© Milena Placentile, 2005. Used by permission
Download transcripts of this talk:
By the time I decide what to call this paper, the world will be different
Date: 16 July 2005
I view curating as something I do with and for others. It is in this spirit that I aim to create exhibitions and public programs that investigate the social aspects of cultural production in ways that encourage alternative modes of thinking, foster new relationships, and inspire increased ownership in the development and articulation of culture. I believe strongly in the capacity for the arts to affect positive change by expanding perceptions of day-to-day experience, and I am enthusiastic about the role artists play in the building of sustainable and equitable communities. I am interested in visual art, but not solely - I tend to take a holistic approach when attempting to make sense of the world around me, so I endeavour to apply this value to my curatorial practice by working with as many cultural forms as possible. I also endeavour to be pragmatic. As such, I seek a careful balance between defining issues on one hand, and testing theories, observing results, and making changes to better suit the real world on the other.
It is not an unspoken assumption that curators have responsibilities - the term arises in writing and discussion about curatorial practice all the time; however, the meaning and consequences of those responsibilities are rarely elaborated upon in practical ways for the very reason that they are assumed. That being said, there is often a myriad of ways to define any idea at any give time; the one thing we can count on is that the definitions we have now will not necessarily be applicable in the future. I am concerned about outdated responses made to circumstances that no longer exist because reality changes faster than terminology. With this in mind, I'm not overly concerned with defining "responsible curating" in terms of words; I prefer to go with what I know and trust: thoughtful and sincere interactions.
Thus, instead of discussing responsibility to a language or, more specifically "the language of curating", I will use the opportunity of this symposium to talk about curators' responsibilities to audiences, artists, and colleagues. Through the course of this, I will share a few thoughts about some of the terms used when attempting to identify and fulfill those responsibilities. Of all the various responsibilities I hope to address, the one I would like to emphasize the most is a curator's responsibility to take risks.