Is Curator an Artist, is Contemporary Art Exhibition an Art-work?


International Syposium: Exhibition as the Artistic Medium, Curator of Contemporary Art as the Artist. The Changing Statuses of the Exhibition and the Curator in the Field of Contemporary Art.

Association Igor Zabel for Culture and Theory

Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October 2010
location: Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, Tomsiceva 14
Ljubljana, Slovenia,

We are yet to find the answer as to whether and how is an exhibition a form of art and the curator an artist, however, the debates surrounding these issues, and especially criticisms and reproaches have become a permanent fixture in the discourses linked to contemporary art. As it seems that persisting in the elementary debate and the rejection of such development on the basic level merely hinder the actual research and understanding as to how do the medium of the exhibition and its author function and what influence do they have, the symposium will try to actively confront these issues. Twelve lecturers will attempt to shed some light on these two phenomena, most of them will perform this by treating and analyzing actual contemporary or historical examples.

Participants: Alfred H. Barr ml. (USA), Martin Beck (Austria/USA), Beatrice von Bismarck (Germany), Michael Fehr (Germany), Bogdan Ghiu (Romania), Søren Grammel (Germany), Paul O'Neill (Great Britain), Kerstin Stakemeier (Germany), Mary Anne Staniszewski (USA), Philip Ursprung (Switzerland), Jelena Vesić (Serbia), Beti Žerovc (Slovenia) and Marko Stamenković (Serbia) as moderator.

The central issues:
- If the exhibition itself is becoming a work of art, what are the main features of such a work of art? Can we define its structure? Can we define why is it or isn't it a work of art?
- What makes or doesn't make the curator an author? What makes or doesn't make the curator an artist?
- Do we still view and enjoy individual artworks within exhibitions or do we increasingly view, appreciate and contemplate exhibitions themselves? Can or must we view and enjoy these two things separately or simultaneously? Or should they merge as in a theater play or film?

Concept and programming: Beti Žerovc