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Finding Art in Curating

Whilst there is nothing particularly fresh and innovative about considering a curatorial project as a work of art in its own right, I have recently began to reflect on my curatorial endeavours and concluded that a different approach is needed for ‘PLAY!’ – an open-call exhibition devised by myself and Sharon Mossbeck.

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Hard at work arranging the works of art submitted to PLAY!

Both Far Lands and Sweet Tooth – my two previous curatorial projects – were relatively successful; gaining accolade from an audience and providing a platform for socialising, networking and further collaboration for artists. However, I have recently began to consider how the theme of an exhibition should have a direct relationship with how the work is curated.  I have began to consider artwork almost as material – a tool I can use in order to compose a piece of work, with the exhibition space acting as a surface.

So, how should an exhibition around the theme of video games within a fine art context be curated? Or even, how do I want an audience to respond and react to an exhibition around the theme of video games? Well, given the small venue size and how a small venue size relates to the theme, I have concluded that I want the audience to feel as though they are inside a games console – an intrinsic part of it – and as such, required to process copious amounts of information: Analysing, scanning, distinguishing valuable information from worthless information, holding information within memory, or regarding information at face value.

A computer within a games console is required to process countless information in order to arrange, position and assemble a video game in a way that makes sense to an audience. If I were to treat this as something physical; requiring an audience to regard varied and copious works of art within a very small space, then the end result would be an assault;  A maximum intake of virtual reality appropriated as a tangible, physical entity.

This idea of playing the the function of curation in order for it to be relevant to the theme of the exhibition is intriguing to me, having never really considered curation as anything other than simply something you have to do in the past. I like the idea of manipulating the resonance found within the space in a way that suits the thematics of gaming – forging an intrinsic connection with the audience and the theme. Hopefully it will look as good in reality!

PLAY! will open at Access Space, Sheffield on 3rd October. There will be a P.V on the 3rd from 5.30 – 7pm. It will then run until 31st October.

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