Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Artist as Curator

While I agree with Claire Bishop that History is not simply an "H" in an equation that results in an "A" (a successful work of Art), there are better examples to rail against than Danh Vo. But then, would we care if it wasn't an artist whom many believe stole the show at Venice this summer? One has to hand it to Bishop for aiming high.

On the topic of artists curating the work of others amidst exhibitions of their own work (as Vo did with his Slip of the Tongue component), Vancouver Art Gallery viewers saw something similar at last year's Myfanwy MacLeod, or There and Back Again exhibition, which included Artist's Choice: Cock and Bull.

I read MacLeod's inclusion of the work of others within an exhibition of her own work not so much as an artist inserting herself in an "artistic genealogy," but sharing with viewers her influences, her changes, those she is in conversation with. Cock and Bull provides the footnotes to an essay no one thought to write on the artist and her work, leaving it to the artist to do so herself -- in the form of a remarkable exhibition.

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