Thursday, 9 November 2017

Artists as curators on Front Row

Monday's edition of Front Row featured a discussion about artists curating exhibitions.

This coincides with the opening of two exhibitions curated by artists, namely Shonky : The Aesthetics of Awkwardness at The Mac, Belfast and Paul Nash & the Uncanny Landscape at York Art Gallery.

John Stezaker has curated Paul Nash & the Uncanny Landscape at York Art Gallery, an exhibition which in which Paul Nash’s groundbreaking inter-war landscapes which transformed the genre of British landscape painting are exhibited along with works by Stezaker.

In Shonky : The Aesthetics of Awkwardness, the artist John Walter has brought together international artists and architects to explore the nature of visual awkwardness.

John Walter and Jill Constantine, curator and Head of the Art Council Collection reflected on what artists can bring to the curation of an exhibition.

When asked how the process of curating for an artist is different to that of a curator, Jill Constantine remarked that artists tend to adopt an intuitive, immediate, emotional and personal approach whereas curators tend to look for thematic and interpretative material and do a lot of research in order to contextualise.

John Walter recognised that as an artist, he can use his practice as the starting point to make the exhibition, perhaps choosing to to show out of fashion or less popular work. He explained that in the current exhibition at The Mac, Belfast he used the fourteen artists in the show to make a bigger picture. It was encouraging to hear Jill Constantine speak so positively about artists curating exhibitions. She was quick to dismiss the idea that artists that curate make random choices, and did not think that they undermined the position of curators.

To listen to the programme visit:

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