Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The curator’s egg

Laurie Anderson famously sang, 'it’s not the bullet that kills you, it’s the hole'. The panel which will soon select the artist to represent NZ at the Venice Biennale in 2017 faces a similar problem in the form of a shortage of experienced curators. To front up as a Biennale curator Creative NZ requires you to have 'significant exhibition experience in New Zealand and some experience internationally'. That cuts out quite a few contenders for a start. On top of that it’s reported that Robert Leonard, who has done two Biennales (Stevenson and Denny) is not available and neither is Justin Paton (Culbert). In an odd way this shortage of eligible curators could do as much to decide the eventual choice of artist as the composition of the selection panel. Oh, and here’s the NZ at Venice Biennale curators so far by the numbers.

78  percent male
67  percent NZ citizens
56  percent employed at the time by an NZ art museum