Art History: Who curates (whom): Artist-curators in institutions
Who curates (whom): Artist-curators in institutions
Artist-curated exhibitions in museums and biennales have become more prevalent since the early 2000s. This paper examines several examples of this practice with a focus on artist-curated exhibitions in the UK, analysing to what extent these exhibitions challenge curatorial conventions and institutional norms. The work of Goshka Macuga at Gasworks, Elmgreen & Dragset at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Anthea Hamilton at the Hepworth Wakefield, Grayson Perry at the British Museum and Tacita Dean at the National Gallery, London will all be discussed. I will explore the approach to artwork selection, curatorial and artistic research, and the exhibition display strategies entailed in these projects. I will also highlight the slippage between artistic and curatorial roles in these exhibitions, the creation of alternative narratives and modes of audience engagement, and the generation of distinct curatorial permissions. This paper will suggest that the careful institutional framing of these projects only allows for a partial manifestation of their radical potential. With reference to broader debates around curatorial autonomy, agency and risk, this paper will also discuss a selection of artist-directed biennales and their differing impacts from artist-curated exhibitions in museums.
Lilian Cameron is Course Leader for Curating, Museums and Galleries at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. Her PhD is from the University of Melbourne, Australia and she has worked in galleries and museums throughout the UK, including Tate Modern and Britain and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
Photo credit: Anthea Hamilton Reimagines Kettle's Yard at The Hepworth Wakefield, 2016. Photo by Stuart Whipps.