Performing Arts Curation Meetup #1 & #2

Deanna Peters, April 2016

I've been running a Performing Arts Curation Meetup in Vancouver. Essentially, we are a growing group of artists, presenters and curators who really care about performance and how it is disseminated. Here are some 'casual' minutes from our first two gatherings. If you're in the Vancouver-area, or are in town and want to drop by, please get in touch. The next meeting is April 26, 2016; guest Jenn Goodwin.

Meetup #1, Nov 16, 2015; guest Dena Davida

Notions of curator: origin myth, model, transparency = ethics. Many different terms curators use for their role/position. No profession yet for performing arts curator. Need to foster educational programs to professionalize sector? No literature yet.

Dena's book Fields in Motion

Faced with assumptions of how work should and should not be made. Conditions in which work happens. How does curation affect my artistic choices? At what point does curatorial conversation come into play?

Claire Bishop: The Perils and Possibilities of Dance in Museums, Dance Research Journal, December 2014

Sarah Wookey: Who Cares? Dance in the Museum & Gallery

Shift towards networks (uber-networks). More distance from art than ever. Gatherings around marketplace vs curation. We are working within archaic models and our artistic vision is forced to exist within these. Facility managers have taken over theatre administration.

When do you think about money?

Naomi Jackson: Curatorial discourse and equity: Tensions between rhetoric and reality in contemporary dance presenting in the United States

Curation has a lot to do with making things personal. Institutional critique has resulted in movement towards community and artists. What a curator is: language, critical thinking, historical knowledge, responsibility, ethics of care. Ethics are the beginning of new thinking. Locally situated. Shift away from consequential ethics (means justify the ends) to virtue ethics (what makes life worth living). What a curator does: articulate, talk and write. Creating dialogue: artist, audience. Educator. Learning by practicing: internships and mentorships. Create everything that surrounds the work. No formula. Independent vs institutional curators.

The Congress on Research in Dance

No to artist: fire regulations, health and safety, liability. Artist needs to know framework of production and presentation.

1:1 ratio - curator to artist. Go to events together as a way of understanding each other: Siobhan Davies.

Habitations: 7 to 14 days to do what you want; 6 to 12 people; some form of future access; some form of documentation.

Suspicion around artist-curator.

How do you manage audience attitudes? Those who want context, those who do not? What to share, what not to share?

There are many reasons to get together to talk about curation; empowering and optimistic.


Meetup #2, Feb 10, 2016; guest Kristina Lemieux, who recommended the following articles:

The Producers: Alchemists of the Impossible

Staf: Empowering independent artists, producers and leaders

SpiderWebShow: A theatrical space where Canada, the Internet and performance minds intersect

Intrinsic Impacts of Live Performance: A Study

SANKASET: A Dialogue on the Intrinsic Impacts of Live Performance study

The Autodidacts Guide to Curatorial Practice in Performance

The Creative Producer: A Definition

Go Pro: The Hyper-Professionalization of the Emerging Artist

Abstract and Brief Chronicles: Creative and Critical Curation of Performance

New Circuits: Curating Contemporary Performance

ICPP: Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance

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