Despite increasing numbers of career curators, there are some artists who professionally orchestrate the public experience of art as a practice – we curate – arriving at this position along the route of studio practice rather than via a visual arts administration course.
What differentiates an artist who develops an identity as a curator as part of a broader artistic practice and a curator who sees his/her practice as art?
I’m looking closely at this question primarily through the lens of my own practice and its origins in painting. My cross-media practice can be described variously as painting, performance, installation, exhibition, event or text. Within this range of outputs I maintain a well-developed collaborative practice. My current research is particularly focussed on unpicking the seam between the seminal impulses of painting and collaborative and curatorial manifestations in my individual practice.
The scope of the enquiry is broadened by engagement with key individuals whose experiences illuminate and further articulate the processes and outcomes that characterise the work of artists who include curation as part of their practice. It also remembers artists whose acts of resistance might provide historical insight to current dilemmas.
I am approaching this subject from the perspective of an artist for whom exhibition-making has become part of her creative identity. By this I mean that the moment of arts’ presentation to a public is of central interest and has effectively become another medium.
My aim is that this research goes some way to articulating a little-understood area of contemporary visual arts practice and the role of tacit knowledge transfer within the cultural eco-system.