Help Sheet for Curating System Gallery

MANNER OF FLYING was the first output of my PhD researching the social worlds and tacit forms of value generated within artist-run initiatives. The exhibition worked as a test-bed for developing a new practice which would bring the background work of artist-run spaces to the forefront. It marked a turning point with my thinking and as such I wanted to define parameters over what it is my practice. To aide me in this I produced a ‘help sheet’ of sorts which would act as a set of guidelines over how to curate the space going forward.

Help Sheet for Curating System   //    Daniel Goodman    //    09/09/2019

Both artists and curators work with space, materials and ideas to organise and make sense of our lives. Often this is done in various intangible ways.

It doesn’t matter if you are fully committed to the previous statement.

Sometimes your role within a project will be more pronounced. Sometimes it will be more supportive. Either way, trying to define what is an artist or a curator is boring.

Many artists will want to present work in a way which denies its context and they will instinctively need there to be clear defined boundaries between what is and isn’t art.

For you the physical space of the gallery is integral to your practice and is part of the work.

Your practice is a socio-political one. The things that you make are interpretive tools to make the socio-spatial conditions that you work with/within more pronounced. These interpretive tools are secondary to the socio-spatial context that you work with/within and create.

This is your medium.

You are interested in space and place.

Space is how things are placed in relation to another. It’s about boundaries and links. You can utilise it to ‘map’ things out, including relations between people and ideas.

Place is different to space, though it does involve space. As Doreen Massey states, places are “…articulated moments in networks of social relations and understandings.”[1]

You will create space/s which act against the work in order to draw attention to the socio-spatial conditions in which it is produced and displayed.  Through this you will gain insight into how space/s can constrain and enable the giving and receiving of care, support, and belonging.

You must simultaneously create places which work for the artist through fostering a sense of community, co-support, and self-definition as an artist/curator/person.


[1] Massey, D. (1991) ‘A global sense of place’, Marxism Today, pp. 24-29.

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