Maarten Vanden Eynde

Curator Curator

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Size: 150 mm x 220 mm
Pages: 112
Design: Raf Vancampenhoudt
Maarten Vanden Eynde and Maaike Gouwenberg
Contributors: Karolin Tampere, Lorenzo Bruni, Remco de Blaaij and Kamila Wielebska, Adnan Yildiz, Jens Maier-Rothe, Hans Martens
Publisher: HISK, Ghent, BE

CURATOR CURATOR gave the opportunity to upcoming/emerging curators to develop a project within and with the only post-graduate visual arts institute in Belgium (HISK), investigating the current curatorial preoccupation. It seems that more than ever the role and relevance of a curator is being questioned and challenged. Is there still a difference between a curator and an artist? If so, what is it? Can one person do both? What are the borders and limits of curating, and what is the relation between curating and creating?

We gave curators the chance to experiment en develop a project which might have been difficult to realize within the context of a regular exhibition venue. The only guidelines at the start of each project were the basic principals of the HISK: to experiment and find possibilities to develop oneself.

Embedded in this set up for international curators were studio visits with the resident artists of the HISK offering the possibility to include one or more artists in their exhibition project. This direct exchange and collaboration has proven to be very successful for both the curators and the resident artists as some of them are still working together. In addition to that direct collaboration with the artists, also the process of designing the invitation and promotion material for the exhibition was offered in an experimental way by introducing a young graphic designer to the curator in an early stage, thanks to collaboration with the Graphic Design department of the Sint Lucas Institute in Ghent. With very little external support the designer and the curator had to work together to come up with a suitable and matching invitation for the exhibition. Sometimes the collaboration was very fruitful and is still continued up to today, but with others the road was so bumpy or seemed to have an unavoidable dead end that it was hard to see any positive learning experience. Both situations and every variation in between were of course part of and inherent to the experimental open structure of the project as a whole.

CURATOR CURATOR offered a platform to try out new kinds of presentation or collaboration models between curators, artists, graphic designers, producers, initiators and audience. CURATOR CURATOR supported a wide range of curatorial interests and approaches, ranging from different personal encounters with the artists, (re)creating art works from dead or non present artist and menaging the whole poduction of the exhibition with every involved individual. Between these different players it was at times a very sensitive ballet on a very thin rope, and at times an eclectic and ecstatic gathering culminating in beautiful new artworks and presentations. This process of making shows and trying to find new ways of dealing with all the ingredients through empirical practice is what Sarat Maharaj calls ‘Thinking Through Curating’. And that is exactly what we wanted to do from the start: to bring together different thoughts and concepts by ambitious curators and artists and by doing so giving them the opportunity to do an active, process based, thinking through what curating is now and what it can be in the future.