Curating is a creative activity that combines art and scientific methods, analyzing and influencing contemporary cultural processes through exhibitions. In the last decade of the 20th century, hybrid curatorial strategies began to emerge in Lithuania: collective actions, collaborations, the delegation of functions, questioning the boundaries of public and private, embodied by artist-curators and curator-artists, who perceived curating as a continuation of their artistic and/or activist practice.
The thesis explores contemporary strategies of curating as an artistic practice and politic through discourse analysis, feminist theory, queer studies approaches, and autoethnography. Through case studies, it reveals the expansion of the boundaries of curating: from artist-curated site-specific projects to discursive post-curatorial interventions, as curators treat the exhibition as an art medium.
The creative part of the thesis raises the three following questions for artistic research: Where? Curating? Creating? (Lithuanian: Kur? Kuruoti? Kurti?) Two of the three questions form the title: “C(U)R(E)ATing”. The question of place is one of the most important in contemporary art. It refers to the context of creation and curation, whether institutional or independent, as well as the location of the exhibition/artwork and its relationship to its surroundings. Even more important is the theoretical context: in which philosophical, cultural, and discursive context the artist-curator‘s ideas unfold. How does the curation of ideas take place? What is the relationship between conceptual gestures and activist practices? How does the curation of situations unfold in a specific place? The artistic part of the research – curated exhibitions and post-curatorial interventions – provide answers to these questions.