Exhibition - A to 12: The Task of the Curator


  • hopkins hall gallery columbus

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.” 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,* 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 at the OSU Urban Arts Space, 24 students in Prof. Kris Paulsen’s “History of Art 5001: The Task of the Curator” collectively curated this exhibition and producing all of the related materials.

The 24 curators of this exhibition would like to thank Blake Byrne, OSU Art’s Initiative, Merijn Van Der Heijden and the staff of OSU’s Urban Arts Space, 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.