This is a course for anyone interested in curating as a creative practice. This is a studio class with curatorial projects as assignments but there will be substantial reading exploring a range of perspectives within contemporary curatorial activity. The course will be useful to students of theory and history who are considering curatorial careers but it will have a special focus on artists as curators.
More and more artists have multiple identities as critics, curators, and makers. Artists curate their own work for solo exhibitions and they curate their friends’ work for group shows. Artists may curate shows of their peers as a way of building a creative community, thereby providing logical contexts for their work. Artists serve in curatorial roles in biennials and festivals. Artists are sometimes invited to play with collections (e.g. Fred Wilson and Sophie Calle). And artists use curation as an art-making strategy, building works from collections of objects. Increasingly, there are practices of virtual curation, where art works are assembled conceptually as lectures or electronic galleries.
Successful curation involves insight, persistence, and judgment. For a show to realize its curatorial intentions, judicious selection, meticulous research, public and often private persuasion, as well as dynamic installation strategies all come into play. The class will consider these pragmatic aspects of curating alongside an array of theoretical issues.