‘Artist as Curator’ Symposium: ‘Curator as Artist?’

Ruth Noack

Videos / 28.01.2013

Video documentation of the Afterall ‘Artist as Curator’ symposium. ‘Curator as Artist?’ presented by Ruth Noack, followed by a general discussion with speakers and audience.

Consider the following proposition: the curatorial thinking that Roger M. Buergel and I shared for almost two decades came out of an artistic practice. I have always wondered where the boundaries between our making art and making an exhibition could be drawn. Or whether they should be drawn. Did the claim of documenta 12, that ‘the exhibition is a medium’, add depth to curatorial discourse or should it be, five years later, relegated to the annals of exhibition history as an eccentric position? I am not an artist. Roger M. Buergel insists that he is not a curator. Instead of letting go of a bone that has been chewed to a stump, instead of turning to critical reflection, I find myself returning to a curatorial fantasy of origin, even when claiming to attempt historiography.

– Ruth Noack, abstract, ‘Curator as Artist?’

Ruth Noack is Head of Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art in London. Trained as visual artist and art historian, she has worked as art critic, university lecturer and exhibition maker since the 1990s. She was curator of documenta 12 (2007). Amongst the shows she curated with Roger M. Buergel were ‘Scenes of a Theory’ (1995), ‘Things we don’t understand’ (2000), ‘Organisational Forms’ (2002–03) and ‘The Government’ (2005). She contributed to ‘Garden of Learning’ (Busan Biennale, 2012) with its exhibition lay-out. Her writing has appeared in numerous journals and catalogues.

To read a summary of the day and for links to further videos of the symposium, click here.