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Engendering Exhibitions: The Politics of Gender in Negotiating Curatorial Authorship

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Since the 1990s, a number of turns – such as the social, the discursive and the educational – have been observed in the curatorial field. Taking the increased interest in the relational dimensions of curating as a point of departure, this article investigates the gendering of exhibition making and the effects of gender scripts on conceptions of exhibition authorship, with a particular focus on the intersection of the educational and curatorial realms. After briefly sketching how practices and subject positions of curators and educators have been gendered and respectively denied or attributed authorship historically, I will consider not only the problem of the existing divisions of labour in the field but also the potentials and pitfalls of the educational turn in curating for renegotiating conceptions of authorship and authority under the conditions of cognitive capitalism, including what is known as the feminization of labour.
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Keywords: curatorial authorship; feminization of labour; gender politics in exhibition making; the educational turn in curating

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin

Publication date: 01 April 2017

More about this publication?
  • 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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