The curatorial denotes a sphere of activity involved with making art and culture available to the public. Although this area has become increasingly important in recent decades, the structural conditions that account for its special social status have yet to be defined. Starting with the terms “constellation”, “transposition”, and “hospitality”, Beatrice von Bismarck describes the curatorial as a practical context and nexus of meaning with its own structures, conditions, rules, and processes. The focus of her text is on the set of relations that the curatorial produces and which serves as its prime constituent element. The book looks at the dynamic web of connections involving human and non-human actors, while seeking to effect a shift in perspective within the current discourse. Instead of examining the presentation format of the exhibition, curatorial modes of subjectivization, and the work of curating, the emphasis is on the interplay of these aspects as opposed to their individual definitions.
Beatrice von Bismarck is a professor of art history at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (HGB), where she also teaches visual culture and cultures of the curatorial.