September 5, 2008 - Art Lies - Issue No. 59: Death of the Curator
September 5, 2008

Issue No. 59: Death of the Curator

Jonah Freeman, Justin Lowe and Alexandre Singh,
Age Grade Set #3, custom pigment print; courtesy the artists and Ballroom Marfa.

Death of the Curator
Issue No. 59, Fall 2008

Death of the Curator: A Forensic Analysis of Curatorial Practice
Whenever there is a rupture in the traditional fabric of cultural production, it is not unusual to cry hypothetical wolf. The death of the author, the death of the object, the cyclical zombification of painting, the collapse of the power of the critic: aphorisms abound and rebound, eventually comforting us through inevitable reification. But what if we were to shelve the ivory ping-pong paddles and take up, for instance, full contact paintball? It would certainly liven up the debate—and the playing field. In this spirit, Art Lies, in conjunction with Guest Editorial Contributor Julieta Aranda, hereby announces the Death of the Curator. This is not a coup d’état, mind you, just a “modest proposal” of sorts. Why a forensic analysis…because of its clinical connotation—because of the folds, overlaps and sutures that complicate the distinction between current curatorial and artistic practices. — Anjali Gupta, Editor, Art Lies

Feature Contributors:
Julieta Aranda & Jens Hoffmann
Fia Backström
J.C. Fregnan
David Levi Strauss
Joao Ribas & Matt Sheridan Smith
Raimundas Malasauskas & Gabriel Lester
Naeem Mohaiemen
William Powhida
Martha Rosler
Nato Thompson & Michelle White
Anton Vidokle

With artwork by: Saul Alvarez, Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Stefan Brüggemann, Pablo Guardiola, Shannon Hays, Christoph Keller, Karen Mahffey, Michele Monseau, Yoshua Okon, Steve Powers, William Powhida, Martha Rosler and Wooloo Projects.

Selected excerpts from The Next Documenta Should Be Curated by an Artist
[Jens Hoffmann, Editor, 2003]

Reviews Include:
Austin—Eric Zimmerman on Lawrence Rinder & Cliff Hengst
Houston—Kurt Mueller on Dario Robleto
Fort Worth—Noah Simblist on Kara Walker
Dallas—Michael Odom on Cory Arcangel + Lialina & Espenschied
Los Angeles—Tucker Neel on Phantom Sightings
New York—Christina Linden on Sharon Engelstein
San Antonio—Ben Judson on Oliver Lutz

Cover Image: Jonah Freeman, Justin Lowe and Alexandre Singh, Age Grade Set #3, custom pigment print; courtesy the artists and Ballroom Marfa

Upcoming Art Lies Events:
Issue No. 59 Launch at Ballroom Marfa

5th Annual Critics Lecture Series: Christopher Knight

PLUS: Join Art Lies at NADA in Miami, December 3-7
With daily performances by a host of surprise guests and contributors

Upcoming Issues:
Issue No. 60—Guest Editorial Contributor Aram Moshayedi, Curator, LAXART
Issue No. 61—Guest Editorial Contributor Stuart Horodner, Artistic Director,
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

Art Lies is available in the United States at independent bookstores, museums and select Barnes & Noble locations and internationally via the Web at

Art Lies, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1993, publishes a contemporary art quarterly that provides a forum for the critical exploration and examination of current art production, practice and theory. Art Lies is funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation, The Tocker Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Houston Arts Alliance and our members.

Subscribe now at

Art Lies | POB 1408, Houston, TX 77251-1408 | 832.366.1388 |

Art Lies
Share - Issue No. 59: Death of the Curator
  • Share