Inscribing Expositions: Curatorial Strategies in Packing Practice into the Journal for Artistic Research
Affiliation: Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland
Keywords: Curatorial Strategies, Research-Based Artistic Practices, Circulating References, Online Exhibitions, Curatorial Work
Categories: Demetrios Project, News and Views, Visual Arts, Architecture and Design
In this thesis, I inquire about curatorial strategies in research-based artistic practices by focusing on the six expositions (i.e. contributions) published in the 26th issue of the Journal for Artistic Research (JAR). Specifically, I’m interested in how the authors packed their practice into the expositions: What curatorial strategies were involved in this process? Furthermore, I ask whether the concept of “circulating reference” (Latour 1999b) could help to understand the chain of transformations (or inscriptions?) that allows the contributions to claim knowledge. I interviewed all the authors to reconstruct the steps they followed to transform their research/practice into a published product and I analysed the expositions as if they were online exhibitions. I clustered five areas of interest from a curatorial perspective (e.g. to implement a concept) and focused on specific episodes of the packing process that I identify as strategies (e.g. to structure the exposition as a digital ghost paper). To the best of my knowledge, no other research project ever analysed a whole issue of the JAR and especially not from a curatorial point of view. The choice of this perspective is a strategic one: it prompts me to linger on aspects that may not seem relevant otherwise and to further understand curatorial work outside the professional role of the curator, both in the narrow term of curating as exhibition-making and in the extended term of curating as “modes of becoming” (O’Neill and Wilson 2015, 12). The curatorial (i.e. packing) strategies I identified are not generalisable as every artist found their personal way through the process. However, I suggest that curating, if understood in an extended way, has many traits in common with the practice of exposing in the Research Catalogue.