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Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else…
by David Balzer
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Now that we 'curate' even lunch, what happens to the role of the connoisseur in contemporary culture? 'Curate' is now a buzzword, applied to everything from music festivals to artisanal cheese. Inside the art world, the curator reigns supreme, acting as the face of high-profile group shows and biennials in a way that can eclipse and assimilate the contributions of individual artists. Curatorial-studies programs continue to grow, and the business world is adopting curation as a means of adding value to content. Everyone, it seems, is a curator. But what is a curator, exactly? And what does the explosive popularity of curating say about current culture's relationship with taste, labour, and the avant-garde? In this vibrant, revelatory, and original study, David Balzer travels through art history and around the globe to explore the cult of curation, from superstar curator Hans Ulrich Obrist's war with sleep to Subway's 'sandwich artists.' Recalling such landmark works of cultural criticism as Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word and John Berger's Ways of Seeing, Curationism will change the way readers look at art, and maybe even the way they see themselves.
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