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About curating. Jorunn Veiteberg interviewed by klimt02

Interview  /  CuratingDebates
Published: 06.06.2016
Jorunn Veiteberg Jorunn Veiteberg
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2016
Display view of the exhibition Différence et Répétition. NextLevel Gallery, Paris, France.
. Form 18 Jun 2014 to 19 Jul 2014.
Display view of the exhibition Différence et Répétition. NextLevel Gallery, Paris, France.
Form 18 Jun 2014 to 19 Jul 2014

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
I also think a lot about the place the exhibition or event is going to take place; its location, architecture, profile, history and try to work with or against these parameters.

Interview part of the Serie under the title Selecting: Communicating Knowledge.
 
What is the main function of a curator?
Curating has evolved considerably from the connoisseurship model of arranging objects to now encompass performative and interventionist strategies. So the function depends on the context and the commission and the competences of the curator ­- whether she is an artist or an art historian makes a big difference.


How has the work of a curator changed in the last years?
Curating is not limited to mean an exhibition maker any more, it can also be about producing publications, creating platforms for discussions or festivals or pop up events of different kinds. Much contemporary art takes the form of an exhibition, blurring the distinction between the individual artwork and the exhibition format.


What is the favourite / dislike part of your work?
Favourite: 1) The research part including visiting artist's studios 2) The opening night.
Dislike: 1) Apply or begging for money 2) Organizing transport, insurance and discuss with custom authorities.

 
  • On my part, the motivation for producing an exhibition is governed by a fascination for certain objects or an enthusiasm for certain artists that I wish to share with others.


Regarding to curatorial process, how does an idea usually start for an exhibition? And how do you develop it?
One of my role model as a curator, Harald Szeemann, said in an interview in 2001: ‘When they ask how I arrive at the selections I make, how I make judgements, I answer: I don’t make judgements, I show what I love.’ I sympathise with that point of view. On my part, the motivation for producing an exhibition is governed by a fascination for certain objects or an enthusiasm for certain artists that I wish to share with others. That said I also think a lot about the place the exhibition or event is going to take place; its location, architecture, profile, history and try to work with or against these parameters. We do not operate in a vacuum, after all. Producing exhibitions is also part of a social and cultural game that requires manoeuvring and argumentation.


An exhibition, event, meeting... that has impressed you specially?
There are many, but an artist who constantly manage to trigger me is Tino Sehgal, especially his "exhibition" This Progress. Neither objects nor pictures only empty rooms, and still it took me several hours to get through them because people of different ages started walking beside me asking questions about progress. Sehgal challenges and changes the structures for how art is produced, experienced, described and collected. This represents to me an important and impressive practice. An experience of a completely different kind was a visit to The Green Vault in Dresden one and a half year ago. In the early 18th century Augustus the Strong commissioned a series of magnificent rooms to showcase his valuables, creating the first museum in Europe. It is one of the largest collections of treasure in Europe, filled with jewels and objets d'art, and the way they are displayed I found very inspiring. These chambers of wonders reminded me that to curate exhibitions is to work in a medium that more than anything else addresses the senses. The fact that this can also be a path to knowledge may be well worth reminding each other about.


This Progress by Tino Sehgal, a performance-based piece that took place in the Guggenheim's rotunda for six weeks in 2010.

How do you feel curating contemporary jewellery?
Curating was my main occupation from 1983 till 1991 but then I did mostly fine art shows. After that writing has been my first priority, and I have only occasionally curated exhibitions. However, I hope I have stimulated others to do it! From 2006 till 2014 I was adjunct professor in "Creative Curating" at Bergen Academy of Art and Design in Norway and tried to encourage as many as possible to focus on contemporary jewellery and other craft art disciplines. But it was great to cooperate with Benjamin Lignel on the jewellery exhibition Difference and Repetition in Next Level Galerie in Paris in 2014. He invited me to select 10 artists based on a concept he had developed, and I would like to quote some sentences from his statement: 'What we propose doing here is not so much an exhibition as a reverse demonstration: by presenting a series of objects as so many solutions to a problem they may not have formulated, we hope to establish that our working hypothesis was correct: so there a regimen of creation that combines the repetitive and the singular; so this regimen is that of contemporary craft.'

Display view of the exhibition Différence et Répétition. NextLevel Gallery, Paris, France.
Form 18 Jun 2014 to 19 Jul 2014


 
  • It was an invitation to Think Thank to present our informal, discursive exhibition at the Handwerksmesse in Munich that made me aware of this lively jewellery week.


What do you thing is the most interesting thing that you helped to make happen?
For my personally it has been the Think Tank A European Initiative for the Applied Arts. I was one of its founding members in 2004, and I succeeded in getting some financial support from a private fund in Denmark that helped us in making the exhibitions and publications the first years. It gave me a platform outside my own country from which to act. It was an invitation to Think Thank to present our informal, discursive exhibition at the Handwerksmesse in Munich that made me aware of this lively jewellery week.
As a curator I have always been most interested in artistic practices that are questioned by the mainstream art world. I have made a big, historical exhibition on posters that was a hot art medium around 1900 but later fall out of the art category. I arranged two of the very first video art exhibitions in Norway in the 1980ies when this medium was still a very marginal phenomenon, and I have made exhibitions on women artists from a feminist viewpoint. My interest for jewellery art also fits into this perspective. 
 

What has been your most memorable response by a colleague to an artwork shown in an exhibition curated by you?
Total ignorance.


The curatorial project you could never made up?
Usually too little money, time and institutional support means that most ideas and projects are not realised. But I have just accepted to curate a craft art exhibition, together with Gjertrud Steinsvåg, who has a MA from the metal and jewellery department at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, at the gallery Kunstnerforbundet in Oslo in the summer 2018. Gjertrud is by the way also the curator of an exhibition of my collection of contemporary jewellery for the National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Trondheim, Norway. It will take place in September 2018.
 
 

Jorunn Veiteberg is from Norway, but lives in Copenhagen in Denmark. She is an art historian, who works as a writer, lecturer and now and then curator. She has contributed to many books on contemporary jewllery: Sigurd Bronger. Laboratorium Mechanum (Arnoldsche 2011); Konrad Mehus. Form Follows Fiction. Jewellery and Objects (Arnoldsche 2012); From the Coolest Corner. Ed. by. Widar Halén (Arnoldsche 2013); Daniel Kruger Between Nature and Artifice Schmuck/Jewellery 1974–2014 (Arnoldsche 2014); Felieke van der Leest the zoo of life. Jewellery and Objects 1996–2014, (Arnoldsche 2014); Shows and Tales. On jewelry exhibition-making. Ed. by Benjamin Lignel (Art Jewelry Forum 2015). Mari Ishikawa. Jewellery & Photography (Arnoldsche, 2016).
 
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