The Curator and the Critic : Parallel Training
Le commissaire et le critique : une formation parallèle
Round Table 2
The Place of Art Criticism in Curatorial Training

- Patrick Flores, Philippines : Critical Curation / Curatorial Critique
- Anthony Bond, Australia : The Evolving Roles of Curator (collection and exhibitions) and the Role of the Critic
- Klauss Honnef, Germany : What Does the Curator Evaluate ?
- Storm Janse Van Rensburg, South Africa : Artistic Discourse : A Model for the Critical Study of Contemporary Art

As the title of this round table suggests, the place of the critic can be found also in the curatorial activity because both are linked with the role of interpretation. They have the common social aim to mediate between public sphere (audience, institutions, art management) and the work of art. This round table analyzed different geographical situations (also marginal ones) and particular contexts (museum permanent collection) in which a curator can be involved with different tasks according to the specifities of the places. In these ways the role of interpretation is shown according to the different specificities.

For Anthony Bond there are two kinds of curators : the independent and the museum curator. The independent curator freelances for several projects alternating in art and theme, where as the museum curator acts as an art historian and works with permanent collections and recontextualizes permanent objects to suit new museological situations : space, light, technical necessities, and to preserve objects. For these reasons s/he considers (her) himself a type of art conservator, differing from the commissaries or independent curator, whose work is deeply related to the presence of the artist in a collaborative partnership.

As the curator has to be involved with the cultural life of his country, Patrick Flores and Andrew Lamprecht’s lectures showed specific situations of postcolonial regions : the South African and the Asian scenes. The South African contemporary art scene is characterized by a lack of public discourse and curatorial initiatives*, as Andrew Lamprecht lamented, on the other hand the Extreme East panorama is growing. Both, the infrastructures for art – new spaces, museums – and a critical debate are developing with a great confidence towards curatorship opposing to the Western empasse. The “cult” of curator is becoming a very common behavior also in these regions.

*Cfr. and the curatorial training in the University of Cape Town as the most remarkable initiatives regarding contemporary art.

Lucia Pesapane
Karla Roalandini


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