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READING DIARY: Artist as Curator (Røstad)

I enter into these readings thinking about how they might reflect on my practice as filmmaker and digital artist. I feel like I am walking into a space of unknowing, not knowing what to expect, how to prepare, etc. Registering on the last possible day and having readings due on that same day I register just intensifies and enlivens that feeling, like I am stripped of all my knowledge, all of my preparation and fed to the unknowing, unready and undone. Arts Indecent Proposal - Collaboration The Reading/Conversation on Oda Projesi The reading really reminded me of the importance of community in creation. So often it is easy to feel that that in the intense diving into your private well and private practice on an individual project to forget the real impossibility of sole authorship even in an intensely personal project, that every work is always a cooperative community of ideas born of —at least—the chorus of voices of influences and experiences—let alone the host of hands that are necessary to bring one’s ‘final’ work to dialog with audience. I was also interested in the ways their conversation focusses on how the questions of community and authorship dialog with (city) spaces. (I remember David Lynch talking about how important his love/hate relationship with the space of Philadelphia informed his emerging practice as artist.) The collective talk optimistically about ways that true neighborhoods—based on true empathy—can resist the homogenizing impulses of city/state—and open the possibility of a space in which art is created / within a truly democratic space. The space they imagine can be used to make structural issues viable and consequently more vulnerable to change. I was especially intrigued by the discussion of the potentials of ‘misused space’ as opening a window to these transformative possibilities that art may afford. This ‘space’ can invite work that may transcend —they suggest—the consumer culture aspect that mark much of art. They suggest that transcending traditional notions of authorship is radically transformative as those notions of sole authorship are predicated on the sacredness of private ownership. I like their internal debate about the ultimate possibility of completely overcoming [limited notions of sole authorship], but that there is great value in trying/asking: that it is possible to “transform it by questioning it.” O’Neill O’Neill suggests that great value can come from overcoming the normally rigid divide between curator and artist, including being attentive to the creative elements of curating, and ways that it might complicate ‘ownership’/authorship. O’Neill privileges the temporary exhibit as a space that can be more responsive to audience—with the potential to transcend both the localized conferns of artist or market. He appears to suggest we need to be aware of curating as creative art (particularly aspects of managing visual effect, display and narrative). The role of curator has gone from itself a disguised narrative to briefly remembered in the 90s ‘curatorial moment.’ When thinking of relevance to my own project and more broadly to the realm of film as a medium, I think of Quentin Tarantino’s distribution scheme with Miramax pictures through which he curated a collection of neglect/overlooked films (particularly form southeast asia), and he re-released them under the banner of his Rolling Thunder distribution company. So doing he brought them to an audience they never would have received: the prime example being the late 90s art film darling Chung King Express which received wide acclaim thanks to his ‘curating’ it. All of this invites me to re-think the symbiotic role between exhibition, distribution and production, particularly when exhibition—both digital and physical—give curator/exhibitor privileged role of gatekeeper with respect to audience experience. It make me think of what creative ways I might inhabit and animate the exhibition/distribution of my own work.

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