Fluidity in Roles: Becoming in the Exhibition. On Contemporary Curation Through Performative Installations.
Pera Rusca, S.
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This thesis seeks to argue several aspects of contemporary curation through the analysis of three performative installations: Phobiarama by Dries Verhoven, The Automated Sniper by Julian Hetzel, and Sasha Waltz’s retrospective Installationen, Performances, Objekte at the ZKM. Given the potential of performative installations as catalysers for reflection on curation, this thesis attempts to answer how to create curatorial discourse from, through and toward the artwork. To do so, Constructive Grounded Theory is used to extensively review literature on performance art, installation art, curation, and aesthetics, and afterwards conform a conceptual foundation for both analysis and reflection on performative installations and curating. Throughout this thesis, the usefulness of speculation as a way of thinking and potentially producing the curatorial is argued and practised. By conceptually speculating on three performative installations, the exhibition is considered as a spatial and temporal medium which fuses different types of relationality, negotiation, adaptation and participation between subjects and objects, who shift in roles throughout the artistic experience, defying rigidity and fostering a fluid understanding of curating. This fluidity is argued to be agonistic, which leads to the realisation that curation has the capacity to function not as a solution but as both presenter and decoder of contemporary issues.