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Swapna Tamhane and Siebe Tettero

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PAVILION OF POSTCONTEMPORARY CURATING


 

 

 

This proposal addresses the exciting possiblity of generating new concepts in relation to curating and taking new directions in the production of contemporary art.

Curating as a field unto itself has really made its emergence felt in the last 20 years, starting with exhibitions developed by the artist-as-curator. A curator was originally the keeper of a cultural institution, heritage, archives, collections, and within that, conducted research in order to share that culture with a wider audience through exhibitions, publications or lectures. The role of the curator has expanded in scope and title over the years. Today, curating is a necessary and integral part of exhibitions in terms of concept, research, formation, selection, facilitation, commissioning, etc. But what exactly is curating? Curating simply could be described, to the layman for example, as taking ideas, themes, concepts, and selecting artists who make or can be commissioned to make work that fits or struggles against the given “theme”, for lack of a better word. The presence of a curator is still felt even if there is no concept, discourse or theory that is being discussed or brought to surface.

Contemporary art, art that is and has been produced since WWII, is a direct reflection of our society and times. No longer does art merely explore or question issues related to medium, but now is a concept-driven field. With the infrastructure of curator-museumcommercial gallery-artist-dealer-collector in place, today’s artist is more than ever driven by two elements:

consumerism and conceptualism

What would postcontemporary curating and art be/contain/situate itself historically? Postcontemporary art would have to situate itself outside the parameters of a market/ collector, and the gallery/museum factory or system, that works beyond just the curator’s positioning. It would be art that made proposals, suggestions, moving into unknown areas of theories, working outside of hierarchies and past movements or discourses. And in relation to this, postcontemporary curating would be less associated with “curating” as a specific practice, and much more involved with artists, their process, and their work as a whole. Exhibitions could move beyond simply being curated and instead the Centre of Attention could have a Team of Directors that select a jury that would select artists and artworks. These juries could include scientists, theorists, mathematicians, novelists, designers – professionals working across a broad range of fields. This would enable the notion of curating to redefine itself, evolving into something that is not so contained, or individually-led. It would be an anti-hierarchical structure, and instead become one that was flattened or horizontal not to create an egalitarian sensibility but to widen the scope and narrative. This would create an integration of ideas, expanding the knowledge base and loosening the boundaries between fields. Within this flattened structure, which is not linear but infinite, there could be variations and terrain-like additions/surprises/ rhizomes/inventions/newness

 

 

Swapna Tanhane and Siebe Tettero proposal

 

With this in mind, we propose for the Pavilion of Postcontemporary Curating to contain:


1. Artist Studio: studio for Artist-in-Residence, located on the right of the entrance. This will house a gallery where the artist can exhibit previous and new work, or concept works. Over the gallery will be the dwelling, topped by the artist studio which will have a fully glassed northern façade.


2. Curator’s Studio: studio for Curator-in-Residence or Scholar-in-Residence, located left of the main entrance, this stack contains the Information & Ticket Booth on the ground floor, a 2-storey dwelling above, and a larger workspace on the top floor.


3. Administration: contains the workspace for the Team of Directors. Each individual is a Director working together to create juries, exhibitions, organize call for submisisons, arranging artist’s residencies, publications, etc.
Team of Directors includes:
Director of Exhibitions (2 or 3)
Director of Publications incl. Archive and Resources
Director of Marketing
Director of Public Programming & Learning
Director of Residency Programme
Director of Installation & Technicians
Director of Co-ordination
Director of Accounts/Budgets/Shipping


4. Shop: Bookstore - located in the former laundry room, near the Cafe. This will sell selected academic works and artworks.


5. Exhibition Space: located in the original hall of Sutton Scarsdale. This stack consists of 5 levels each with their own distinct funtion.
a. Ground floor - space for commissioned or selected projects by a panel of emerging, mid-career, and established artists. (emerging artists should include
students). 1st Floor - circular space for Drawings and other intimate works. Drawing is given certain priority over new technologies, bringing it back to the initial stages of a concept or future work, or purely looking at drawing as a beginning. c. 2nd Floor - small gallery and all utilities. Small gallery contains artworks selected by Team of Directors through call for submissions and entries. d. 3rd Floor - this is the dominant space with a 9-metre high hall for exhibitions curated by collaborative members of the committee, or a jury. Juries are organized by Team of Directors according to areas of interest and ideas being generated. Juries can include mathematicians, scientists, economists, architects, writers, theorists, artists, manufacturers, etc. e. 4th Floor will have a sculpture garden as part of a network extended over the rooftops of the centre.


6. Dining and Meeting Room will sit at the top of a stack, overlooking the landscape. This will be for the staff and those artists and curators-in-residence. This stack contains:
a. 1st Floor - Cafe
b. 2nd Floor - Bar
c. 3rd Floor - Kitchen (for staff and those in residence)
d. 4th Floor - Dining & Meeting Hall


7. Archive/Resource Room & Library: This will be located in the former Book Room, and will contain the Archives of the Centre of Attention. In addition, it will be a Resource facility for internal (artists and curators-in-residence) and external use. It will also be the key venue for the production of publications to coincide with exhibitions, artist’s monograph, scholarly writings, and artist’s books.


 

Sutton Scarsdale and proposal

 


 

 

 

Proposal for the pavilion

Model