"By virtue of being a curator automatically you can decide on the content of the exhibition," says artist Pitso Chinzima in his account of the decision by Gilane Tawadros, curator of the show 'Faultlines' on this year's Venice Biennale, to exclude his work. Chinzima, along with collaborator Veliswa Gwintsa, had been commissioned to make a work for this year's Venice Biennale but apparently failed to meet the curator's expectations. Read Brenton Maart's interview for a full account. Whatever the idiosyncrasies of this particular case, it does add further credence to a wider criticism of Venice - the dictatorship of the curator. Commenting on the tyranny of the curator at this year's reportedly unruly affair, The Guardian's
Adrian Searle observed: "The Venice Biennale always has some kind of baggy theoretical rubric... Luckily, none of this need bother us very much." It is however the following observation that is most insightful: "The dictatorship of the viewer is one thing, that of the curator another. The only place for dictatorship, in my view, is in the hands of the artist." Which is probably why Jens Hoffmann has proposed a project on e-flux.com called 'The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist.' The project aims to find out what happens when artists take over and occupy territory usually reserved for curators. I am curious to find out.
Due to her exceedingly busy gallery schedule, both locally and internationally, details of Tracey Rose's Editions for ArtThrob print will only be available August. We apologise for the hiccup in our scheduling.
Next Update: August 1, 2003. Sue Williamson will edit the following update.