Interview with Pelin Uran

Continuing the discussion about curator/artist studio visits SPEECH asks Istanbul based independent curator Pelin Uran a few questions.
'During my first studio visits I did not have any idea of the dynamics or power relations taking place, therefore I was not picky at all. It was simply about getting to know the works of the artist.' click here to read the interview


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pelin and dear Jacqui,

Yes, as you said correctly Jacqui, Bard produces curators. I was one of the students there, at the Center for Curatorial Studies. However, what Bard does not have the pretension to "teach" (fortunately) is how to make a studio visit...
I do not think there is a special rule for how to "behave" during a studio visit, nobody can really teach you what you, as a curator, has to do while the artist is there trying to catch you into his/her world.

I personally agree with you Pelin when you talk about the combination between heart and mind in order to create the right dialogue and exchanging, it is essential. And I agree when you say that sincerity and outspokenness are the basis for a good studio visit, absolutely.
My first studio visit was a disaster! I was talking more than the artist. I thought: she is too intimidated by me that I have to help her, I was using my power probably...but the result was even worst. I only saw documentation of her works and just few words came out of her mouth, while a dialogue is, as I think now, fundamental and crucial in a studio visit. I was so sorry when I realized that it was my fault and that I was exaggerating my "role". After that day I totally changed attitude. And sometimes I like feeling stupid during a studio visit, I need to be refreshened.

During my two years in New York, while studying at Bard, my studio visits were probably the best part of the "job". I just wanted to visit this or this other artist and then people suggested me to visit another artist again and the artist then suggested me to visit another artist, etc etc etc. I mean, it was very special without any expectations. I learned a lot of things and met a lot of different artists from different part of the world. The studio visit is a moment for a curator or critic where he or she can understand the poetic and the work of the artist together with the artist. The studio visit has to be a dialogue and a mature exchange, if so it can be really a magic moment, I think, both for the curator and for the artist. So I do not think that there must be always a specific interest for the curator on this or this other artist, at least it is not like this for me. I visit studio of all kind of artists without thinking he or she is going to be part of my show now. It is like reading books, always an adventure. But of course I then follow my taste and interest in choosing them for my shows. The artists’ interest is to let people knowing, understanding and be familiar with their proper work.

I am now Assistant Curator at the Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea in Turin. And actually my tendency is exactly the same. I am what I am. So I do not see (personally) very much what you both say when you talk about the power of being in an institution. Not for me at least. Probably because my vision is more projected in an utopian world. But certainly, I know that sometimes the artists I visit are more happy to make a studio visit with me because of me being in Rivoli. Probably I feel powerful before when asking the artist to make the studio visit. I feel more proud or something like that I do not know exactly how to explain this feeling. However, I think and believe that when the atmosphere is more comfortable both for the artist and the curator/critic, the result is magic, always.

3:40 PM  
Blogger matthew Shannon said...

how is it that the ego of the curator survives in these times? is it purely institution requirments? forgive me if i'm wrong, always possible, but isnt there a clear shift away from this type of militristic hierachy? this devinely inspired individual at the top of the chain (i dont mean this to sound angry) it sort of feels like a curator can say 'iam what iam' but an artist, if they think about it, should'nt?

did'nt blanchot have a thing or two to say about this?

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you mean that artists are prey to institutions and curators?
what did Blanchot say?

1:01 PM  
Blogger matthew Shannon said...

hi dave,
no its not that they are prey, the relationship is obviously mutually productive. its more if art and artists are subjected to the whim or caprice of one individual then something is lost in the potency of the discourse, reducing it to taste of people considered important. ill post the Blanchot stuff as soon as i can find it again, i think it was in 'museum sickness'.

11:03 AM  
Blogger ahmet ögüt said...

Pelin, I absolutely agree with you..

In addition I would like to say something: being a curator (or being an artist) is not only about behaving like a curator (or behaving like an artist). (as Pelin told it is about combination between heart and mind) One of my friend just told me while we were talking about some serious issues about life: "not looking for a partner but becoming a partner if you have no choise."

9:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home