Saturday, April 16, 2011

The double edge sword of curating....

....Indeed, the curator can seemingly has the power to create life but at the same time is subject to the passions of an artist who refuses to be ignored...

The number of submissions facing Dorsky curator Brian Wallace last month as he embarked on selecting the participants of this year's Hudson Valley Invitational exhibit.

The Dead Hare Radio Hour episode from this past week (Show #4) features interviews with Greg Slick and Karlos Carcamo, former directors of the former gallery Go North, in Beacon, and current curators of the Illustrious Mr. X exhibit on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.  At the end of  Show #3, Matthew and I spoke with a gentleman claiming to be the very Mr. X that Greg and Karlos claim to have invented.  Someone's not telling it straight.

Matthew and I also spoke with Dorsky Curator Brian Wallace on the history, present and maybe the future of the museum.
(The next evening I attended a talk on the SUNY New Paltz campus about Marc Chagall's time spent in the Hudson Valley during WWII and the grass roots efforts afoot to have a Chagall in the Hudson Valley exhibit at the Dorsky in the near future.)

During our conversation with Brian he mentioned the travails of the curator having to reject sizeable number of artists, possibly incurring their eternal scorn.  Part of this made it into the interview.  The theme for this year's invitational is Beauty.  It's funny that last year's exhibit, guest curated by Thomas Collins had the notion of Praxis, the joining of critical theories with practical applications, as an organizing principle and very, very few people submitted for it.  This says something interesting, though I'm not exactly sure what, perhaps that most people don't know what Praxis is and how it might apply to their work...or they're aware that their work simply doesn't fit that particular paradigm.  But apparently, many many people think they know something about beauty, and that their artwork obviously has something to say about it...

For those who might be rejected in this or any other exhibition selection process, I encourage you not to lose heart.  In fact, I found a helpful guide that you might apply in your future endeavors to catch the eye of some looksome curator.
As a service to artists everywhere, Hennessy Youngman put together this step by step tutorial for impressing curators.

Somethings to keep in mind, particularly when submitting for next year's Dorsky invitational. I'll just say here that I will not be responsible for any sort of fatal attraction-type stalking of Brian Wallace or any other curators perpetrated by unstable, overly ambitious artists..

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