Yesterday there was a very interesting and insightful talk by George Vasey who was initially taught to be an artists, but eventually found himself at the best as a curator. Referring to the earliest (late 14c.) etymology of the word ‘curate’ as ‘to take care of’, with each exhibition Vasey creatively changes the traditional hierarchy and curatorial approach, constantly improving the dialogue between the artists, institutions, collectors and the audience. My favourite quote by Vasey is “people should leave the exhibition knowing themselves less not more”. His poster below is the best illustration of his ideas:
In an anecdotal way Vasey has shown a number of exhibitions curated by him. Personally I was very interested in an exhibition at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, These Rotten Words. “Rottenness is defined as both bad and decayed and, in a world where public discourse has become increasingly dominated by divisive polemics, the exhibition embraces language that is more contingent and intimate. The artists call attention to the physical properties of communication: the mouth and the hand are inextricably linked and while the hand enables us to shape materials, the voice — and our use of language — offers a further tool to manipulate the world around us.”
Concerned about the rottenness in the world, especially in the politics, I am curious about how the artists “focus on the physicality of textual, gestural and vocal forms of communication”. On the positive side, the exhibition considers the idea: “To rot is to decompose, offering an opportunity for reassembly. The artists in the exhibition suggest a form of renewal, probing the possibilities and limits of the body and its voice.”
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