I wish I was a curator

  • 2018
  • Collaborative project (text, photography, exhibition, talk)
  • Dimensions variable

This project developed from a collaboration with the Post-Graduate Programme in Curating in Zurich. Intended to initiate a process of exchange and debate concerning the relationships between artists and curators, I wrote a short text which I handed out to the participants of the programme. Within this text I asked them to take photos of certain things and situations, and I gave them disposable cameras preventing control and selection.

Given the quite precise formulation of this task, I expected to get consistent material – different in each case, yet closely related to each other and to what the text was referring to. It turned out I was completely wrong. The outcomes were highly heterogeneous – due to the surprising fact that the photos taken almost had nothing to do with the original task.

Confronted with this feedback I felt there was little from which to work on collaboratively and decided to turn things around: instead of an ongoing, recurring communication I set up an exhibition with all the photos (yet unknown to its creators) to condense the relationship between me and the participants, between artists and curators, into a moment of confrontation.

A moment finally forcing us to deal with questions like: in which ways are (power) relationships between curators and artists constituted? Which ethos characterizes the work of curators and / with artists? Who wants to be an artist, who wants to be a curator and why? What is it about art we identify ourselves with? These questions were addressed in a more concrete way, too: labels with attributions stemming from the programme‘s self-description were meant be used for (self-) identification, as well as blank ones for diverging conceptions.

 

The initial text that was handed out to the participants:

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