and all". This idea is appealing on so many levels: to see what commentary a fresh pair of eyes will bring, as a solution for how to involve the curatorial community in an exhibition that they didn't take part in formulating, etc. I am delighted to be one of these external invitees and look forward to the experience -- I will report back on how it went here!