An analysis of the contexts in which curating takes place: why curate art these days and in the name of which interests?
If we ask where the curating of art occurs these days--in which places, which kinds of place, and how--apparent answers immediately appear: everywhere, expanding as if to ubiquity. Yet at the same time, we sense, with fragile purpose. In this, his newest book, Terry Smith explores the contemporary contexts of curating, looking for less apparent answers.
Smith maps the dimensions of the visual arts exhibitionary complex, including its dialectical dance between institutionalization and deinstitutionalization; the persistence of professional classifications of curatorship; the given and changing categories of art exhibitions; the increasing variety of curatorial styles; the underthinking about publics; and (undistracted by curationism) the changing roles of art making and exhibiting art within an exhibitory iconomy that is at once viral and consumptive. A mapping of this kind might help us toward some answers to the more important questions: why curate art these days and in the name of which interests?
Steven Henry Madoff, an award-winning writer, editor, and poet, has written extensively on contemporary art for such publications as Artforum, ARTnews, Modern Painters, the New York Times, and Time magazine, and published numerous monographs on leading international artists. He is the Founding Chair of the master's degree program in curatorial practice at the School of Visual Arts in New York and previously served as Senior Critic at Yale University's School of Art.