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Getting started in curation #1 - The Origins

In this series we give you some useful hints, background informations and articles around the topic of Curation.

Before we dive into the virtual world of curation let’s do a short trip over to Paris and look at origins of curation that resides in the museum and art domain.

In her History of Curation blog series Chloe Parpworth Reynolds goes quite back in time of manhood to find its origins:

“The origins of Curation, could be placed at the moment in which ‘man’ first started making a mark in his surroundings, possibly even as soon as he started thinking. He was thus, without even realizing, ‘curating’ his mind and his surroundings”

Well, that’s too far away for this series, let’s do a fast-forward in our time where Curation has its primary place in art:

A curator in the classical sense will produce for a gallery or museum an exhibition. They identify the theme, and they provide the context, they decide which paintings to hang on the wall, how they to annotate, and how to display for the public.

So we arrived in the physical world of highly acclaimed curator’s, as for example the Swiss Hans Ulrich Obrist (also known as the super curator)

“Named as the current most powerful figure of the international art world Hans Ulrich Obrist is the Co-director of the Serpentine Gallery one of London’s most fashionable contemporary art galleries. Obrist’s rise to international success can be attributed to the amazing ability to network, he comes across both charming and befriend-able.”

Or the well-known famous musician and multifaceted art curator Pharell Williams.

“Williams has been called a 21st-century Renaissance Man and deserves to be. His mark is ubiquitous in Grammy-anointed music now heard around the world, but he also has a tireless hand in the design, art, film, fashion, and other cultural industries.”

In the following movie Williams unveils the art exhibit he was asked to curate based on his new album, G I R L, with much media fanfare at Galerie Perrotin in Paris.

Watch the video and get an understanding how Williams was approaching the theme around ‘Girl’, how he curated the various pieces of work and put them into context. I think it nicely shows, the passion, the curiosity and openness which Pharell brings into his curation work.

Best expressed in the movie at 3:30 by Pharell’s statement:

"I know when you guys first walked in it says ‘Curated by Pharell’ but what it should say ‘The education of Pharell’, because this is a another day at school for me, it’s really awesome”

So if you approach your curation with the same spirit you are definitely on the right track.

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