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Curatorial Acts

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In a self-critical inquiry into my own recent work of co-curating and the experience of seeing my video work being curated by others, this article examines acts of framing as performative acts that seek to transform visitors' preconceptions. This affective effect is pursued by means of immersion, where the balance between documentary and fiction, as well as that between guidance and self-determination, are key instruments. The analysis of the relationship between artist, writer, curator and museum staff on the one hand, and visitors on the other, clarifies to what extent curatorial acts are collective and dialectic. These issues will be broached in connection to the exhibition Landscapes of Madness in the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum in Turku, Finland.
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Keywords: Landscapes of Madness; curating; exhibition design; framing; performativity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 13 June 2012

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  • The Journal of Curatorial Studies is an international, peer-reviewed publication that explores the cultural functioning of curating and its relation to exhibitions, institutions, audiences, aesthetics and display culture. The journal takes a wide perspective in the inquiry into what constitutes "the curatorial." Curating has evolved considerably from the connoisseurship model of arranging objects to now encompass performative, virtual and interventionist strategies. While curating as a spatialized discourse of art objects remains important, the expanded cultural practice of curating not only produces exhibitions for audiences to view, but also plays a catalytic role in redefining aesthetic experience, framing cultural conditions in institutions and communities, and inquiring into constructions of knowledge and ideology.
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