Curating the Contemporary (CtC) is a meeting point for discussion on arts and culture. CtC uses writing as a resource for artists, curators and audiences, sharing diverse perspectives in the format of exhibition reviews, interviews, previews and a series of special features, academic pieces and creative texts. It is a doorway to the contemporary art scene developing in London and beyond.

CtC is continually evolving and over the past year we have seen the influx of articles from external writers increase exponentially. We invite you to have another look at a small selection as we take a short break for the holidays.

Merry Christmas from the CtC Editorial Team!


Courtesy of Somebody and Miranda July

Miranda July’s ‘Somebody’™: Technology in One to One Performance

Written by Francesca Willow, the piece examines the exciting platform that encouraged people to communicate via real people and an app, and the ideas of one-to-one performance. Since the article was published the Somebody app has since been switched off by Miranda July but an archive of stories can still be found here (http://somebodyapp.tumblr.com/)

The full article can be found here

“…let Somebody go out as it came in: a wild experiment in public art, marking a particular moment in time.

Somebody has disappeared from the world forever. But you’ll still be here. And your friends are too. And there are strangers everywhere.



Sans Soleil (film still), 1983, Chris Marker

Thoughts on Art, Artists and other Very Important Problems

Collaborative duo Giulia Morucchio and Irene Rossini contributed a series of poems from an ongoing collection. The pieces were created by selecting comments from twitter feeds portraying a humorous and cynical overview of the contemporary art work via social media.

The full article can be found here

“I dislike the way contemporary artists colonize an idea – usually someone else’s idea. The dots are originally from scientific manuals and the spin paintings are obviously from funfairs.

Hirst’s copies are much better, visually, than original, more accurate, perfect, purified. His assistants did a great work.”


Sarah Lucas, Modular Furniture (2013) MDF, Breeze Blocks

What’s that thing, Sarah Lucas?

As part of our coverage of the 56th Venice Biennale the CtC team published a mini series of experimental object descriptions written during the show Sarah Lucas: SITUATION Absolute Beach Man Rubble at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. Sarah Lucas rerepresented the United Kingdom at the British Pavilion with her installation I SCREAM DADDIO.

The full articles can be found here, here and here

“Sarah Lucas is all over the place.

She is looking at you.

You might think of her like the only inconvenient presence, but she is not.

You are there as well and you are looking too.

These breezeblocks are silently inviting you to the banquet.

They evoke the shape of a chair, a couch, or a bench.

Don’t be shy; take your seat.

You can enjoy the spectacle from there.”


Personal Archive Giséle van Waterschoot van der Gracht, Herengracht 401, 1017 BP Amsterdam

Ghosts and Guards

Riccarda Hessling offers a unique look as ghosts and guards as a metaphorical part of the archive. The photographic series of 17 images of the same name aimed to capture this ghostliness of archives in Berlin and Amsterdam, reflecting upon the historical a value of ghosts and guards and their contemporary use as a tool of discourse.

The full article can be found here

“What once might have been the smart way to come about, to protect the own space against those demons, is nowadays nothing more than a strange obsession, a leisure-time pursuit, a voyeuristic interest that is envisioned in entertainment products, circling around those moments where we choose to give ourselves the creeps, yet it is not implemented in everyday life.”


Assemble, Photograph showing derelict houses in Toxteth, Liverpool (c.2015),Courtesy of Assemble Photo credit: http://assemblestudio.co.uk/?page_id=862

The Curatorial and the Collaborative: from the Independent Group to Assemble

A more recent article on CtC considered the rising emphasis on collaborative curatorial working methods. The current Turner Prize winners Assemble and the Independent Group were utilised as examples of the historical and contemporary methods of groups in artistic and curatorial practice.

The full article can be found here

“Assemble’s work can be read as a curatorial endeavour, a process of organising and presenting ideas in a variety of media. Their approach to curating is characterised by the group’s collaborative ethos, their multidisciplinary membership and social ethics.”


Meeting Peter Sellers (production still) (2015), Charlie Dance, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo: Charlie Dance

The Shrinking Space

Is enjoyment a dirty word in the arts? Charlie Dance considers the reluctance of audiences and practitioners to utilise the word, the feeling and express facially the enjoyment experienced while viewing and participating in artistic practice.

The full article can be found here

“There’s something that seems to be going unnoticed. Something that seems to be hidden from view. Something that should be undeniable, but that something often goes denied. It’s a something that we don’t see written down so often, that we feel reluctant to include in press releases, articles, applications et al. It’s just one word, but seemingly a whole plethora of contestation, complexity and confusion.

This something is enjoyment.”

We invite and encourage writers to submit proposals for articles they would like to see featured on CtC. To submit or for any queries please contact our Head of Submissions, Miriam, at miriam@curatingthecontemporary.org

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