By David Gilchrist
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Up with curationism?

This article is over 6 years, 2 months old
Issue 435

I enjoyed Noel Halifax’s review of the exhibition Another Kind of Life (April SR). It is a complex exhibition and as he says raises questions about the nature of photography and how it is exhibited.

I think that on the whole the rise of the curator is to be welcomed: it makes explicit the previously hidden biases of exhibitions. It makes clear that any artwork is a transaction between creator and viewer.

In this respect the influence of Foucault is less of a problem. Even in an exhibition that presents the marginal but fails to make any link between them, how the person attending sees the show is important.

Young people today often see the links between the seemingly separate and I think the totality of the work here enables that. It is no accident that the exhibition starts with the work of Diane Arbus, whose later work implied that all reality was a freak show.

In this exhibition cross-dressers, trans people, marginalised youngsters, circus people, drug addicts and animal handlers become visible and less the “other”.

We should also remember that those at the margins can provide the spark that lights the fire. It was trans people who led the fight against the cops at Stonewall in 1969.

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