Book Review: The New Curator, ed. Natasha Hoare

Aiming to answer the question ‘what is curating today?’, this new book is constructed as a series of responses. Its four sections – on curating beyond the White Cube, rethinking the Biennale model, working with institutions in a radical manner, and transcending existing boundaries – are structured around interviews with curators from all over the world. This format follows the traditional importance of curators’ interviews as a means of communication, and the first person narrative is informative and engaging.

Each of the featured curators discusses a particular project, as well as their general curating practice. These case studies are well-chosen and fascinating: in the section on institutions, for example, Charles Esche and Khaled Hourani discuss their facilitation of a loan of Pablo Picasso’s Buste de Femme from the prestigious Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, to the International Art Academy Palestine, Ramallah. The role of curators in questioning the value of individual pieces, as well as that of institutions – by virtue of their historicity and location – is considered here, and the book, more generally, through its choice of case studies, consistently raises other timely and important issues.

Originally published in Aesthetica Magazine.

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