Curator Shlomit Dror on art:i:curate's first art exhibition in New York
24 feb 2014 by Ashton Chandler
Ashton Chandler interviews New York-based curator and writer Shlomit Dror, in which she discusses her involvement with art:i:curate first art exhibition in New York and other art projects, curatorial methods, and impactful exhibitions.
AC: You co-curated art:i:curate first art exhibition in New York, "a space from without" which was located in a private apartment. How did you implement the concept in the space?
SD: When I saw this space at first, I started to think about the architectural forms and planning of this domestic setting: what it contains, how it is seen both internally and externally. The location of this apartment and the view of skyscrapers seen from such an elevated position was striking. I also looked at the relationship between interior and exterior and really wanted to evoke that idea through these artworks. It was interesting for me to think of possible interventions in the space and their relation to both the indoor and outdoor spaces of the apartment. It is very different to work in this setting, rather than a gallery or white cube, while trying to remain true to the origins of the space on one hand, and alter some of the rooms on the other hand.
Castello Plan by artist Liene Bosque at art:i:curate art exhibition in New York, "a space from without".
Image courtesy of Ariel Efron.
Image courtesy of Ariel Efron.
AC: You won the 2013 award for Nars Foundation's Emerging Curator Program, which is a great achievement. Reflecting on your past curatorial experience and thinking forward about future projects, how can you describe your curatorial practice and direction?
SD: My curatorial practice varies and I welcome changes. The fact that an art exhibition does not necessarily have to be in a designated space, but rather can take from in many other ways, is something I have long been interested in. I would like to expand on these kind of possibilities that do not rely on objecthood per say. When I participated in the Curatorial Intensive program at Independent Curators International (ICI), discursive practices was one of the main issues we examined.
AC: How did being involved in the No Longer Empty Curatorial Lab further develop your curatorial practice? Can you tell us a bit about your participation with the “Through the Parlor” exhibition?
SD: "Through the Parlor" was a fascinating art exhibition in New York on which I collaborated with five additional, wonderful curators. We all had distinct backgrounds, each contributing from various past experiences. It was an exhibition that took place in an old beauty salon in Chinatown. It was a fascinating setting in which site-specificity and community engagement was the curatorial premise of the show. We looked at different artwork that could speak both to Chinatown as an area that witnessed many waves of migrations, as well as issues pertaining to this location such as labour, family, generational gap, identity, etc. All the artworks in the show complimented one another, which was important in order to create a narrative for this show that had many different angles.
AC: In what ways do you see curatorial methods evolving, such as with the influence of new technologies, the new museum model, or keeping up with trends and fluxes in the art world?
SD: As a curator you have to be open to changes and move forward and be part of the creative process. It also really depends on how you envision your public and who you are curating for. An art exhibition should have relevancy to the space (if at all) it is occupying.
AC: What particular art exhibitions have impacted you most, as the viewer?
SD: That is a hard question, but to name a few: "When Attitudes become Form", "Do it", "The Shadows Took Shape", "Here is where we Jump!", "Subliming Vessel: The Drawings of Matthew Barney," "Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges: The Art of Friendship", "Performance: State of Incarceration by Los Angeles Poverty Department...", "Suzanne Lacy: Between the Door and the Street", "As it were ... So to speak: A Museum Collection in Dialogue with Barbara Bloom", "Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller: THE MURDER OF CROWS" and so many more!