No, Not Everyone Is A Curator. Here’s Why

Posted filed under Curators, Discussions.


In Response to Cat Kron’s One Side of the Coin: An Extended View of Curating, Courtney Malick wrote an article for Dismagazine in response: “I appreciate the motivation for Kron’s essay and I agree with her conclusion that squabbling over terms and their meanings in search for institutional hierarchy is ultimately futile. However, as a recent graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, (not that I’m in any way bragging, honestly that school has a lot it still ought to teach about curating in my opinion…), I have to say that the definition of art curating portrayed in this text is altogether lacking. The problem that actual art curators have with everyone going around saying that they’re curating their spice racks is that it gives the impression, which this essay only confirms, that curating is solely about arranging objects in some sort of grouping. This is simply not the case. It is one of so many aspects involved in curating. In fact, I would say that the foremost skill of a good curator is one’s impeccable ability to do and consider about 50 interlocking constituents of varying natures all at once.

Perhaps the largest and most pressing of these constituents left completely unmentioned in Kron’s essay is research. No curator does anything at all without a relative amount of extensive research (oxy-moron intended). First of all, I believe that to be a good curator, one must also be an avid and ever-growing art historian as well—which of course means even more research. The product of said research is not only an exhibition with some works in well-composed juxtaposition to one another. It is an entire body of work and can take many forms; sometimes including an exhibition, often including multiple texts, some written by the curator and others commissioned or edited by the curator, all of which is then compiled and published via the curator’s oversight. In addition to this, curators program talks, screenings and other forms of public mediation that connect the ideas within an artists work to a larger cultural context in (hopefully) unusual and interesting ways. Perhaps most importantly to me, curators must diligently oversee how all of this work, (both curatorial and artistic), will be documented, and therefore how it will continue to be represented and studied by future historians, artists, curators, patrons, and others. ”

Read on at Dismagazine.