Michelle Kasprzak's views on contemporary art curating

Pick 'N Mix - May 2008

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, May 3. 2008 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to the May edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of things that caught my eye over the course of the previous month. There are just two quick items this month, as a sort of "compare and contrast" exercise:

- In one of my web trawls, I found this lesson plan for teaching children what a curator does. I thought it was interesting to take a look at because despite high level discussions about the role of the curator, what emerges in more reductive definitions (for example, something that a child could understand in one short lesson) highlights what may or may not be a conventionally agreed aspect of the role. In this case I noted that beyond the obvious step of selecting work, the lesson plan includes a section on writing didactic texts for the student's imaginary audience, explaining their curatorial choices.

- Then over at Time Out New York, a timeline indicates some of the key tasks that the curators of the most recent Whitney Biennial performed. It obviously doesn't indicate all of the tasks that the curators completed, but unlike our lesson plan for kids, it doesn't mention writing, and meeting with artists and negotiating the media are highlighted.

These two short items provide glimpses into how the role of the curator and the key tasks within that role are presented and described to others, which might make us ask ourselves: What do I emphasise when I talk about curating a project to someone else, and what does that indicate about my favourite/least favourite aspects of the role?
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