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TEN FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF CURATING

The project

Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating emerged from a desire to trace the coordinates of contemporary curatorial practice, to take stock of a profession that is constantly evolving. Through the contributions of ten curators, the ten essays in the project examine ten fundamental themes in curating. The booklets are structured as hypothetical chapters in a book that once completed, through the reflections of some of the leading figures in the contemporary scene, will try to offer an answer to the question of "what it means to be a curator today".

Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating, edited by Jens Hoffmann and published by Mousse in collaboration with the Fiorucci Art Trust, is distributed with the international edition of Mousse and with subscription copies.

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Publishing director
Edoardo Bonaspetti

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Editor
Jens Hoffmann

Mousse

Copy editor
Lindsey Westbrook

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Design
Studio Mousse


Fiorucci

A project realized in partnership with
FIORUCCI ART TRUST

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Artistic director
Milovan Farronato


ten-fundamental

Mousse Magazine #34

Chapter X - What About Responsibility?

Text - Peter Eleey

Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating has reached its final chapter, in which curator Peter Eleey approaches the last question of the series: What about responsibility?.
Accompanied by Sturtevant's Warhol Flowers, Eleey reviews a field with no regulations: that of the responsibilities of the curator and the ethical issues that surround curatorial practice. Every profession has its own code of conduct; but what are the duties and rights involved in curating an exhibition? What counts as bad curatorial behavior, and what as just plain bad curating? Moving along the ephemeral borders of this discipline, Eleey also tries to cope with the involvement of external factors—the art market, the lives of artworks and artists, collective taste—in the making of an exhibition, examining curating as a practice in unstable balance between risk and control.

Peter Eleey is the Curator of MoMA PS1. From 2007-2010 he was Curator at the Walker Art Center. Over the past decade he has organized a wide range of projects, events, publications and exhibitions. He previously served as Curator and Producer at Creative Time in New York.


ten-fundamental

Mousse Magazine #33

Chapter IX - What Is the Process?

Text - Adriano Pedrosa

Adriano Pedrosa is the author of the 9th chapter of Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating.
What is the process? What is behind a curator and his/her attempt? To consider this discipline an objective theme is as utopian as it is self-defeating, since it is impossible to detach one's personal experiences and context influences. According to this sole and obvious certainty, Pedrosa tells about a personal curatorial scheme made which deals with his background and personal interests and goes from its approach to the themes of nationality, geography, memory, history, travels, books, to a predilection for female artists and cultural diversities.
He concludes that the process is "moving between many territories, fields and locales in short and successive intervals, yet maintaining a slow, reflexive and concentrated focus, at once critical and generous". Though what is important is not this conclusion, but how and why you get there.

Adriano Pedrosa is an independent curator, editor, and writer currently based in São Paulo. He has curated numerous international exhibitions and was co-curator of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (2006) and of the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). He has published extensively on contemporary art in numerous catalogues and journals, and is the founding director of Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo.


ten-fundamental

Mousse Magazine #32

Chapter VIII - What Is the Future of Art?

Text - Chus Martínez

Art reckless towards its future: it carries on in a restless movement of continuity. Even if some have said has come to an end, art quietly whispers "everything that ends can start again, and there is no necessary casuality." In order to work in peace, art needs to move away, without heed to tired and structured languages. In the 8th chapter of Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating, Chus Martínez retraces her studies in Spain, and her experience with Hegelian analysis and his thesis on the death of art. She comes to an unforeseen conclusion to the question of the future of art, demanding indeed magical skills of prediction.

Chus Martínez is dOCUMENTA (13) Head of Department and Member of Core Agent Group. Previously, she was Chief Curator at MACBA, Barcelona, Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein and Artistic Director of Sala Rekalde, Bilbao. For the 50th Venice Biennale, Martínez curated the National Pavillion of Cyprus, and in 2010 she served as a Curatorial Advisor for the 29th Bienal de São Paulo.


ten-fundamental

Mousse Magazine #31

Chapter VII - What About Collecting?

Text - Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy
Visuals - Mario Garcia Torres

Sofìa Hernández Chong Cuy presents the 7th edition of the series Ten Fundemental Questions of Curating, proposing collecting as valid, though largely overlooked, approach in curating contemporary art. While collecting reflects a larger discourse around artistic practice and consumption, and necessarily a specific narrative vision of art, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy extends this role, citing historic and current examples of collections, both by private and collective models, in order to suggest the collection as a powerful tool for the public to actively experience an entire corpus of works.

Sofìa Hernández Chong Cuy is curator of contemporary art for Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, and, since 2009, works as an agent for documenta 13 and is a board member of Kunstverein in Amsterdam. She was director of Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, and held curatorial positions at Art in General and Americas Society, both in New York. She has curated exhibitions for Kadist Art Foundation in Paris, MALBA in Buenos Aires, Center for Contemporary Art in Vilnius, and MUSAC in Leon.


Mousse Magazine #30

Chapter VI - What Is an Exhibition?

Text - Elena Filipovic
Visuals - Nairy Baghramian

In the sixth chapter of Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating, Elena Filipovic investigates the meaning and the function of the exhibition. Instead of being a neutral "device", every exhibition offers a subjective and personal reading of the artworks. Focusing on the hermeneutic power of displaying works of art, Filipovic poses questions about the final purpose of an exhibition: generating doubts rather than statements and highlighting unconventional ways of looking at art.

Elena Filipovic is a writer and curator at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels. She co-curated the 5th Berlin Biennial (2008) with Adam Szymczyk; she was recently guest curator of the Satellite Program for emerging artists at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, as well tutor of theory/exhibition history at De Appel postgraduate curatorial training program and advisor at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.


Mousse Magazine #29

Chapter V - What Is the Public?

Text - Juan A. Gaitàn
Visuals - Christodoulos Panayiotou

In the fifth installment of Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating, Juan A. Gaitàn reflects on the meaning of the "viewing public", offering a brief overview of how viewers' roles and attitudes have changed in relation to museum events, and emphasizing the elements of fragmentation and lack of identification that can be seen in the public's approach to contemporary art shows.

Juan A. Gaitàn is the Senior Curator at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. Gaitàn has curated many exhibitions internationally, especially in Canada, Colombia and The Netherlands. He has published monographic texts on several contemporary artists and is currently writing on freedom of expression and post-democratic politics.


Mousse Magazine #28

Chapter IV - Why Mediate Art?

Text - Maria Lind
Visuals - Marysia Lewandowska

The fourth installment of Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating looks for an answer to the question "Why Mediate Art?". Maria Lind examines the seeming paradoxes that revolve around art institutions: an overabundance of traditional educational activities, aimed at engaging an ever broader public; marketing departments and press offices that take on a strategic role; curators who have no real interest in making their project known outside the professional sphere. The Swedish curator explains the importance of weaving connections between works, curatorial projects and the public, for a new kind of artistic "mediation".

Maria Lind is an art critic and curator based in Stockholm. She is currently the artistic director of IASPIS, The International Artists Studio Program in Stockholm. Previously, she held the position of curator at Munich Kunstverein and Moderna Museet. In 1998, she co-curated Manifesta 2.


Mousse Magazine #27

Chapter III - What To Do With The Contemporary?

Text - João Ribas
Visuals - Matthew Buckingham

The term 'contemporary' seems to shake off all historicism, and thus floats somewhere outside of "historical determination, conceptual definition and critical judgment"*. In the third chapter of Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating, Joao Ribas tries to answer the question "What To Do With The Contemporary?" Setting out from several key events that have helped to define the concept, he comes to a conclusion that shies away from any temporal interpretation.

* Hal Foster

João Ribas is Curator at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. He was previously Curator at The Drawing Center in New York. His writing has appeared in numerous art and culture publications, and he has taught at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Ribas is the winner of three consecutive AICA Exhibition Awards (2008-2010) and of the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award.


Mousse Magazine #26

Chapter II - How About Pleasure?

Text - Dieter Roelstraete
Visuals - Pierre Bismuth

Why is pleasure - not just visual pleasure - so often ignored in curatorial practice? Dieter Roelstraete guides us through a reflection that sets out from a brief anecdote and urges us to think about the role of entertainment and amusement in contemporary art curating, a practice in which gravity prevails over the centripetal forces of humor and pleasure, seen as a sort of taboo.

Dieter Roelstraete is a curator at MuHKA, the Antwerp Museum of Contemporary Art. He is also an editor at Afterall, F.R. David and A Prior Magazine, and visiting tutor at De Appel in Amsterdam and the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. He currently lives in Berlin.


Mousse Magazine #25

Chapter I - What is a Curator?

Text - Jessica Morgan
Visuals - Urs Fischer

In the first chapter of Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating, Jessica Morgan tackles a question as simple as it is controversial: "What is a curator?" Based on her personal experience, the curator illustrates, through an acute analysis of individual figures and the institutions in which they work, the evolution of what she ironically considers to be, in a way, a pointless profession.

Jessica Morgan is a curator and art critic based in London, where she is currently Curator of Contemporary Art at Tate Modern. Her writing has appeared in many books and catalogues, as well as in magazines such as Mousse, Artforum, and ArtReview.