Curatorial Art

The role of the art exhibitions curator

by Jizaino, 22 November 2016

I take the chance of the umpteenth censure done by the Exibart site to write this short article, reporting what I entered as a comment to their article entitled "The end of the curator." ¹

That article, visible at (Italian), reports obsolescence cases of the art exhibitions curators' figure, and agreeably wishing for it.

But the curator is indeed another artist, he practices the art of curatorship, the Curatorial Art, which consists, or at least should consist, in communicating concepts or feelings using the artworks of the artists for whom an exhibition is curated. The curator artist express himself, as mush as the artist appropriating other's works, in particular way similarly to the collage or the objet trouvé.
A group exhibition conceived by a curator practically is a "conceptual collage;" thus the curator should be enclosed in the same list of the participating artists. From this perspective, also a solo exhibition, with just one artist and one curator doing his task, indeed should be always considered a double-solo exhibition.
However, since the main task of the curator is organisational, the curator's role is assimilable to the cinema director, for this reason he is listed apart conferring him more importance.
Yet, much often the curator deals with many other aspects of an exhibition: conception, image, logistics, public relations and press office, to the point that demeaning his importance is clearly unjustifiable.

Obviously I agree with the interchangeability of the roles, that is the curator may be surely substituted by an artist, as anybody with a bit of cognisance and intelligence can do the curator, as much as he can do the artist; but in the same way also a curator can be an artist, or as I assert, he is indeed.

But, let us investigate on this trend to abolish the curators making exhibitions organised by the artists themselves: actually that is motivated solely by the economic crisis; if we were living steadier times this and other even more specific figures would flourish, each engaged in dealing with one role in the complex and demanding task of organising an art exhibition.

Thus, if someone demeans the importance of curators, these instead may impose themselves more, getting on the same podium of the artists, because no personal inclination for artistic expression that can be sacrificed in the name of profit do exist: that would be like stating that only the successful artists have the right to exist.

Finally, the abolition of the curator, maybe supplanted by the as democratic as materialistic social network, is another aspect of that process wishing to relegate art and artists into the desolate role of wares before the sole presence of customers, isolating them into a totalitarian binomial artist-market, where one exists only as a function of the raised profit; a democratic and anonymous world of object-people depending on likes.


¹ It is incomprehensible what was so undesirable in my comment, but this is just one of the many that Exibart refused to publish. The site is known since ever for putting into practice an apparently whimsy censorship that have no justification but the will to support a precise and bossy policy, but so, why they do permit the opportunity to leave comments if then they can not accept conflicting opinions? Just know that in the past (even before their editorial staff participated to a mutiny en masse to then form, which however has inherited in some way their attitude) they have seen the sudden vanishing of the lively community that participated to their free theme forum, for being fed of the unmotivated and continuous censures.

Jizaino -