Special issue: CURATING AND THE AFFECTIVE TURN
Edited by Jennifer Fisher and Helena Reckitt
The Journal of Curatorial Studies seeks original research articles for a special thematic issue on how the affective turn has influenced
curating and exhibitions.
From immersive installations to phantasmagoric projections, intimate performance to site-based biennials and civic events, contemporary curating increasingly operates within the realms of affect. Curators configure atmospheres in a number of ways – to situate artworks, attract audiences and mediate social bonds. Curatorial labour also extends to mobilizing personal networks, where generating emotional climates produces forms of symbolic capital essential to underwriting curatorial production in often under-funded and precarious conditions.
Stemming from recent theorizations of the affective turn, this special issue will ask:
What are the affective conditions of the curatorial?
How is affect transmitted in exhibitions and curatorial projects?
Beyond an exhibition’s representative and discursive significance, what are its affective registers? What energies feed the curatorial process?
And, by extension, how does the tone of social networks pertain to the affective labour of curating?
Where museums, galleries, art world events, and artworks themselves function as contact zones where affect is transmitted, this special issue invites submissions that inquire into how curatorial affect shapes relations between feelings, intuitions, artworks, spaces, audiences, social networks, politics, ethics, and sensibilities. A range of contributions is sought, from exhibition case studies,
curatorial memoires and auto-ethnographies, to speculations into the ethics of curatorial conduct governing the transmission of affect.
Potential Topics can include:
- Affect theory as a mode of analysis for curatorial and exhibition studies
- What feeling states govern the culture of current curatorial conditions (such as being affected, disaffected or unaffected)?
- How might relational forms (such as social conviviality, love of art, or mutually respectful agonistic struggle) be considered as affective
registers? How might other affects pertain in recent curatorial practice?
- How do exhibitions configure affect as mood, atmosphere and intensity? How might such articulations produce new communities of feeling and sensibility?
- The politics of affect in relation to curatorial attitude, habits, self-formation and style subcultures
February 1, 2014, abstracts due (250 words)
September 1, 2014 manuscripts due (5-6000 words)
Publication in issue (4)3 Fall 2015
Please send submissions and correspondence to:
Jennifer Fisher, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Curatorial Studies, York University, Toronto
Helena Reckitt, Senior Lecturer in Curating, Art Department, Goldsmiths, University of London
The Journal of Curatorial Studies is an international, peer-reviewed publication that explores the increasing relevance of curating and its impact on exhibitions, institutions, audiences, aesthetics and display culture. Inviting perspectives from visual studies, art history, museum studies, critical theory, cultural studies and other academic fields, the journal encompasses a diversity of disciplinary approaches on curating and exhibitions broadly defined. By catalyzing debate and serving as a venue for the emerging discipline of curatorial studies, this journal encourages the development of the theory, practice and history of curating, as well as the analysis of exhibitions and display culture in general.
While curating as a spatialized discourse of art objects remains important, in the current era organizing an exhibition involves
increasingly complex critical practices and self-reflexive methodologies. The journal promotes a wide-ranging inquiry into what constitutes “the curatorial.” This expanded cultural function of curating generates not only exhibitions for audiences to view, but also queries the nature of aesthetic experience, the authority of institutions, the formation of ideology, and the construction of knowledge. Topics of study will include investigations of current and historical exhibitions, display formats in the art context and cultures at large, curators and their oeuvres, and the political and theoretical issues influencing the production of exhibitions. The target readership of the Journal of Curatorial Studies includes scholars in curatorial studies, art history and museum studies, along with gallery and museum professionals, independent curators and art critics, and cultural theorists interested in art and display. For more information about the
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