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Curated by Pierre Coinde and Gary O'Dwyer
Private view: Wednesday 17 December 2003, 7 to 10 pm
Exhibition open 18 December to 4 January 2004, 12 to 5 pm
(closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January)
Exhibition address: 1-15 Cremer Street, London E2 (Old St Tube)


Artists were given the brief to produce work that took as its source of inspiration the curators of the Centre of Attention. Artists unwilling or unable to bend their practice to this end were not able to take part in this show. 20 artists accepted, producing work in a wide variety of different medium.


Al + Al, Oreet Ashery, the estate of Hans Shielder, Simeon Banner, Benedict Carpenter, Rosie Cooper, Greg Daville, Eveleigh and Evans, Nooshin Farhid, A.M. Hanson ('alexcalledsimon'), Jasper Joffe, Tina Keane, Josie McCoy, Wiebke Morgan, Eileen Perrier, Brian Reed, Catherine Rive, Tai Shani, Erasmia Stravoravdi feat. the Centre of Attention


  Al and Al Oreet Ashery Simeon Banner Benedict Carpenter
includes: Al + Al Oreet Ashery Simeon Banner Benedict Carpenter
Greg Daville A M Hanson alexcalledsimon Jasper Joffe Josie McCoy Eileen Perrier
Greg Daville A.M. Hanson ('alexcalledsimon') Jasper Joffe Josie McCoy Eileen Perrier
Catherine Rive Emi Avora      
Catherine Rive Erasmia Stravoravdi      

In this show we aim at problematizing the phenomenon of the curator and elements of the artist/curator relationship.

The reverent respect accorded the artist in the literature that curators produce seemed out of proportion to the activity of art production itself. For instance it is common for the artist to be presented as infallible, above advice and transcendental. Why such piety from the curator? Other questions formulated themselves.

Can the curator be without the prejudice installed by education, social milieu and human nature? Does the curator select art to promote their own view of what art should be like? Does the institution of the art academy encourage censors, acquiescence to authority and the acceptance of received wisdom? The result is an agenda and products that come to appear like a culturally significant phenomenon, worthy of study and accepted as inspirational. But we know that the History of art is a holocaust of reputations. Does institutionalism lead to art that is inert, uninspiring and sterile? Does being immersed in art history and theory and the left wing bias of art world academism compel curators to promote old paradigms and to remain in their comfort zone of prejudice not accepting that the fault lines of culture have moved on?

Is the curator a personal shopper?
Is the curator a parasite?

Is it fair that the institutional curator increasingly uses the limited resources, in effect diverting them away from the artists? Is the main aim of a show the curators own self aggrandisement in the art world? Is the curator a state-funded self-serving functionary?

Is the curator your friend?

Is the curator a neurotic unable to distinguish mediocrity from quality when the criteria to judge has yet to be decided? Do they have any say in the criteria? Is it the unformulated criteria that allows self selected custodians, charlatans and quacks to exploit the scene? Does that matter?

Is it true that nobody knows nothing; neither the artist, nor the curator or the collector? Is it important that we don't know what an artist is doing? Is it better to have a veil of magical mystique a specialized language to incant, a faith in the supernatural and other witch doctoryness so art may get made? Shazzzammm…?


  Download the press release here