Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Hang on. Most art makes physical connections and most of those are with the human body. Physically lifting a painting or moving a sculpture tells you a lot about its place in the world. As curators and artists are firmly ushered out of the exhibition design, hanging and installation process, many exhibition hangs have more to do with abstract design concepts than with the effect of one artwork physically relating to another.

Hang it all. Another effect of curators being separated from the physical side of hanging is the everything-that-will-fit-on-the-wall exhibition. Removed from the physical reality of hanging, curators end up pulling together as many works as they can find on their theme and passing them over to technicians and designers to fit them into the space allocated by management.

Hang ‘em high. See above. Welcome back Academy hang.

Hang about. And whatever happened to our ability to hang things straight? In some cities that knowledge is being lost like the language of a threatened tribe. The professional installer holds the knowledge like a witch doctor, the last person left in the village who can make the paintings in private collections hang in a straight line.

Well hung. Don’t go there.