Curatorial Statement

“Curatorial statements” offer insights into the curator’s general approach to what shapes his/her way of curatorial action. “Curatorial rationales” explain the logic of the curatorial setting of an exhibition. Both terms are not well defined and often one is used for the other.

In the framework of TASAWAR Curatorial Studios, the term “curatorial statement” is used to describe the curatorial attitude and stance of a curator in person and the term “curatorial rationale” labels the statement to mediate an exhibition concept. Find here some sources that offer suggestions on how to do one or the other. _ Bettina Pelz, TASAWAR Curatorial Studios, 4 October 2019.

#Please add to this collection if you come across proposals that inspire you.

An example of a curatorial statement by Agata Jaworska and Saskia van Stein:
Agata Jaworska creates curatorial projects that bring together design, popular culture and politics. Her exhibitions reflect upon current events in society, focusing on how design is shaped by various agents of the state and the market …
Van Stein has an ardent social and cultural commitment and is actively involved in many debates on art, architecture and design, both as a cultural practitioner, writer and as educator …
Agata Jaworska and Saskia van Stein: My Practice, My Politics – Curatorial statement. Royal Academy of ART. 2018. >> 11 October 2019.

An example of a curatorial rationale by Saskia van Stein and Agata Jaworska on a research and exhibition project “My Practice, My Politics“:
“The personal is political. Whether explicit or implicit, there is an embedded political dimension to everything we do. My Practice, My Politics explores how art, too, is inherently political. The exhibition aims to expand our ideas on political modes of expression. Through a wide array of artistic practices, the presentation conveys manifestations, interfaces and exchanges between the individual and the societal. … My Practice, My Politics portrays the way in which artists and designers capture their views on society through the subject matter they explore, the language and tools they employ, the aesthetics they manifest, and the communities they engage.”
Saskia van Stein and Agata Jaworska: Once Upon a Time. Royal Academy of ART. 2018. >> 11 October 2019.

What is a curatorial statement?
– statement written by curator or organization about the exhibition or project
– functions as an introduction to the exhibition
– states the exhibition’s organizing theme or topic
– provides a brief critical analysis and discussion of the works included in the exhibition
Guo Zi Lu, Ho Ngai Ying, Law Kam Ho Richard Charles, Lee Pak Ka
Li Qiao, Ng Yuen Yan: What is a curatorial statement? 18 November 2013
>> 13 September 2019.

“Historically, curators have been responsible for researching and developing collections within institutions, and exhibitions have been drawn from that context.
Contemporary curators create and contribute to public dialogues about ideas and art strategies that address the world in all its complexities. They also create opportunities for artists. The curator’s work is derived in large part from the practice and production of visual artists, but she/he can
also draw on intellectual and creative contributions from other disciplines in the arts and from many other areas of exploration in society.”
Bruce Dewar (2010 Legacies Now): Curatorial Toolkit. British 2010.

“With our open call, we look for thoughtful, well-researched proposals. Successful proposals tend to have a specific focus, such as an examination of artists’ responses to the Unites States prison system (2013 open call winner, Yaelle Amir). A focused curatorial inquiry makes for a stronger proposal than a more general theme, such as “different artists working in oil paint .” We also look for ideas and approaches we haven’t seen before, in our space, or anywhere.” Curatorial Project Proposal Tips >> 11 October 2019.


DREAM CITY 2019. Photo Facebook – Safa Ben Brahim.