Critical Journal- ch.10

Collaboration in Curating is about curating and highlights a strong emphases on the position of a curator to there being barely any focused curatorial role. In other words, this chapter explores artist led and audience led curating and how this shift changes the way an exhibition takes form.

Institutional art galleries are white cubes that have a high budgets and set staff positions. Alternative spaces exist through artist run culture and iindependent organizations. Running an alternative space from an institutionalized gallery requires collaboration and communication.

Artist led ways of working deals a lot with connectivity which highlights new media because new media includes connectivity as a characteristic. Artist led & new media are a great team and fosters team working, simpler collaboration between parties, and more accessibility to production and distribution of new work. The questions of sustainability, access to resources (funding), and of time within volunteers all contribute to potential pitfalls within artist led culture.

Often artist’s become curators for practical and functional reasons. They find it necessary to represent emerging art activity that other organizations are not showing. They are able to control how projects are being contextualized and presented. Unfortunately artists taking over a space will not receive the same amount of engagement from the public as a more institutional setting. They are also susceptible to artist burnout, and contributing to gentrification. Gentrification is more common in large cities such as Vancouver as can be viewed in the Great Northern Way sector with the new building of Emily Carr and various other art galleries. More can be read, in a positive context, here.

Although artist led culture may put institutions in a taboo context, it is possible to self- institutionalize. “The artist-led models described in the first half of this chapter are based predominantly on a space or place, even if temporary. Self- institutionalization as a mode of practice within the field of new media art differs from self-institutionalization in the field of contemporary art in that the institutions that artist’s create for themselves are not always physically bound and the range of institutions they can emulate is so much more varied.”1

I found myself questioning if an artist led way of working could live online. If a self-institutionalized centre could live non physically so could an artist led centre. An example would be TRIBE INC., based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They do have an online presence, although that is not the sole way they represent themselves. Their site states “As an artist-run-center focused on the presentation of contemporary Aboriginal art in a variety of institutional and public spaces. Tribe has developed a series of successful partnerships and collaborations with different organizations in Saskatchewan and beyond.”2 To physically show work, they partner with other organizations but their space lives online. Below is an example of how Tribe, in collaboration with AKA gallery,  is able to facilitate a space that would not be as readily utilized through a bigger institution. 

Robert Houle, Palisade.1999 source


1Graham, Beryl, and Sarah Cook.Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2010. 260. Print.

2 TRIBE. “Mandate « TRIBE Inc.” TRIBE Inc RSS,


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