Thursday, October 15, 2009

Curate: from the Latin curare, to care.

Curator is not a word I throw around lightly. It’s a painstaking role, one that requires a patient, encyclopedic mind. As I see it, curators are people who wade through registries, visit artists in every corner of the globe and think in theories. Does any of this describe me? Not really. Do I think curators are the best people to put together shows? Not necessarily.

Artist-curator is a term that gets thrown around a lot. In my mind, it usually implies less research and a more personal approach to exhibition-making. Often what artist-curators do is livelier than what non-artist-curators might; and often artist-curators are self-serving.

What are other name options? In France, “commissioner” used to be what they were called. That’s even more self-important than curator. So no.

Considering the word’s root, caretaker might be a possibility. It’s a bit precious, however.

Organizer? Coordinator? Arranger? Planner? Presenter? Preparer? Schemer? Show-maker? Ringmaster? Socialite? Schmoozer? Friend? Co-host? Multitasker? Door-opener? Opportunist? Speculator? Investor? Entrepeneur? Leader? Scout? Explorer? Investigator? Inspector? Show and Teller? Head honcho? Chandelier Swinger? Gaze God? Donkey Master? Ass?

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