21 Jun 2006

why planners and curators resemble

Attending the DIY Self-Publishing thing reminded me about a sort of conference i attented and totally loved some time ago, at MNAC. The conference was held (of course, this assertion is a little extravagant, because it obviously wasn't that type of fancy or academic conference, it was more like a discussion between friends) some time in May, by French independent curator Leonor Nuridsany, who had brought the "Virus virus!" (pic stolen from alternativ) exhibition to Romania (most of it to UNAgaleria, to be precise). She spoke about her evolution as a curator, she presented her work, talked a bit about her status, as well as about the role that independent curators have nowadays. Of course, i was too lazy to write about my strong impressions immediately after the talk, so the few points that i remember now are far from covering everything she said.

Anyway, after discussing a bit the importance of labels, Leonor discussed a lot about the importance of making the visitors of her exhibitions feel strongly, the importance of creating an experience they will remember (does that sound familiar?). She explained how important it is for her to consider all sorts of elements aimed at creating a special, unique experience for the visitors, rather than stick to carefully arrange the artwork and present the artist's accomplishments coldly. All in all, she talked about involvement, about how much involving the visitor helps build a relationship between him and the art exposed. I remember her giving the example of an exhibition she organized in an extremely small space (a garden between blocks of flats, if i remember correctly). However, no matter how small the area was, she still figured out a solution to create experience (half by accident, of course): so she placed a chair five metres from the ground, at the top of a ladder along the building's wall, and you were supposed to climb up there, without any handlers or anything (for the sake of adrenaline), and once you sat on the chair, you had the view of a splendid garden. And while she was saying all this, i'm not sure why, but i couldn't help thinking about the (at least apparent) similarities between a planner and a curator.

In other words, Leonor stressed upon the importance of always thinking about context, architecture, combining all possible elements, and using all circumstaces possible in order to figure out the best way to show the artwork and create experience. Briefly, it was pretty much about using the power of context to build up the relation between art consumer and art. And i remember her having a vaguely poetic conclusion which i liked, something like: "sometimes the exhibition becomes the artwork, the curator becomes the artist".

What i shame i didn't write more immediately after the event...

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