Naomi Siderfin

Slade School of Art, University College London

Painting the Exhibition: the rude intrusion of tacit knowledge in the development and presentation of contemporary art

If the ritual roles of priest and prophet are sometimes assigned to curator and artist, where might the artist-curator sit on the axis between the two? It might be presumed to be somewhere in the middle, so what does this mid position enable and allow, and how are those that practice from this position accommodated by the hierarchies at overt play in the self-conscious world of art?

Such questions are complicated by a development in mainstream curatorial discourse that posits the notion that in the course of their curatorial practice, curators become artists. However, the tendency for some artists to act as curators has a longer history than the counter-action of curators positioning themselves as artists. How is the artist-curator included in the narrative of curatorial practice currently being theorized? And within the range of contemporary curatorial practices at play, what might distinguish exhibitions and related presentations authored by artist-curators from those authored by career-curators?

My proposal is to deliver a performative paper that addresses the questions above and engages its audience in the discussion that develops through delivery.

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