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– Autumn/Winter 2001

Autumn/Winter 2001 - Autumn/Winter 2001

Mutatis Mutandis. Curating in the Millennium

Warren Niesluchowski

O KAIROS EGGUS
Ho kairos engus.
The time is at hand.

- Revelation 1:3

Millennial moments, for medievals and moderns alike, have served a quasi-mystical function: they provide frames, befitting 'a creature who comes in median size', to better focus the mind's eye 'on magnitude's extremes' through the lens of large, round numbers. We are moved to see that our world, mercifully, has once again survived a thousand years, leaving an age of great cataclysm receding ever more quickly in the rear-view mirror of history - although a wary glance to the side will reveal the oracular warning that objects are closer than they appear. But a 'retro-perspective' look back to the Year 1000 itself reveals a common kairos, a critical moment, one of secretly shared endings and new beginnings. Such a sense has also, as it happens, seized the latter-day world of art and art-making, driving us in our lifetime toward radically new and previously unimagined possibilities, while simultaneously foreclosing others. As the timeline of the 'imagined object' of techné, both ars and scientia, is denser, more continuously documented and seemingly more invested by God and man than any other trace we possess, a reflection on its origins in that moment may produce a clearer vision of what awaits those concerned with and caring for art-making today. In particular, for those engaged on the newly emerging paths of the curatorial function that seems to have broken with an art that 'considered in its highest vocation is and