Welcome to the September edition of Pick ‘N Mix, my monthly annotated list of bite-sized items that have caught my eye recently.

  • An interesting article about the curating scene in Singapore recently appeared online. In it, Ahmad Mashadi notes that the curator’s role has become more complex, becoming implicated in marketing and sponsorship, where previously it might have been more focused on “research, growth and display” of a museum’s collection. The article also discusses the emerging trend of the artist-curator in Singapore.
  • Jerry Saltz writes an excellent article on the alchemy of curating, in which he makes several bold (but astute) statements:
    “…curating is becoming less of a dark art and more of a science or profession.”
    “The alchemy of good curating amounts to this: sometimes placing one work of art near another makes one and one equal three.”
    “…one of the first rules of curating should be “Stop Making Sense.”‘
    The article goes on to dissect the curatorial strategies and pitfalls in the big three: Documenta, Venice Biennale, and Münster Sculpture Project.
  • It’s rare that one has occasion to read a line like this: “No, the most interesting part of the show is that excruciating pile of false, overweening enthusiasms that make up that curatorial statement, not for what they say, necessarily, but for what they assume.” In Artfag’s “Toronto Manifesto“, we get these kinds of critical, nearly brutal, statements and so much more. If you have anything invested in the Toronto art scene, this piece will certainly interest you; if you don’t, it’s worth a read anyway, as many of the observations made in this manifesto are universally applicable – such as this note on the importance of recently-graduated artists: “gallerists in New York and Los Angeles keep a keen eye on the goings on of the graduate students that are pumped out every year. Any art scene needs a constant supply of fresh blood, and most gallerists and buyers know exactly where to find it.” (Discovered via Sally McKay’s blog.)

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