What is the role of a curator? What is a curator’s relationship to artists, objects, texts, and exhibition sites? This seminar is intended to introduce students to the history, theory, and practice of selecting, displaying, and installing objects. The course begins with an overview of the role of the curator in a traditional museum setting before examining curatorial practices in non-profit spaces as well as curating public art, participatory art, and digital art to determine what the role of a curator is in an ever-expanding globalized art world characterized by new media, an expanding art market, and large-scale international exhibitions, biennials, and art fairs.
We will read texts by curators such as Helen Molesworth, Nato Thompson, Kellie Jones, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, and critics such as Svetlana Alpers, Bruce Althsuler, Brian O’Doherty, and Elena Filipovic, and examine work by artists who curate such as Fred Wilson, Hans Haacke, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, as well as both domestic and international group shows such as the Whitney Biennial and Documenta. Our classes will feature guest speakers from New York-area museums, galleries, and non-profits and will include site visits to artist studios. Students will be asked to write a variety of assignments—wall texts, exhibition catalogue essays, acquisition forms, and art reviews—and the seminar will culminate in a final in-depth exhibition proposal.