Saturday 18 November, 2017
Curating: a Concept in Transition is a forum designed to explore the new possibilities that emerge when artists, researchers, curators, educators and their publics join forces to examine and re-specify what a gallery can be, what an artist is and how the borders between curating and creating might be tested and stretched.
Once upon a time curating was a clearly defined profession based on scholarship, connoisseurship and, to a large extent class. But as contemporary art and society changed so has the position and role of the curator. With the rise of artist curators (e.g. Grayson Perry and Damien Hirst) curating has become a concept in transition. The lines between creating and curatinghave become blurred. Furthermore the re-emergence of artist run spaces with a variety of competing social agendas suggest the possibility of new ways of challenging the established hierarchies of power and knowledge within the art world.
The Gallery at Phoenix Brighton is a space that has deliberately chosen not to have an artistic director. We are moving towards a place where the gallery functions as a piece of un-common ground designed to estrange practitioners and our public from their usual assumptions and rituals. In this spirit we are convening this forum as the first in a series of events, exhibitions and debates with those in our immediate region and beyond.
We are looking to connect to what we see as the emergence of a broadly based network of social and cultural movements that has been called the ‘social turn’. The event uses these initial ideas as a lens with which to explore various models of collaboration between artists, curators, researchers and publics and to reflect on how these experiments might impact upon the cultural and physical context of the contemporary gallery space and how we might articulate these thoughts in a program of exhibitions, events and workshops.
- ‘DIY’ (or tactical) curating
- Art as public research/gallery as laboratory
- Conversations across difference
- Re-framing globalisation – How local cultures feel the pressure of global forces
The forum is presented by Phoenix Brighton and takes place alongside an evolving participative exhibition in the gallery (‘Maps & Lives’, 11 November – 3 December) curated by Lara Perry, Louise Purbrick and Claire Wintle.
David Garcia (moderator) is an artist, teacher and organizer who has pioneered new forms of critical engagement with art and media based on occupying of the cracks which began to appear in the edifice of the broadcast media in the 1990s.
Lucy Day (moderator) is a feminist freelance contemporary art curator with a particular interest in the relationship between heritage and contemporary art practices.
Felicity Allen’s expanded practice weaves in and out of art’s institutions, between artistic, curatorial, educational and critical work.
Elke Krasny is a curator, cultural theorist, urban researcher, writer and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
Lara Perry is an art historian with specialist research expertise in portraiture, gender and British art.
Rockets Artists is a group of artists with learning disabilities who make visual artwork, create performance and curate exhibitions from their studio base at Phoenix Brighton.