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Edging Disciplines

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For the past eighteen years, I have taught the practice, history, theory and ethics of curating. Throughout this time, one of the most recurrent themes has been the impossibility of ascribing a limit to curating. Where does it end and where does it begin? In order to teach curating, that is, in order to provide some kinds of limits to it, I had to borrow from many disciplines: art, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, history, political science, cultural studies, etc. In each case, I looked for what seemed pertinent to the task of framing curating within somewhat permeable boundaries. Now that the activity of curating extends to a wide range of practices not always related to either the visual or to culture, how am I to continue this teaching? This article provides both a personal trajectory and an analysis of this edging of disciplines at stake in curatorial studies.

Keywords: curating; curatorial programmes; higher education; teaching strategies; transdisciplinarity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Goldsmiths College

Publication date: October 1, 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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