A to 12: The Task of the Curator

Monday, November 9, 2015 to Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Hopkins Hall Gallery, The Ohio State University, 128 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210

 

November 9, 2015 – December 2, 2015
Reception: Friday, November 13, 2015, 3-5PM

A to 12 is an exhibition in conjunction with Open This End: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne and the Department of History of Art course, "The Task of the Curator." The course investigates what it means to “curate” exhibitions, objects, and collections and consider the curator and her role historically. Students in the class produced a series of exhibitions, screenings, and interventions catalyzed by Open This End, culminating a final, student-curated exhibition in Hopkins Hall Gallery. 


 

Collecting and sorting define the activities and behaviors of our information age. Whether out of necessity or satisfaction, we hoard and organize, as Michel Foucault said, “to tame the wild profusion of existing things.” In its original sense, curate means “to care for a person or an object.” (Foucault, p. 15) Now the term delineates the relationships and intersections between objects, ideas and people. Just as curators carefully organize artworks, we, as consumers, attentively curate everything, making decisions that construct and publicly display our perceived identities.
 
This exhibition examines the ways in which visual artists interpret collecting and sorting in a culture overflowing with data, technology, and things. The artists in the show— Andy Warhol, Carmen Winant, Ed Ruscha, Lenka Clayton, Michael Mandiberg, Natalie Bookchin, William E. Jones, Christian Marclay* (Off site at The Wexner Center for the Arts), Shana Lutker and John Baldessari—critically and humorously recover lost histories, recontextualize everyday experiences, visualize the archive, and connect the isolated behaviors of web users by acting as “curators” in every sense of the word.
 
Prompted by the exhibition of Blake Byrne’s collection of contemporary art in The Arts Initiative galleries, 24 students in Professor Kris Paulsen’s “History of Art 5001: The Task of the Curator” class collectively curated this exhibition and produced all of the related materials.
 
The 24 curators of this exhibition would like to thank Blake Byrne, The Arts Initiative, The Department of History of Art, Lisa Iacobellis and The Thompson Rare Books Library, Jennifer Lange and The Wexner Center for the Arts, Erin Fletcher, Sarah Falls, and the artists for lending their work and their time to this project.
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