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CuratopiaMuseums and the future of curatorship$
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Philipp Schorch and Conal McCarthy

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526118196

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526118196.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

What not to collect? Post-connoisseurial dystopia and the profusion of things

What not to collect? Post-connoisseurial dystopia and the profusion of things

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 What not to collect? Post-connoisseurial dystopia and the profusion of things
Source:
Curatopia
Author(s):

Sharon Macdonald

Jennie Morgan

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526118196.003.0003

A key – some might even say _the _key – curatorial role is to decide what to collect. What, that is, should be preserved for the future? In this essay, we present ethnographic research with curators of contemporary everyday life. As we show, these curators struggle with a profusion of things, stories and information that could potentially be collected. Moreover, they widely report the struggle to be intensifying. Exploring their perceptions and what these mean in practice in their work, we argue that while neo-liberal and especially austerity politics has an important role in intensifying their sense of anxiety, their experience cannot be reduced to this. On the contrary, their intimation of dystopia is as much a function of other – in some ways utopian – aspirations and politics, as well as of a relativisation of value. These all contribute to transforming the nature of curatorship more widely.

Keywords:   Curator, Collecting, Everyday life, Future, Value

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