(The Conversation is a Curatorial Space)
To curate is to pose a question, to cast a web of ideas with a particular topic or system in mind. It is foremost a conversation between its parts.
A conversation is an informal exchange of ideas, and it places ideas in proximity with each other. Therefore we can understand the ‘conversational’ as a device to explore the relationship between things, a curated contingency whereby each comment remains specific to itself, yet interacts with a larger whole. Like an individual object in a group exhibition they are clips of a bigger dialogue and are used as a phrase in a wider narrative. The collection and back an forth of ideas enables a conversation to develop a multitude of different possible directions, a mass of options each in turn dividing up further in to thousands of distinct trajectories of thought. This vast network of inter-related ideas fills out an endless space of enquiry piece by piece.
The conversation is a curatorial space.
So comes the question of how does this theoretical conversational space become real? How can it present itself either physically or virtually? The curatorial conversation is not a linear dialogue; it works across a set of ideas and therefore demands a space that can also do this. The space for curation needs to be an open area where ideas can be amassed. However, this need not be a physical space, in fact when ideas are manifest as objects they will eventually fill out a finite volume, whereby a limit will be put on the conversation asking us to choose the bare essentials of getting the point across. Only quoting a dialogue is never as rewarding as enabling it to become un-hierarchical and endless. Does art and curation lend itself to a virtual plane or endless supply of printed matter?
What if the conversation is allowed to forever continue? What if all of its parts were held and maintained in the same relevance to each other? Conversing and curating across a range of platforms expands the dialogue, ceaselessly forging new conexions and contingencies. Could the conversation become an endless archive, picking up ideas and forever placing them in a context with what has been said before? If curation is the posing of a question, how must its conversation embody space?
As part of a series of events at Grand Union, Birmingham, ‘Echoes (disambiguation)’ brought together work by artists Vasco Alves, Adam Asnan & Louie Rice, Solina Hi-Fi and Steven Dickie. This writing can be considered in relation to the following: architecture, conversation, curating, essay, publication and social space.