“The solitude of the curator” is the title of a chapter in the book Expositions: Emergencies of the Criticism of Contemporary Art by Stefania Zuliani, Professor of the University of Salerno, which portrays the curatorial figure in the nineties, a decade of fortune in the context of it’s pre millennial crisis.
Zuliani’s evocative title is that which inspired this traveling project, which will make its debut in Palermo at KaOZ, a collateral project space part of Manifesta 12. It is an ‘exhibition in progress’ that begins with the act of selecting works to be stored in a carry-on bag and is realized as a result of a complex game of connections on the land.
In a so-called “liquid” society there still many labels who resist change and many remain the prejudices awaiting to be demolished, even more so than the walls built along the frontiers which have fallen short for the sake of commodities rather than for humanity.
Geographically speaking Sicily is an island, a place naturally open to hospitality and to cohabitation, but historically it is a crossroad, and still today it is a land which due to its position in the heart of the Mediterranean, continues to play the backdrop of an endless scene depicting painful landings and conflicts between economic powers.
According to Z. Bauman, the curator is a creator of community, it is the one who makes things happen, albeit the moment of conception is the most individual, is in the relationship with the artists, with the context, with the work and with the audience that triggers desire and attempt co-authorship.The curator establishes a unique relationship that with the artist that is both intellectual and soulful, leaving little space for a sense of authorial solitude which would compromise and put the work at risk for it would imprison the art in a self-referential cage. Traveling with a suitcase containing a polyphonic archive of creations, the curator goes beyond geographical and mental frontiers, arriving at the destination, imagining each place as a utopia, an “invisible city” which, owing to art can be continually reinvented. The contents of the baggage, the works including those which are site-specific, collectively build an open relationship which is destined to change every time, able to activate a collective process in which the display is the result of a dialogue built at various times and in different places, where space takes on a plastic power and in which the curator becomes a detonator of possible situations. An integral part of the process will be the photographic documentation that will allow the authors of the works in the suitcase to take a look at Gesamtkunstwerk’s constant attempt to trace the archival memory that has become a constant obsession which defines contemporary thought. The project hides autobiographical traces of the curator who starts the journey from their homeland Sicily, and brings with it works of artists whom have emerged and established as artists during recent years spent between Turin and Milan, which is in itself a symbol of the flow of constant migration of women and men on the South-north directions of the world.
“The solitude of the curator” calls for a moment of necessary and independent reflection on the dynamics of contemporary art, a direct confrontation between curators / theorists and artists.
Dimora OZ is a visual, performative and multimedia art laboratory, a trans-disciplinary space animated by numerous artists living in Palermo. Dimora OZ is an art factory that deals with contemporary issues, creating productions, events, workshops, and with particular focus on the relational dynamics of collaboration and participation.
KaOZ is a side project of Dimora Oz that sees a physical space in the heart of the historic center of Palermo.