Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The life curatorial

Over the years a few New Zealanders have been invited to show in the Personal Structures exhibitions held in the Palazzo Bembo during the Venice Biennale but who knew that the curators who run these projects were leading such rich and varied lives. Karlyn De Jongh, Sarah Gold and Valeria Romagnini via their website give a rare insight into the life of a modern day contemporary art curator: wining, dining, getting naked, zooming round the world and generally looking stylish often under very difficult curatorial circumstances. 

And the kind of artists the personnel of Personal Structures pursue? Well of the 48 represented on their website 31 are men over the age of 60. Typical is Hermann Nitsch whose 130th Aktion featured Gold and De Jongh as participants. One review describes how “Lying naked amidst a pool of blood, with hundreds of people watching, … Gold and De Jongh gradually found themselves having sex,” something that can so easily happen in intense curatorial situations. Are our own curators too inhibited? At the very least you’ve got to ask the question.

Images: the structured life from the top, left to right with Fran├žois Morellet, Hermann Nitsch, Arnulf Rainer and Heinz Mack. Third row, photo ops in the gallery and outdoors in Venice. Next row, chillaxing after a hard day’s curation and bottom row, laid-back work with  Hermann Nitsch (and thanks B for pointing the way)