Easy answer. Yes, yes and yes.
We have been taught that art first came from humans’ necessity to express their individuality and communicate with each other. An artist is overwhelmingly motivated by the desire to create, in whatever artistic profession he or she is operating within. David Throsby, a cultural economist, said the artist is ‘driven’ from this desire. He would then go on outlining a complete economic model based on this statement.
To the critic Angela Vettese, artists are receptors. Society imprints itself within artists, who give – or better are “driven to give” – an interpretation of society through works of art. In this way whatever object, even ugly, common or abject, acquires an aesthetic and social function (or in-function), that helps build on what sociologist Theodor Adorno called a ‘cultural critique’. However, I was sceptical when I saw a chair exposed at the Tate Modern. A formal artwork, not one invigilators would eventually sit and take a nap on. I guess sometimes the artist likes to give a perverse interpretation of ones surroundings.
Gabriel Orozco, Empty Shoe Box, 1993
This is where our ‘super-hero’, the curator, comes to the rescue. Certainly it is his duty to disclose artists’ obscure messages to a wider audience, that would be otherwise groping in the dark. Everyone with a bit of reason must agree that our society is very eclectic nowadays. Considering we stated that art carries an interpretation of society, the more varied it becomes, the more varied art becomes in turn. This is the reason why so many (too many?) ‘super-heroes’ are around. The development of art in the ambience, other than the two-dimensional canvas, made the presence of a curator necessary to mould space and works of art together as well. He is the technical and interpretative support, someone who analyses the context and conveys it in the right way to ease the understanding of the public.
Writers and critics, especially the witty ones that don’t mince their words (and we love for that), ought to be mandatory to the whole process. They are a check against the ‘ruling’ curatorial practice and against Daniel Buren‘s despised commissaries , “authors of exhibitions” in which artists’ intent is completely overtaken and replaced with their individuals aims. Writers also help filling gaps curators may leave, or give more side information to the public. A friend of mine, prior to visiting an exhibition, would examine all the articles regarding it and read up on the artist(s) featured in it. Is not that enough to say some people really need a writer to write?
Artists will produce works as long as they feel the compelling urgency to express themselves. As dependent, curators and writers will keep on doing their part. However, more can always be said. I would like to leave it to you, dear readers – Hey, is there any? – because I am still looking for the perfect answer and I have unfortunately reached my word limit!
- Article Review: ‘Artists and Curators as Authors – Competitors, Collaborators, or Team-workers?’ (helaniemoore.wordpress.com)