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Paul O'Neill

Paul O’Neill is an artist, curator, educator, and writer, and has cocurated more than fifty exhibition projects around the world. The author of The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture (MIT Press) and coeditor of The Curatorial Conundrum: What to Study? What to Research? What to Practice? (MIT Press), he is Artistic Director of Publics, Helsinki.

Titles by This Author

Once considered a mere caretaker for collections, the curator is now widely viewed as a globally connected auteur. Over the last twenty-five years, as international group exhibitions and biennials have become the dominant mode of presenting contemporary art to the public, curatorship has begun to be perceived as a constellation of creative activities not unlike artistic praxis. The curator has gone from being a behind-the-scenes organizer and selector to a visible, centrally important cultural producer.

Titles by This Editor

Between Contemporary Art and Curatorial Discourse

Contemporary art and curatorial work, and the institutions that house them, have often been centers of power, hierarchy, control, value, and discipline. Even the most progressive among them face the dilemma of existing as institutionalized anti-institutions. This anthology–taking its title from Mary Douglas’s 1986 book, How Institutions Think–reconsiders the practices, habits, models, and rhetoric of the institution and the anti-institution in contemporary art and curating.

What to Study? What to Research? What to Practice?

Today curators are sometimes more famous than the artists whose work they curate, and curatorship involves more than choosing objects for an exhibition. The expansion of the curatorial field in recent decades has raised questions about exhibition-making itself and the politics of production, display, and distribution. The Curatorial Conundrum looks at the burgeoning field of curatorship and tries to imagine its future.