Do curators find it "easier" to exhibit net.art than physical works?
I do not particularly think it is adequate to talk in terms of the media
used, but as Rodrigo mentioned, in terms of contexts and environments.
The difficulty of curating exhibitions (disseminating artworks) has nothing
to do with the physicality or virtuality of “objects” but with the criteria
of assessment of a good, average or bad show.
The enquiry about what is the meaning of “exhibition” takes us away from the
problem and into the realm of terminology. But can we expect terminology to
resolve a problem that raises deeper theoretical, deontological and political
Art and therefore art curating are undergoing a major crisis. Roughly from
Manet’s nudes in 1867 up till know art has been sitting back on the chaise
longue talking to its psychoanalyst about inner problems and preoccupations.
These range from onthological quests (what is art), to political ones
(hierarchy of objects and relationships) and to the very “down to earth”
relationship with the audience.
After loosing the power to shock, and not being very sure about the
relationship to “the new” (bringing the idea of avant-garde to a certain
degree of cheesiness, and worn out modernist utopias) art found itself
confined to the very well protected space of the “white cube” with its small
and elitist audiences. Within these audiences some are concerned with formal
problems, others engaged with communities and social problems, while others
think about design and fashion.
The common factor to most of these “micro-groups” is that they profess the
“goodness of art” and create coded objects which can only be understood by
their Akins, while outside, the world of market democracy follows its path
oblivious to what is happening inside “the nice mushroom houses of the
smurfs’ wee village”.
The problem of art is ultimately related to curation. After the artist
creates the work, which sits “forever” against the walls of the studio, the
curator comes, chooses it and places it within a gallery, kunstverein or
museum. Then the audience, with the help of the educational department comes
and sees it.
But who questions the curatorial choice, and what happens to all the other
artists whose work wasn’t selected? What protocol legitimises the curator as
an instance of the critical appraisal of certain acts, representations and
artistic objects? Why do we expect audiences to come into “white cubes” and
understand fully coded, self-reflexive, de-constructive artworks, in a time
when terrorist threats, education and health become more and more the
WHERE IS ART IN THE REAL WORLD?
These are for me the real problems, concerning art in general (both “old and
new media”) for which the only possibility of survival will depend on a
redefinition of curatorial processes that should, in my opinion, empower
artists and audiences, and in a renewed and clearer relationship to market
democracy, which has to involve a more generous “gift” to the public.
P.S.: Pardon my French.