Category Archives: Curators

On Curating

Serpentine Gallery co-Director Hans-Ulrich Obrist

Serpentine Gallery co-Director Hans-Ulrich Obrist

“Today, curating as a profession means at least four things. It means to preserve, in the sense of safeguarding the heritage of art. It means to be the selector of new work. It means to connect to art history. And it means displaying or arranging the work. But it’s more than that. Before 1800, few people went to exhibitions. Now hundreds of millions of people visit them every year. It’s a mass medium and a ritual. The curator sets it up so that it becomes an extraordinary experience and not just illustrations or spatialised books.”

Hans Ulrich Obrist discusses the art of curation in The Guardian.

Obrist The Jogger

Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist loves to run.  So much so that he’s founded the Brutally Early Club – a jogging group attended by artists and curators like Marina Abramovic and Markus Miessen.  The club is one example of Obrist’s obsession with rituals, which he discusses in the clip above while jogging through Hyde Park, home to the Serpentine Gallery – his place of work.

One way to get some cash

Superkaleidoscope's patron callout in this weekend's Sydney Morning Herald

Superkaleidoscope’s patron callout in this weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald

Curatorial collective Superkaleidoscope (co-directed by Australian artists Kim Fasher and Sarah Mosca) has taken an old school approach to supporting artists – they’re looking for patrons.  Each month they’ll select one emerging artist to promote, running an advertisement like the one above on their behalf in the Weekend Business section of the Sydney Morning Herald.  If you think you’re deserving of some patronage, you can make a submission to Superkaleidoscope via email.

An Interview with Robert Leonard

Robert Leonard

Robert Leonard, Senior Curator at City Gallery, Wellington as of January 2014

Outgoing IMA Director Robert Leonard was recently interviewed by fellow curator Hannah Mathews for ABC Arts.  You can read the full interview online, but here’s LOL’s fave punchy bit:

“These days many curators talk as if their job is primarily to please artists—to represent and protect their interests. Keeping artists happy is important, but it’s not the only important thing. As a curator, there are times when you work for artists, times when you work alongside them, and times when you work against them. For a curator, it’s important to find opportunities to operate in all these registers. Curators need to be more than just artists’ enablers.”

Bonami Hates Ai Weiwei


Francesco-Bonami, curator, writer and Artistic Director of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin

Turns out Italian art writer and curator Francesco Bonami isn’t a big Ai Weiwei fan.  The former Venice Biennale Curator and Flash Art Editor had this to say in a recent interview with Marina Cashdan for Artsy:

MC: Were there any pavilions or collateral events [in Venice] that you were surprised by, in a good or not good way?

FB: I hate Ai Weiwei. I think he should be put in jail for his art, and not for his dissidence … lukewarm dissidence, because a real dissident, you don’t hear about them any longer, you know? They just throw away the keys.

MC: And you don’t think he’s helping “real” dissidents?

FB: I don’t think he’s helped the real dissidents, and I think he exploits his dissidence in favor of promoting his art.


Read the full interview here.

Venice Envy

The 55th Venice Biennale, ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’ curated by Massimiliano Gioni opened last week. If, like LOL, you’re feeling a little angsty about not being there, check out the video above, featuring Gioni talking about this year’s exhibition.

At Home with Klaus Biesenbach

Ever wonder what MOMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach’s house looks like?  Let’s just say he takes minimalism to a whole new level…

2013 Venice Biennale Named After Skyscraper

Marino Auriti stands beside a model of the ‘Encyclopedic Palace of the World’, c.1950s

Venice Biennale curator Massimiliano Gioni has named next year’s event after a 136 story skyscraper that was never built.  The futuristic tower – intended to sit on top of Washington D.C.’s national mall – was the brain child of Italian American artist and wannabe architect, Marino Auriti.  Auriti developed the “Encyclopedic Palace of the World” in the 1950s while working as an automechanic and spent 3 years making a 1:200 scale model of the structure (pictured).  For Gioni, “It’s the crazy dream, bordering between knowledge and madness, image and imagination” that made Auriti’s skyscraper such a potent symbol.

Curators of New Museum Triennial Announced

Ryan Trecartin and adjunct New Museum curator Lauren Cornell are curating the New Museum’s third Generational Triennial, which focuses exclusively on the work of emerging artists from around the world.  Cornell was part of the curatorial team for the first triennial, ‘Younger Than Jesus’, that included an installation by Trecartin, and the 2015 event will be the artist’s first project as curator.

Above: excerpt from Ryan Trecartin’s Re’Search Wait’S, which featured in the first Generational Triennial in 2009

Farewell William McAloon (1969-2012)

William McAloon

William McAloon, one of New Zealand’s greatest art writers, curators and art historians has passed away. McAloon was the Curator of Historical New Zealand Art at Te Papa and the author of a number of seminal texts, including Art at Te Papa (2009).  Tributes from Over the Net, Cheryl Bernstein and Te Papa are online herehere and here.