Now that we ‘curate’ even lunch, what occurs to the position of the connoisseur in up to date tradition?

‘Curate’ is now a buzzword, utilized to all the things from music festivals to artisanal cheese. Contained in the artwork world, the curator reigns supreme, performing because the face of high-profile group exhibits and biennials in a means that may eclipse and assimilate the contributions of particular person artists. Curatorial-studies packages proceed to develop, and the enterprise world is adopting curation as a method of including worth to content material. Everybody, it appears, is a curator.

However what’s a curator, precisely? And what does the explosive recognition of curating say about our tradition’s relationship with style, labour and the avant-garde? On this vibrant, revelatory and unique examine, David Balzer travels by way of artwork historical past and across the globe to discover the cult of curation, from celebrity curator Hans Ulrich Obrist’s struggle with sleep to Subway’s ‘sandwich artists.’ Recalling such landmark works of cultural criticism as Tom Wolfe’s The Painted Phrase and John Berger’s Methods of Seeing, Curationism will change the way in which you take a look at artwork – and perhaps even the way in which you see your self.

‘That is an uncommon artwork guide. It’s a guide you need to learn and one you could. Balzer traces the historical past and present hegemony of curationism, a follow of jumped-up inside decorators who double as clergymen explaining the gospel to the unlettered lots. A very good learn, in case you don’t thoughts studying issues that you just don’t wish to know.’ – Dave Hickey

David Balzer has contributed to publications together with the Believer, Trendy Painters, Artforum.com, and The Globe and Mail, and is the writer of Contrivances, a short-fiction assortment. He’s presently Affiliate Editor at Canadian Artwork journal. Balzer was born in Winnipeg and presently resides in Toronto, the place he makes a residing as a critic, editor and trainer.

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