Reading posts about Documenta and other heavily curated biennales, where the context and content is so strongly and readily defined by the curator, really bothers me as an artist. I feel like curators have overtaken artists when it comes to creating content and meaning, art pieces are reduced to illustrations. By putting pieces in such strong contexts and even commissioning autonomous artist to create site and content specific work, the autonomy of the pieces are lost. Artists start to act like applied artist, coming up with quick verbal solutions, conclusions, jokes and other one-liners. This is not what we autonomous artists should be doing and not what we are specifically good at. The strong verbal culture that is such a force in contemporary curating also starts to mess with the way the artist works and processes ideas. I notice this especially when I teach in art schools. Anyways just my opinion, but I don’t think this a good development and I think it’s time for a good discussion about this.
–Guido van der Werve
*Image of collapsed Ai Wei Wei sculpture at documenta 12 courtesy saloon-la-realidad.com