A nod to Curators.

A little update too…

Today we have an update for an integral component of the art world who doesn’t always receive the recognition that they deserve.

The Curator.

An artist in their own rite, the curator paints with their perception instead of the brush. As they collect, question, organise and juxtapose, they adeptly solve puzzles spread over time, movements and themes to embody the role of the storyteller.

To help curators tell their own story on Artfacts we’ve updated the profile edit section for curators, so that they too may now list their accolades and residencies, as well as including their own bio. To celebrate, let’s look a little closer at one in particular…

After being postponed due to covid, and as one of the most important and eagerly anticipated art events of the year, who better to explore than the curator of the 59th Venice Biennale? Her name is Cecilia Alemani.

The Italian curator is well known for her incredible work on the High Line public art project where she has been Director & Chief Curator since 2011. For those who are unfamiliar: The High line is a 2.3 km elevated public park on a converted old freight rail line in New York City. In this special community space she has produced countless projects, group exhibitions and performance series with leading artists.

Simone Leigh, Brick House, June 5, 2019 – May 2021, On the High Line at the Spur, at 30th St. and 10th Ave., Photo by Timothy Schenck

There, she also launched the Plinth project in 2019, which was inaugurated with Simone Leigh‘s unforgettable 16 foot tall bronze bust of a Black woman: “The Brick House”. We’ve featured Leigh before: this year she will be the first Black woman to represent the United States in the Venice Biennale.

There are always interesting little morsels to be found on Artfacts. When we look at Alemani’s profile, we can see that early on in her career, she organised the co-curated exhibition: The Comfort of Strangers at MoMA PS1 in 2010. The exhibition’s description stated that it “showcases the practices of four under-recognized New York-based curators: Olivia ShaoKate FowleCecilia Alemani, and Clarissa Dalrymple.” This exhibition was clearly an important step for Alemani, as a year later she was appointed to her position at High Line Art.

The Comfort of Strangers, MOMA PS1, 31 Jul 2010 – 05 Sep 2010

Another fun side note in the small world of art: we recently explored the YBA movement (Young British Artists), and Dalrymple, mentioned above, also curated the first YBA exhibition in New York City in 1992.

The 59th Venice Biennale is titled “ The Milk of Dreams”, after a book by Leonora Carrington and here Alemani the storyteller takes another otherworldly story as a starting point for the exhibition. The book, and hence the exhibition too, is described as “a world where everyone can change, be transformed, become something or someone else.”

We’re so excited to dive into the world shaped by Alemani at the Biennale. The role of the curator is integral indeed.

You can always explore curators on Artfacts, by searching a country, just as with the top lists of artists, galleries and institutions, the list of curators is there too.

Let’s make history happen,

The Artfacts Team

Headerimage created by Piotr Pietrus