University Of Tasmania
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The Collaborative Curator: a methodological enquiry into negotiated mediation and audience participation

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posted on 2023-05-27, 07:30 authored by Goncalves Silva, PA
This practice-based curatorial investigation comprised a series of four case study exhibitions, which sought to identify curatorial methods for collaborative and relational practices, which further the challenge that these modes of art production pose to mediation conditions. Modes of artistic production that incorporate human relations, participative processes and shared experiences aim to subvert traditional processes of presentation, mediation, legitimisation and distribution of artworks practiced in art institutions. This exegesis presents the premise of the practical research. With reference to literature that relates to the 1990's artistic challenge to mediation conditions, it argues that despite recent reconfigurations of exhibition practices to accommodate 1990's new modes of production and presentation within the mediating and legitimising apparatus, the conditions in which this apparatus mediates and legitimises the artworks have not been adequately considered. The aim of this research was to develop a curatorial method for the re-presentation of artistic content that is embodied in shared experiences and takes generative and openended forms. In curating the artworks that comprised the research, my aim was to incorporate the artistic challenge made to mediation conditions not only in the context of the original audiences that helped to formulate the works, but as part of the representations of such artworks to secondary audiences. The investigation of the proposed curatorial method was developed throughout an accumulative process that integrated the findings from the four case study exhibitions that comprised the research. These were designed to observe and test conditions of mediation determined by different modes of address and the audiences they constitute, as well as the kind of content and modes of communication they produce. The curatorial method produced, re-presents collaborative, generative and open-ended artworks as counter spaces of shared experience in which the communication of the subject of art is determined, not by an authoritative and unilateral communication, but by a collaborative one. The role of the curator is to locate and re-present the communication nexus generated at the moment of collaborative authorship, which is the engine for the production of generative open-ended content. The research concluded that the role of the curator is instrumental in the representation of artistic content embodied in shared experiences. A key curatorial function is to specify the nexus of communication in order to make it the basis of a subsequent communication frame to extend the work to a broader audience. This approach to curatorial practice offers an alternative to currently practiced curatorial methods to communicate and legitimise collaborative and relational artworks.


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