ARE CURATORS THE GATEKEEPERS OF ART?

Interpreting collections in line with public perception is an art in itself.

Curator. A person who organises and arranges artwork in a way that is aesthetically appeasing in a gallery or museum.

From the previous definition, it sounds like the curator has a simple job. But this is just barely scratching the surface. Curator’s, additionally plan out exhibitions, write, research, and if necessary, commission creatives or ask to loan artwork from other institutions. This means that curators will have a say in what the next big trend or creator in art will be. Therefore, influencing society’s cultural landscape. But with the rise of social media, just how much say do curators have now?

To understand this question further, let us break this down. Gatekeepers are people who decide on who should be let in. In this case, if an upcoming artist or trend gets the spotlight. Gatekeepers are generally people who are trusted because of their judgement and knowledge. These people can vary from well-known curators, to major collectors, critics, art historians, and industry experts. Also, artists themselves can be gatekeepers.

On the other hand, some may argue that it is not the curator’s job to decide which creative gets to become famous. Most importantly, curators work in conjunction with art institutions to bring about a showcase of artwork. The origins of the curator began when there was a need to organise a collection of artifacts, and crafts in a visually appeasing manner.



By JASMINE CHAN: ARTS Columnist


It has only been recently, within the last century that we have seen the curator’s role expand into things such as writing essays to promoting an exhibition, along with curating social media accounts.

Ultimately, curators are to some extent gatekeepers. This is because they, along with the art institution have a say in what is shown. Though this does not mean that artists are not able to showcase their work, should a curator not display their work.

Besides, the internet has made it effortless to interact with a broad range of audiences. Artists themselves can to some extent curate their own work via their portfolio, social media, and website. By doing this, creatives themselves become curators in a sense. Contrary to what you may think, there is still a need for curators. This is because of their in-depth knowledge in terms of display, context, along with being able to mediate between a museum, gallery and the public.


MACKAYAN: ARE CURATORS THE GATEKEEPERS OF ART?


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