A curatorial performance curates works and texts by performing their correspondence and simultaneity: speaking and singing, playing compositions and sounds, reading and reciting; moving and standing still.
In this way they stage sonic and visual work as temporal events and occurrences rather than as objects or artefacts, and draw theoretical reflections out of a textual frame into the ambiguous and unreliable sphere of performance.
Records and CDs, texts and scores, instructions and objects are laid out across the floor. I activate these things in performance, either to a script or in improvisation. Walking around I pick them up, I read texts, recite, sing and shout words and works, play and interpret their textual and artistic materiality and content. I work them as discursive things that stand not in opposition to or in a hierarchy with theoretical discursivity, but perform the simultaneity of practice and its theorisation. At the same time the gestures of my body: walking, singing, reading, reaching for work, touching and activating objects, become part of the curatorial event. As a performing curator I cannot disappear into the authority of the white gallery walls but make visible the physicality of the act of staging things. Problematising choice, authorship, canons and conventions: what we hear and what remains inaudible.
curating becomes uncurating: a performative event
The conceptualisation and development of these curatorial performances are motivated by an unease with fitting sound into curatorial conventions that represent a particular form of knowledge, history and validity of expression. Instead I employ the demands of sound’s invisible temporality to revisit and challenge the ideological and political implications of curatorial traditions: to curate, to cultivate, to archive, to hold, to have, the collection, knowledge, value and validity, class and taste. And so I disrupt and re-present: I unperform and uncurate curatorial norms and expectations. Creating a doubtful and plural experience of work, on my body and on the body of the audience, who is brought in explicitly through participatory text scores, questions, and the need to shout and sing; and implicitly through the demand of my vis-à-vis: my presence live with the work as its curator.
Curating becomes an uncurating: a peformative event, in which objects become timebased gestures, and the body becomes part of the mis en scène of the curatorial frame: framed by it, simultaneously and equally with the curatorial object, its theorisation, artistic materiality and architectural site; performing a curatorial being of work and text as a being-with every other thing. This uncurating, unperforming of work and texts, is not a critique but an affirmative restaging to reach another knowledge and another sense of things and of self with the work.
This uncurating is not an impetus against curating, nor is it a deliberate non curating, the pretence of ‘anything goes’, but an effort of de-curating and re-curating via a sonic sensibility: curating not works, spaces and objects, but their indivisible connection, and the reciprocal simultaneity between works and their theorisation. To make accessible the volume of the work, its invisible expanse and its indivisible correlation with site and text, memory and a current experience; to invite an inhabiting of this indivisible sphere as a sonic cosmos in which we inter-are with things in our individual capacities together.
Listening Across: Uncurating Knowledge
Être a l’écoute, symposium son, édhéa Sierre, Switzerland
1-2 October 2021
Weaving Nets from the Activities on the Margins
Topographies of Sound at Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, 18 Sept 2019
Sonic Materialism: a philosophy of digging and gardening
RE:SOUND, the 8th International Conference on the Histories of Media Arts, Aalborg, Denmark, 20-23 Aug 2019
Unstable Contacts: a political imaginary made from water and honey
Oscillation Festival, Q0-2 Bruxelles, 26-27 Apr 2019
The Sonic Volume as a Sphere of Non-resilience
CTM Festival, 31 Jan 2019
La Possibilité Politique du Son
At Colloque Pouvoir Du Son / Sons Du Pouvoir, Esthétique et politique du sonore. Amiens, France, 15 Nov 2017
Acoustic Experience The Art of Listening
At La Monnaie de Munt The Royal Opera House, Bruxelles & Muntpunt, Belgium,17 Nov 2016
The Political Possibility of Sound
FASE (Festival Arte Sonore Espanol) 6, Hybrid Lab, Berlin, Germany, 04 Nov 2016
Inaudible Disaster Warning
Aural Lighthouse, 'PSi 2015: FLUID STATES – Performances of UnKnowing'
International Performance Network Event, Santorini, Greece, 17–23 May 2015