Welcome to the June edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of bite-sized items that have caught my eye recently.
- Art fair season is upon us, though many collectors and curators seem to lament the lack of desirable objects to purchase, even at one of the biggest of them all, Art Basel: ""We don't buy much at the fair,'' said Todd Levin, who oversees the $100 million Sender Collection from New York, in a telephone interview. "Art fairs have morphed into a 'fairorama' and consumer paradise or hell that is not conducive to spending time to investigate a work.''"
- Cynthia Beth Rubin adroitly notes on the iDC mailing list that there is in fact, plenty of quality work to collect, there is simply perhaps not enough that is 'on trend'. Rubin writes: "We know that we live in a curated time, a time in which the interest comes not from the artists but from those who envision and organize exhibits around conceptual movements that they either identify or invent (who knows?). If work falls outside of the parameters of the curatorial mission, then it is not shown. If work is too similar to already selected work, it is not shown. But if work goes too long without being shown, it fall out of view of the curators, and it is difficult to resurrect it." Rubin is reacting to this article in the New York Times, about the hot (or not, if you are an ambitious collector?) market at Art Basel.
- The word "curator" is increasingly coming to mean someone whose taste you trust to sift through mountains of blog posts every day, and present you with the golden nuggets (which is a little bit like what I am doing with these "Pick 'N Mix" posts, I suppose). Björn Jeffery at Good Old Trend explains why he believes journalists need to move from being gatekeepers to being "curators" in the this sense: "Imagine an art curator running a gallery for instance. You don’t go to the gallery because you necessarily know the artist exhibiting, but you trust the curator enough to go anyway. You respect his/her taste and choices enough to check it out." Being trustworthy was always part of being a journalist, and now with this expanding definition of curator, journalists are also expected to have taste.
- A rose by another name would smell as sweet, right? Perhaps, but that hasn't stopped the powers that be at the Museum of Television in New York City from renaming it so that it will no longer be known as a museum. “'Museum' was not a word that tests really well with the under-30 and 40-year-olds,” especially in the context of radio and television, Pat Mitchell, the museum's chief executive said. Henceforth, it will be known as the Paley Center for Media, after the late CBS founder William S. Paley.
- And finally, tank.tv has put some interviews with curators from their Fresh Moves project online.