Thursday, 29 January 2009

A review on a curators practice; Lisa Le Feuvre - Sophie Risner

Curating; the balance between practice and distance.

By focusing on the strategies and career manifestations of this curator it is possible to begin to understand the role of curating as being as much dissemination as a method of constant questioning. It is the experimental nature of a cross-curatorial design which, at first brought me to bear on the actions of this curator. A non-declared action to a specific premise of practice alongside a multi-interpretive, interdisciplinary approach navigated all by the understanding that, for a subject such as curating knowledge is core. Moving in and out of moments which look towards what is at stake as much as trying to navigate a constant critical aspect to a career hinging on the narrative of visibility.

Having begun their education in the arts at the University of Westminster studying Architecture it would seem the natural process to align with the creative urges of The Architecture Foundation or the Architectural Association, but the idiom of a curator begs the difference. To side-step the plans of the reality of their vocational suggestion and ask for a more generalized visibility, this curator decided to practice outside of their remit, maintaining distance whilst always reverting back to product. Saying this, the word general does not compute within the language used by a curator, who, for over three years has looked towards systematizing a coherent relationship with one of the most traditional and oldest institutions of our age. Currently, but for not much longer the path of practice has lead this curator to maintaining an adaptive but strictly not substitutive mark on the National Maritime Museum, unlike those already come before it is not in the nature of this curator to staple themselves to the day-to-day slog of their institution of choice, remaining ever distant yet surprisingly present, curating is as much part-time as it is full-time. Saying this, making do is not the mentality of a curator who has asked of Lawrence Weiner the space held by ships and sails.

Here, subversion comes into play as another technicity of the contemporary curator. It is by working as the curator of the National Maritime Museum which oddly echos the gains of a BA in Architecture, for both beg of this curator for the imaginative potential of space. Working not necessarily within the bureaucracy of an institution but suggesting to be more objective is not just a motivation at play at the National Maritime Museum but surrenders itself a game plan for a curator who simultaneously lecturers and teaches at an international art college. Helping implant or maybe impart with knowledge is something a school of curators need to quickly learn the ropes of. Teaching is not the requirement of curating but ought to be, something this curator manages to successfully symbolize. Crossing both the museum threshold and the threshold of the art college helps a curator to maintain a good generative objectivity as neither / or is correct protocol for a curator whilst both manage to be exact examples of what a curator may or may not wish to embark upon. Distance here becomes keys as each occupation helps subvert the other, leaving the path always fresh, practice for curating doesn’t just become a 9 to 5 mentality but one with parallel universises, skies and galaxies.

Without getting too washed up in the romance of what a curator does, it is time to romanticise the curator, to continuously find joy in expressionistic encouragement for student-explorations from Photo 50 to Contested Ground marks a curator who isn’t afraid to actually remain faithful to art and all it may detail. It is the detail of curating which can be viewed through intense contextualizations; ranging from the depths of Foucault to the bowels of Axisweb Journal, Art Monthly as well as web based activity for Nought to Sixty at the ICA and the latter known Unrealised Projects, all help to maintain a distance from the aspect of curating by using textualization as a tool with which to reformat the aesthetic of curating with each and every manifestation. The ability to remain a curator for my own understanding is not the case of merely understanding the topic or gain at hand but making this understandable. Forcing and encouraging is a burden but also a freedom, looking at a momentum which continuously subverts the boredom of an office curatorial design is a privileged position and one well received by a tireless worker, the depth of distance is encouraging, juxtaposing Avalanche at the Chelsea Space in 2005 alongside the recent offering of Renee Greens Endless Dreams and Water Between, light years of difference in approach and conception arrive. The remains not becoming a ridiculous accolade of congratulations but actually begging to begin to see through the ‘role’ of a curator as being irrepressible, you’ll have to run to keep up but a sprint might just leave you behind when forced to examine the dynamic of a curator who admires the small depths found in alongside Cell Project Space. Through all of these many manifestations, layers and complexities one aspect reinforces itself, that, in order to have a strong curatorial practice one must attempt a curatorial distance.