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<nettime> Performing the curator: against the curatorial methods of dest
anna balint on Tue, 15 Jan 2002 23:06:30 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Performing the curator: against the curatorial methods of destroying artists

Dear all,

following the incident between Sanja Ivekovic and the Croatian appointed
curator for the Sao Paolo Biennal, we are going to hand over a letter of
solidarity with the  artist to the Croatian Ministry of Culture. Sanja
Ivekovic is not going to cancel  her project, and in the case she is not
going to Sao Paolo, we are going to feature her  work on the internet.

Please read the below statement of Marina Griznic, Slovenian curator and
pilosoher, and if you agree with it, sign the statement by  sending an
email to potemkin {AT} freemail.hu.

You can read the protest letter at http://anart.no/~syndicate/
and sign it via the wep page.

Anna Balint

Performing the curator: against the curatorial methods of destroying artists

   I decided to write this statement being revolted by the case of what
happened to Sanja Ivekovic, a Croat artist, first selected for the Sao
Paulo Biennial 2002 by Leonida Kovac, the appointed curator, and than
being by the same curator, so to speak overnight, after nearly half of
year of Ivekovic preparation of the project, rejected, dismissed, kick in
the but. Instead of Sanja Ivekovic, Leonida Kovac, decided to propose
another artist!
   Firstly, I am not interested in the reasons, as here it is no one reason
that counts. For me the question of reasons, the pro and contra arguments
does not exist. No one reason, anyway, can be the one that legitimizes
such a decision by the curator. Only the death of the artist can give a
pertinent reason for substituting him ore her, after being selected and
publicly declared to be the representative, or the artist decision by
himself or herself to quite the project.
   The rule is very simple, the curator is given a huge privilege, this is,
the absolute privilege of having free hands to select any artist, but soon
afterward he or she is in the position of a subordinate link in the
alliance of curator-artists, that means he or she transfers this privilege
to the chosen artists. No positive reasons can be found for rejecting the
selected artist, no instantiation can be taken into an account for a
legitimization of such an act. The moment the curator wants to play
further the pathetic figure of power, showing his or her "fragile" power,
with an act of a rejection of the selected artist, he or she becomes just
a clown and a bastard, surpassing the line of the disaster. A curator, not
mater the name or gender, that rejects the firstly chosen, and publicly
denoted artist, transforms himself or herself into misery.
   If it will be a court of honor and principle for the curators (as it is
for journalists, as their both perform a public critical work), such a
curator will have to be criticized by the institution, by the Biennial,
and by the ones that hired him or her and gave him or her the mandate to
perform his or her curatorial job. And any other artists that will be
asked to take the place of Sanja Ivekovic or better of the rejected
artists will have to say : NO! If such an activist solidarity and movement
will be possible to arose, maybe, a different balance will be created
between artists and curators.
 In the end, the artists has no other way than to react with all means, as
it is no a possible single reason of legitimization of this manipulation
with his or her concepts.

Marina Grzinic,
Ljubljana, January 11, 2002

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