Think Like A Curator – Interview

Indy Neogy asked me a couple of questions related to a series of salons on curation that I hosted in June and July 2021. Below you can find the questions and my answers.

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Patricia-Andra Hurducaș has begun an intriguing Interintellect curation series on the role of curator, inspiration, ideas, aesthetic perception, galleries, and the museums of the future. The next Salon in the series is on June 29th at 19:00 BST, 20:00 CET, 14:00 EDT.

Welcome Patricia, please tell us a little about yourself:
I was born in Romania. In 2015 I moved to Berlin to study at Humboldt University. My MA dissertation is written on the Modern and Postmodern Flâneuse. Since January 2020 I have been living in a mountain town in Switzerland and as of July I am working in Zurich. I write articles on curation, art, ways of seeing, and transcribe interviews with friends and people who inspire me

When did you first become aware of curation as an activity?
I first became aware of curation as an activity when I stumbled upon a small gallery in Berlin and decided on the spot to conduct an interview with the gallery owner who was also a “self-made” curator. The interview can be read here. 

What is your favourite example of curation and why?
The visual as a medium of expression is very important to me so I would say I love thematic exhibitions that attract the eye. In my view, an exhibition should be both educational and entertaining. In my first salon of the curation series we touched upon awe and wonder during and after an exhibition, and we all agreed that these feelings cannot be “programmed” or “scheduled”. The curator can design an adventure for the viewer, but for someone to experience wonder or awe would mean to find meaning and to have a personal connection with that particular exhibition.

In your opinion, is curation more salient for more people at this point in history?
Information and digital curation, yes. I am immediately thinking about attention poverty coupled with an overload of information online and offline. However, I don’t believe everything should be curated for us by businesses or by someone with “authority”. Instead, we should all learn to become better curators and to be mindful of what we are exposed to on a daily basis. 

When people think of curation, they often think of “the eye” or the act of spotting a particular item, but I would like to ask you about the logic of curation – or to put it another way, what does it mean to “think like a curator”?
In my opinion, a curator is bridging a gap between art/ideas/stories and a community. Therefore, interdisciplinary thinking and critical thinking are highly needed in curation. 

Your series of Salons started this weekend – who is it for?
Anyone interested in visual representations of ideas and knowledge, art, and different ways of seeing and experiencing the world.

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