Good curatorship is all about choosing the exhibits for the viewer and providing hidden value.
The curator’s work consists of screening and selecting the best of art. Immediately upon entering the artist’s studio, the curator begins to absorb, filter and sort through information. The goal of the curator and artist, as they prepare an exhibition, is to create a succinct, focused story or description of the work process, and help the viewers experience it.
Screening is not a simple process, especially when one has to cope with the feelings of the artist, who sees each piece as the pinnacle of his or her artistic achievement and wants it on display. The curator has to show empathy towards the artist, while at the same time maintaining a high level of professionalism in order to be able to choose the pieces most suited to the story the exhibition needs to tell.
The importance of succinctness in a gallery exhibition cannot be overstated. An exhibition does not have to be excessively detailed; in fact, quite the opposite. Keeping it succinct and making the right choices are the secret and power of the optimal exhibition.
In fact, there is a bit of a conflict between the artist and the curator, where the curator strives for succinctness – the ultimate goal of the curatorship process, but the artist is unwilling to let go of his work and allow it to remain out of the exhibition. In this process, it is important to have a deep and clear understanding of the subject that the artist is offering the viewer – ultimately, this is seen through the eyes of the middleman, the curator.
While the artist relates to his or her work personally and emotionally, the curator sees it as an exhibit, an object to serve the needs of the exhibition. The curator takes into account the story behind each object, the space that surrounds it, the object adjacent to it and the flow of the exhibition as a whole, as well as symbolic values and various experiences that the artist is not always aware of. Therefore, the artist’s criteria for selecting pieces for an exhibition are very different from the curator’s.
So, just before you decide which pieces get into the exhibition, take another deep breath, and narrow your selection down a little. Too many exhibits means too many stimuli, which diverts the attention from the heart of the exhibition and waters down the unique experiences the object, painting or exhibit conveys.
- Sasha Okun, A Harmony of Dissonances
- The focus of exhibition planning – less is more
- New Aspects in Historical Curatorship
- Dani Karavan – The Beauty of Simplicity and Symbolic Beauty
- In the Name of Protest: Conflict in Israeli Photography
- Osvaldo Romberg: Global Art Traveler
- Beyond Richness: A new narrative in Israeli art
- Wealth in Israeli Art
- Porcelain Still Lifes
- A-B-C-Do – The Knowledge Playground