As much as possible given the time and space allotted is an exhibition at the Leornard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia Unviersity in Montreal. It was curated by Rebecca Duclos and David K. Ross, who VoCA featured as an artist to watch from the Quebec Triennale last year.
The premise of the show is, we think, quite interesting. The idea is to move has many works as possible from the gallery’s storage vault into the gallery and install them, in systematic order, before disassembling them and returning them to the storage.
The process – installing, de-installing – then becomes a kind of ongoing performance. The gallery is put on display (as a theatre) and the viewer also becomes privy to the behind-the-scenes, the inner working of an art gallery.
According to the press release, “The project creates a critique of curating that emphasizes the significance of artistic rather than museological models, operations of chance over the decisiveness of selection, the dynamic of duration over stasis, the power of juxtaposition as a form of interpretation, and the privileging of process over pedigree.”
The show is half over, so now is a great time to check it out,
To highlight the curatorial process, at this moment, is important because as Boris Groys says in his brilliant book Art Power, while museums preserve objects, curators contextualize art. He goes on to suggest that today, the work of art needs help from the curator to become visible.
Commercial galleries have responded to this idea too, with curated shows like the one that just closed at the Museum of Mankind in London, which was organized by Haunch of Venison (a commercial gallery). It’s a show that brings together big names with lesser-known artists in a museum – talk about contextualizing.
The show was reviewed by Michael Glover in the Independent.
Glover writes: “The small boys profit by being able to stand on the shoulders of their elders. It’s a cunningly curated show, too, in so far as it extends the conversation about the nature and purpose of ethnographical objects that visitors to the old Museum of Mankind would have been having with each other.”
Read the full article HERE.