On Curating and Collaboration

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2012 Johannes Klabbers / Charles Sturt University, School of Visual and Performing Arts

Walter Benjamin may have felt that the art work became democratized in the age of mechanical reproduction but forty years later in 1976, for Rosalind Krauss (The artworld) has been deeply and disastrously affected by its relation to mass-media. That an artist’s work be published, reproduced and disseminated through the media has become, for the generation that has matured in the course of the last decade, virtually the only means of verifying its existence as art. (Rosalind Krauss. 1976. Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism October, Vol. 1, Spring, 1976. p59)

And so it seems in demonstrating to our peers, and most importantly to the University that determines on the basis of ‘ticks’ in columns whether to continue to employ us, that our work has value. This value can only be demonstrated by what the outcome of our creative research is not: a catalogue with framing essay/s which ‘situate’ the work, the appointment of a curator, the reviews and advertising generated and the importance of the institution in which we exhibit; these are the measurable outcomes of our ‘creative research’. A phrase which, as Paul Carter notes ought to be a tautology, in the present cultural climate is in fact an oxymoron. A research paradigm prevails in which knowledge and creativity are conceived as mutually exclusive (...) a narrowly reductive empiricist notion of research, which (insists) on describing the outcomes in advance... 2