Home » Loved: Curator Peter Eleey’s Video Talk

Loved: Curator Peter Eleey’s Video Talk

The Canadian Art Foundation––where I work––recently hosted Peter Eleey, curator at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, for a lecture when he was in Toronto.


David Lamelas, Limit of a projection I, 1967. Theatre spotlight in darkened room. Image: spruethmagers.net

In THIS excellent video, Eleey, formerly curator at the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, gives a fascinating account of his curatorial influences when preparing The Talent Show, a recent exhibition for the Walker, that “examines a range of complicated relationships that have emerged between artists, audiences, and participants in light of the competing desires for notoriety and privacy that mark our present cultural moment.


Gerhard Richter, Betty, 1988. Image: infinitesimally.com


Robert Rauschenberg, White Painting, 1951. House paint on canvas. Image: artintelligence.net

Eleey begins with drawing relationships between Betty, a painting by Gerhard Richter, a silent John Cage piece and one of Rauschenberg’s ‘White Paintings’. He then takes us through the various artists included (and not) in the show, whose work he considered in view of his curatorial theme, and it’s fascinating to see how many approaches there are to the topic of disappearance.


Shizuka Yokomizo’s Stranger (8). Image: bbc.co.uk

His talk highlights how much art is a language that broadens the mind, and also illustrates the practice of excellent curating. The works are exceptionally well chosen, like the one above, by Shizuka Yokomizo, where the artist wrote to strangers asking them to appear for a portrait in their window at a specific time, then photographed them anonymously; or John Smith’s film The Girl Chewing Gum, from 1976, which gives stage direction to a pre-recorded segment. Read more about that, HERE.

I post this in relation to THIS blog post, after which I commented that the curating of a recent MOCCA show, whose theme brought together some Toronto artists dealing with the built environment, was a little too straightforward for my taste.

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