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The Curatorial and Its Mediation

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This article examines recent exhibitions that serve as examples of the curatorial as a transdisciplinary method to activate and intervene in real-life contexts. These projects, organized by a diverse range of collectives and curators, mobilize domestic, urban and political zones in order to encourage participation in systemic social transformation. Here the notion of curatorial mediation is extended to the production of public discourse around specific topics, such as the black market or artistic censorship. The central task for curating today, then, involves intersecting with conflicts in various social and economic sectors and integrating them into processes of construction. By researching and engaging beyond the margins of the conventional cultural field, curators can critically investigate pressing concerns and seek out new methodologies to effect social change.
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Keywords: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge; Forensic Architecture; Milo Rau; Villa Vassilieff; curating and the curatorial; interventions; mediation; periodic exhibitions; translation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Art Historian and Curator

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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