My vision as a curator


‘One’s work in a creative field is autobiographical as reflection of one’s interests, values and sensibilities’
(Rand, p.7, 2007). 

In the project Rephrasing Memory that I have realized together with Oscar Roldan Alzate I was always inspired by personal connections. In Fragemented Narration, I see a stronger link with personal attachment, involved with the realization of the project that is being curated.

In an interview with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, Walter Hopps said, ‘to me, a body of work by a given artist has an inherent kind of score that you try to relate to or understand. It puts you in a certain psychological state.’ (Hopps, p.31, 2007)

The understanding of a curator should be broad and sensitive, regarding the work that is exhibited. There must be knowledge that goes beyond the visual presentation of an exhibition. Communication with an artist should be on a personal level. Active engagement with an artist’s work is a central part of curating that requires dialogues and the forming and reforming of opinions between the curator and the artist. In Fragmented Narration this method will be applied.

When curating a new project the involvement of earlier aspects discovered in a practice based artwork should be present. The elements that I would consider in this new curatorial project, are closely related to the idea of autobiography and environment. Certainly the methodology of working on a curatorial project should not be consisting of autobiographical elements only, but also with the motivation consisting of ideas relating to the personal and the intimacy of a project.

Surely the artist nowadays is not always connected to the work that is displayed. The person behind the work might not be important when viewing an exhibition. I think that the importance of the personal connection of an artwork is often made by the way it is displayed. This is an aspect I would like to reconsider when thinking of curating.

Location influences the circumstances of an exhibition enormously. The work might be disconnected to the location where it is exhibited or the work might have an intense relationship with the location. What does the work bring to the location where it is exhibited? Does the work give something to the community, what kind of social interaction will take place?

In the essay about Temporary Artistic Communities in When Attitude Becomes Form I was interested by the comments made by Piero Gilardi.
‘My proposal was to put social life and therefore the work symbolic interaction in its social context in a dominant position.’ ( Giraldi, p. 237, 2008)

For me this is an example where we can speak of real engagement disconnected from immediate commercial strategies. The artist is in some cases present and communicates with the public in a direct way.

‘This necessarily takes it beyond the norms and conventions of an object-based art world, rather seeing it as a function of my work to transform peoples’ perceptions of a deterministic culture of objects and monuments, into the possibilities inherent in the community between people, the richness of its complexity and self-organization. The artwork having a dynamic, interactive social function.’ ( Willats, website 2011)

Once again I am interested in the personal level of communication and the idea of a wider meaning of an artwork. The curator should also be aware of the social engagement of art during the process of creating an exhibition.
In my proposed project the social engagement would be important. Whether this is made by the final outcome of the exhibition or by being part of the artwork that the curatorial group is dealing with.

I think the aspect of the physical experience during the exhibition is important and propose that this is done by using performance art in combination with visual art. This could be made possible by working together with a set group of artists that work with such an approach and use similar methods during the process of creating an exhibition. 

Sarojini Lewis

Chitra Gajadin, my mother and my inspiration to make art and write.

Waves that came from Ternate

  The waves that came from Ternate