David Balzer | Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else

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Photo: Jim Verburg
Photo: Jim Verburg

David Balzer
Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else
Friday, April 10, 7:00 p.m.
Contemporary Art Gallery
555 Nelson Street

In conjunction with the Canadian Art Foundation’s Vancouver Gallery Hop, the CAG is hosting a talk by Canadian Art associate editor David Balzer based on his latest book Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else.

In his incisive and original study, Balzer travels through art history and around the globe to explore the cult of curation — where it began, how it came to dominate museums and galleries, and how it was co-opted at the turn of the millennium as the dominant mode of organizing. At the centre of the book is a paradox: curation is institutionalized and expertise-driven like never before, yet the first independent curators were not formally trained, and any act of choosing has become ‘curating’. Is the professional curator an oxymoron? Has curation reached a sort of endgame, where its widespread fetishization has led to its own demise?

David Balzer is a Toronto-based critic, editor and teacher. He has written for The Globe and Mail, Modern Painters, Camera Austria, artforum.com, The Believer and others, and is the author of two books, the short-fiction collection Contrivances (Joyland/ECW Press) and the non-fiction study Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else (Coach House Press/Pluto Press).

For more information on the talk: contemporaryartgallery.ca/events/david-balzer

Be sure to check out the Canadian Art Foundation’s Gallery Hop Vancouver, presented in partnership with RBC on April 11th. Join us for this day of free talks and gallery tours, followed by a wrap party celebrating Canadian Art’s Spring issue.

To learn more about the Vancouver Gallery Hop: canadianart.ca/vancouverhop