Amelia G. Ellis

I define curating as bringing together pieces or people and arranging them in a certain way or allowing them to sit organically — like throwing the cards into the air and letting them lie where they fall. However, quilting these objects or people together—or letting them be—should be done so in a way that requires attention to the history and present-ness of the works and their relationships to each other.

Jack Tchen in his article “Who is Curating What, Why? Towards a More Critical Communing Praxis” writes that traditional curators and caretakers have taken a step a way from just “watching over” selected works from a body of knowledge and are participating more in “secular research and publication in ways that are similar to professorial work, which combine with significant mediatory influences in constructing public exhibitions and deciding which objects will be acquired in collections” (7). The evolution of curatorship has placed greater responsibility on the curator and therefore, curating—even on social media sites like Tumblr and WordPress—is not just collecting, but knowing, juxtaposing, and questioning; putting problematic relationships in society and history next to each, and in turn, not just preserve and put those relationships on display, but create exhibitions that raise eyebrows and initiate conversation.

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