On September 28, 2011, Hou Hanru, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the San Francisco Art Institute said on a lecture (Curator’s Perspective) in New York:
I think the worst exhibition in the world is the exhibition that is organized like a book. We see this a lot, an exhibition that takes the artwork as an illustration of a concept. I think an exhibition is not necessary for this: frankly, it’s too expensive. Through exhibition making we must spend the money, time and energy to produce a language that can not be replaced by other forms.
Interested by this argument, I watched the recordings of The Critical Edge of Curating conference held at the Guggenheim Museum November 3-4, 2011. Here are some more thought provoking quotes:
For many curators and artist working today, the exhibition no longer serves as the culminating manifestation of their work. For some, it is a mere step along a trajectory of research and planning. For others it has become an entirely dispensable model.
Anton Vidokle (e-flux) said:
I see the artist as someone who sees art as an integral part of human social life and who can discover or renounce a social identity in his or her encounter with art.
I think that in the future, the art of our time may very well become incomprehensible because of how incredibly historically contingent contemporary art seems to be. In order to understand today’s art in the future you may have to reproduce the very specific context of our time in minutia. TV shows, fashion magazines, Hollywood movies, popular music, comic, supermarket circulars, and so forth, which is something far beyond what a didactic museum wall text does for the Renaissance paintings, for example.