The Curatorial Condition
An analyses of the relations created by the curatorial—relations that also constitute it.In spite of the heightened interest in the curatorial since the late twentieth century, the structural conditions and potentials underpinning its special sociocultural status have yet to be defined. Taking this as a starting point, in this book, Beatrice von Bismarck outlines the curatorial—that field of cultural activity and knowledge which relates to the becoming-public of art and culture—as a domain of practice and meaning with its own structures, conditions, rules, and procedures.
Von Bismarck focuses on the relations created by the curatorial—relations that also constitute it. By concentrating on the dynamic fabric of relations between human and nonhuman participants, she carries out a shift within the discourse on the curatorial: rather than foregrounding partial definitions of the activity of curating, the subjectivization of the curator, and the presentation format of the exhibition, she emphasizes the interplay of all these factors. She proposes a conceptual framework geared toward highlighting the activity, the subject position, and the resulting product as always already dynamically interrelated in its genesis, articulation, and function. Not least, this situates the curatorial condition in the context of key parameters of societal developments over the last half century.