Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating
Edited by Jens Hoffmann
It has become almost obligatory to introduce a book on curating by noting the plethora of recent publications on the subject. How, in just a few short years, did we reach this point of saturation? What questions, exactly, do all these books address? Many attempt to offer an overview of the curatorial field as it exists today, or attempt to map its historical trajectory. Others propose a series of case studies under a common curatorial theme. All are hoping to contribute to this relatively new discipline and its accompanying canon. Edited by Jens Hoffmann, Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating offers a real critique of existing publications and modes of thinking by explicitly asking the questions that others have missed, ignored or deemed already answered: What is a curator? What is the public? What is art? What about collecting? What is an exhibition? Why mediate art? What to do with the contemporary? What about responsibility? What is the process? How about pleasure? Here, Peter Eleey, Elena Filipovic, Juan A. Gaitán, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Maria Lind, Chus Martínez, Jessica Morgan, Adriano Pedrosa, João Ribas and Dieter Roelstraete each propose and then address one question. Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating takes a back-to-basics approach–a return to a kind of zero-degree state–at a time when a recalibration of what a curator is and does seems both necessary and urgent.
About the Author(s):
Peter Eleey is the chief curator at MoMA PS1. Since joining the museum in 2010, Eleey has organized or co-organized more than 20 exhibitions, including surveys of emerging and established artists such as Huma Bhabha, James Lee Byars, Simon Denny, Lara Favaretto, Mike Kelley, Maria Lassnig, Sturtevant and Henry Taylor.
Elena Filipovic is a writer and independent curator completing a doctorate in art history at Princeton University. She was co-curator, with Adam Szymczyk, of the 5th Berlin Biennial, When things cast no shadow (2008). She is tutor of theory/exhibition history at De Appel postgraduate curatorial training program and guest advisor at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. She has written extensively on contemporary art and was co-editor, with Barbara Vanderlinden, of The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe.
Juan A. Gaitán (Canada/Colombia) is an independent writer and curator, currently based in Mexico City and Berlin. He is trained as an artist and art historian at University of British Columbia and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver (Canada).
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy is Curator of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in New York. Previously, she was the Director of the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City since 2009 and was Curator and Programs Manager at Art in General from 2003-2008, where she developed a New Commissions Program. Originally from Mexico, she graduated from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in 2000.
Maria Lind is a curator, writer and educator based in Stockholm. She is the director of Tensta konsthall, Stockholm, and the artistic director of the 11th Gwangju Biennale. She was director of the graduate program, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2008-2010) and director of Iaspis in Stockholm (2005-2007).
Chus Martínez (born 1972) is a Spanish curator, art historian, and writer. She is currently the director of the Art Institute at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel, where she also runs the Institute’s exhibition space Der Tank, and was named the curator for KölnSkulptur #9.
Jessica Morgan is The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, at the Tate Modern in London. Morgan’s role has seen her responsible for the acquisition of contemporary international art, on which she has published and lectured extensively. She is currently curator of the exhibitions The World Goes Pop (2015) and Bhupen Kharkhar (2016) at Tate Modern, and artistic director of the forthcoming 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014).
Adriano Pedrosa currently lives and works in São Paulo as an independent curator, editor and writer. He has curated many international exhibitions, most recently organizing Open Cube at White Cube (London, 2013). He has published extensively on contemporary art in numerous catalogues and magazines and is the founding director of PIESP – Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo.
João Ribas is Director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. He was previously Curator at the MIT List Visual Arts Center (2009-2013) and at The Drawing Center, New York (2007-2009). Ribas is the winner of four consecutive AICA Exhibition Awards (2008–11) and of an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award (2010).
Dieter Roelstraete (born 1972) was trained as a philosopher at the University of Ghent and currently works as a curator at the Antwerp museum of contemporary art MuHKA. His curatorial projects there include Emotion Pictures; Intertidal, a survey show of contemporary art from Vancouver; The Order of Things; and the collaborative projects Academy: Learning from Art and The Projection Project.
Jens Hoffmann Mesén is a writer, editor, educator, and exhibition maker. His work has attempted to expand the definition and context of exhibition making. From 2003 to 2007 Hoffmann was director of exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts London.
About the Publisher:
Mousse Publishing is an independent publishing house founded in 2006. Born as a spin-off of Mousse, the contemporary art magazine, Mousse Publishing was created to give every printed project originality, care, and respect. Mousse Publishing makes books with artists, writers, public and private institutions, galleries, and other art and cultural initiatives. Our focus is on artist monographs and artist books, conceived and created in concert with the artist. Mousse Publishing also releases online contents, printed ephemera, and artist editions.