These are the notes that I took during the talk:

  • Talked about the beginning of the word curator and the history of its origin as he feels that. It is important to understand how much the term has changed over the years and how the responsibilities have expanded.
  • As a curator, you work really closely with the artist which is an aspect that has changed  as you could have people that work under you as part of a team.
  • Nowadays the role includes (see photo) being an active producer of meaning, catalyst, supporter & relationships with, and responsibility for/to.
  • You support the artists and their works.
  • Quote “I am the curator of my own misery”
  • The curator and the artist: you have to trust each other, the artist must trust your judgement and that you’re working to their best interests. A curator is always responding to what an artist proposes. It should be a fluid process that responds to dialogue, conflict and collaboration. You need to want to do it. The successful relationships, trust, honesty, dialogue, excitement & knowledge sharing.
  • Illustration of curator strangling artist and said “this is what happens when an artist does not listen to a curator!”
  • The curator and the public – he doesn’t like the word audience as he feels that this is a static term and the public gives a meaning to the target.
  • When installing any artwork, the curator is aware of how it will be seen or experienced by the public. Need to ensure that the work is displayed in such a way that it is accessible and meaningful to the public.
  • Curating is a process – to which there should hopefully be an outcome to be proud of,
  • About his own curator.
  • Studied art history in his home country of Poland. Came to England 10 years ago.He was very inquisitive but not from a particularly artistic background. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, they moved to a more open & fluid environment which he grew up in.
  • He went to an exhibition and couldn’t understand the artwork which made him very angry and it stuck with him. He rejected it but it fuelled his motivation to understand it.
  • He continued to travel to other exhibitions to gain understanding and research for himself.
  • See photo – show called after the wall which was very important to his career. He talked about how different people related to it and the dynamics of it. This exhibition addressed the issues around it.
  • Got a scholarship in US to research his thesis for his MA. Went to Washington to the smithsonian museum. He was looking at different institutions and how they displayed artwork and were themselves displayed.
  • In 2006 he went to Berlin Bienale to bb4 (venues) he felt like it was reading a book, it was very beautiful. Started at one end of the street and ended up at the other end – hospital to cemetery. It was meant to play a story of which animals humans and ghosts were all to play their part. It was very risky due to the presence of an old Jewish girls school and screamed the tone of political issues. He said the experience was overpowering.
  • Some of his projects from his career;
  • Was involved with Barbican gallery in London. Mainly did huge work shows rather than actual art gallery. The work featured was highly conceptual.
  • One of the exhibitions he proposed was for an artist that he saw in Berlin Bienale and the Barbican was transformed into a Second World War Two bunker. He recreates a space that felt real. Through personal and collected memory he forged this work and created this own reality for this exhibition.
  • Collected fictional reality to support his work such as newspapers and props to create this world.
  • Took about a month to create.
  • He mainly curates polish artists.
  • In 2012 he did another show called “the forgetting of proper names” which was a collective of contemporary artists. It was divided into two parts, upstairs and down. They were young artists that were breaking out internationally. The title was taken from Sigmund Freuds book called psychologies of everyday life from 1901.
  • He currently works for the Hayward gallery in London, it was finalised in the late 60s. Prime example of post modernist architecture. Says the space is particular and can be challenging.
  • Love festival at south bank and they decided that it was a time to be proud and celebrate love of all origins. #southbankforlove
  • So in support of this he put on a show called “what’s love got to do with it?” He wasn’t aiming to undermine anything but he wanted to show the experience of love and what it means. It was a collaboration of 5 artists: Sharon Hayes, Ilona Sagar, William Cobbing, Joanna Piotrovska, Anna Barham.

He talked in great detail about his life & career, he was very open. The talk he gave was interesting, I particularly liked all the historical aspects of his practice. If this talk had been in the first term, I probably would’ve researched him further for my essay context as I pulled on historical outlines and frameworks.

Below are some of the images I took during the talk, as this was a detailed talk, I was more focussed on getting information down rather than images but I was able to take a few that outlined Dominik’s role and projects that he’s worked on.

IMG_7414 IMG_7416 IMG_7417


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