Curating in Feminist Thought: Helena Reckitt

Citation, Annotation, Translation: Reflections on Italian Feminisms and the Now You Can Go programme

Symposium Curating in Feminist Thought
Friday 6th of May 2016 at Migros Museum
Saturday 7th of May 2016 at Zurich University of the Arts

See all contributions here:

Helena Reckitt is a curator and researcher whose work often explores legacies of queer and feminist art, theory, curating, and activism. She has edited Art and Feminism 2001, Sanja Iveković: Unknown Heroine 2013 and, with Joshua Oppenheimer, Acting on AIDS 1998. Her 2013 essay “Forgotten Relations: Feminist Artists and Relational Aesthetics” appeared in Politics in a Glass Case, edited by Angela Dimitrakaki and Lara Perry. She has held curatorial and programming positions at the ICA, London, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Georgia, and The Power Plant, Toronto, and has curated solo exhibitions with artists including Yael Bartana, Keren Cytter, Hew Locke, and Ryan Trecartin (with Jon Davies), and group exhibitions such as What Business Are You In? (2004), Not Quite How I Remember It (2008), and Getting Rid of Ourselves (2014). She is Senior Lecturer in Curating in the Art Department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Concept by Elke Krasny, Lara Perry, Dorothee Richter
With contributions by Amelia Jones, Maura Reilly, Helena Reckitt,
Sigrid Schade, Dorothee Richter, Lara Perry, Elke Krasny,
Hilary Robinson, Stella Rollig, Lina Džuverović and Irene Revell,
Laura Castagnini, Susanne Clausen, Michaela Melian, Nkule Mabaso

Videoprogramme with works by Martina Mullaney, Szuper Gallery,
Plan C, Liv Wynter, Louise Fitzgerald, PUNK IS DADA

Curators and their partners are working in a contested field, in which
the meanings of institutions, their power structures and modes of
participation can be debated and reshaped. “To think of institutions in terms of production (of work and discourse and political practice and solidarity) instead of representation would be, to my mind, a first feminist step”. With this provocation the curator Ruth Noack invited us in 2013 to rethink the nature of feminist critique of the museum, the gallery, the exhibition space. Is access to the representational space of the museum a meaningful or adequate tool for feminism? Can such occupations mobilize sufficient means to reform the social function of exhibition? In recent years the role of the curator has increasingly become identified with “the new economic conditions that require new contexts of collaboration and interaction” (Olga Fernandez), conditions which are identified with celebrity and authority as well as precarity and casualization. What is the gendered nature of the power relations, effects, inconsistencies and contradictions of curating in the present? And how can feminism help us to rethink the role of the curator?