Theme: Curators and Curating
esse arts + opinions no. 72
Deadline: January 10, 2011

Send your text (1,000-2,000 words) to s.babin -at- before January 10, 2011. Please include a short biography (50-80 words), an abstract of the text (100 words), as well as postal and e-mail addresses. We also welcome submissions (reviews, essays, analyses of contemporary art issues) not related to a particular theme (deadlines: September 1, January 10 and April 1).

Curators and Curating
The practice of curating is flourishing. A rising number of exhibiting institutions and events are inviting curators to mount shows in their venues. Ever since Harald Szeemann was credited with inventing the genre in 1972, the role of independent curator has indeed undergone enormous changes, along with the issues related to the task. Not only are curators are quite visible when their exhibitions are presented but they are also the subject of increasing theoretical investigation, which testifies to the practice’s in-depth transformations.

esse invites authors exploring current curating conditions, in particular how the limits of artistic artmaking and exhibition as gestures are being redefined, to submit papers. What is one to make of the fact that numerous artists are taking on the role of curator aside from their own production? What about the “critic-curator”? Does a curator have more influence today on the career of an artist than an art critic? How are the curating practices of museum curators different from those of guest curators, many of whom insist on their “independent” title? Are the debates on the rivalry between artist and curator, fuelled by Daniel Buren, still acceptable in today’s context? Is the curator usurping the artist’s place by pretending to have a right to sign his or her name? Is the personalization of curating practices a required condition for the marketing of biennials and events that are burgeoning across the world? The figure of the star curator is part of what system?

We could also reflect upon new strategies used by curators to anticipate their viewers’ expectations, or address transient or media arts based practices. How are the practices of curators stimulated by museums that invite them to redisplay their collections? What is the most sought after quality in a curator? Is it as author, administrator or designer? Writers are invited to examine these and other questions in our upcoming thematic issue on Curators and Curating.

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