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Do we need new spaces for exhibiting contemporary art? A critique of curatorial practice in relation to the viewer's engagement with contemporary art

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There is a deep dissatisfaction with curatorial practice today, with some critics suggesting a need for a deeper understanding of audiences and their engagement with arts practices. This article aims to consider and examine aspects of curatorial practice, which focus on the viewer's engagement with contemporary arts practice. I have engaged with issues of a broad, structural context including cultural policy, social inclusion and audience development. I have concentrated these concerns through the optic of exhibitions practice, exploring the impact of curatorial practice on the relations between the viewer and the artwork. My overall line of enquiry is to ask whether we need new spaces for art as a means of deepening and expanding the viewer's engagement with contemporary art? I argue that the gallery and non-gallery spaces are both sites for making and showing art and that it is not a question of a specific site but it concerns the critical engagement that takes place within different spatio-temporal contexts.

Keywords: arts; contemporary; context; curating; experience; viewer

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jvap.4.1.29/1

Affiliations: Bristol Arnolfini (UK).

Publication date: April 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The domain of visual art hosts a multitude of artistic forms and practices. The Journal of Visual Art Practice supports research across the entire range of this varied field. The journal engages with the progressive nature of the subject, reflecting upon the changing terrain of art in recent years.
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