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Spotlight: Thinking Contemporary Curating

Posted on October 6, 2015

As we prepare to launch Talking Contemporary Curating, we take a look back at ICI’s pioneering history of publishing in the curatorial field. At the turn of the millennium there were no more than a half dozen books on the subject of curating. One of them was ICI’s Words of Wisdom (2001), a compilation of short texts by 60 established professionals as advice to a new generation of curators..

Ten years later, ICI launched the Perspectives in Curating publication series, of which Thinking Contemporary Curating by Terry Smith (2011) was the first. It offered an in-depth analysis of the territory of international curatorial practice and the thinking—or insight—that underpins it, and how today curators take on roles far beyond exhibition making, to include reimagining museums; writing the history of curating; creating discursive platforms and undertaking social or political activism, as well as rethinking spectatorship.

forms and undertaking social or political activism, as well as rethinking spectatorship. The Now Museum panel with Claire Bishop, Terry Smith, Okwui Enwezor, Massimiliano Gioni, and Annie Fletcher.

The catalyst for the publication was The Now Museum conference that ICI produced in collaboration with the CUNY Graduate Center and the New Museum in New York in 2011, which spurred a year-long journey for Smith, during which time he questioned what “curating” is today.

In the two years following the publication of Thinking Contemporary Curating, Smith conducted interviews, discussions, and research involving colleagues in the field, inviting them to respond to the publication. This research took Smith from the US, to Europe, to Japan and beyond, and led to another publication, Talking Contemporary Curating.

Photos from the Event: Talking Contemporary Curating

Posted on October 9, 2015

Photos from the Event: Jo Ractliffe

Interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul in Bomb Magazine

Posted on October 30, 2015

Fireworks (Archives), 2014. Installation view of the Fireworks at Kurimanzutto, Mexico City, 2014. Courtesy of kurimanzutto and Kick the Machine Films.

Fireworks (Archives), 2014. Installation view of Fireworks at kurimanzutto, Mexico City, 2014. Courtesy of kurimanzutto and Kick the Machine Films.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul talks to Paul Dallas from BOMB Magazine about the conceptual links between his art and films, and the work Fireworks (Archives), an installation recently shown at Wavelengths, the experimental program at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Discussing his interest in light as a source of understanding the world, the artist notes how the hypnotic Fireworks (Archives)– created around the wake of the 2014 Thai military coup – reveals the relationship of light to the beyond hidden contexts of Thailand’s Northeastern political memory and beliefs, as well as the silent, rebellious spirit of the people. Set in the mysterious Sala Keoku Temple, the fragmented flashes of light subsequently unveil a political landscape of the past that remains today. Weerasethakul further describes his work in relation to Plato’s allegory of the cave:


“When one prisoner left the cave, he discovered the real source of light—sunlight. The light hurts his eyes because he wasn’t used to it. When he returned, the people in the cave were scared and didn’t want to believe that another reality existed outside the cave. It’s a classic parable that describes what happened in my country and what happens everywhere: people tend to stick to the propaganda that they are taught.

For me, light is also the information received through the camera to create shadows that we understand. But is that enough, is that reality? We know that reality is always distorted through the camera’s lens. These are the kinds of ideas that I’m working with and that are inspiring me right now.”


To read the full interview, visit BOMB Magazine’s website, here.

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Photos from the Event: On Clement Siatous