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Issues in Curating Contemporary Art and Performance

To stay relevant, art curators must keep up with the rapid pace of technological innovation as well as the aesthetic tastes of fickle critics and an ever-expanding circle of cultural arbiters. Issues in Curating Contemporary Art and Performance argues that, despite these daily pressures, good curating work also requires more theoretical attention.

In four thematic sections, a distinguished group of contributors consider curation in light of interdisciplinary and emerging practices, examine conceptions of curation as intervention and contestation, and explore curation’s potential to act as a reconsideration of conventional museum spaces. Against the backdrop of cutting-edge developments in electronic art, art/science collaboration, nongallery spaces, and virtual fields, contributors propose new approaches to curating and new ways of fostering critical inquiry. Now in paperback, this volume is an essential read for scholars, curators, and art enthusiasts alike.


272 pages | 40 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2007

Art: Art--General Studies

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“Changes in curatorial strategy require constant analysis. The mediation of culture is a contested territory. This book contains texts by some of the most dynamic and critical people writing on the subject today.”

Liam Gillick, artist and writer

"These essays on curation came from a series of symposia hosted during 2004 and 2005 by the University College of the Creative Arts in Canterbury. The contributors are artists, academics, writers, theorists and curators who examine various perspectives on curating contemporary art and performance and the relationships between them."

Arts Research Digest

Table of Contents

Judith Rugg
Part 1: Forms of Thinking in Contemporary Curating
The Curatorial Turn: From Practice to Discourse
Paul O’Neill
Curatorial Strategy as Critical Intervention: The Genesis of Facing East
Liz Wells
No Place like Home: Europa
Sophia Phoca
Part 2: Curating and the Interdisciplinary: Encounter, Context, Experience
Critical Spatial Practice: Curating, Editing, Writing
Jade Rendell
Exhibitions and Their Prerequisite
Chris Dorsett
Part 3: The Role of the Curator: Contestations and Consideration
Curating Doubt
JJ Charlesworth
A Parallel Universe: The "Women’s" Exhibitions at the ICA, 1980, and the UK/Canadian Film and Video Exchange, 1998-2004
Catherine Elwes
Thoughts on Curating
Richard Hylton
Part 4: Emergent Practices: Subverting the Museum
Oscillating the ’high/low’ Art Divide: Animation in Museums and Galleries
Suzanne Buchan
Generator: The Value of Software Art
Geoff Cox
Who Makes Site-specific Dance? The Year of the Artist and the Matrix of Curating
Kate Lawrence
The Movement Began with a Scandal
Alun Rowlands
Notes on Contributors

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